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n1gzd_plymouth

my new 1939 P8 Business coupe

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Hi I have not posted in a while (but I am back). I just got another Plymouth (project). 1939 P8 business coupe.

The previous owner had it since 1971 but for the past 22 years it was in his basement. 

Rebecca

IMG_4127.jpeg

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Nice find. Regarding ‘39 Plymouth’s did all the ‘39’s have the square headlight cut-outs in the fenders?

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'39's all had square headlights from the factory.  The round headlights were aftermarket conversions for when sealed beams became available the following year.  Mine was one such conversion. It is actually more rare to find ones with the square original light setup.

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9 hours ago, John Reddie said:

It looks really nice. Can you post some pics of your '36 coupe as well? Thanks.

John R

My 36. It has an early 50's Dodge truck 230.

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21 hours ago, plymouthcranbrook said:

In his basement,hopefuly drive in one.  Looks very nice. All Original?

As far as I can see it is all original except for some minor repairs. Nothing missing or wrong as far as I can see. I have not inspected it carefully yet (it is half way home but I saw it last weekend when I took these photos).  

Rebecca

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I have a question about my car to anyone familiar with the cable shifter on the column. I am expecting this to be one of the more difficult parts of the car to restore and adjust correctly. Am I right to be expecting this. Is it reasonable that my backup plan can be to convert to a conventional floor shifter. I have not researched this yet but I am assuming that the transmission is the same 3 speed that is in other models that have a floor shifter. My priority is to get it to work as it was originally but I would like to know if my backup plan would work too.

Rebecca

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9 hours ago, n1gzd_plymouth said:

I have a question about my car to anyone familiar with the cable shifter on the column. I am expecting this to be one of the more difficult parts of the car to restore and adjust correctly. Am I right to be expecting this. Is it reasonable that my backup plan can be to convert to a conventional floor shifter. I have not researched this yet but I am assuming that the transmission is the same 3 speed that is in other models that have a floor shifter. My priority is to get it to work as it was originally but I would like to know if my backup plan would work too.

Rebecca

 

You can swap it to a floor shift but will have to change the top plate on the transmission. I wouldn't expect it to be necessary unless you would rather a floor shift. The cable shift works fine and adjustment isn't hard at all. The real problem is if you decide to put an overdrive trans in it. 39 was the only year that I'm aware of that used the cable shift. Most overdrives are set up for linkage shifters, except for the elusive R6 OD. So if you decide to go to an OD you will have to swap to a floor shift or -- change steering columns if you want to keep it on the tree.

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6 minutes ago, Lloyd said:

 

You can swap it to a floor shift but will have to change the top plate on the transmission. I wouldn't expect it to be necessary unless you would rather a floor shift. The cable shift works fine and adjustment isn't hard at all. The real problem is if you decide to put an overdrive trans in it. 39 was the only year that I'm aware of that used the cable shift. Most overdrives are set up for linkage shifters, except for the elusive R6 OD. So if you decide to go to an OD you will have to swap to a floor shift or -- change steering columns if you want to keep it on the tree.

thanks. I will aim to keep the column cable shifter and no overdrive for now. I am still learning about this car and am assuming that the transmission and rear end are the same as my 36 (max highway speed about 50-55 MPH with no overdrive). Am I right about this? If I experiment with overdrive I was thinking of trying it in my 36 first and keep the 39 stock.

Rebecca

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12 hours ago, n1gzd_plymouth said:

My 36. It has an early 50's Dodge truck 230.

IMG_1194.JPG

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Great looking '36. In 1956, I bought one like this for $25.00 that had a rumble seat rather than the trunk. I remember that the rear window could be opened to speak to passengers in the rumble seat - or raised if you didn't😀. This car of course is one that I truly regret not keeping. Yours looks to be in really nice shape. Thanks for posting the pics and enjoy

 your Plymouths.

John R

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3 hours ago, n1gzd_plymouth said:

thanks. I will aim to keep the column cable shifter and no overdrive for now. I am still learning about this car and am assuming that the transmission and rear end are the same as my 36 (max highway speed about 50-55 MPH with no overdrive). Am I right about this? If I experiment with overdrive I was thinking of trying it in my 36 first and keep the 39 stock.

Rebecca

 

Dont know if the 39 will do the same speed. The 39 came out with a 201 original motor. You have a 50's dodge truck 230 in your 36?

I got my 39 with the original 201 engine but I never drove it. Had a rod knocking. I got a 1950 218 and stroked it with a 230 crank.

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I have a '39 4-door touring sedan. It's as original as I can keep it, including the drive train. All the numbers match -- it's the original 201. No overdrive.

 

I got it for touring. It will cruise all day at 50 - 55 MPH. I have Coker radial 16/600s on it. It wandered a lot more with the bias plies.

 

I believe that overdrive was an option in '39. It's an earlier BW that shorter. I've seen a couple of those for sale over the years for exorbitant prices. I've read that if you put a 1940s BW OD in you would need to modify the X-frame chassis member.

 

The only issue I had with the column shift was I lost a bushing on the engine side of the firewall. Did a roadside fix and then found original replacements online.

 

My '39 was in storage for about 13 years when I got it. Brakes were awful & the compression was low but even. A few hundred miles of driving brought the compress back up.

 

Pete

39 Plymouth shift bushing.jpg

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8 hours ago, Lloyd said:

 

Dont know if the 39 will do the same speed. The 39 came out with a 201 original motor. You have a 50's dodge truck 230 in your 36?

I got my 39 with the original 201 engine but I never drove it. Had a rod knocking. I got a 1950 218 and stroked it with a 230 crank.

yes my 36 has a 230 instead of the 201.

Rebecca

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@Pete that’s a wonderful car. Hooray for restoring such a beauty. I hope to get my ‘38 looking as sharp some day. 

 

My ‘38 has a 1954 year 228.12 CI Canadian 25” long engine in it.  I was reminded that the extra power and torque is a good thing. 

Edited by keithb7

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Interesting reading this thread and looking at the pics......here in Oz I have seen 2 versions of the 1939 Plymouth and Dodge....they both use the correct  1939 front sheet metal, square headlights, fenders & grilles etc but there are two different body shells used...ie, some cars use the 1938 style body with the flat front windscreen  and humped rear body, like Petes Touring Sedan........ BUT, all these cars I've seen still have the 1938 style floor shifter............then there is the other version, again, same front sheet metal, ie, the correct 1939 stuff but use a body shell with the 2 piece V'd front windscreen but with a sloping rear body, basically the same body shell as my Oz 1940 which uses the Oz TJ Richards body shell(imagine my car with 1939 fenders etc)h.......and all these versions I've seen have had the shifter mounted on the steering column...................seems strange that 2 body shells would be used in the same year but it seems that is what happened..............andyd   

P1000705 (800x600).jpg

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My 39 has the humped back and the cable shifter. 

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Responding to the earlier question regarding the square vs round headlights.

All '39 Plyms originally had the square headlights. In '40 all vehicles went to sealed beams by Federal law, many people quickly availed themselves of the many conversion that were offered because the reflector type lights require a lot of maintenance, and at their best they leave much to be desired.

My '39 had "Arrow", round sealed beam conversions.. Made the lights look very bug eyed due to the large bezels required to cover the square holes in the fenders.

I went crazy looking for originale's  head lights, gathered up a whole punch of parts only to find out that most of it was of no use to me because the head light assemblies left and right, early and late. One screw in the bezels vs two.

Finally found a complete set on eBay, most likely had been removed when the car was near new in favor of a sealed beam conversion.

The eBay headlights cost me several hundred dollars and were worth every penny.

The '39 Plyms did not have an OD option, Chrysler and DeSoto had OD's. I have two friend that have OD's in their '39 Plym P8 conv cpes, both units are from DeSoto's.. The OD makes the '39's into a nice hiway cars because they overcome the very low rear gear ratio.

39 Plym conv.7-14-1.jpg

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Car looks great , best of luck and enjoy.  I've had a 39 Ply. coupe for many years and it is a fun car to drive.  Rarely do you see another one at a car show.  I have kept mine stock, until this last year have made some changes for safety and reliability.  Added disk brakes to the front & dual master cylinder, radial tires, electric fuel pump, overdrive and 3 point seat belts.  

Enjoy,

Richard

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1 hour ago, blucarsdn said:

Responding to the earlier question regarding the square vs round headlights.

All '39 Plyms originally had the square headlights. In '40 all vehicles went to sealed beams by Federal law, many people quickly availed themselves of the many conversion that were offered because the reflector type lights require a lot of maintenance, and at their best they leave much to be desired.

My '39 had "Arrow", round sealed beam conversions.. Made the lights look very bug eyed due to the large bezels required to cover the square holes in the fenders.

I went crazy looking for originale's  head lights, gathered up a whole punch of parts only to find out that most of it was of no use to me because the head light assemblies left and right, early and late. One screw in the bezels vs two.

Finally found a complete set on eBay, most likely had been removed when the car was near new in favor of a sealed beam conversion.

The eBay headlights cost me several hundred dollars and were worth every penny.

The '39 Plyms did not have an OD option, Chrysler and DeSoto had OD's. I have two friend that have OD's in their '39 Plym P8 conv cpes, both units are from DeSoto's.. The OD makes the '39's into a nice hiway cars because they overcome the very low rear gear ratio.

39 Plym conv.7-14-1.jpg

I seem to recall a post that you made either on this forum or on the Plymouth Owner's club discussion forum that included photos of this car when you first aquired it. If I remember correctly, it was in need of much work. Am I correct here? It sure looks fine now. Thanks for posting.

John R

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John, You have a good memory. I have a very extensive thread on the POC Forum about my '39 Plym conv cpe. The tread is one of the most read topics on the POC Forum.

I have attached a couple of pix or my car as found sitting in a field in Central Montana, where it had sat for '38 years. It took me sixteen years and $75.k to restore the car, which from my point of view was a bargain when you consider how rare P8 RS conv spe's are.

39 Plym.6-96.1.jpg

39 Plym.6-96.3.jpg

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WOW!! Bill, that is incredible to take a car that many would have walked away from and turn it into the fine Plymouth you have now. I will search out the thread on the POC Forum and read it for sure. Thanks for posting this.

John R

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