For 1949 Plymouth offered to models, the Deluxe and Special Deluxe, with a slew of available bodystyles and configurations between the two of them. The very early part of the year, Plymouth marketed the P-15 Series conforming to the prior years specifications.
The P-17 Deluxe Series was Plymouths first postwar car, the cars prior to this were basically just updated versions of the cars sold prior to the war. The P-17 rested on a shortened wheelbase that measured a mere 111 inches. The P-18 Series rode on a slightly larger base, measuring 118.5-inches. These P-17 vehicles were offered at a very reasonable price, available in three-two door configurations including a business coupe, Suburban and fastback sedan.
All Plymouths for 1949 were powered by a six-cylinder L-head engine that displaced 217.8 cubic-inches. There were four main bearings, solid valve lifters and nearly 100 horsepower on tap. A three-speed manual gearbox was standard.
The Series 18 Deluxe Six was available in either a four door sedan or two door club coupe. The sedan was very popular, accounting for 61,021 sales. It was not the most popular Plymouth of the year, those honors fell on the Special Deluxe Six Series sedan which sold for $1,629 and totaled 252,878 sales.
The Special Deluxe Six Series was available as a chassis only, suitable for custom coachwork such as a truck body. Other bodystyles available were the sedan, club coupe, convertible and four-door station wagon. This series was the top-of-the-line for Plymouth in 1949 and featured bright metal windshields and rear window trim moldings. The dashboard was mahogany grain and the upholstery was created from richer fabrics.
The convertible Special Deluxe featured a power-operated folding convertible top. The station wagon had three seats with coverings similar to leather. The rear two seats could be removed for additional cargo carrying capacity. U.S. Steel & Forging Company provided the wood bodies and given an all-steel roof and steel tailgates.
By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2007
Chassis Num: 12174697
Engine Num: P18 86222
Sold for $22,000 at 2012 Gooding & Company
The Plymouth P-18 Special Deluxe was both sporty and utilitarian, with the highest trim level offered by the manufactured in 1949. P-18 Special Deluxe Convertibles were equipped standard with power soft tops, leather interiors, and exclusive 'Special Deluxe' badges on the front fenders.
This Convertible was first owned by Mr. Pettit. It was given to him by his parents as a high school graduation gift in the Spring of 1949. The car was sold through the Pettit Brothers Plymouth-Chrysler dealership, and the young Mr. Pettit traveled to Detroit to take delivery of the new Plymouth off the assembly line.
A few years later, the P-18 was traded in to the family dealership. Mr. Pettit later realized his attraction to the car and began a search for his P-18. He eventually found it and traded a new IHC pickup truck in exchange for the red Plymouth Convertible in 1954. The car would remain a staple in Mr. Pettit's collection. It is currently equipped with Mopar fender skirts and a driver's-side spotlight.
The car is powered by a 218 cubic-inch L-head 6-cylinder engine with a Carter single-barrel carburetor. The engine produces nearly 100 horsepower and is mated to a three-speed manual gearbox. There are four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes and an independent front suspension.
In 2012, the car was offered for sale at the Pebble Beach auction presented by Gooding & Company. The car was estimated to sell for $20,000 - $25,000 and offered without reserve. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $22,000 inclusive of buyer's premium.By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2012