More and more vintage Chrysler cars and trucks are being salvaged from fields, forests, junkyards and shredders.
The reason for this change in hobby is largely related to the fact that as Fords and Chevy (yawns) become less and less numerous and therefore harder to find in good restorable condition, the Restaurateurs and street lovers are finding the old MoPars fair. the ticket for scratching the restoration itch / street rod.
In this article, we’ll take a look at MoPars from the early to late 1930s and compare them to their GM and Ford counterparts.
From the beginning (1924), Walter Chrysler set out to build a superior automobile, and in keeping with that idea throughout his tenure as supreme leader of the company that bore his name, he was sure to include things that were rare for automobiles. and trucks. in the field of low and medium prices.
One of those aspects was the four-wheel hydraulic brake systems in every car and truck they built, while competitors still used mechanical brakes that required frequent adjustments and were not reliable in terms of uniform braking of each wheel. While the most luxurious and expensive cars of the time (Duesenberg, Packard, Cord, etc.) used hydraulic brakes everywhere, GM and Ford did not change until the mid to late 1930s, respectively.
Going back to the 1930s, we find that with the end of production of the 1934 model, Chrysler had built the last car with the “Chrysler” insignia to use wood as a structural component, as the 1935 model PJ ushered in the era of low-priced steel bodywork. because. This type of build was unusual for most cars at the time, but it was unheard of in a car that was selling for just $ 510 FOB. Ford and GM continued to use wood for several more years.
The all-steel bodywork provided a stiffer vehicle, less prone to flexing on rough terrain or highways and when combined with the use of “Mola” steel leaf springs, on a 113-inch wheelbase the ride was smooth and quiet. .
Finally, the 1935 model introduced the most advanced flathead six-cylinder in the industry, and Chrysler used this engine with relatively few modifications until it was replaced by the sloped six-cylinder engine in 1960.
With an output of 82hp, it fits perfectly between the 80hp Chevrolet six and the (large) 85hp flathead Ford V8. Additionally, this new engine known as the ‘L-Head’ Six had the most advanced cooling system of any engine built at the time.
The use of a water distribution tube that ran along the camshaft and the extension of the water jacket to the bottom of the connecting rods produced a cooling process that kept the block evenly cooled, front to back and from top to bottom.
As we all know, the colder the engine runs, the less friction occurs, which translates to better fuel economy and oil consumption.
The engines are factory balanced and the valves are located within the block and are perfectly straightforward and require little to no maintenance.
All Chrysler engines were mounted on what Chrysler had termed “floating power” (introduced several years earlier), that is, mounting the engine on rubber blocks rather than directly on the frame, thus eliminating the engine vibration that normally occurs. would transfer to the body through the frame.
Additionally, the positioning of these engine mounts gave the engine a perfect weight balance that further reduced harshness and vibration.
This engine was used continuously in regular production (with very small changes) from 1935 to 1959, but remained in commercial use for almost another two decades. NOS parts are easy to locate, making it one of the most economical engines to rebuild and operate.
Having owned many MoPars (from 1935 to 1951) with this venerable six-cylinder engine, I can attest to having hit 18-22.5 MPG, depending on conditions and final gear ratio. They are so reliable that I bought a 1951 Plymouth from e-bay, drove it home, tune it up, replaced the battery hoses and tires, inspected the brakes, and drove to Arizona in what turned out to be one of the longest summers. hot recorded. (2003).
With temperatures below 100 ° F every day or driving at altitudes of over 10,000 feet through the Colorado mountain ranges, this little Plymouth performed flawlessly for over 5,000 miles.
Before 2001, there were very few manufacturers of sheet metal replacement parts for these cars. Today, however, the reproduction industry is responding to the needs of the restorer and road builder by producing the kind of parts needed to rebuild these great old cars and trucks.
The following breeding companies are dedicated to preserving Chrysler products and producing high-quality parts to help ease the process of finding what it takes to get the job done right and get the result you want:
1933-1934 Plymouth & Dodge Sheet Metal
Mr. Floyd Riley
1935-1952 Chrysler, Plymouth, Dodge and DeSoto sheet metal for automobiles and 1933-1947 Dodge, Plymouth & Fargo Sheet Metal Truck
Wayne Brandon – Plymouth Doctor Restoration Parts
Post office box 467 Perry, MI 48872 (517) 625-PLYM
1949-1966 Plymouth & Dodge car sheet metal
R / Automobile Restoration and Customs
570 Deming Rd. Sedan, CT. 06037 (860) 829-2076
Castro Valley Autohaus (Steer post cover ’41) 510-581-4525 510-581-4501
Rubber Parts Meter 800-878-2237
Will Knudsen (Brown mat 37-41) 734-626-0261
Sal Salerno (’42 – ’48) 90 thousand mat 717-697-7757
Restoration Specialties & Supply Co. 814-467-9842 or 814-467-5323
Steele rubber parts 800-544-8665
Paul Bowling – Buckeye Rubber 937-833-2885
Hunley acuff 706-866-4875
Strip – Jim Benjaminson (Contact Plymouth Doctor Restoration Parts for contact information)