1937 Plymouth Business Coupe - $49,900
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It’s got a real-deal HEMI under the hood, a proper 4-speed gearbox, and all the upgrades, from cold A/C to 4-wheel disc brakes, making it a hot rod that runs and drives like a real car.

Everybody loves the idea of BUILDING a hot rod, but when they get started, they seem to do it just like everyone else. 350 Chevy crate motor, 3-speed automatic transmission, drum brakes, blah, blah, blah. How boring. There are a lot of beautiful rods out there where it just feels like the builder took the easy way out. Parts from a catalog might be easy, but they aren’t interesting and the car you get in the end rides and drives like all the rest. Isn’t hot rodding about standing out? Doing it differently? Casting your own shadow? If you still believe that innovation and uniqueness are critical to a great rod (and if you’re a Mopar guy), then this 1937 Plymouth will hit all the right notes. It’s got a real-deal HEMI under the hood, a proper 4-speed gearbox, and all the upgrades, from cold A/C to 4-wheel disc brakes, making it a hot rod that runs and drives like a real car. The fact that it’s also not a garden-variety Ford or Chevy is only icing on the cake.

The two-tone paint makes this Plymouth look a lot more substantial than a Ford or Chevy, and maybe it is. There’s a solid feeling to this rod that we don’t often find, which probably comes from the quality of the build and plenty of sound-deadening materials inside. For the most part, the body remains stock and this one is 100% steel, no worries there. The biggest modification was to the doors, which now swing from the rear suicide-style, a neat trick that remains invisible until you pop them open. In addition, the bumpers and door handles were shaved, the taillights were removed and relocated to the rear valence (where they used later Plymouth taillights to great effect), and a third brake light was molded into the bodywork just below the rear window. It’s smooth without erasing the ‘30s look that makes these cars so popular. The paint is quite well done, with the peach over blue combination looking flashy without being overbearing, and the neat light blue stripe between the two colors is itself highlighted with a silver pinstripe. The original grille remains in place, and it works rather well with those cool hood vents that are 100% stock—it’s not like anyone could do better, right? The headlights have been tweaked and modified to hold sealed beam bulbs and to remove the chrome trim rings, and those HEMI badges on the doors aren’t just for show. From any angle, this is a great-looking car that gets people wondering what it is.

Pop those suicide doors and you’ll find a highly functional and extremely comfortable interior. Done in materials that match the bodywork’s color scheme, the high-back buckets are from a late-model and look like they were born in this coupe. Dark blue carpets and custom door panels enhance the fully finished look, and even the pedestal for the long Hurst 4-speed shifter is beautifully trimmed and bound. Features include power windows and locks with remote door openers, a tilt steering column, ice cold A/C, and a trick Dakota Digital instrument panel that springs to life the moment you turn the key. A Sony AM/FM/CD stereo system sounds great thanks to all the aforementioned sound-deadener inside the car and for safety it has been retrofitted with 3-point belts and a fire extinguisher. For storage, there’s a neat compartment behind the seats, which also houses the wiring and controls for the remote control key fobs. The massive trunk is upholstered to match the interior, suggesting that this Mopar was built for the long haul gang.

For Mopar fans, there’s only one engine: the HEMI. This is a 392 cubic incher out of a late-50s Imperial and it just fills the Plymouth’s engine bay. It’s just awesome to see! Forget some puny Chevy crate motor, those wide valve covers with “Chrysler FirePower” embossed on their faces are what you want to see. There’s a Holley 4-barrel carburetor on top of a Hot Heads aluminum intake manifold, a rather substantial cam inside, and a Mallory Unilite ignition system to light it up. It’s a tight fit, yes, but everything tucks in nicely, including the A/C system, power steering pump, and shiny chrome alternator. There’s a giant radiator up front with a big electric fan to keep things nice and cool and all the wiring has been neatly hidden out of sight for a very clean look. The firewall was recessed a bit to make it fit, but otherwise the hood closes up without issues and you’d better believe this sucker causes a stir when you open the hood at a show. The fact that it starts easily, idles well, and doesn’t get fussy is a testament to the tuning and attention to detail that went into the car—this is one you shouldn’t hesitate to drive.

Everyone says most hot rods are owned by old guys, and that’s why you should use an automatic transmission, but I’d argue that the guys who love hot rods also know how to shift for themselves. The HEMI V8 is backed by a Borg-Warner Super T-10 4-speed manual gearbox that gives this Plymouth a racer’s personality. It lets the HEMI really open up and the thing just hammers down the road. Of course, the bulletproof Ford 9-inch is an important part of the equation, and it’s filled with easy-cruising 3.00 gears so this sucker is great on the highway. The front suspension is a custom setup with A-arms and power rack-and-pinion steering, while out back there’s a 4-link with coil-over shocks. This is a vintage car that rides and handles far better than you’d expect. There’s also a power-assisted disc brake at all four corners, which is reassuring given how quickly this sucker gathers speed. The exhaust system features stainless mufflers that exhaust under the running boards and the entire chassis was smoothed and filled before being painted to match the blue bodywork. The stance is exactly right and it sits on 15-inch Billet Specialties wheels with staggered 215/70/15 front and 255/70/15 rear BFGoodrich T/A radials.

This Plymouth gets all the important stuff right. It stands out on a sea of Brand X hot rods, it’s beautifully built, and it has all the features and amenities that a modern rod should have. Add in that killer powerplant, a manual gearbox, and a competent suspension, and you get a car that’s not only fun to show but even more fun to drive. Call today!

Vehicle: 1937 Plymouth Business Coupe
Price: $49,900
Stock Number: 115163
Mileage: 6234
VIN: 4668701
Engine: 392 cubic inch HEMI V8
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Gear Ratio: 3
Wheelbase: 112 inches
Wheels: 15-inch Billet Specialties
Tires: Front: 215/70/15, Rear: 255/70/15 BFGoodrich T/A radial
Exterior Color: Salmon over Navy Blue
Interior Color: Blue and orange leather and suede
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