Junkyard Gem: 1954 Plymouth Savoy Sedan

Junkyard Gem: 1954 Plymouth Savoy Sedan



American automotive customers purchased many hundreds of thousands of the four-door sedans that flew off Detroit’s meeting strains within the decade after World Struggle II, and so loads of them nonetheless stay in barns, garages, driveways and yards as we speak, awaiting loving homeowners who will put them again on the highway. Sadly, these with the money and time to tackle difficult classic automotive initiatives are inclined to desire coupes and convertibles, particularly these made by the higher-prestige marques. That signifies that many of those vehicles proceed to expire of time with every passing day, taking that last tow-truck trip to their final parking areas. In the present day’s Junkyard Gem is a kind of vehicles: a 1954 Plymouth Savoy four-door painted in Piedmont Maroon, present in a Denver self-service yard not too long ago.

Junkyard Gem: 1954 Plymouth Savoy Sedan

For example of what number of of those vehicles nonetheless get crushed every year, here is a partial listing of a number of the 1946-1956 American four-door sedans I’ve personally documented in automotive graveyards during the last decade or so: 1947 Dodge Custom, 1947 Frazer Manhattan, 1948 Plymouth Special Deluxe, 1949 Dodge Coronet, 1949 Kaiser Special, 1949 Oldsmobile 88, 1949 Plymouth Special Deluxe, 1950 Cadillac Sixty-One, 1950 Chrysler Royal, 1950 Studebaker Commander, 1951 Chevrolet Styleline, 1951 Frazer, 1951 Lincoln Cosmopolitan, 1951 Plymouth Cranbrookone other 1951 Plymouth Cranbrook, 1952 Kaiser, 1952 Buick Special, 1952 Mercury Custom, 1953 Packard Clipper, 1953 Plymouth Special, 1953 Pontiac Chieftain, 1955 Studebaker Commander, 1956 DeSoto Fireflite and a 1956 Mercury Montclair.

Junkyard Gem: 1954 Plymouth Savoy Sedan

It is particularly powerful for the 1946-1954 Plymouths, as a result of these vehicles have been seen as stodgy transportation home equipment for cheapskates after they have been new. Because the 1940s turned the 1950s, most American vehicles turned longer, sleeker and flashier-looking, however Plymouths appeared to remain the identical.

Junkyard Gem: 1954 Plymouth Savoy Sedan

For the 1955 mannequin 12 months, Plymouths got a clean-sheet redesign and caught up with current styling trends well enough (most likely not coincidentally, Plymouths finally got their own dealerships in late 1954, moderately than simply being bought out of Chrysler, DeSoto and Dodge showrooms). However for 1954, the most effective Chrysler might do with the seems of the more and more aged-looking Plymouth was give it a new grille and some body chrome. Bumpers have been made to stay out a number of further inches to cheat on the general size a bit.

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Junkyard Gem: 1954 Plymouth Savoy Sedan

Chrysler’s Plymouth Division entered 1954 in third place for gross sales (behind first-place Chevrolet and second-place Ford) and had dropped to fifth by the top of the 12 months, because of Buick and Oldsmobile grabbing the third and fourth spots, respectively.

Junkyard Gem: 1954 Plymouth Savoy Sedan

Issues appeared very old school beneath the ’54 Plymouth’s hood. This can be a Chrysler flathead straight-six, a easy and dependable engine with ancestry stretching again to the 1920s; if this one is that this automotive’s unique plant, it is a 217- or 230-cubic-incher rated at 100 or 110 horsepower. Whereas Chrysler started constructing vehicles with fashionable overhead-valve V8s as early as the 1951 model year, it wasn’t till the Slant-6 debuted for 1959 that the previous flathead was retired from vehicles (although it soldiered on, actually, in army vans for a lot of further years).

Junkyard Gem: 1954 Plymouth Savoy Sedan

Loads of new American vehicles nonetheless had flathead engines in 1954, after all; you could possibly purchase a brand new American automotive with a valve-in-block engine design all the way through 1964. Nonetheless, valve-in-head designs have been shoving the previous flatheads apart in a rush by the center 1950s. Ford launched an overhead valve straight-six for 1952 and a pushrod-equipped V8 for 1954. Chevrolets had overhead valves of their sixes going all the way back to 1929, and everyone knows what happened in the Chevrolet engine world in 1955.

Junkyard Gem: 1954 Plymouth Savoy Sedan

Even the Plymouth sailing-ship hood decoration (positioned atop the engine by a junkyard shopper) appeared old school in 1954. Although Plymouth had been named after a brand of twine popular with American farmers, the ship theme was an try to attach the model with Plymouth Rock and the Mayflower.

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Junkyard Gem: 1954 Plymouth Savoy Sedan

Plymouths did get an optional fully automatic transmission for 1954, although this automotive has the three-speed column-shift manual that went into most Detroit machines on the time.

Junkyard Gem: 1954 Plymouth Savoy Sedan

The 1954 Plymouth could possibly be bought with an non-obligatory Hy-Drive semi-automatic transmission in addition to the bottom three-on-the-tree or two-speed PowerFlite automatic. With the Hy-Drive, you bought a clutch pedal, the usage of which was solely needed for beginning out from a useless cease. As soon as underway, you could possibly shift between ahead gear ranges with out touching the clutch.

Regardless that this automotive would not have Hy-Drive, this commercial is price a watch.

Whereas we’re at it, here is how Chrysler’s Dodge Division pitched the PowerFlite a bit later.

Junkyard Gem: 1954 Plymouth Savoy Sedan

So this automotive was thought-about hopelessly behind the instances when it was new, however that ought to make it even cooler to somebody as we speak who needs to work on and drive a classic Detroit machine. The physique on this ’54 is nice and stable, with no rust-through that I might discover, and the inside is not the nightmare of powdered horsehair and hantavirus-laden rodent poop that you just see in so many Excessive Plains vehicles left open air for many years. I believe it spent many of the previous couple of a long time in a storage, awaiting a revival that by no means got here.

Junkyard Gem: 1954 Plymouth Savoy Sedan

Somebody cherished this automotive and took care of it for at the very least the primary few a long time of its life. I am guessing the checkered-flag decals date again to the early 1970s.

Junkyard Gem: 1954 Plymouth Savoy Sedan

The half that actually hurts is the airbrushed mural on the decklid. At first I assumed the 1970s-Los Angeles-style lowrider depicted right here with a chop job and Dayton wheels was an idealized illustration of this ’54 as it will sometime be in actual life, however additional examination reveals that the illustration seems to be primarily based on a mid-to-late-1940s Chrysler or maybe Pontiac. In any case, this automotive deserved a greater destiny.

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Junkyard Gem: 1954 Plymouth Savoy Sedan

The unique vacuum-tube radio (which needed to heat up for some time earlier than working) continues to be within the sprint. The truth that no person put in a extra fashionable sound system implies that this automotive by no means obtained transformed to a 12-volt electrical system (Plymouths had 6-volt electrics till 1956). Be aware the CONELRAD nuclear-attack triangle-in-a-circle symbols at 640 and 1240 kHz; 1953 was the primary 12 months for necessary CONELRAD symbols in automotive radios, not coincidentally following the first test of a working fully thermonuclear weapon the 12 months earlier than. The infamous Castle Bravo H-bomb test was within the information when this automotive was brand-new.

Junkyard Gem: 1954 Plymouth Savoy Sedan

Smokey the Bear has a message for you.

Junkyard Gem: 1954 Plymouth Savoy Sedan

Attempt to think about this automotive again in 1954, when the inside awaited a well-dressed girl after a go to to the jewellery retailer. In truth, the Savoy (which was the mid-grade Plymouth trim degree for 1954) listed at simply $1,853 for 1954, which quantities to one thing like $20,555 in 2023 . That is lots of automotive for the dough!

Junkyard Gem: 1954 Plymouth Savoy Sedan

These easy bench seats would not have price a lot to get re-stuffed and re-skinned, by the requirements of such work.

Junkyard Gem: 1954 Plymouth Savoy Sedan

As I often do, I carried an previous movie digicam with me on this boneyard go to. This photograph was taken with an Ansco Shur-Shot, a New York-made inexpensive field digicam that may have been favored by the Plymouth-buying demographic in 1954.



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