1935 Plymouth PJ Gets First Wash in 40 Years, Goes From Gross to Gorgeous Survivor

When talking about Plymouth we usually think about muscle cars like the Barracuda and the Road Runner. And sometimes it's the Belvedere and the Fury. But we rarely think about the company's early cars.
1935 Plymouth PJ barn find 9 photos
Photo: AMMO NYC/YouTube
1935 Plymouth PJ barn find1935 Plymouth PJ barn find1935 Plymouth PJ barn find1935 Plymouth PJ barn find1935 Plymouth PJ barn find1935 Plymouth PJ barn find1935 Plymouth PJ barn find1935 Plymouth PJ barn find
Like most Chrysler brands, Plymouth arrived a bit late to the automobile party. While Ford built cars as early as 1903 and Chevrolet launched its first vehicle in 1911, Plymouth wasn't born until 1928. Because that's when Chrylser, founded only three years before, in 1925, decided it needs a line of low-priced cars to compete with Ford and Chevrolet.

Plymouth's arrival was timed perfectly because America was on the verge of the Great Depression. The latter hit the U.S. in late 1929 and wiped out almost all luxury carmakers over the next years. As the demand for affordable automobiles increased, Plymouth became America's third best-selling brand and helped the Chrysler Corporation survive a decade of low profits and deflation.

The Plymouth PJ is one of those cars. Often included in the De Luxe lineage that the company built from 1933 to 1942, the PJ arrived in showrooms in 1935 with a $510 sticker before options. One of the most affordable passenger cars at the time, it was powered by a 201-cubic-inch (3.3-liter) inline-six rated at only 82 horsepower. And Plymouth claimed it returned 26 mpg, which was ideal during the Great Depression.

Come 2022 and only a few PJs are still around in one piece and perhaps only a handful are still running and driving. The rest of them are either rotting away in junkyards or spending their retirement years locked up in barns. The black four-door example you see here just got a second chance at life.

Parked sometime in the early 1980s, this Plymouth spent a whopping four decades in a garage, buried in junk and with no maintenance whatsoever. As a result, the Mopar gathered dust and became home to several rodents. Luckily enough, the owner decided to sell it and Larry of "AMMO NYC" came to the rescue and gave the PJ a proper detailing.

Not surprisingly for a vehicle that sat for 40 years, the process revealed all sorts of issues, including rust patches on the bodywork and moldy upholstery inside the cabin. But the detailing went better than expected and the Plymouth came back to life as a rather stunning survivor. On top of that, the shop managed to get the old inline-six running again so this PJ is very close to returning to public roads.

While impressed with the result, the owner decided to go ahead with the sale, so the four-door will go to a new home soon. And hopefully, the next owner will do the right thing and put it back on the road, either in its current form or after a proper restoration. Until that happens, see its amazing transformation in the video below.

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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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