Dan MacDonald - Brownsburg, IN, USA (work in progress)

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Faulkner
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Dan MacDonald - Brownsburg, IN, USA (work in progress)

Post by Faulkner »

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I’m Dan MacDonald, and I own a 1959 2-door Plymouth Savoy post sedan.

It started with an idea

In November 2017, I was working graveyard shift for a Japanese auto company. Late one evening, I had the idea of modifying a 57-59 Dodge/Plymouth post sedan’s roof line. My logic was; all of the hardtop ’57-’59 Dodge/Plymouth Forward Look cars I had seen for sale at that point, were much too rotted for me to feel comfortable with committing to restore one. I thought if I ever ran across the right super solid ’57-’59 Dodge/Plymouth Forward Look 2-door post sedan, it might be a nice alternative and a unique challenge to modify the roof to look more proportionally correct; i.e.: similar to a hard top.

November 2018

It was a year later when I saw an ad pop up on Facebook Marketplace for a 1959, 2-door sedan Plymouth Savoy with a damaged roof.

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It was a Flathead, 3spd on the column, no radio, manual everything, insignificant model in an ugly turquoise color. The car was overpriced and was not what I was looking for at that time, as I still had my heart set on a 1957/58 Dodge 2-door hard top. Weeks went by and a neighbor came over and mentioned that, on a motorcycle ride, he had come across the car about an hour west of the greater Indianapolis area. I responded that there was no way the car was solid enough to justify the asking price. My neighbor wouldn’t say much other than, “I really think you should go look at it.” So, finally a few weeks later on Thanksgiving weekend, I relented, called the owner and drove out to look at it.

Discovering the car

Upon arriving, I was shocked at how solid the car was. It was originally a Los Angeles built car that at some point had a cosmetic restoration. The floor pans and trunk pan did not have any rust. It did, at some point, unfortunately have a tree limb go through the front windshield. This appears to have happened many years prior. It destroyed the dash, broke the steering column, damaged the roof, cowl, and buckled the firewall in numerous places. The damage, although subtle looking, was significant. It explained why such a solid, complete car had never been repaired. Finding the parts and the amount of work required to fix it was above the novice car enthusiast’s skill set. Despite all of the car’s damage, it also was a perfect fit for my prior idea: to correct what I considered to be an engineering flaw in the roofline. Despite how impressed I was with the condition of the body and the fact the roof damage didn’t scare me; I would wait another two months before purchasing the car because of my determination to have a 57/58 Dodge 2-door hardtop. Little did I know at that time, how happy I would grow to be with this car. So much so, that I have no regrets that it wasn’t what I originally wanted.

Purchasing the car

On January 6, 2018, I had grown so tired of thinking about the car, that I walked into my bank and handed the title to my wife’s car over and borrowed $3K against it. I have never borrowed money to buy a project car before...ever. I drove to that small town west of Indy and purchased the ’59 Plymouth Savoy. It would sit for a little over a year, as I had to finish a mechanical restoration on another antique vehicle I had already owned at that time.

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"If it's new, Plymouth's got it!"
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Faulkner
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Re: Dan MacDonald - Brownsburg, IN, USA

Post by Faulkner »

Getting started

After collecting parts for a year which included a replacement roof, I finally got started on the car in May of 2019. The first thing I did was use an engine cherry picker and an auto body Damage Dozer to begin to straighten the firewall and cowl. It was quite fun to repair.

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"If it's new, Plymouth's got it!"
User avatar
Faulkner
Posts: 4394
Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2004 6:59 pm
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Re: Dan MacDonald - Brownsburg, IN, USA

Post by Faulkner »

A very moving experience

I began taking a lot of measurements to make cardboard templates to see what I thought the roof should look like.

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In the end, I moved the stock rear window frame (still retains stock glass) forward 6.5 inches. The roof at the center pillar is 1.5 lower than stock. The front windshield remained stock.

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"If it's new, Plymouth's got it!"
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