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Home/Technical Info/Plymouth/ 11. Car Models Described/
Plymouth Post-War Story - 1946-1954: The Straight Six Years

The 1954 Plymouths were spiffed up from previous years, and this Sport Coupe looks lithe and "sporty", however it was still powered by the same I-6 of previous years.
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From its inception, Plymouth had enjoyed a reputation as an affordable and solid family car. In 1946 Plymouth successfully entered the post World War II market with restyled and mechanically refined versions of its 1942 models.

Retaining its 117-inch wheelbase and mechanicals from the 1941-42 car, Plymouth featured a new front grille and rear fenders, as well as a restyled interior and several chassis improvements. But the escalating labor and material costs occurring after WW II were reflected in higher model prices. Thus, to keep costs in line as much as possible, no design changes were introduced until the spring of 1949.

The all-new 1949 Plymouths were based on the "box styling" philosophy of Chrysler chairman K.T. Keller who had succeeded Walter Chrysler as President in 1940. In a trend that would continue until 1955, Keller preferred practicality to beauty. As such, Keller is credited with the efficiency and roominess of the 1949 models. The new 1949 models, in the DeLuxe and Special DeLuxe versions, sat on a longer wheelbase but were still powered by Plymouth's L-head six-cylinder engine. Plymouth also offered a shorter, 111-inch wheelbase line. In a break from the industry's practice, in '49 an new all-steel "Suburban" station wagon debuted.

Although introducing the automatic electric choke and the combination dashboard ignition/starter switch to the low-priced field in 1950, Plymouth entered the Fifties with no real styling changes.

Recognizing that it was falling behind, Plymouth added flow-through fender lines and a one-piece windshield to its 1953 models. Unfortunately all were still powered by the same L-head Six which was quickly becoming dated and dull, and slowing sales dropped Plymouth from third to fifth place in the industry by 1954. The two-speed PowerFlite automatic transmission offered by Plymouth in 1954, however, proved a popular decision.


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The 1946 Plymouth Special DeLuxe Convertible was the top of the line offering for 1946. Only the Station Wagon cost more.

The 1946 Plymouth Special DeLuxe 4-Door Sedan was sold in large numbers.



















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