1949 Plymouth Special Deluxe, Model P-18; 4-door sedan
Owners: Bernie and Janice Taulborg Collection
Original cost: $1,629.00 (In 1949: average car cost $1,420; average household income: $2,950; average home cost $7,450; gallon of gas cost 17 cents)
Previous owner(s): owners from Clarkson, NE, 1984
Number made: 86,708 (P-18, 1949)
Engine, etc.: 6 cyl.; 3-speed manual; in-line L-head, 217.8 cid, 97 hp; 118.5 in. wheelbase; 3,060 lbs.
The P-17 Deluxe Series was Plymouth’s first post-war car. It had a shorter wheelbase that was only 111 inches. They were offered at a very reasonable price and in three models: business coupe, Suburban, and fastback sedan.
For 1949 Plymouth offered the P-18 Deluxe and Special Deluxe models with a number of body styles and configurations available between the two. They had a 118.5 inch wheelbase.
All 1949 Plymouths were powered by the six-cylinder L-head engine that displaced 217.8 cubic inches and had nearly 100 horsepower.
The Series 18 Deluxe Six was available in a four-door sedan or two-door club coupe. It was very popular, accounting for 61,021 in sales but was surpassed in popularity by the Special Deluxe Six with 86,708 in sales in 1949.
The Special Deluxe Six series was the top of the line trim level for Plymouth for 1949. It included mahogany grained dashboards and garnish moldings. Also featured was metal trim on windshields and rear windows. The cars had new “bull’s eye” headlight lenses with magnifier spots in the center. Taillights were housed in small fins on top of the rear fenders.
Sources: Standard Catalog of American Cars, 1946 – 1974. John Gunnell. Rev. 4th ed. Krause Publications, 2002.
See also: http://www.oldcarbrochures.com/static/NA/Plymouth/1949%20Plymouth/1949%20Plymouth%20Brochure/dirindex.html (Original 1949 brochure)