Unearthed Family Legacy: Grandpa’s Hidden Gem, the 1931 Plymouth Roadster

Prepare to be captivated by a remarkable family tale as we uncover the long-lost heirloom, the 1931 Plymouth DeLuxe Roadster. This automotive time capsule holds a rich history, having been purchased brand new by the seller’s grandfather an astonishing 92 years ago. After a lengthy slumber in a forgotten barn, this roadster is now seeking a new home and the promise of a renaissance. Nestled in Copake Falls, New York, this captivating Plymouth is available on craigslist for a mere $6,000. We extend our gratitude to T.J. for bringing this hidden treasure to our attention.

While the listing erroneously identifies the vehicle as a coupe, it is undeniably a roadster—one of approximately 4,400 produced in 1931, according to the Classic Car Database. It is likely a “30 U Series” model, although it could potentially be a “PA” variant introduced that same year. The Plymouth lineup offered an array of body styles, including two and four-door sedans, coupes, and roadsters. Despite the economic depression casting a shadow, Plymouth managed to secure sixth place in the 1931 production race with a respectable 75,000 units. In comparison, Chevrolet, the leader of the pack, produced a staggering 619,000 vehicles, emphasizing the significant gap between first and sixth place.

Curiously, no family members expressed interest in taking on this cherished automobile, leading to its extended stay in a friend’s barn. The reasons behind the decision to sell remain unknown, but it appears that the friend now wishes to find a new home for this vintage gem. Although the available images may not showcase its full potential, the visible portions of the body appear solid and complete, despite the peeling finish. There are no evident signs of rust-through, crash damage, or missing parts, making this Plymouth an excellent candidate for restoration.

While no engine images accompany the listing, research suggests that the roadster should house a reliable 48-horsepower, 196 cubic inch, inline four-cylinder engine mated to a three-speed manual transmission. The seller vaguely claims the engine to be in “fairly good condition,” although without visual evidence or attempts to hand crank it, such assertions remain speculative. The odometer displays a mere 1,000 miles, offering limited insights into the engine’s usage or potential condition. It wouldn’t come as a surprise if the original powerplant were swapped for a more performance-oriented alternative in the vehicle’s future.

Despite the somewhat underwhelming backstory, this complete and intact Plymouth still holds undeniable allure. If family members had shown greater interest, it may have been spared its current state. Nevertheless, this roadster deviates from the typical 1930s Fords or Chevrolets often encountered, lending it a unique charm. So, what lies ahead for this extraordinary find? One can easily envision its transformation into a striking hotrod. What are your thoughts on the next chapter of this captivating journey?

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