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1941 Plymouth Business Coupe Early Custom Build


BloodyKnuckles
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Well, here I am a year later. I got this car and have not had the time nor the ambition to work on, what I feel will be, my dream. I've had a vision for many years on what kind of custom I would ideally want to build. I built and drove a '51 Plymouth as a very early 50's custom. What I caught myself doing was swaying heavily on late 40's styling but it's tough to go backwards with a 50's car.

I've grown to love 30's-50's Mopars and I have always loved 39-42 Coupes. So when this one came about I was very excited.

With this custom I would like it to appear as if it was completed in 1944. I would like it to be an understated yet classy car.

With all of that said, here's what I picture the final product to be;
1.) Proper 40's era custom height, not laying frame or dragging bumpers. Most people would tend to think it will need lowered to follow current trends. Perfect for me.
2.) Black walls with a 2 piece, full wheel cover. Lyons or Flippers are an option but I do have a set of '41 Cadillac caps that I may modify to work with my idea.
3.) 1941 Buick Grill. I have a LaSalle and a '42 Buick grill but the '41 just seems right.
4.) Welded front fenders to eliminate unwanted seams.
5.) Removed running boards and molded rockers
6.) Front and Rear fenders will have the "ribs" removed but the top of the wheel opening "speed" line kept.
7.) '40 Mercury or '41 Studebaker taillights with another option being bumperette lights.
8.) The Car has been wedge chopped but if a metal roof will be kept, the front A pillars will be extended and the rest of the roof re-massaged.
9.) Possibly install a Chrysler 2 piece rear window from a late 30's coupe which I have.
10.) Ultimately, graft a convertible windshield header and latches and construct a padded Carson top. White, of course.
11.) Interior is tastefully done with a distressed dark brown tuck and roll and a black rubber floor
12.) Some chrome accents including garnish mouldings and dash items.
13.) Gloss black enamel paint.
14.) Buick Skirts.
Items I'm kind of stuck on;
1.) Headlights. I have a few different sets of '40 Ford aftermarket "jeweled" bezels. Just not sold on anything just yet.
2.) Cat's Eye auxiliary lights mounted on the front bumper
3.) License plate placement
4.) Engine. I've had great luck with Mopar flathead 6 cylinders but I've already done that. I have seriously considered a Ford Flathead v-8, Cadillac Flathead v-8, Buick OHV straight 8. I do have a Desoto Hemi but it is from '53. Just a bit too new.


So, there you go. I've got my work cut out for me and my fellow Iron Lords but there is enthusiasm to bring this thing to fruition.

 

Any bit of vision, opinions, concerns are encouraged and greatly appreciated.

Thanks for taking the time to read all of this.

 

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IMG_20130714_101622_200_zps36cf94e1.jpg

IMG_20130714_101541_4731_zps420bf5e8.jpg


BloodyKnuckles

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So, a bit of an update.

I started disassembly of the front end to remove the Cadillac 500 to replace it temporarily with a Cadillac 425. After spending a few days swapping over parts I decided that all of this is a tremendous waste of time. I put it on hold to look for the appropriate engine.

Well, today I just picked up the replacement. I chose to use another flathead 6. It's what I know. This one is a complete unit with the 3 speed trans and both have been rebuilt and are from a restored car. The displacement is a whopping 201 cubic inches of fire breathing power! Look out!

One consideration I may make is the inclusion of an overdrive transmission. NO, I'm not using a T-5. While they are fantastic transmissions, there are many, many other options that I don't need to discuss here. I have chosen to use the trusty-dusty Mopar A-833. It's a 4 speed where 4th is .73 overdrive. I did this swap successfully in a '34 Plymouth that I used to own. It is a great transmission if you have an underpowered engine. 1st is low for ease of movement, 2nd is nice and close, there is a slight jump to 3rd but not too much and once you shift into 4th, the torquey little engines shine. Should be absolutely no problem to get 26-28 mpgs with this combination.

Before the "new" engine goes in I am removing the front disc brake set up, master cylinder, all brackets and pedals. A good friend will end up with all of that and I'll receive his all stock set up that will include; all brackets, clutch pedal, brake pedal, fully functioning and rebuilt drums and backing plates with a dual master cylinder. All of this makes me very, very happy.

So, as you can see, I have my work cut out for me for a bit. Progress.....


BloodyKnuckles

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That is a very nice looking car. I like the center piece in the grille, nice idea. Which car had an A-833 tranny? In other words, where does one look for one?

Edited by pflaming
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I'm familiar with the A-833, so I'm curious about how well it will mount up to a flathead; please document it well!  Are you using an aluminum or cast iron transmission?  What will you do about the emergency brake?

 

Marty

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That is a very nice looking car. I like the center piece in the grille, nice idea. Which car had an A-833 tranny? In other words, where does one look for one?

Thanks buddy. The Overdrive Mopar A-833 was behind slant-6 mainly. So look for Dusters, Aspens, wagons, 1/2 ton trucks

Ford also used a version and GM used both the Mopar bolt pattern and their own pattern, both called the MY6.

Easy identifying is they are aluminum cased with a triangular bolt pattern for the side shifter to bolt on.

 

I'm familiar with the A-833, so I'm curious about how well it will mount up to a flathead; please document it well!  Are you using an aluminum or cast iron transmission?  What will you do about the emergency brake?

 

Marty

 

Marty, I have it documented well with many pics. The OD unit is aluminum. I'm not aware of them producing a cast version but would love to know if they did. The rear axle has been changed out to a '59 Galaxy that has the axle emergency brake. I seriously considered another conversion to bolt on the trans brake. I still may.

 

That's one sharp 41 just the way she sits !!! Good luck with your continuied build !!!   :rolleyes:  Cass, alias littlemo...

 

Thanks for the compliment.

 

Glad you selected the flat 6 but had you not I vote for the Fireball 8.

 

Trust me Don, that was the direction I contemplated the most.

 

pimptastic! I'm watching

 

Thanks man!

 

 

 

BloodyKnuckles

Edited by BloodyKnuckles
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I like the 40-41's.....especially when they're chopped, but prefer the rear chopped a bit more than the front.....a Carson top will look good on this car & it will be interesting to see what the fenders look like without the "ribs". If you don't use the split rear window with the Carson top & want to get rid of it, let me know, I've always thought about changing the rear window on my '38 Coupe. I'll be watching this one.

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  • 4 weeks later...

A bit of an update.

I've been on a mission to located proper engine for the time period and have settled on another flathead 6. I need to prepare the frame back to original before I can bolt it back in. I will run the original, floor shifted trans. Both have been rebuilt with very low miles since. Also, I have acquired the appropriate pedals for the brake, clutch and gas. I will install a dual master cylinder but am removing the discs and installing drums. I know these Mopars pretty well and have always been pleased with the performance of the original braking systems.

So, the big thing is that I plan on making a 10 hour trip in October with my other Iron Lord club mates and friends to the Customs By The Sea in Wildwood NJ during the Race Of Gentlemen. This is a great goal for me. I work well under time constraints. I'm anticipating having it on the road and put some good miles on it before the trip.

Quick artsy pick of the engine;

 

IMG_20140711_130901_zps77244023.jpg

 

 

BloodyKnuckles

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Wish you luck with your project.  I attended the 1st ROG and while there were a lot of customs and rods all over the area there was not an actual car show on that weekend.  The ROG is a hoot, the car show should be a good one.  Hope you make it your project looks ambitious.  Stay motivated.

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subscribed,,,

 

1st,  im sure  you know that not all  833  manual boxes are  over drive ????  and the over  drive 833  has the bigger front bearing  retainer,,,and  are gettting hard to find,,,  you can  check with brewers  he is the mopar manual  trans  guru,,, he has  lots of  parts and does  complete  rebuilds as well as conversions,,,they asl  came  with some  318 cars and 318 vans,,, you can  check a forum called  forAbodiesonly.com  hope this helps you in your search,,,

 

2nd  what is this rod run at  wild wood NJ  ???  im about  2 hours from there  and have not attended a car event there in  14 years,,,it kinda went down hill,,,,but if it falls on  my weekend offf ide like to check it out,,,any  info would help,,,,,thanks in advance,,,

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

So, here's a few updated pics of the Plymouth. I've repaired the v8 clearance holes in the front frame crossmember and stripped the paint from the firewall. I have plans to install the flathead 6 today. I also acquired full front factory drum brakes that are completely new and ready to bolt on. The disc brakes are coming off.
 

 

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IMG_20140904_144044_213_zps7b487b88.jpg

 

More pics soon.

 

 

BloodyKnuckles

Edited by BloodyKnuckles
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I guess I don't understand removing the disk brakes; When I had the drums on my car (all freshened up and properly adjusted with an Ammco tool) I had a few white knuckle experiences where I wasn't sure the car was going to stop in time, and I am much happier now that I have the front disk brakes on.  Reverting to drums would seem like a step back to me ......

 

Marty

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I guess I don't understand removing the disk brakes; When I had the drums on my car (all freshened up and properly adjusted with an Ammco tool) I had a few white knuckle experiences where I wasn't sure the car was going to stop in time, and I am much happier now that I have the front disk brakes on.  Reverting to drums would seem like a step back to me ......

 

Marty

 

 

Marty,

 

Most people think that I'm a bit strange that I wanted to remove the big V8 and discs but I would like to build this car as if the entire thing was built and customized in the 40's.

 

As for the brakes, I choose to drive nothing but old vehicles daily. They all have primitive braking systems that have been completely gone through by me. I do not drive modern day cars with power brakes and ABS. My wife does and so she should. I'm not used to power brakes or discs for that matter so I drive my vehicles as responsible as I probably should. That's not to say that I haven't had my fair share of panic stops over the years but I am usually prepared for the actions my vehicles will take.

 

Over the years, I have found that factory Mopar brakes are the absolute best brakes that were available through the advent of discs. With all that said, I absolutely know that discs are far superior to drums. In my situation, the drum brakes will be more than sufficient for my needs.

 

Thank you Marty.

 

 

 

BloodyKnuckles

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I appreciated you sharing your photo journey with regard to your '41 Coupe.  I am in the process of restoring a '40 Coupe (P-9) as a stock driver after having been apart in the garage (mine and others) since about 1965 or so.  I have been informed that the trunk springs for the '41 Coupe will bolt right up to the '40 Coupe and turn the '40 Coupe's trunk lid into one that is a spring-assisted lift like what was started with the '41 trunk lid.  I was wondering whether you might have some extra trunk lid springs for your '41 that you won't be using on your project.  

 

I look forward to seeing your future progress.

 

Thank you,

 

Bruce

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  • 2 weeks later...

I appreciated you sharing your photo journey with regard to your '41 Coupe.  I am in the process of restoring a '40 Coupe (P-9) as a stock driver after having been apart in the garage (mine and others) since about 1965 or so.  I have been informed that the trunk springs for the '41 Coupe will bolt right up to the '40 Coupe and turn the '40 Coupe's trunk lid into one that is a spring-assisted lift like what was started with the '41 trunk lid.  I was wondering whether you might have some extra trunk lid springs for your '41 that you won't be using on your project.  

 

I look forward to seeing your future progress.

 

Thank you,

 

Bruce

 

Bruce, I'm sorry but I do not. Good luck on the search. I'll keep my eyes open for you.

 

 

BloodyKnuckles

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So, I've been busy.

 

The engine is mounted as is the transmission. I rebuilt and fabricated clutch and brake linkage. Installed different uprights with all new brakes.

I'm on a mission. I've made my list of to do's.

 

I'll post some progress pics tomorrow.

 

 

 

BloodyKnuckles

 

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Great build thread! - I've been waiting to see something like this, period custom build. Will follow for sure.

Great start, too; I enjoyed so much reading the list of the features you plan and agreed each & every.

 

The best, however, are your engine options. Those units are the all time classics and full of character each. So glad it will not be SBC nor 440.

My vote would be the Cadillac flathead V8 or the '53 Hemi as second option.

The caddy would be really exotic and creative choice nowadays, would be my personal dream to get a car powered by flathead caddy & OD auto trans.

The hemi would be the 2nd choice mostly because it's the best unit available for gearheads in the 50's and also MoPar family.

 

EDIT: You've selected the original 201 six after all - Nothing wrong with that either, the soul of the car is saved as it was. Would be the 1st choice, then Caddy flathead, 3rd the Hemi.

Best of luck for the build!

/Pekka

Edited by Uncle-Pekka
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Great build thread! - I've been waiting to see something like this, period custom build. Will follow for sure.

Great start, too; I enjoyed so much reading the list of the features you plan and agreed each & every.

 

The best, however, are your engine options. Those units are the all time classics and full of character each. So glad it will not be SBC nor 440.

My vote would be the Cadillac flathead V8 or the '53 Hemi as second option.

The caddy would be really exotic and creative choice nowadays, would be my personal dream to get a car powered by flathead caddy & OD auto trans.

The hemi would be the 2nd choice mostly because it's the best unit available for gearheads in the 50's and also MoPar family.

 

EDIT: You've selected the original 201 six after all - Nothing wrong with that either, the soul of the car is saved as it was. Would be the 1st choice, then Caddy flathead, 3rd the Hemi.

Best of luck for the build!

/Pekka

 

 

Thanks Unc!!!

 

 

 

BloodyKnuckles

Edited by BloodyKnuckles
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  • 3 weeks later...

As an update, BloodyKnuckles did it!  At least he made it to Wildwood(hopefully home as well).  I met him there Friday sometime--saw that 41 with the Iron Lords and then searched him out.  Beautiful car, wonderful weekend.

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