Sunday, April 18, 2010

1956 Plymouth Savoy 4-door Sedan

"Here's the Jet Age on wheels! Aerodynamic Plymouth '56"

In December 1954, when Plymouth presented the new lineup for 1955, a small miracle happened: suddenly, the cars were powerful and sporty – and looked the part.

Plymouths finally received V-8 engines, which produced up to 167 horsepower, and thus were even more powerful than Chevrolet's new "Turbo-Fire" small-block V-8. Together with a well-tuned suspension, Plymouths now were fast, road hugging cars, and marked a consequent departure from the earlier, conservative brand image.

Virgil Exners "Forward Look" concept was applied to Plymouth by Maury Baldwin, and with their hooded headlights (a feature that should appear on next year's Lincoln, too), Plymouths looked even more modern and advanced than their brand siblings. Plymouths looked virtually similar for 1956, but now sported new tailfins, which visually stretched the car, and looked especially cool on the convertibles.

Interesting enough, cuban chofers don't embrace Plymouths as much as Chevrolets from the same years. Here, maintainability is more important than styling and performance. During the Cold War, the Russians had meticulously copied Chevrolet engines, to use them in trucks and military vehicles of all kind. And thousands of soviet trucks still running on the island provide a vast arsenal of spare parts for Chevrolets and therefore a huge advantage over Chrysler-branded cars.

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