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1949 Plymouth Special Deluxe woody wagon

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Another car that hasn't hit our website that I wanted to preview here. It's a very nicely done 1949 Plymouth woody with a recent restoration, an overdrive, and great road manners. Not a show car, but a better-than-average show and driving car that is fun as well as practical. I took it to Home Depot for a few small items the other day and there was a crowd around it in the parking lot when I came out. EVERYONE loves this woody.

From what I can discern, 80% of the wood is new and it's very nicely done. The original pieces are not all that obvious, but the new wood is a bit brighter in places. No rot anywhere that I can find, and someone clearly spent a ton of money on it. Fresh maroon paint that is reasonably well done, although there's a big run on the tailgate near the unique continental rear spare door. Otherwise, very nice. Both front doors fit is a little off, but the rear doors and tailgate are almost perfect. Chrome is average to excellent, depending on whether it is original or replated, but there are no obvious bad parts. It really presents well and you won't be ashamed to show it just about anywhere.

Inside, the seats are fully restored, including the metal frames which have been painted and seem to have all-new cushions. Correct maroon seat covers that show zero wear, and carpets that seem a little loosely installed (my guess is that they are from a mail-order kit meant for a sedan). Three rows of seats, which is unusual, since many early owners tossed the third row to increase cargo capacity. All the gauges work, although the radio and clock do not (what else is new? I'll be shocked when we finally get a car with a working clock). Three-on-the-tree transmission, good clutch, firm brakes. Converted to 12 volts, which probably explains the radio and clock not working. Factory overdrive seems to have been converted to manual operation with a freewheeling lockout plunger like my '29 Cadillac's setup. Aftermarket turn signals added as well.

The original flathead inline-six remains under the hood and runs very well. I used to be one of the people who under-estimated these little engines figuring the cars would be dogs on the road, but I couldn't have been more mistaken. The engine is energetic and pulls well at any speed, and is far smoother than you'd expect. Around town, it's easy to handle with strong brakes, good steering and a tight suspension, and with the overdrive, it cruises easily at highway speeds. Chassis is solid with undercoating and no signs of major surgery or rust, and a lot of new components. The engine bay was grungy when I took these photos, but it has since been cleaned and detailed, although it isn't concours by any means.

Woodys are funny machines these days. Even basket cases are $20,000+ and need six-figure restorations, and perfectly restored woodies of any stripe are pushing $100,000 or more. This one isn't perfect, but needs nothing, perfect for driving and casual shows. My research suggests only a handful of these '49 Plymouths still survive, so it'll be a hit anywhere it goes, even Home Depot. A nice car that you can enjoy immediately with all the expensive work already done.

Asking $57,900, but we're always open to offers.











Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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Yes, it's 12 volts now. Fortunately, whoever did the conversion did go the extra mile and make all the original gauges functional, although the radio and clock haven't been made operational. So many 12 volt conversions just skip the details, and in a car like this where there's no modern equipment that needs 12 volts, I always wonder why it was done, especially given the degree of difficulty in getting everything else switched over. But there it is, it does have an alternator.

I'm really impressed by how well these little sixes go down the road. We have this and a '48 Plymouth convertible, and they're both great cars to drive. My expectations were low when I first saw the small engine, but I'm extremely impressed by how well they work! Ride and handling are better than a lot of other cars of the era, too, particularly the enormous 1948 Buick Roadmaster convertible we have parked next to them.

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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