- Original steel body
- Two-tone custom paint
- GM 350ci/330hp crate engine
- TCI-built 700R4 automatic
- Ford 9-inch / 3.73 gears
- Mustang II front suspension
- Power rack-and-pinion steering
- GM-style four-wheel disc brakes
- Vintage Air climate control
You'd be forgiven for glancing over the lead image and assuming this is some fiberglass Ford with slick paint. For all the traditional rods out there running early Hemi's, it's still a bit of surprise to see Chrysler Corporation sheet metal treated to this kind of work. Looking over this '36 Plymouth, it's hard to imagine why. The shape is certainly there and the unique front end is still as memorable as it was nearly 80 years ago. With a 330hp 350ci small block, a TCI-built 700R4, and a comfortable bucket seat interior with amenities like air conditioning and cruise control, this Plymouth was built both for the show and the drive there – even if it's two states away. If you're looking for a unique street rod ready for the long haul, take a minute and get to know this '36 Plymouth.
This most recent chapter of this car's story starts in 2004 when the car was rediscovered in Ohio. It was 100% intact but non-functional – the perfect street rod platform. The car underwent a restoration that took the better part of three years, finally wrapping in 2011. Judging by the finished product there were two primary goals for this build: great looks and long-term reliability. The former was handled by Irmo Paint & Body in Irmo, SC who laid down the killer two-tone paint scheme. The colors consist of a Pearl Silver from the Cadillac catalog and a Tornado Red from Ford. The paintwork presents well and extends into the door jambs for a unified look throughout. Underneath that top coat, the laser straight steel body is surprisingly free of modifications with the exception of fiberglass rear fenders that measure two-inches wider than the originals.
The custom paint does such an effective job of transforming the car that it's easy to overlook all the factory details that complete the look. The centerpiece is still Plymouth's distinctive 'waterfall' grille topped by a 'sailing ship' hood ornament. At either side, the headlights remain where the factory placed them alongside optional dual horns. The stock bumper now wears a coat of red paint but it's still an easy fascia to recognize. The split hood remains in place as does the hood trim and, up top, the roof insert stays a part of the design. The glass looks good and appears to have some light tint, further backing that modern paint scheme. The door handles look like the original but the mirrors have been updated to sleek painted units. This is a humpback sedan and that namesake is visible from the rear, framed by dual taillights. There's a frenched license plate recess and, below, the bumper has been tucked and painted. It's a great look that both street rodders and purists will find common ground within.
If you're building a car for the road, reliability is king. Few engines are synonymous with reliability quite the small block Chevy. The particular variant found in this Plymouth is a 350ci GM from Chevrolet Performance. At the core is a genuine GM block with four-bolt mains, a nodular iron crank, powdered metal rods, cast-aluminum pistons, an a hydraulic flat-tappet cam. That rock solid foundation is topped by a pair of Vortec heads with 64-cc chambers, on either side of an aluminum GM intake manifold topped by a single Holley four-barrel carburetor with an electric choke. The combination is good for an solid 330hp and 380lb-ft of torque. Up front, the engine turns an alternator, power steering pump, and air conditioning compressor opposite a compact radiator aided by a single electric fan. Mechanicals aside, GM did a good job decorating the mill with plenty of eye-catching hardware. The valve covers are chrome pieces with topped by red bowties and chrome breathers. Bright red GM Performance Parts plug wires run neatly through wire looms at the side while, up top, a chrome air cleaner assembly crowns the piece. Turn the key and the small block fires to life, exhaling through a set of headers that flow into a dual exhaust system which exits through quad chrome tips out back.
Peer underneath this Plymouth to a find an original chassis with plenty of impressive updates. In the center, a tried-and-true 700R4 four-speed handles shifting duties automatically. It's a new unit from TCI and it works in harmony with a 2,300 – 2,599 rpm stall converter to get this sedan off the line in a hurry. Power spins back to a new Ford 9-inch rear with limited slip, 3.73 gears, and Strange 28-spline axles. The suspension is equally modernized thanks to a Mustang II-style front end with coilover shocks, and a fresh set of leaf springs supporting the rear. Push this road-ready rod through the curves and you'll come to appreciate the addition of power rack-and-pinion steering which works alongside four-wheel disc brakes to keep the driving experience predictable. The brakes are standard GM style units so you won't have to pay a small fortune for service when the time comes. In front of those brakes, a set of 15-inch American Racing five-spokes wrapped in 205/60R15 front and 275/60R15 rear BF Goodrich Radial T/As ground the chassis to the pavement.
Between the doors, you'll find a simple but effective gray interior built around providing all-day comfort for anyone lucky enough to cruise in this Plymouth. On the inside of the doors, gray tweed combines with gray vinyl and sculpted hardware to a create a neatly finished panels that guide the way inside. Gray carpeting covers the floors, topped by custom floor mats and stainless-trimmed pedals that lend a finished feel to the space. Front row seating is provided by a pair of modern buckets wrapped in the same tweed and vinyl combination as the door panels. There's also a matching rear bench seat that's perfect for the kids and grandkids. It's a smaller cabin so the builder wisely opted against a center console, leaving the Lokar shifter to top the transmission tunnel by itself. From the driver seat, the upright dash is most occupied by a set of VDO gauges that monitor speed, revs, oil pressure, water temperature, fuel, voltage, oil temperature – pretty much everything you need to know. There's also a Vintage Air control panel as well as a slick electronic cruise control setup amidst the paint and burled walnut veneer accents. In front of the driver, a tilt column from Ididit extends outward, capped by a four-spoke Lecarra steering wheel. Out back, the trunk space is unfinished, currently offering little more than a storage shelf. It's a sizeable space and, for the creative type, a perfect opportunity to add your own final touch to an otherwise complete car.
The sale of this sedan includes engine specs, build pictures, and a significant stack of built receipts that document exactly what went into creating the finished product.
Equally comfortable on the road or at the cruise-in, this '36 Plymouth is a great example of a fully functional street rod. With its upgraded 350/700R4 combination, reliability won't be a concern and, with the features packed into that compact cabin, passengers certainly won't complain about the ride either. Best of all, this solid spec sheet is wrapped in an original steel body dressed in a color scheme guaranteed to turn heads. If you're ready for a different kind of street rod, don't miss the chance to bring this sleek Plymouth home today!
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