Just as coolness wasn't the point, neither was speed. There are as many motivating factors for people to labor over old tin as there are people to do it, but a great number of us do it to indulge our feelings for the past, especially for a particularly happy time. And a childhood spent standing on a Mouse Brown mohair seat looking over the prow of an Ocean Blue Mopar certainly qualifies as a happy time. We found a word to describe it, too: nostalgia. And damned if Steve isn't proud of that modest little coupe. After all, it really is the stuff that his dreams are made of.
Rod & Custom Feature Car
1948 Plymouth Coupe
Since Chrysler's cars have come with double-jointed driveshafts from the beginning, hydraulic brakes since 1924, an independent front suspension since 1934, and tube shocks back almost as far, Steve really didn't have to do much to his car's chassis. He lowered it with a set of new springs and upgraded the front tube shocks to a more effective design. Plymouths came with front antiroll bars but Steve retrofitted the rear and installed a heavier one up front. Steve also replaced the old worm-and-roller steering box with a more modern re-circulating-ball Saginaw box, a modification then required a new drag link and better idler arm. The rear axle is the original Salisbury type on stock-type leafs.
The '55-vintage Dodge Super Red Ram Hemi that Earl Floyd rebuilt for the car measures 270 inches. In four-barrel trim, it made 193 hp but with six barrels it's probably a touch more than 200. As part of his 12-volt conversion, Steve installed a PowerGEN alternator. An adapter makes the marriage between the engine and the S-10 configured BorgWarner T-5 five-speed transmission possible. Since it was already a double-jointed piece, the driveshaft merely needed a little off the length and a yoke for the GM transmission.
Wheels & Tires
The business coupe sports a set of wires patterned off of the wheels that Motor Wheel & Rim produced for '53 Dodges. They measure 15x5 and 15x7 and wear 195/75R15 and 235/75R15 Coker whitewall radials.
Body & Interior
As Steve intended to leave the body stock, he left every piece of trim intact, replacing what couldn't be feasibly restored with NOS parts. He painted only the exterior in the correct Chevron Blue color using his favored nitro-cellulose lacquer (Chrysler shot enamel from 1930-60 on all its divisions but lacquer just has a special appeal, even if only for the illicit, sweet-smelling high). The interior is as Chrysler delivered it, the only changes being the accessory turn signal switch installed likely when the car was new and the GM shift stalk that Steve installed when he converted the car to the T-5 transmission. We can only imagine that cutting the hole in the NOS floor mat for the shifter wasn't easy. Oregon Plating in Portland refreshed all the chrome on the car.