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idiotic scenario of the day - 41 chevy or 47 plymouth

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by neverwinter, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. neverwinter
    Joined: Aug 31, 2008
    Posts: 313


    long long story short a friend turned me on to a 47 plymouth coupe running with stock 6 cyl, everything works, its registered insured and daily driven. since i have a 41 chevy coupe project well in progress i normally pass on these things.

    what hit me today was that the asking price is very reasonable given that it can be driven home. i am sure it will need things as all vintage cars do, but considering i could get the car for not much more than what i need in parts alone to complete my 41 i am considering selling mine as is and getting the 47.

    am i just being impatient and or a moron? the cars appeal to me is similar. just trying to be a realist about how far off i am in completing the 41. its not so much the volume of work but more that volume coupled with precious little time left over after being a dad to 2 beautiful kids, a full time job, a bike building (small) side business, etc. i am exceedingly fortunate for my wife and my kids and to be able to already have a 64 galaxie and a bike. this is not a woe is me thing at all!

    trying to reconcile the wanting to finish a car with the reality of less time, funds and skill than what is needed to get it done efficiently. due to the asking price i may be able to sell my proj and even lose some cash on it but still end up with the plymouth.

    my 41 has M2 setup installed, rear leaf conversion done, nova axle, 260 engine, t5 trans ready to go in. but needs front floors, radiator, brakes, etc etc. the car body is in great shape and the car is most certainly worth the time. just trying to see if it it makes sense to forge ahead a little at a time and have all that money tied up in a proj, or less money in a runner?

    sorry for elongated question. appreciate any advice/insight.
  2. terryble
    Joined: Sep 25, 2008
    Posts: 541

    from canada

    Buy it, drive it while you build the Chevy. At some point it will become clear to you where the real love is, both are very nice cars.
  3. neverwinter
    Joined: Aug 31, 2008
    Posts: 313


    i wish i had the finances to do both but alas its one or the other!
  4. Barn Find
    Joined: Feb 2, 2013
    Posts: 2,320

    Barn Find
    from Missouri

    Don't switch horses. Keep your head down and finish the car you really want.

    I've been distracted many times with cheap drivers. They usually require just enough maintenance to keep you from completing other projects.

    It can be hard to sell a half completed project, like your '41, and you might end up with two. One is better. If you stay true to one, it will be more reliable and driveable in the end vs two projects.

  5. pila38
    Joined: Mar 25, 2009
    Posts: 763


    If you stick with the '41, no matter how long it takes, you can say you BUILT it, not bought it.
  6. terryble
    Joined: Sep 25, 2008
    Posts: 541

    from canada

    That is a very valid point!
  7. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,535


    I think barnfind is on the money, but I would be tempted too. I like those post-war Plymouths. But- the Chevy will have a more modern drive-train, (did you mean 250?) and I assume you started with it because you like it. The Plymouth would be cool, but if you can't keep them both, I say stick with the Chevy.
  8. I'm in a similar situation right now too. Have been plugging along on a '42 tudor but then came across a '61 merc, my fav 60's car. Told the guy I want to get my '42 road worthy before I make a switch. I've never fully redone a car before and I want to prove to myself that I can do a good job on it. So, I'll keep my sedan for now and be proud of the work done when she's cruising fine.
  9. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,402


    So, are you a Chevy kinda guy or a Mopar kinda guy ?? I have met very few who can honestly claim to be both so, where do you stand?
    If you prefer the bowtie, which by your own account you probably do, then leave the Ply to someone who actually has an affinity for the quirkiness of the Mopars and keep busy on your 41. As said, you can lay claim to the build.

  10. neverwinter
    Joined: Aug 31, 2008
    Posts: 313


    this is why i love this place. i know my question is pretty rudimentary but for those of us with bigger dreams and aspirations versus wallet size and time, this is a real world example.

    i do like my chevy - the prob is i too like the plymouth. i'd love to be able to say i built a car. considering my previous attempts at cobbling together a soap box derby car met with as much success as a cinder block being pushed uphill, everything takes me forever and a day to do.

    i have been building harley bobbers for a few years now and that helps me get my creative ya yas out. this potential swap is much more about the whole space/time/cost/project length vs a very similar car at a very fair price. ofcourse all this is with a grain of salt given that the car is for sale. after all he does want to sell it for a reason.

    i added a couple pics. the asking price is lss than what i paid for my M2 and rear ;leaf spring setup for the 41 chevy. does that make any difference?

    in no way have i decided to move on from the 41. simply looking at an opportunity to be in a driver car i like equally sooner vs an elongated project that will certainly need additional funds.

    Attached Files:

  11. The Plymouth doesn't look too bad. Partly depends on what level of "nice" that you want in your car. You could leave the Plymouth with the patina......or paint it. The seats with covers are OK (I've used box seat covers for years)......looks like the dash and window frames have been painted, headliner may be fairly new. Needs rocker stainless trim,
    passenger door trim, maybe a little body work....and the wheels, tires spiffed up a bit. Generally speaking, Plymouth P15 parts are not real hard to find. Just look on ebay......the prices have crept up in the last two or three years.

    Looks like that one is a Special Deluxe, the better model (the cheaper one is just called a Deluxe). The old Plyms are not powerful or fast......that ol flathead likes to go about 50 or 55 mph......unless you install an overdrive and/or replace the rear end with something
    geared a bit better. I enjoy just cruising around in mine and fast is not high on my list of priorities.

    There is also the P15-D24 Forum for the 40s and 50s Mopars with additional knowledge of these old cars.
    So.......are you really a Chevy guy .. or will you be happy with the Plymouth (at least for some period of time)?

    If you look up the website and go to the old cars index page where they are listed by can see a bunch of the 46-48 Plymouths done up in a variety of ways.

    Whatever you do, I suggest leaving the stainless trim and original grille......just hard to beat and the car looks too plain with no trim.

  12. Which do you enjoy more - working on the car, or driving the old car?

    It will be tough to sell a car that's apart unless it's super nice -
  13. neverwinter
    Joined: Aug 31, 2008
    Posts: 313


    i got into cars much much later in life so oddly i have no allegiance to any make. thats the prob is that i like everything - really comes down to what i dig at the time and what other projects are ahead in the mix.

    i had a 67 dart that i did a driveline swap - and then sold a year later. had a 56 moor door buick that i got a good offer on.

    what do you estimate that 47 to be worth? i know thats very subjective and very difficult based on limited info and pics.

    i do appreciate all the insight.
  14. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,793


    This isn't a car issue, as much as it's a patience issue. You just can't wait to drive an old car. Plain and simple. So, my advice, would be to be patient and finish the car you have now.

    When I was building my T, sometimes the desire to get on the road was overwhelming. I got offers on 1st gen Camaros from a friend who has several. I could have been driving one as soon as I dropped the money on him. But, I held off. "I did it myself." means a lot in my world. I wouldn't trade that feeling for anything.

    Plus, I've never heard of an old car that was "ready to drive" and lived up to it. Be patient and get your car done. The road isn't going anywhere.
  15. harpo1313
    Joined: Jan 4, 2008
    Posts: 1,978

    from wareham,ma

    snap it up and drive it,rust free stuff doesnt show up around here as you know.when winter comes sell it for chevy money.
  16. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,298

    Rusty O'Toole

    This is a difficult question. If it was a choice of buying one or the other (driver Plymouth or half finished Chev) I would vote Plymouth.

    But as you are already committed to the Chev, I say don't buy the Plymouth. It will only be a distraction. You know how hard it is to get anything done on your Chev now. If you had another car demanding attention, that only needs a little work to keep on the road, the Chev will never get done.

    So, leave the Plymouth for someone else and finish the Chev.

    To look at it another way... no question in my mind that the Chev is a better looking, overall nicer car. Especially if you are going to rod it.

    The Plymouth makes a great driver as is. It has some advantages over the Chev in stock form. Like full pressure oiling to the engine, insert bearings instead of babbitt, tapered Timken front wheel bearings instead of ball bearings, and other mechanical features Chev didn't get around to for quite a few years.

    But you are replacing all that with modern parts, so your Chev will have the advantage over the Plymouth when done, as well as being better looking.

    Win - win for you. Now all you have to do is finish it.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2013
  17. neverwinter
    Joined: Aug 31, 2008
    Posts: 313


    thanks all - got inspired and went out and welded the rear crossmember/upper shock mount in place. now its a matter of lots of planning and trying to do a little each day/week as time allows. a few bolts here and there, some parts adding over there, etc eventually will lead to getting her done. as much as i like to drive stuff to do it myself would mean a heck of a lot more satisfaction. even if it will roll unGodly down the road.
  18. terryble
    Joined: Sep 25, 2008
    Posts: 541

    from canada

  19. From most of what you have posted in different threads it seems your not happy with the Chevy,,why not try a Plymouth? HRP
  20. neverwinter
    Joined: Aug 31, 2008
    Posts: 313


    ha nah its not that i am not happy - its a lack of confidence in abilities etc. i actually very much like the car. ive already learned a ton even in getting this far. from time to time i have moments of almost despair where i wonder what i got myself into and if i'll ever be able to finish it to a level where i am comfortable driving it. anyone can weld in random things or bolt on doo dads that serve no real purpose. im not into those things yet i lack the confidence in getting something done to a level wher i, and more importantly my family, feels safe with me/us in it. when i have these moments and find other options those options become more attractive. the easy way out, a cop out. but given my completely non-mechanically inclined nature and family history, i often succumb to the temptation to start over with something else.

    but i want to see how far i can get with this one. ive spent so much time hunting parts and gathering info and bartering etc that the value is more than the money invested. its time i try and follow something through.
  21. I Drag
    Joined: Apr 11, 2007
    Posts: 884

    I Drag

    I was in a very similar situation recently. I had a project car that I loved for 5 years. Due to time and money constraints, I knew it would be another 5 years before it was done.

    The opportunity came up to buy a different car that I also love, but it was a 'done' car. I could not keep both.

    I did in fact sell the project car and bought the done car, and I could not be happier.

    I sold the project car for a slight loss, but the good thing is that is was in driveable condition. That made selling it possible.

    Selling the project got me 90% of the cash I needed to get the done car.

    The done car is probably only worth 1/2 of what the project car would be when finished, so I took a step 'down' in most peoples eyes.

    But now my spending is over, my time is more free, and I have a done, driveable car I love.

    Your mileage may vary. Best wishes.
  22. n847
    Joined: Apr 22, 2010
    Posts: 2,706


    Whatever you do, I suggest leaving the stainless trim and original grille.....

    ask me how I know! Obviously I would choose the Plymouth but I dig those chevy's! Just go with your gut and never look back!

    But for the love of Pete dont remove the trim! On second thought that trim all sucks you should pull it all and I'll haul it to the scrap yard for ya!

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!

    Attached Files:

  23. hkestes
    Joined: May 19, 2007
    Posts: 558

    from Plano, TX

    Nah, don't listen to these guys. Buy the Mopar it is a much better car, but then I may be just a bit biased.

    All kidding aside, if you have reservations about your ability to safely put the Chevy on the road then the Mopar may indeed be your best bet. You can still "build" it as you drive it, but it came from the factory with a pretty good independent front suspension. You could do a stock rebuild on the front end with the addition of an Olddaddy disc brake kit easily in a weekend. Relocate the upper front shock mount to the frame with a simple bracket and you are good to go.

    The old flathead if it is in decent condition will push the Plymouth down the road at 65-70 all day with an overdrive transmission or a T5 installed. The other option is a Mopar B-Body, Dakota or Explorer rear swap with around a 3.50 gear. Again all things that could be done in a weekend easy.

    This way you could be driving / building without being all in on those safety critical areas of the build you seem to have doubts about.

    If you decide to continue with the Chevy, find a local club and get to know some members who would be willing to look over what you have already done. Could give you some peace of mind that you have it done correctly or give you some advice on possible ways to fix things if they are not quite right.

    Good luck in what ever way you go.


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