Rod & Custom Feature Car
Owner contact info:
Michael Dillon
Newman, Illinois
1947 Plymouth Convertible

The original frame and much of the existing suspension was kept in place; a pair of Fatman dropped spindles and gas shocks was added in the front, along with a GM center-pivot steering rack. Two-inch lowering blocks were added to the factory leaves in the rear, and Monroe air shocks were installed. Mike runs rear drum brakes and discs in front with Ford rotors and GM calipers.

Mike built the injected Chevy 305, which features an air cleaner from Billet Specialties. The block-hugger headers keep it all compact and run the exhaust to a pair of Stainless Specialties mufflers. A '92 700-R4 automatic backs up the small-block and an '80 Camaro rearend with 3.08:1 gears with a Posi gets the rear wheels rolling.

Wheels & Tires
With a variety of appropriate wheel-and-tire combinations from which to choose, Mike settled on American Racing 15-inch Torq-Thrusts with P205/70R15 Cooper blackwalls.

Body & Paint
Smoothing the decklid, shaving the door handles, and replacing the whopping hood ornament with '49 Chevy front fender trim cleans up the aerodynamic lines of the body. Keeping the side and grille trim (including emblems) maintains the accents and character of the car. On a 1980s road trip, the Dillons rigged up a tarp to keep the rain out; now, a new cloth top stretches over the original bows. Although it sure looks black, sunlight shows the Plymouth's true color, PPG Emerald Green, sprayed by Matt Dillon, who also did the bodywork.

Like the rest of the Plymouth, the interior wasn't radically redone, just mildly updated. The dash retains the original trim, but the factory speedo and gauges were replaced with Dakota Digital instruments, and illuminated controls for the Vintage Air A/C were installed in a below-dash panel where vent knobs existed on the stock dash. A tilt steering column is topped with a Classic steering wheel from Billet Specialties. The original seats and re-sculpted door panels were covered in tan Ultraleather by Larry Sneed in Louisville, Kentucky. A Gennie shifter and Lokar pedals complete the picture; the Sony sound system is hidden out of sight.