When most people think of a starting point for a custom the first thing that comes to mind is generally something manufactured in the fabulous '50s. Some might even think a Ford coupe from a decade or so earlier, but few would immediately go to a '36 plymouth five-window coupe. Some of that might change now after seeing the latest creation out of Jimmy ruiz's Sledsville shop.
This tasty custom began when James Dana got his first glimpse of this plymouth as the tail end was sticking out of a barn in an overgrown field while he was commuting along one of SoCal's freeways (i guess all that time we spend sitting in traffic can pay off if you keep your eyes open). Once he tracked down the house that went with the barn and found the owner, he was met with the same old story-it's not for sale, it has sentimental value, and it will be restored someday. Well, James didn't let that deter him from keeping in contact and visiting once in a while. His persistence finally paid off and he was able to purchase the project. although he has no real regrets about the plymouth now that it's done, James did say that if he were going to build a less common rod again, he'd look for one that was a little more complete. Chasing down missing sheetmetal and trim for these "unpopular" makes can be a challenge.
The only thing James was sure he was going to do with his new project was take it to Jimmy and the Sledsville crew. i'm not sure if Jimmy had carte blanche over the entire design, but the reins were pretty loose and he was able to implement an overall design that not only wowed James, but also the crowds everywhere the plymouth has been shown.
The most noticeable change is the unique grille treatment. as if the plymouth grille wouldn't have set the coupe apart from the crowd enough, Jimmy decided to take a bolder step. Thankfully, James had faith in Jimmy's vision because i'm sure there were probably some doubts when the conversation turned to the use of a '39 Chevy pickup grille. The custom hood and grille surround tie it together neatly and give it a look of something that could've been done decades earlier. The rest of the body modifications are pretty standard custom touches-chopped top, shaved trim, rolled pans, etc.
The interior is traditional without being over-thetop custom. The biggest change is the thing James will be staring at the most while sitting in the recovered S-10 bench: the one-off dash featuring a '57 Chevy instrument cluster, which flows perfectly into the rest of the green and cream vinyl.
James hasn't had a chance yet to put many miles on the plymouth, but he's looking forward to sharing it with as many people as he can. unfortunately, the previous owner passed away before the coupe was done, but James thinks he'd be happy with the final results, and we happen to agree with him.
Rod & Custom Feature Car
James a. Dana
1936 Plymouth Coupe
Sledsville retained the original frame, which came boxed from the factory, so the crew just cleaned it up, checked it out, and added C-notch to the rear. Once the 'rails were in shape, they installed a Fatman iFS with Firestone 'bags and Gm 10-inch discs, and a Ford 9-inch located with a triangulated four-link with Firestone 'bags.
A Tired Chevy small-block was sent to Weatherbee performance in Ontario, California, and returned as a 383 sporting aluminum Edelbrock heads and intake with a Vintage Speed 2x2 carb adapter with a set of Holley 94s. painted and polished moon valve covers and carb bonnets provide some dress-up while Doug's headers and a custom 2-inch dual exhaust with glasspacks help quiet some of the bark. a rebuilt Turbo 350 with a B&m converter handles the shifting chores.
Wheels & Tires
Bright red steelies and whitewalls are almost a clich, but it's understandable why they're so popular when they look as good as this combo of Wheelsmith (800-854-8937) 15x6 and 15x7 solids with trim rings and spider caps, and radial wide whites (165/70s and 195/70s) from the Whitewall Candy Store (714-649-2393).
Body & Paint
You'd have a hard time finding a spot on the original plymouth body that hasn't somehow been massaged. The top was chopped 4 1/2 inches, the stock body trim has been shaved, the doors suicided, and the fenders molded to the body. The grille left the factory on a '39 Chevy truck but has been modified to work with the custom hood with pleasing results. a custom rear pan was formed and houses a frenched '49 Chevy license plate guard. Headlights from a '39 Chevy passenger car and '37 Harley taillights handle lighting duties. Stainless rivets were added to the hood sides and running boards to give it some visual detail. Once the body was ready, Jimmy ruiz at Sledsville took gun in hand and squirted the House of Kolor green/gray on the body and avocado pearl (with green 'glass 'flake) on the fenders. Jimmy also laid out the paint accents and pinstriping.
Inside is about as custom as the exterior. The stock dash was replaced with a new handformed one with a '57 Chevy instrument cluster. The chrome ididit tilt column is topped with a '40 Ford-style wheel. a Chevy S-10 bench seat was covered in pearl Green and Cream vinyl along with the custom door panels (with early '50s Chevy armrests and late-'40s handles) and headliner by Kiwi Kustom upholstery in riverside, California.
Builder contact info:
Jimmy ruiz, firstname.lastname@example.org