1932 Plymouth PB Car

1932 Plymouth Model PA coupe

 

The 1930-1932 Plymouth has long been beloved by collectors (the Plymouth Owners Club was originally devoted only to the four-cylinder models). These good-looking small cars offered styling that followed general Chrysler trends, which were excellent in the early '30s.

 

Mechanical features included four-wheel hydraulic brakes, "Floating Power" rubber engine mounts in 1931, and more horsepower in 1932 -- the four-cylinder Plymouth's final year. There were also some attractive open body styles offered, including the always scarce phaeton.

Pluses of the 1930-1932 Plymouth:

  • Easy to acquire, own, and run
  • Good club support
  • Parts readily available
  • Decent investment (open body styles)

Minuses of the 1930-1932 Plymouth:

  • Not as smooth or mechanically sophisticated as the Chevy six or '32 Ford V-8
  • Closed models slow to appreciate

Production of the 1930-1932 Plymouth:

  • 1930-1931: 76,950 (approximately 57% in 1931)
  • 1932: 83,910
  • 1932 open models (PA & PB): 4,843 roadsters; 787 4-door phaetons; 7,636 convertible coupes

Specifications of the 1930-1932 Plymouth:
Wheelbase, inches: 109.0 (1930 Model U, 1930-1931 Model 30U, 1932 PA); 112.0/121.0 (1932 PB)
Length, inches: NA
Weight, pounds: 2,280-3,075
Price, new: $495-785

Engines for the 1930-1932 Plymouth:

 

Type Size Horsepower Years
sv I-4 175.4 cid 45 1930*
sv I-4 196.1 cid 48 1930-1931**
sv I-4 196.1 cid 56/65 1932***
*Model U
**Model 30U
***Model PA/PB
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The 1932 Plymouth PA Rumble-Seat coupe helped increase Plymouth sales, which had been down because of the Depression. In fact, auto sales crashed to their lowest level since the production-limited days of World War I in 1918. But Plymouth bucked that trend, moving from from seventh place in sales in 1930 to fourth in 1931, and third in 1932. Aggressive pricing, astute marketing, and a quality product had fueled the rapid rise.

Sharing Chrysler's reputation for fine engineering, Plymouth featured hydraulic brakes on its very first 1929 models.

The Series PA, which bowed on July 11,1931, was considered a 1932 model. Borrowing its Safety-Steel body from the '31 DeSoto SA and Chrysler SM, Plymouth was a step ahead of Chevy and Ford in eliminating structural wood, and a double-drop frame lowered overall height to 67 inches, making the Plymouth look longer than its modest 169-inch length.

The second taillamp and luggage rack on the 1932 Plymouth PA Rumble-Seat coupe came at an extra cost.

"Floating Power," with rubber-cushioned mounts strategically placed along the engine's center of gravity, provided "the Smoothness of an Eight and the Economy of a Four." This Plymouth exclusive was soon widely imitated. Also featured were an Easy-Shift transmission with a "silent" second gear and, for $20, Free Wheeling. Closed bodies carried a built-in aerial inside the roof for the few who could afford the Philco-Transitone radio.

The PA was the first Plymouth to feature a grille, and its vertical "radiator louvres" could be finished in chrome rather than paint. Also of note were a stylish "flying-lady" hood ornament and an oval rear window. Powered by a 196.1-cid, 56-horsepower L-head four, the 109-inch-wheelbase PA boasted eight horses more than the previous Series SOU. The 11 PA models ranged in price from $495 to $690.

The two- and four-passenger coupe sold for $610; the second taillamp, luggage rack, and dual sidemounts cost extra. Of the 105,095 Plymouth PAs built during the short model run (the PB bowed in April 1932, also as a '32 model), 9,696 were rumble-seat coupes.

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