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Chrysler Corporation Postwar Models: 1946-1948 (Plymouth, Dodge, DeSoto)

1947 Plymouth

tiresThe Chrysler Corporation introduced its postwar models in late 1945 and built them largely unchanged until early 1949. These cars were enormously successful at the time and today each make has a website devoted entirely or partially to it, which means that there are owners willing to maintain their cars and support the websites.

Over 2.2 million of the 1946 - 1948 cars were built in the U.S., 400,000 more than Ford ‘s postwar models — which ended production almost one year before Chrysler.

Chrysler Town & Country

Although the sales brochures praise their performance and beauty, these cars offered neither, aside from the stunning Town & Country, nor were performance and beauty necessarily what the postwar car buyers most wanted. Deprived of new cars since 1942, buyers wanted comfortable, durable family cars and found them at Chrysler showrooms.

Chrysler engine

Chrysler products differed from their competitors in several important respects. All Chrysler cars used valve-in-block engines, not the overhead valve (valve in head) engines which were coming onto the market. Chrysler’s valve-in-head (also called flathead or L-head) engines were old by 1946, and were less efficient that the overhead valve designs which would supercede them. But the Chrysler engines produced peak power at low engine speed, which meant less stress and longer engine life.

In addition, all Chrysler lines except Plymouth offered a fluid-drive transmission, replacing the flywheel with a fluid coupling. The fluid drive transmission could be driven like an automatic, but it was simpler, less expensive, more efficient and more reliable than the full automatics available in the late 1940s.

1947 interior

All Chrysler bodies were built by Briggs Manufacturing, and developed by Chrysler and Briggs together. Chrysler bodies were not beautiful, but they were solidly constructed. On most models, the rear seat was forward of the rear axle, not on top of it, which allowed additional passenger room. In my opinion, the quality of body construction and materials used throughout was superior to that of competing GM and Ford models of the time and far superior to Chrysler models built after 1954. There are numerous small details even in the low priced models which suggest the engineers were paying attention and not looking for the cheapest way to build the car.

Chrysler logo

Many New York street photographs taken up to the mid-1950s will show a Desoto S11 or Dodge D24 taxi in the background, in service long after they ceased production. Considering that New York cabs, then and now, can run 24 hours a day in extreme heat and cold, over poorly maintained streets in stop and go traffic, and that cab owners have a keen interest in minimizing fuel consumption, maintenance cost and downtime, the fact that they kept these cars in service for up to ten years is testament to their quality. What was true of the Dodge and Desoto cabs was true of all Chrysler products built at that time.

Chrysler Club Coupe

Demand for all postwar automobiles exceeded supply, which was limited by intermittent strikes and shortages of important components. All manufacturers initially offered their prewar models with modest updates, gradually changing over to new models. Chrysler introduced its 1946 models, which were updates of its 1942 models, in late 1945 and built them without change through the beginning of 1949, changing the model year designations toward the end of 1946 and 1947 so that they could be sold with current registration.

The company continued to build its 1948 models during the first three months of 1949, concurrent with the entirely new 1949 models. These were called “first series 1949” and “second series 1949” respectively, but this article includes the “first series 1949” as a continuation of the 1948 models.

Chrysler grille

During the 1930s Chrysler had, after some initial confusion, come up with a market strategy with four makes of cars, each in its own price group. This strategy was invented and successfully used by GM, and copied by Chrysler and Ford, until cost and competitive pressures in the 1960s forced all makers to offer multiple copies of the same car with only a badge to distinguish them. But in the late 1940s, the four Chrysler makes were well differentiated in public perception, although they shared body shells and engines.

radiator ornamentAt the bottom was the Plymouth P15, the only Plymouth car built during this period. It was offered in Deluxe and Special Deluxe trim, with manual transmission and a 3.6 liter 6 cylinder engine as the only available powertrain. Like its competitors, it was a basic transportation car, with no pretension to glamour or high performance. Instead, it was sold as a value proposition, and it was that, structurally and mechanically. Plymouth prices were a bit higher than those of Ford, but Ford outsold Plymouth by only 136,135 units between 1946 – 1948, due partly to the greater investments Chrysler made in building the Plymouths. The car cost more but remained, to many, a better value.

Plymouth cars

Moving up to Dodge cars, an important difference between U.S. market Dodges and those built in Canada or for export needs to be made. U.S. market Dodges were D24 models in Deluxe and Custom trim; Custom club coupe, sedan and 7 passenger sedans were also built in Canada. In addition, Dodge built a D25 series in both countries.

cars - dashboard

The D25 was a Plymouth P15 with a Dodge front end and nameplate. The D25 was necessary in Canada, where there were two dealer networks, Chrysler-Plymouth and Dodge-Desoto. Canadian Dodge dealers needed a basic transportation high/volume model to stay in business, and that was the badge-engineered D25 and its successors through 1959. Far more of these small Dodges were built in Canada than were the D24 models. These cars were exported from both countries across the world as completed vehicles or kits for foreign assembly.

1946 Dodge car

Although in later years Dodge and Plymouth would become indistinguishable, a 1946 Dodge D24 would never have been mistaken for a contemporary Plymouth. The Dodge and Plymouth shared the same conservative design philosophy and many components. But the Dodge body shell was a larger unit, shared with Desoto and Chrysler. The Dodge wheelbase was 140 mm longer than the Plymouth for additional interior room. The front end was flat, rather than pointed, and front fenders flowed into the doors rather than ending before the front doors. The Dodge engine was a 3.8 liter flathead 6, with a manual transmission or optional fluid drive. The slightly higher power output of the Chrysler makes as one moves up the price ladder did not mean higher performance; it just offset the extra weight.

Chrysler, Packard, and Cadillac were the only manufacturers still offering long wheelbase 7 or 8 passenger sedans in the postwar period. Dodge built D24 Custom 7 passenger sedans for 1946 – 1948, most of which were purchased for commercial use and ended their lives as taxi conversions. Chrysler also built this model in Canada in spite of its low volume.

sedan interior

Desoto Diplomat models were built in the U.S. and Canada for export. As with the Dodge D25, these cars were P15 Plymouths with a facsimile Desoto grill and Desoto badges, which perhaps allowed Chrysler to sell them at a higher price. Desoto and Dodge D25 cars built in the U.S. used a Plymouth engine, but Canadian units used the Canadian Plymouth engine, which was the same size as the U.S. Plymouth engine, but of a different design. Diplomat units were counted with Plymouth and used Plymouth serial numbers. U.S. production was far higher than Canadian, but unfortunately breakouts of Diplomat production in the U.S. have not been located.

1946 Dodge coupe and sedan

The standard Desoto was the S11, sold in Deluxe or Custom trim lines. The Desoto bodies were slightly larger than Dodge, but had the same passenger compartment. There were two Desoto bodies: a standard wheelbase version (3.086 mm) and an extended wheelbase version (3.543 mm). Desoto prices were about $100 more than Dodge, for which the buyer got a slightly more powerful L-head 6, better interior fabrics, better insulation, and a nameplate that was slightly more prestigious. The semiautomatic Gyrol-Drive transmission was optional on the Deluxe, standard on the Custom. Desoto had cultivated relationships through their dealers in metropolitan areas with taxi fleets, and sold many cars as taxis. Custom club coupes and sedans were built in Canada.

convertible

Desoto 7/8 passenger long wheelbase models were taxis in Deluxe trim, sedan, limousine or Suburban in Custom trim. The Suburban was a sedan with a fold-forward rear seat and thus a large carrying capacity for luggage. It was the most expensive Desoto.

The Chrysler make covered a large price range with four models. The C38 Royal, Windsor and Town & Country 6 cylinder sedan used the same body as the Desoto S11, and the C38 Royal and Windsor 8 passenger sedan and limousine used the same body as the Desoto S11 8 passenger sedan, limousine and Suburban. The C39 Saratoga and New Yorker models, as well as the Town & Country 8 cylinder sedan and convertible used a longer 3.238 mm wheelbase body. At the top, the C40 Crown Imperial was a limited production model built on a 3.696 mm wheelbase body. In Canada, only the C38 club coupe and sedan were built.

1948 Chrysler sedan interior

All C38 models used a 4.1 liter L-head 6. The Royal was the base car, the Windsor was more luxuriously equipped. The C38 Town & Country sedan had internal and external wood trim, and sold for a huge premium over a standard Windsor sedan. Today the Town & Country from this period is a valuable collectable.

C38 Royal and Windsor 8 passenger sedan and limousine were built as executive transportation and for commercial use.

Chrysler convertible cars

The C39 Saratoga, New Yorker and Town & Country models came equipped with a 5.3 liter valve-in-head 8 cylinder engine, generating 135 hp, 40 hp more than the Plymouth , a 40% increase in power for a 25% weight gain. These cars were 152 mm longer than the C38 standard models in order to accommodate larger engine, but passenger accommodation was the same as the C38. The C39 Town & Country was available as a sedan or convertible. The C38 and C39 Town & Country were expensive to purchase and maintain at the time, and remain so today. Nonetheless, there are many fine examples on display at the events held today and their market values have held through the decades.

The C40 Crown Imperial was a limited-production, built to order vehicle. It was available as an 8 passenger sedan or limousine. A few wealthy individuals may have bought these very sober cars for personal use, but most would have been purchased by companies as transportation for the top executive.

These cars were very successful, not only because demand for all new cars exceeded supply, but also because of their intrinsic value. Chrysler continued to build these cars into early 1949, and dealers continued to sell them to willing buyers, until the new 1949 models became available. Their success reinforced the conservative design philosophy of K.T. Keller, Chrysler’s CEO since 1935, and the next cycle of cars, 1949 - 1952, were designed accordingly. Unfortunately, buyer preferences were changing, and Chrysler products, as good as they were, did not appeal to those preferences as well or as quickly as GM and Ford products.

The author welcomes any criticism, comments or corrections to this article or the table at the end of the page.

— Gerald Wilson, October 2009

Some notes from the brochures

door handlesAll-Fluid Drive: Dodge All-Fluid Drive provides the entirely fluid transfer of engine power to the drive line of your car. It thus affords a life preserving cushion for all vital mechanical parts of engine and power line, protecting them from shock and strain. For the driver, All-Fluid Drive continues to mean new extremes of comfort, safety, and control. Clutching and shifting have been greatly reduced and, when shifting is required, for special occasions, it is done silently with the move of a finger.

Floating Power: ... three-point suspension of the engine in mountings of live rubber bonded to metal, two on the frame at each side and at the back of the engine, and the third high on the front of the engine. The triangular plane formed by these points bisects the engine at its center of gravity. The weight below fully counterbalances the weight above, minimizing all engine vibration.

Full-Floating Ride: ... establishes front seat comfort and stability for rear seat passengers. It was first attained by scientific weight distribution with back seats placed ahead of the rear axle, cradling all passengers between the front and rear axles. (This isn't just marketing hyperbole, Breer talks about the engineering issues and benefits in his book.)

1946 Plymouth brakesBrakes: New-design equal-pressure hydraulic brakes provide greater stopping power, with 25% to 30% less foot pressure on the brake pedal. Foot brakes now have two hydraulic cylinders - one for each brake shoe. The front bore of the hydraulic cylinder of the rear wheel brakes has been enlarged to increase the pressure on the forward brake shoe and balance the greater braking power of the new front wheel brakes.

Other features: 1946 cars instrument panelNew instrument panel has brighter, safer non-glare edge lighting, with sharpened contrast that makes dials easier to read... steering wheel has new horn-blowing ring and center ornament... improved safety signal speedometer is wick lubricated for quiet operation and long life. ... Directional turn indicator (special equipment) is at left of steering column, opposite gear shift....(Plymouth) New starter button on the instrument panel is a big convenience feature which will be appreciated, especially by the ladies. ... New twin tail lamps (Plymouth) have improved optics for better light dispersal...

These two pages of specifications may be interesting to readers... following the specifications, you will find detailed production figures based on a great deal of investigation.

Bill Cmelak added: the 1947 Chrysler was used as the basis for Zippo’s promotional vehicles (Zippo was the famous wartime lighter company).

Also see our 1946 Dodge page.

1946 Plymouth specifications

Plymouth specifications1946 Dodge car specifications

1946 - 1949 dodge car dimensionsMore images from the brochures are at the end of this page, after the production figures.

Production figures

1946 Dodge carsThere should be no difficulty in determining the numbers of cars built because Chrysler released a set of detailed production tables by make, car line and body style. This set of tables, which I will refer to as official production, has been widely reprinted in the Standard Catalog of Chrysler (with errors), Encyclopedia and Crestline series, and other reference works. However, the official data does not give totals by year, but for the entire run from late 1945 to early 1949, and it aggregates U.S. and Canadian production. Fortunately there are two other sources of information: the U.S. serial number sequences, also released by Chrysler, and the monthly tabulations by make published in Ward’s automotive yearbook.

The serial number sequences by plant for each model began in late 1945 or early 1946 and ran to the end of production in early 1949. Somewhere around January 1, in both 1947 and 1948, the plants began their new 1947 and 1948 serial numbers without making any changes in the cars or breaking the sequence. So if car xxx39 was a 1946 model, car xxx40 became the first 1947 model rather than restarting the sequence at xxx01 again. Chrysler did not market their cars by model year during this period, as GM and Ford did, but they had to offer buyers current models and titles.

The Chrysler serial numbers through 1954 were published in Antique Automobile of May - June 1970 and are currently available at www.imperialclub.com and in the Standard Catalog of Chrysler (with errors). The serial number totals for models built in the U.S. are much lower than those given in the official totals.

Ward’s Automotive Yearbook also published production by make for calendar year 1945, and thereafter by make and month from January 1946 to the end of 1954 production in August of that year. Chrysler built only a handful of cars during September 1954. So there are two sets of data documenting U.S. Chrysler production from 1945 to August 1954: serial numbers and monthly production. They should be the same, because the company would have been the source of the numbers published by Ward’s as well as the serial numbers, but they are not. The monthly production numbers consistently exceed the serial numbers, not only for the 1946 - 1948 models but for all the production from late 1945 to August 1954. (This is not true for Dodge, for reasons explained in the Dodge table.)

1946 Plymouth cars - dashboard

I have determined, without any solid evidence, that it is more likely that the serial numbers are incomplete than that the monthly production numbers are inflated. So I have added proportionate factors to each series, to bring the serial numbers up to the monthly production of the 1946 - 1948 models and 1946 - 1954 models.

Monthly production and official model year production totals for GM and Ford for the same period converge, which means that these companies did not, unlike Chrysler, aggregate U.S. and Canadian production.

Plymouth interiorThe exact changeover dates are not known, but the changeover dates suggested by the formula fall about where they should. The notations in the tables, "1/47 partial," means that the changeover from 1946 to 1947 models would have taken place in January 1947 and the production for that month divided between 1946 and 1947 models.

The changeover from 1948 to the 1949 models is very interesting. Ford had begun building its 1949 models in April 1948. GM changed over during November and December 1948. According to articles in the automotive press, Chrysler began building its true 1949 models around January 1, 1949, but because of supplier strikes did not have enough components to build them in volume. They had plenty of components for the old models which were still in strong demand, so for the first quarter of 1949 both 1948 models, "first series 1949" as they were called, and true 1949 models were in concurrent production at different plants.

The information in the tables below is an effort to make available to all who may be interested the most accurate information possible on production of the 1946 - 1948 Chrysler lines in the U.S. and Canada. I welcome comments, suggestions and supplemental information from anyone who may have it to contribute.

U.S. Plymouth P15 estimated model year production

year(s) serials - chassis + factor = production - chassis = Calendar
Year Total
calendar year
production
- chassis = total
1945-6* 244,602 1,240 576 245,181 1,243 243,938 245,581 1,245 244,336
1947 348,021 1,764 820 348,845 1,768 347,077 350,327 1,776 348,551
1948 421,775 2,138 994 422,774 2,143 420,631 420,892 2,134 418,758

* Respectively, late 1945 to partial-December 1946; partial-December 1946 to partial-December 1947; and partial-December 1947 to partial-February 1949.

plymouth six-cylinder engine - 1946 - lubrication and oilFirst column entries (counting after the year) are U.S. serial numbers. Second column is a proportionate factor used to raise serial numbers to monthly production of Plymouth cars in the U.S., from late 1945 to August 1954. Third column entry is estimated model year production and the approximate period. The fourth column is monthly production of P15 cars in the U.S. from late 1945 to February 1949 (partial).

Ending date of the P15 at U.S. plants is not known. Production of the 1949 P17 and P18 began around January 1, 1949, but the P15 models continued to be built, probably into early March.

U.S. serial numbers and monthly production include Plymouth, Desoto Diplomat and Dodge Kingsway cars, partially assembled cars and chassis, all built on the P15 platform. I have been unable to find any tabulation of P15 Desoto Diplomat and Dodge Kingsway units built in the U.S. but I would be interested in obtaining it, if such tabulations exist.

Official data includes U.S. production mentioned in the preceeding paragraph plus Plymouth and Desoto Diplomat production in Canada. Candian Dodge Kingsway are not included. They had a separate chassis designation, D25, which was identical to the P15 except for the front end and nameplates. It can be noted that the difference between the official production total and the estimated model year total for the three years is 42.473 units. Canadian P15 production was approximately 45.000 units.

U.S. Dodge D24, estimated model year production

year(s) serial numbers
less chassis
+factor = production calendar year
production
- chassis = total
1945-6* 158,882 73 156,809 157,182 73 157,109
1947 232,335 108 232,227 231,804 108 253,950
1948 253,335 118 253,719 254,068 118 253,950

* Respectively, late 1945 to partial-December 1946; partial-December 1946 to partial-December 1947; and partial-December 1947 to partial-February 1949.

1947: D24 (230,478) + D24 7-passenger (1,749) = 232,227

1948: D24 (251,808) + D24 7-passenger (1,911) = 253,719

1946-1948 D24 production totals compared

serial numbers
| less chassis
estimated model year monthly
less chassis
official
643,054
D24
639,095
643,054
D24
645,997
– 299
D24 7-pass
3,660
-299
D24 7-pass
3,700
642,755
Total
642,755
642,755
total
649,697
+ chassis
299
+ chassis
302

First column entries (in the first table) are U.S. serial numbers. Second column entries are model year production, estimated for Dodge as equal to serial numbers. Second column also gives approximate period of production. Third column entries are calendar year production totals, late 1945 to January 1949 (partial).

U.S. serial numbers and monthly production include D24 cars, partially assembled cars and chassis. Official data adds Canadian production. Dodge D25 units are included with all Plymouth P15 tabulations if built in the U.S., but Canadian D25 units are not included in the official data. Unlike the other makes, Dodge serial numbers and monthly production for this period are close enough to assume them to be equal; no adjustment is needed.

The end date of D24 production in the U.S. is not known. Production of the 1949 D29 and D30 began around January 1, 1949, but the D24 remained in production, probably until early March. An approximate ending date of sometime in January 1949, attributing 14.904 units built that month to the D24 and 5.756 units to the 1949 models makes it possible for the numbers to converge and also allows reasonable model year estimates for 1949 - 1954 models.

Chassis units built are apportioned proportionately over each model year. Production of the 7 passenger model, which was built in both the U.S. and Canada, is apportioned over 1947 and 1948 production.

The difference between the estimated model year total for the three years, 6.942 units, was used to estimate the model breakouts for Canadian D24 and D24 7 passenger models which appear in the Canadian total.

U.S. Desoto S11 estimated model year production

First column entries are U.S. serial numbers. Second column are proportional deductions of chassis, based on official production. Third column is a factor added to serial numbers to raise production to a model year estimate which will equate to monthly production of Desoto cars in the U.S., late 1945 to August 1954. Fourth column is the estimated model year production and approximate changeover date. Calendar year is monthly production from late 1945 to 2/49 (partial). Official production includes S11 production in the U.S. and Canada. The difference between the estimated model year total and official total over the three year period is 4.872 units, less than the estimated total of Desoto S11 units built in Canada (5.300).

Only S11C club coupes and standard wheelbase sedans were built in Canada : no S11S, taxi or 8 passenger sedans. Therefore the 4.872 unit difference between the estimated model year and official totals is entirely S11C club coupes and sedans. This information was used to estimate the number of U.S. built S11C sedans each year, and apportion S11C taxi production between standard and long wheelbase units.

Desoto taxi units were produced on both standard and long wheelbase S11S chassis, but I have seen no breakout of the numbers produced on each chassis. (see the excellent article on allpar.com by the late Mike Sealey on Desoto taxis). Therefore I estimated the ratio of standard to long wheelbase S11C sedans built each year, and used that ratio to apportion the taxis builkt that year between standard and long wheelbase units.

U.S. Chrysler C38, C39, C40, estimated model year production

Plymouth

1 9 4 6 1 9 4 7 1 9 4 8 t o t a l
Plymouth P15, Desoto SP15 243,333 346,216 419,587 1,009,135

Dodge

1 9 4 6 1 9 4 7 1 9 4 8 t o t a l
Dodge D25 Deluxe, Special Deluxe 4,455 6,063 7,512 18,030
Dodge D24 Deluxe, Custom 155,667 230,535 251,872 638,074
Dodge D24 Custom  7 passenger 888 1,315 1,436 3,639
Dodge total 161,010 237,913 260,820 659,743

DeSoto

1 9 4 6 1 9 4 7 1 9 4 8 t o t a l
Desoto SP15 Diplomat n,a, - included with Plymouth
Desoto S11 60,709 78,096 96,668 235,473
Desoto S11 8 passenger 2,823 4,098 5,199 12,120
Desoto total 63,532 82,194 101,867 247,593

Chrysler

1 9 4 6 1 9 4 7 1 9 4 8 t o t a l
Chrysler C38 Royal, Windsor 60,687 73,115 93,143 226,945
Chrysler C38 Town & Country 127 2,751 1,176 4,054
Chrysler C38 Royal, Windsor 8 passenger 1,763 2,124 2,706 6,593
Chrysler C39 Saratoga, New Yorker 13,783 27,268 31,573 72,624
Chrysler C39 Town & Country 2,034 3,134 3,307 8,475
Chrysler C40 Crown Imperial 163 725 512 1,400
Chrysler total 78,557 109,135 132,417 320,109

Chrysler Corporation Total

1 9 4 6 1 9 4 7 1 9 4 8 t o t a l
Chrysler Corporation Total 546,432 775,458 914,691 2,236,580

Table Notes:

  1. All entries are compiled from serial numbers and official production figures, with a crosscheck against monthly production by make. Chassis units are not included.
  2. Plymouth includes Desoto Diplomat.
  3. Dodge D24 and D24 7 passenger annual production and total U.S. production figures are estimated and shown in italics.
  4. Desoto Diplomat is included with Plymouth. S11 and S11 8 passenger annual production and total production include an estimated allocation of taxi units and is thus shown in italics.
  5. Chrysler C38 and C38 8 passenger annual production is estimated and shown in italics. Official production total for C38 models, excluding Town & Country, exceeds serial number total by 3.094 units. Table total uses serial number total, which corresponds to monthly production total.

First column entries are U.S. serial numbers, less chassis. Second column entries are proportional factors added to the serial numbers to obtain an estimated model year total which will equate to monthly production of Chrysler cars in the U.S., 1946 - 1948 model years and from late 1945 to August of 1954.

Ending dates for the C38, C39 and C40 at U.S. plants are not known. Production of 1949 C45, C46 and C47 began around January 1, 1949, but the old cars continued to be built into early March.

U.S. serial numbers and monthly production include all Chrysler cars, partially assembled cars and chassis built in the U.S.. Official data adds Chrysler units built in Canada, all of which were C38 club coupes and standard wheelbase sedans. The difference between the estimated model year total, which is based upon serial numbers and monthly production, and the official total for the three year period is 13.793 units, which greatly exceeds the number of Chryslers built in Canada between 1946 and 1948.

Chrysler Canada production, 1946 - 1948

Plymouth

1 9 4 6 1 9 4 7 1 9 4 8 t o t a l
Plymouth P15 6,522 18,915 18,363 44,982

Dodge

Dodge 25 Deluxe, Special Deluxe 5,976 15,861 16,316 38,153
Dodge 24 Custom 711 4,357 2,855 7,923
Dodge D24 Custom 7 passenger 37 24 61
Dodge total 6,688 20,262 19,199 46,149

DeSoto

Desoto SP15 Diplomat 168 672 342 1,182
Desoto S11 Custom 414 2,963 1,920 5,297
DeSoto total 582 3,635 2,262 5,897

Chrysler

Chrysler C38 Royal, Windsor 821 5,579 3,600 10,000
Chrysler Corporation Total 13,210 48,391 43,424 107,028

The calendar year totals in this table are sourced from Facts and figures of the automobile industry in Canada, 1958 edition, published by the Canadian Automobile Chamber of Commerce. It is the only complete table of Canadian production which I have seen. But there are other sources which offer different and partial data. Ward’s Automotive Yearbook, 1949 - 50, reports calendar year production for 1948 at 45.996 units without any breakout by make. Sanford Evans’ motor vehicle data book, 1954 edition, reports Canadian P15 serial number ranges for 1946, 1947 and 1948 as 6.725, 19.689 and 18.974 units, which add to a total of 45.388 units. The P15/D24 website, www.p15-d24.com, reports total D25 production at 58.508, which seems high, even if it includes units built in the U.S. Finally, Tom McPherson's Dodge Story reports 1946, 1947 and 1948 production of Dodge cars in Canada at 9.341, 18.858 and 20.576, a total of 48.775, with no model breakouts.

The model breakouts for the 1946 Dodge are based on the serial number ranges reported by Sanford Evans for that year only. The breakouts which appear in the table for 1947 and 1948, printed in italics, are estimates based on the difference between Chrysler's official production by body style and my estimates of U.S. production by body style.

Table entries are calendar year. Postwar production of these cars in Canada did not continue past December 1948.

Plymouth production includes Desoto Diplomat. Any information from readers concerning the numbers of each produced would be greatly appreciated.

Sources

Chrysler Canada. Model chart and serial number guide. Internal document, undated, (1958?)

Chrysler Canda. Factory shipments. 1922 – 1967. Internal document, undated (1967?).

Chrysler Corporation. Restorers’ guide. 1991.

Auto Editors of Consumer Guide. Encyclopedia of American Cars, Publications International, 2006.

Jim Benjamison. Plymouth, 1946 – 1959. Motorbooks International, 1994.

Don Butler. The Plymouth and Desoto story. Crestline/MBI, 1978.

Canadian Automobile Chamber of Commerce. Facts and figures on the automobile industry in Canada, 1958 edition.

George Damman. 70 years of Chrysler. Crestline/MBI, 1977.

Geoffrey Godshall and James Wagner. Chrysler north of the border. Automobile quarterly, v 32, # 3, January 1994.

Jerry Heasley. The production figure book for U.S, cars. Motorbooks International, 1977.

Richard Langworth. Chrysler and Imperial: the postwar years, 1945 – 1975.

John T Lenzke. Standard Catalog of Chrysler, 1914 - 2000. Kraus Publishing, 2001.

www.allpar.com

www.p15-d24.com: very informative website on the Plymouth P15, Dodge D24 and Dodge D25

www.duricy.com: all Desotos

www.imperialclub.com: an informative and well illustrated site on Chrysler Imperial and Imperal; U.S. serial numbers on all Chrysler makes through 1954 are available in PDF format.

Gerlad

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