Saturday, May 14, 2016

1949 Plymouth DeLuxe 4-door Sedan

"If it's the most value you want, it's the New Plymouth you want. Here's an easier car to drive — a safer, more comfortable car to ride in — a sturdier more powerful car for long-time, dependable performance — the greatest of all great Plymouths!"

They might not be the most stylish sizzlers, but Chrysler's "Keller boxes" are remarkably well engineered automobiles. Their quality shows today, on Cuban roads, in the oftentimes surprisingly good condition of these cars.

Our pictured Plymouth from 1949 and its owner, Argelio, regularly participate in rallies and other activities of Havana's renown Escuderia de Autos Clásicos — A lo Cubano. Hence the various stickers. The car was even awarded first place for its "original condition" in one of these competitions. Jurors of classic car clubs in other countries would probably disagree with this assessment. Yet, the preconditions for "original" certainly differ in Cuba. Consider this: rather than in an air conditioned garage, the Plymouth has spent its entire life on the road. After more than six decades in regular use, it still runs with the first engine, transmission and drivetrain, says Argelio, despite the lamentable lack of factory service and spare parts. That's quite an achievement. Details like the delaminating windshield give the Plymouth a nice patina — much more fascinating than any fully restored and pampered "trailer queen".

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