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1942 Plymouth Special Deluxe Question

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I have the rare opportunity to acquire a 1942 Plymouth Special Deluxe 14-c. This car has 48,000 original miles, is numbers matching and is 100% original. It has been in a garage here in hawaii for the last 70 years. The car stars, runs and drives. It is currently registered and passes all safety inspections.

My question is on the interior. It is 100% original and all present. There are no holes in any of the interior, but it is defianately thread bare and doesnt smell the best, (mohair). Would I loose money on this car if I were to have the interior replaced?

My vision for the car is a sunday cruiser to the north shore to get ice cream with my son. However, I would imagine that it is something I will keep for a few years and then try to sell. I dont want to ruin the value of the car by replacing the interior.

Any insight on this?

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If the car really is 100 percent original and since it is a low mileage car my advice would be to leave the interior alone and enjoy it as it is being careful not to cause any further damage. I don't believe that these cars are high dollar cars though. If you decide that you want to replace the interior it would be to your advantage to make sure that EVERYTHING is done as original. Original type mohair ,fasteners,trim and the like. Anything less will definately have a negative effect on resale value. An original interior will probably cost a couple thousand dollars as they must be custom stitched,there are no "out of the box" interior kits for these cars. Good luck and have fun!

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If the car really is 100 percent original and since it is a low mileage car my advice would be to leave the interior alone and enjoy it as it is being careful not to cause any further damage. I don't believe that these cars are high dollar cars though. If you decide that you want to replace the interior it would be to your advantage to make sure that EVERYTHING is done as original. Original type mohair ,fasteners,trim and the like. Anything less will definately have a negative effect on resale value. An original interior will probably cost a couple thousand dollars as they must be custom stitched,there are no "out of the box" interior kits for these cars. Good luck and have fun!

When you say that they are not high dollar cars, what would you estimate the value of these cars? I currently have a 1968 harley davidson sportster that I have fully restored. I value my bike at around ten thousand. This would be a straight across trade for the car. Here is a link to the exact car

http://www.cardomain.com/ride/3272086/1942-plymouth-p-15

The current owner stated that he paid ten thousand for the car, and after riding in it, I thought it would be a pretty good trade..........any ideas?

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Very interesting. Looks as though this car may not be worth what I thought. Still a very cool car however.

It is a cool car, but I think it's worth quite a bit less than $10,000. Also, far more than 116 were produced. I think nearly 66,000 4-dr P-14C sedans were produced in 1942.

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Definitely a cool car, but as others have stated, they just don't bring big money. If it was a convertible, the value would jump considerably. It would be worth somewhat more even as a coupe. I love four doors, but they are at the bottom of the scale when it comes to values.

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I'd venture that even with a new correct interior you're still looking at $6,000 - $7,000 tops! Contrary to the popular belief that if it's old it's valuable , this era cars do not bring big money. That doesn't mean that it will be less enjoyable! These cars are great drivers, they're dependable and roomy. Just have fun with it for what it is!

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Sounds like a great find. As far as value I personally would pay more for an unmolested original. Can you post pictures of your car?

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42 Plymouths are one of the few cars that are more valuable as a 4 dr than a 2dr or maybe even a coupe as they are sought after by the military collectors to be made into WWII staff cars.

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One other point to consider. The wiring. If the wiring is starting to crumble, you will likely need to replace it. I would assume that Plymouth ran the harness above the drivers side doors just like on mine. I had to remove the headliner to replace the wiring and there was no way to save the headliner.

As a side note, the mice seemed to love the insulation in the headliner and once I replaced the headliner and insulation, and cleaned out the old nests behind the kick panels, the smell went away (after a while). (I've never been to Hawaii but I assume you have mice there too).

Look at the headliner and see if it is stained from mouse urine. If it is, I might suggest redoing the headliner and redo the wiring at the same time. My 70 year old wiring was crumbling 15 years ago (when I got it) and the car was kept in a garage most of its life(1954-1997) (1997-current). Look at the wiring in the trunk and under the hood.

Clean everything else.

Original is nice but if you are going to get sick from the smell......

1942 cars are rare and you do not see then too often. As I understand, the price guides are developed based on sales records. Since these 42s don't sell very often (especially mopars), the guides may be a little behind on value data.

I would tend to believe that 10K might be high for an unrestored car or for an original that has odor issues. My wife would not go near my car for the first year because of the original mouse smell. I tend to agree with the 6K number.

I've got more than that invested in mine that I probably won't see back but I enjoy the hell out of it. It pays back as the enjoyment of the hobby.

Ron

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post-87836-14314227942_thumb.jpgI've had a 1942 Plymouth Special Deluxe Convertible since 1966 (second owner) and it is also 100% ofiginal. It's a blackout model and it was appraised at $65k in 2005 and is insured at that value by Hagerty. In 1941 Plymouth manufactured about 500,000 cars. In 1942, Plymouth manufactured about 150,000 cars making the 42s more valuable than previous pre-war cars. Of the 150,000 cars less than 3000 were convertibles. Of those a small subset were blackout models. You can tell if your car is a blackout model by certain trim pieces and by it's body and engine numbers. I have more info if you need it. I hope you will register your car with the National Plymouth Owners Club so it's on record. Have fun with it.

post-87836-1431422794_thumb.jpg

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I am confused, I thought that 'blackout' models were just that, blacked out. If it was manufactured after a specific S/N wouldn't the bright work be body color?

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post-87836-143142279775_thumb.jpgBlackouts were assembled with whatever parts were in stock. There is no standard re: painted or not painted or which pieces are chrome on the blackouts. Often, chrome bumpers and chrome odds and ends were in stock and any trim not in stock as chrome was painted, sometimes in a contrasting color, e.g., navy car with tan trim, other times in the same color as the car. This car had/has chrome bumpers, headlight bezels, and hood ornament. The grill is unpainted stainless steel and all other trim pieces were/are painted the same red color as the body. Note the sort stainless trim piece that wraps around the front fender toward the wheel well, on a non-blackout special deluxe, this trim piece is about twice as long.

The dashboard. and steering wheel are trimmed in a contrasting metal, kind of a coffee color on a red dash and the inside door handles and window cranks are coffee color bakelite. The vent windows and latch are chrome trimmed.post-87836-143142279771_thumb.jpg

Edited by 1942plym
add photos (see edit history)

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Very interesting to learn about the blackout cars!

As far as this one in question, on the interior, I'd just preserve it as best I could with some seat covers or something rather than put more into the interior than you would have in the car. That car as is with perfect interior would not be worth all that much more than it is now. I agree on the $6000ish estimates. Then again, if you love it, must have it, and are planning to keep it a while, spend $10,000 on it. I always agree with spending a little more than something is "worth" if it's what you want.

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Blackout cars often had the same trim but painted instead of chromed. In some cases they had a mixture of unchromed and chromed pieces, with the chromed pieces painted over to match.

Even the plainest blackout models had some chrome on door handles, bumpers and possibly hub caps.

Blackout models came about to save chromium and nickel. After a certain date they stopped using chrome on the trim but they used up whatever was in stock from before that date.

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Hi, Great car and info! Is it your understanding that P14Cs with serial numbers after 1147830 (Detroit), 3305324 (LA), and 20160112 (Evansville) were blackout cars? Thx, Jeff

[ATTACH=CONFIG]223269[/ATTACH]Blackouts were assembled with whatever parts were in stock. There is no standard re: painted or not painted or which pieces are chrome on the blackouts. Often, chrome bumpers and chrome odds and ends were in stock and any trim not in stock as chrome was painted, sometimes in a contrasting color, e.g., navy car with tan trim, other times in the same color as the car. This car had/has chrome bumpers, headlight bezels, and hood ornament. The grill is unpainted stainless steel and all other trim pieces were/are painted the same red color as the body. Note the sort stainless trim piece that wraps around the front fender toward the wheel well, on a non-blackout special deluxe, this trim piece is about twice as long.

The dashboard. and steering wheel are trimmed in a contrasting metal, kind of a coffee color on a red dash and the inside door handles and window cranks are coffee color bakelite. The vent windows and latch are chrome trimmed.[ATTACH=CONFIG]223268[/ATTACH]

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I just found this topic again and I don't know if I totally agree with the assembled with what ever parts were in stock comment.  The Plymouth parts book is pretty specific with which serial number started the blackout series and the blackout requirements were wartime law.  The blackout requirements were to save nickel and chromium for the war.  But dealerships were concerned it would be hard to sell a blackout model if a nice chrome car were on the other guys lot.  So it became required for all sales after January 1st that all "Trim" had to be painted whether leaving the factory or already on the sales lot.  Bumpers were not required to be painted for what ever reason and even the last Plymouth to be built in 42 had chrome bumpers.  This picture was taken on January 30, 1942 in the Detroit plant 

1942 Plymouth Blackout 1-30-1942.JPG

Cars that were on dealers lots had to have the trim painted so there was no unfair sales advantage.  I have found some bezels and door handles that were chromed and then painted to meet the requirements of blackout.  But factory blackout pieces that were not chromed usually had a different part number to indicate prime paint vs chrome.  Stainless trim pieces usually didn't get numbers made onto them so you cannot tell unless it was in an original wrapper.

 

1942Plym, I'm not sure where your convertible serial number falls but it may have been one of those that was painted at the dealership or the first owner may have replaced damaged pieces during the first 24 years prior to your purchase, to get miss matched colors.  Below is a list of when Plymouth switched to blackout at the factory.  One thing I would say is Blackout from the factory never matched the car paint.  Trim was added after the painting process and that would be way to much coordination for the time.  It could have been painted that way at the dealership though.

 

According to the 1942 Plymouth Parts List Book, The 1942 Plymouth was made at 3 American plants and has 2 sets of serial numbers for each plant. One for the P14S-Deluxe and one for the P14C-Special Deluxe Those numbers are as follows:

 

Detroit P14S-Deluxe 15,135,501 to 15,153,935 meaning 18,434 produced. Pre-blackout up to 15,150781. 3,154 Blackout models Produced. That is 17.1%.

P14C-Special Deluxe 11,399,501 to 11,494,048 meaning 94,547 produced. Pre-blackout up to 11,474,830. 19,218 blackout models Produced. That is 20%.

 

Los Angles P14S-Deluxe 3,134,501 to 3,136,266 meaning 1,766 produced. Pre-blackout up to 3,136,084. 182 Blackout Models Produced. That is 10.3%.

P14C-Special Deluxe 3,297,001 to 3,306,756 meaning 9,756 produced. Pre-blackout up to 3,305,324. 1,432 Blackout Models Produced. That is 14.67%

 

Evansville P14S-Deluxe 22,037,001 to 22,041,356 meaning 4,356 produced. Pre-blackout up to 22,040,399. 957 Blackout Models Produced. That is 22%.

P14C-Special Deluxe 20,148,001 to 20,164,436 meaning 16,436 produced. Pre-blackout up to 20,160,112. 4,324 Blackout models Produced. That is 29.9%

 

Windsor 9,829,856 to 9,836,986 (There does not appear to be a breakdown between the P14S and P14C models) 7,131 produced.

 

A total of 147,028 P-14 Plymouths were made between all the plants. Motor numbers run from P14-1001 to P14-149161. 148,161 motors produced ,1,133 more than cars. Always want spares. What is interesting is the Canadian cars used the 218.6 block instead of the American 217.8 block. That has to make rebuilding more challenging.

 

It appears there were 24,556 P14S-Deluxe Plymouths made in total and of that 4,293 were blackouts. That is 17.48% of the production.

It appears there were 120,739 P14C-Special Deluxe Plymouths made in total and of that 24,974 were blackouts. That is 20.68% of the production.

Edited by Ron42Dodge (see edit history)

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Ron that's pretty much what I said. Some chrome pieces or stainless pieces were painted over. Why did they do that? So they would all match. How come they had some chrome and some painted parts? Because they still had some chrome parts in stock on the day they changed over to painted trim.

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)

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Rusty,  

 

Bottom line I think it was a feel good thing.  Many parts were already made prior to the attack at Pearl Harbor.  Right after that they started to retool but it didn't happen over night.  There were some parts still being produced and many blackout pieces have different part numbers made into them, which means they were cast after the rule was created..

 

My 42 Dodge convertible was scheduled for delivery on December 26, 1941.  There is a hand written note on the build ticket to eliminate the skirt trim which all convertibles should of had.  They simply installed Deluxe fenders instead so there were no holes in the fenders for the Custom trim.  I didn't put 2 + 2 together until years later when I found pictures of similar Custom models that were also missing the skirt trim but with some chrome.   I quizzed them on the VIN numbers and they were all right before blackout.   Fortunately or unfortunately I had already found the 6 missing NOS Custom skirt trim pieces that I was missing and they were already chromed and in original wrappers, and I had already drilled the holes for it so it would be correct as a Custom Model.  But technically correct for mine is an early blackout which had trim reduced but not painted.  I think that was a 2 week or so production.

 

Plymouth and Dodge had a lot of Stainless Steel trim so it even made less sense to paint those pieces.  But I remember reading there was a concern of unfair sales advantage if all trim wasn't painted.  I'll try and find the article I found that explained it.  I did post those pictures I found of a 1942 Dodge Blackout convertible in the 1942 Dodge - Factory Photos & Proven/Known Correct Factory Info  post.  That car is also missing the Custom Skirt Trim and all other trim is painted except for the bumpers

 

For what ever reason bumpers seemed excluded from the blackout rules. Maybe they felt the harsh environment of the bumper seemed that painted bumpers would not survive.

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