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Discussion Starter #1
I found a Plymouth in a barn over the weekend by chance.

He says he is the 2nd owner and he parked it there 43 years ago and simply never went back to it.

I'm wondering if people can confirm the following

- What model is it?
- What should I look at before buying?
- Are parts hard to find?
- Due to the production volume, will it have demand or value down the road if I invest it rebuilding?
- What should I be offering this guy roughly, as is?

Other comments

- He has ownership, but unsure about key.
- It appears complete and original
- Found with no car cover and the floor is wood with another floor below for breathing

I appreciate your help and feedback.

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DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS!
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I suspect that the market for these isn't terribly strong. It's been my experience that cars are most popular when when those that wanted them or had them when they were young want them again when they're older and have more money, and something from the thirties doesn't really have too many left who were late teenagers or twentysomethings when that car was built.

While it's been in a barn, I look at it and see a car that will require a whole lot of work. There's both the original problem that led to it being parked to sort out, then there's the deterioration that's occurred since then. Bear in mind that the car was more than 30 years old when it was parked 43 years ago, so it could have had a lot of wear and tear before it sat.

My expectation is that you'll need a local expert to physically take a look.
 

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I can agree with Tannon on this. To find out what model it really is, look for the build plate. It should be about the size of a business card made of metal and will be on the front edge of the door sill, or, under the driver's side of the hood on the firewall somewhere. It should give the model and maker of the body and you can get a lot of information from that. Next thing to check for is rusted components, not surface rust, these older cars, even in the condition it is in, were built like tanks so the sheetmetal, if kept out of the actual weather and not sunk into mud, usually withstand a lot of corrosion. As complete as it appears, a complete dismantle, resurface each piece and reassembled would be in order, update the windshield (very inexpensive being flat glass actually) with safety glass, getting the required new rubber components, reupholstery, can be an expensive overall project if someone does it for you, but still less than a new car if you do it yourself (labor is about three times the cost of the parts themselves), you can do it. Expect to have an area to work and not disturb your work period of a couple thousand hours (to do it right), but the joy of doing it yourself (or at least dismantling/farming parts and components or restoring/assembling yourself) is one of the greatest feelings, others will enjoy it any time you take her out. Tannon's comments on ownership or ability to sell is true, too. If it is your intention to flip the car, a dirtball mess won't bring as much as a cleaned up shoing all the pitfalls will still sell better, but if you were going to do that, the current owner should make the money instead of you (out of fairness).
 

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Some barn finds can have rodent damage to wiring and other tasty items. You might want to carefully inspect for that issue.
 

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It is rough (probably a 1 or 2 out of 5) and will need an 'in person' appraisal by a professional auto appraiser if you are truly interested in the car and not merely a little curious about the possibilities. Google for one's services.
Plymouth had 2 models that year with 6 body types for each model. The model P3 and the P4. It is either a 4 dr sedan or the 4 dr Touring sedan. The wheelbase and trim levels would be the notable differences between these now 4 possibilities. Drivetrains may have been the same between them all. A 1937 Plymouth service manual may shed some more light on identification.
Find and write down the ID codes that you find on the body plate for the appraiser's preliminary report and summary.
As it sits, the value is low and maybe good for little more than parts or scrap depending on how complete the car is (like the air cleaner, owners manual?). Is the engine free to turn? How rotted is it undeneath-will the frame structure be safe?
It is something that can't be really determined by some external photos. It is what you can't see. All rubber, wiring and interior would probably need replacement. Metal may fall apart in your hands when removing fasteners. A flat safety plate glass windshield can be cut from stock.
It may have been driven close to the point of the end of it's useful life. Some will argue that anything is restorable and basket cases worse than this have been resurrected by much time, ingenuity and money.
Do you have these resources as it would have to be a labor of love (almost to the point of obsession) :) with no great return on monetary investment.

Edit:http://www.allpar.com/history/plymouth/1937.html
 

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ImperialCrown said:
It may have been driven close to the point of the end of it's useful life. Some will argue that anything is restorable and basket cases worse than this have been resurrected by much time, ingenuity and money.
That would definitely be my biggest worry. I can attest, having started out with my Cordoba with about 107,000 miles on it 23 years after it was manufactured, I had a whole lot of worn out stuff to address simply in running about in it, and I had plenty of problems with repairs and finding parts on a car that still had parts available in-store at auto parts retailers. Now admittedly by '78 molded plastics had become prominent and those have been of the biggest problems, but I could at least go to the store for an alternator or a starter or even a valve cover gasket, while this Plymouth will be special-order for absolutely everything.

If you've already done restorations then you know what it can take, and this is at the high end of what it will take.

If I were starting over from scratch I'd look for a car with a lot of aftermarket support, and barring that, I'd at least look for something postwar with an all-steel body. I'd probably opt for a two-door A-body or B-body from the late sixties or early seventies, or if a C-body then something like a Plymouth Sport Fury GT. There are parts, there are some cars still in yards for parts, and there are a lot of people who know those cars well. Something this old, not many can help comparatively.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks everyone, it's tempting.

I like having something different, but I don't have a bottomless wallet.

At a glance, if someone felt I found a diamond in the rough....that would have been great.

As of right now, I'm not so sure it is based on feedback
 

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In my view, a diamond in the rough would be a car that was in a weathertight building for 40 years, basically just needing four new tires because they went flat while sitting, and some belts and hoses and other rubber parts, and some fluid changes.
 

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But that doesn't have the same sense of accomplishment and wonder as bringing a car back from the dead.
This feeling is also a big part of the 'old car' aura.
 
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