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Tulsa Belvedere Time Capsule... Bad Idea, Even Back Then!



  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,040
    If you compare a '55 plymouth with a '55 Chevy, there's no comparison.

    Actually, I prefer the '55 Plymouth! The '55 Chevy is just too "pretty", I guess. I never cared for that Ferrari-esque grille and the swells under the headlights that gave it kind of a puffy-eyed look. The '55 Plymouth just had a sleeker, more aggressive look to it, IMO. It was also about foot longer, which might explain why it looked sleeker, whereas the Chevy was kind of boxy in comparison.

    But yeah, compared to the nicer Mopars, a '55 Plymouth was a little grubby looking, where in contrast I think a '55 Chevy is nicer looking than a '55 Pontiac. And while I still prefer a '55 Olds or Buick, which just seemed sleeker and more modern looking, they still don't make the Chevy look, well, grubby.

    Somehow, the '55-56 Plymouth ended up being LONGER than the '57, but I'd never know it just from looking at the two. Maybe it's just because the '57 is so much lower, it makes it look longer. The '55-56 Plymouth also had a pretty long rear deck, while on the '57 it seems a tad shorter.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,595
    I think the '55 is really goofy looking, if you don't mind my saying. Chaotic styling IMO, very clunky car. Look at it, it's a mess...the headlights fall forward, the grille comes back, the side panels are leaving town, and the pillars stand straight up. It's like the car was designed by people living in different cities without ever meeting for the final glue-in.


    And then we have the Chevy, which is clean, simple, "just right" IMO:

    And the contrast didn't change much by '57.

    In 1958, everyone lost it, so you'll get no defense from me about GM styling in 1958.


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  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,040
    Well, I actually like that forward thrusting look of the Plymouth. And I give Chrysler credit for never jumping on that extreme wraparound windshield phase that left an extreme dogleg just waiting to whack you in the knee when you're getting in. It's actually more like a modern car, getting in and out. Especially with the way cars have gotten taller in more recent years, with higher seats, but not necessarily a lot of stretch-out room for your legs (I hesitate to say "legroom" because a lot of published figures suggest a more generous dimension that what I end up experiencing).

    Personally, I thought the Chevy hit its peak in 1956, even if the styling did look a bit derivative of a Ford. But I thought it was a good looking car overall, with its forward thrusting front-end (similar to the Plymouth, actually), full-width grille, and modest tailfins.

    The '55 Chevy also looks kinda fat to me, probably partly because of its stubby length. Basically the same concept as why a chick who's 6 feet tall could probably gain a few inches in the waist and you wouldn't even notice, but one who's 5'2" would suddenly look porky. But in defense of that '55 Chevy, those skirts aren't helping it.
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,294
    ...even back in the day. Look at this sad Suburban from 1965:
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,040
    That Plymouth looks pretty rusty along the rocker panel, and the front right tire looks like it's canted at an unholy angle...must be hell on tires! As for that back section of rear quarter panel though, that's not rust-out. That's where they put the spare tire back in the day, and there was an access panel in that spot. The panel is merely missing.

    Here's a page from an old brochure that shows spare tire removal in action.
  • You do realize that back in 1998 they buried another car in Tulsa don't you?

    You can read about it at: link title

    They did a little extra planning this time and hope that this Plymouth will last until 2048 when they dig it up.
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,294
    Wow! You learn something new every day! Removing the spare for my 1968 Buick Special Deluxe wagon was a real chore. It was in the right rear fender, you opened a panel from the inside, and lifted it up! You had to be pretty strong. The jack was behind the tire.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,040
    I'm not positive, but I think the DeSoto and Chrysler wagons of that era, when equipped with the third row seat, had no spare tire at all. Instead, they used "Captive-Air" tires, which were kind of a pre-historic run-flat that either had a separate inner air chamber, or a solid center section that would allow you to limp for about 100 miles if the outer chamber was punctured. I'm not sure if Dodges used Captive-Air tires or had the spare up in the fin, like Plymouth.

    I'm actually surprised that they went through the effort to differentiate the Chrysler/DeSoto wagons and Plymouth wagons like that. Back then, the wagons of all four divisions used the same body. Dodges and DeSoto Firesweeps were on a 4-inch shorter wheelbase than the big DeSotos and Chryslers, but all that length was taken away ahead of the firewall, so it didn't affect the body. Plymouths were normally on a 4-inch shorter wheelbase than Dodges and DeSoto Firesweeps, and in this case the length was taken out in the trunk area. Normally that would have required some major changes to the body, so to keep from doing that, they simply put Plymouth wagons on the larger 122" Dodge/DeSoto Firesweep wheelbase. They continued to do this through 1961, when Plymouths and Dodge Darts were on the 118" wheelbase, but the wagons were on the larger 122". It made for a huge station wagon...supposedly the roomiest wagon on the market at the time.
This discussion has been closed.