I affectionately call this 1940 Plymouth P10 sedan Project Indecision. I took it in trade a few years back from a guy who owed me money I otherwise would never have seen again. Unfortunately, in the time that passed between us making a deal and the car being delivered somebody busted a vent window and let a few months of rain water collect in the carpet. The 75 year old paint had already thinned to a faded patina and surface rust, so by the time I took delivery of the car the rockers and floors had mostly disintegrated.
Similar to my old Fairmont project, the Plymouth has been an on again, off again affair. The extensive metal work it needs has forced me to learn some new skills and acquire some specialized tools, which also adds to the timeline. Again, much like the old Fairmont I tend to work on the Plymouth for short periods when life allows.
So, why Project Indecision? Because the plan for the car changes with my mood. I have too many automotive interests to build into one car and I’m having a hard time deciding on a direction.
I had originally planned to build a traditional 60’s era hot rod with the car. I had a low mileage small block 360LA Mopar engine, A-833 four speed transmission, 8 3/4″ rear, and some period correct speed parts that I’d planned to stuff into the stock 1940 frame. Over the years I sold most of it to finance other projects and make space in the garage.
Then I parted out a 1994 Chevy Caprice wagon, and just for kicks took a few measurements. The track and wheelbase of the Caprice were within fractions of an inch of the Plymouth’s measurements. The Caprice frame rails were much wider than the Plymouth rails, but since the car needs extensive metal work on the floors and rockers I contemplated dropping the Plymouth body on the Caprice frame and running gear. The Caprice’s LT-1 can be built into a stout mill, and was already backed by a 4L60E overdrive transmission. It was looking like a decent plan, but I eventually determined the work necessary to get the wide frame under the narrow front portion of the Plymouth body would never look right.
I’m a dreamer, and a perfectionist – frequently opposing forces that I’ve balanced for most of my life. A plan and a deadline are usually all it takes to keep me on track, but on a casual project like this it’s easy to get bogged down in details, redoing things that were fine because I got a better idea. So for now, as I flip-flop between building a mild hot rod cruiser, a nasty straight line drag monster, or an unsuspecting precision road racing machine on an almost daily basis I’m working on stripping the car to bare metal to finish the metal work. I’m just going to have to wait and see where my head is when the body is straight again.