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1934 DRXX Business Coupe Info Needed


Scott Bonesteel

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Hello all--As my avatar shows, I have always been a 34 Plymouth PE guy (despite having owned a 34 KCL panel for years...). I simply could not pass this one up: 34 DRXX business coupe, purchased from the family of the original owner and garaged all its life. Pictures show how straight the darn thing is. Unmolested, basically all stock, original DR 218. Came out of Northern California and is basically rust free. Attached photos show it when I picked it up a little over a month ago (yes, they are still out there!). While I am very familiar with the subtle differences between the various 34 Plymouths and the specifications for a 34 DR, this DRXX has some differences that I need to clarify. Somebody out there must know the answers to these questions:

--Doors on the DRXX have just the single glass as opposed to the dual-function with windwing found on the DR. This car has window garnishes without all the curves and the deep skirt. Basically look like a 33 Dodge or Plymouth with a very short, straight skirt and without the cutout for the vent 'shift lever'. Is this correct? Seems like the DR garnish would be incorrect because it has the hole for the windwing thumbscrew.

--Headlights are not the elongated ones with the ridge on top I have always seen on DRs. They are Stabilites, a little bit stubbier and without the top ridge. A sealed beam conversion has been done. Do they take the same lens and reflector as the DR? I know, for example, that the cheaper 34 PF and PG Plymouths had a different lens than the more expensive PE and I would suspect that this 'cheapo' model Dodge might have the same. Headlight stanchions are the same as the DR but have blocking plates for the horn wires.

--What is the upholstery pattern on the doors? Seems like the pattern with the fancy top scroll to match the DR garnish molding would be incorrect, but that is what it has. Haven't taken them off but if you look in the top of the window slot you can see that some of the stops for the DR-type windows are there, without the thumbscrew mechanism. The door panels have the DR-type ridges on them, which look somewhat strange as there is no hole or thumbscrew for the wind wing.

--While not (I don't think) DRXX specific, what water pump does this 34 DR 218 take? All of the replacements I see are 35 and up. Perhaps they fit but could use some help on this one. Want to keep this one as original as possible but I'm too old to do this more than once. Thanks in advance for your help. SMB

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That is a good straight car, Scott - and you must still be pinching yourself! I have a soft spot for the 34 Dodge but don't know that much about them. There are others here who are pretty knowledgeable so I expect them to come forward with answers to your questions.

Does the paint polish up or will it need redoing? Would be nice if it could be kept original. Sounds like you are the right guy for this car!

Ray.

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. . . While not (I don't think) DRXX specific, what water pump does this 34 DR 218 take? All of the replacements I see are 35 and up. Perhaps they fit but could use some help on this one. Want to keep this one as original as possible but I'm too old to do this more than once. Thanks in advance for your help.

If Dodge is similar to Plymouth for '34, which I think is likely, then your backing plate on the water pump is different. On '33 and '34 there is a square inlet to the block with no water distribution tube. '35 and up have a half moon sort of shape on the block inlet with a water distribution tube. Not sure about later after market pumps, but the factory originals had the same internals for '33/'34 as later cars, just a slightly different housing and backing plate. Options are to rebuild the original pump or to make a custom backing plate that fits on the '35 and up pumps but matches the '33/'34 block opening.

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I took a rag and a little bit of Meguire's polish/cleaner, buffed a small area and rubbed it clean, all by hand, once it dried. Polished up quite nicely. Paint is the original Golden Beige Poly. A good solid weekend with a clay bar, some wax and some elbow grease and I think it will look great. Thanks to Dave for the water pump numbers. On the window garnishes and the headlights/lenses/reflectors, my 34 Dodge parts book seems to show that the window garnish is unique to the DRXX while it uses the same interior panels--guess they were not that picky about the garnishes matching the door panels. The headlights, lenses and reflectors are all apparently unique to the DRXX, or at least different from the DR and DS.

That is a good straight car, Scott - and you must still be pinching yourself! I have a soft spot for the 34 Dodge but don't know that much about them. There are others here who are pretty knowledgeable so I expect them to come forward with answers to your questions.

Does the paint polish up or will it need redoing? Would be nice if it could be kept original. Sounds like you are the right guy for this car!

Ray.

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Hi Scott,

Finally got time to reply to you.

The doors on the DRXX as far as I know had the same garnish moulding as the sedan that had the split window. I've attached a pic of a guy here in Australia ( Luke ) that has one. The moulding has the hole for the window winder. Yep it looks a bit odd.

The headlights don't look as elongated as the 34 DR, I don't really have a close up pic of his but I will try and get one for you.

Upholstery pattern is a tricky one especially when you look at his car. I do however have and original brochure that shows the pattern. Have a look and see what you think.

I have a few water pumps under the house and I'll try and get some shots for you. Mine was rebuilt by a local guy who only does water pumps and he changed the impeller to a more efficient bladed fan type. As he said, you'll never see it so why not make it more efficient. I'll have a look at Luke's photos as see what I have but may not be too clear.

What a great find your car is !!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Scott,

Could you have a look at the doors on your 34 and tell me if there are any rubber seals around the doors. From looking at the parts book there is suppose to be one at the bottom of the door I think. Seems yours us original these may still be intact.

Cheers

Ian

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Ian--OK, catching up on a couple of questions. Attached, probably in a couple of posts, are various photos on the various topics above. DRXX firewall tag photo is attached, also showing 'BC' for business coupe. Note that the firewall itself is also stamped "491xx", which I can only assume it was the 491st (out of 2500 built) DRXX business coupes. I have seen similar number stamps on 34 Plymouth PE coupes and convertible coupes, number sequences that do not seem to correlate with either the body number or the serial number. On the issue of the window garnishes, found a nice old contemporary photo of a DRXX and you can see that the garnish is narrow, different than the DR (which has the breaker window thumbscrew), which comports with what the parts books show, that being a different part number for the DRXX window garnishes. Have included a couple of photos of my door panels and garnishes, as found, as well as one shot down the window slot, showing the 'stops' for the DR-type windows, which also comports with the parts books stating that the doors are the same part number.post-89602-143142799284_thumb.jpg

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Here are the headlight photos, also showing the blanking caps for the horn wires. The parts book lists these as part #627574, but they look like a standard hole plug. As stated above, these lights are smaller than the standard DR headlights and do not have the ridge on the top.

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It has the typical red Dodge plate, rounded ends, about 3 1/2-4" long (about 100 mm to y'all), mounted on the firewall directly above the DRxx plate shown in the photos above. Faded to the point of being almost unreadable but you can tell it was red as opposed to the earlier black ones. SMB

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