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1939 PLYMOUTH IN A BARN

by Warren & Beverly Clark
East Hanover, New Jersey

We are the second owners of our two 1939 four-door sedans. The first we've had for 32 years. It was Silver Wing Gray at the time of purchase, with rust in the usual places, plus a collection of dents and the like. I fixed the dents and rust, did some motor work and left the interior as it was. We drove the car to long distance meets such as the Plymouth Owners Club Meet held in Detroit in 1978. While attending a Pennsylvania car show with our '39, a spectator approached us and told us that his father had a '39 Plymouth four-door sedan in a barn on their farm, about 20 miles away. I wasn't interested in another automobile at the time but I took his name and phone number.

Two years went by and one day I thought about that '39 in the barn. I called. Yes, the car was still there, and yes, it was for sale. We arranged to look at the car the following weekend and discovered that it was a good original, 53,000-mile car in Gunmetal Gray. The grille and all fenders had dents, holes, scrapes and dings and the broadcloth interior was not in the best condition. We settled on a very competitive price and said we'd return the following weekend to tow it home. In the barn with the Plymouth were four or five '35-36 Ford convertibles owned by the farmer's sons who loved Fords, while their father favored Chrysler products. Without any problems, we towed the car 70 miles to our home. During the next week or two I completely examined the '39 and decided to do a full restoration. I dismantled the car, completely stripped the paint, repaired all the holes, dents and scrapes. The engine was completely rebuilt with new rings, bearings, valves and timing chain. I also redid the brakes and installed a new wiring harness from Y-Z. I then painted the body, changing the color to Amphibian Green, before assembling the car. Next was the interior. We let Dave Brady of Dave's Upholstery Shop in Emmaus, Pa., do the work and he did a terrific job. We went with mohair fabric with which Dave copied the original three-rib in exact detail.

Then came the time for a shake-down run. What a thrill! She ran and rode as if she were fresh from the factory. Competition test time came next when we entered the Plymouth into AACA National Meets. She quickly received a First Junior and, in 1993, won the Senior Award. We were fortunate in receiving our car's assembly line records from the Chrysler Historical Society. She was built in December 15, 1938, and was delivered to Stroudsburg, Pa. We are the second owners. We have recently attended a couple of Plymouth meets. What fun. We recommend that members attend meets in their areas. You will meet great people and have a great time. Support your club.

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