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1957 Plymouth Plaza

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Vintage Car of the Month

Posted On April 1, 2016

Owned by John from  London, ON

“I was quite taken aback when at a surprise party for my 60th birthday, I was presented with a rusty old key, and a couple of pictures of a ’57 Plymouth.  My wife and family pooled together the $400 to make my ambitions of restoring a car a reality.  She was pretty tough, and probably should have been parted out, but when family does something out of love you take the high road.  Thus began the frame off restoration of the car now known all over as Flo.

The restoration process took 5 years, occasionally pausing to top up the bank account, and eBay was my new best friend!  After a couple of years the project took a turn for the worse as my friend became quite ill, so the car was moved out to St. Marys where Chuck Armstrong and his crew did the excellent job of cleaning up our amateurish mistakes, both body and mechanical.  Since the original flathead 6 was pooched, a 350 wide block was obtained through a deal with a friend, this came with a 3 speed cast iron torqueflite as part of the deal.  Would have liked to retain the 3 speed manual however finding a clutch plate was impossible.  The motor was an easy fit, with hardly any modification at all.  While Chuck was doing the mechanical, his body man Dave, a sheet metal artist, was busy hand fabricating headlight caps, rocker panels and straightening out previous attempts (by me) to make body panels as there were several mess ups for lack of a good word.

Time went by, and after five years of anticipation the final reveal.  There she was, resplendent in her meadow green and sand dune white colours, I was like a kid in a candy store.  Now off to Ailsa Craig, had some reupholstered seats for installation by Dave Pitcher of Classic Auto Upholstery.  Though the day was rainy and cold when I picked her up, I was secure knowing the job was done right by Chuck and Dave, and had a defroster and wipers that both worked well, also no leaks.

Took her home, where a couple of neighbourhood lads watched as I backed into the driveway, who shouted “Hey there’s Flo from the movie Cars”.  She has been Flo ever since.

She went to her first car show Thanksgiving weekend in Tillsonburg, where she garnered a bit of attention, and has been ever since.  Regrettably my first wife passed away suddenly the next spring, but she at least had a couple of rides in the car she got for me.  Now my second wife Teresa and I are kept busy discussing Flo with passersby either on the street or at car shows.  The nice part?  She is a sweetheart to drive, very comfortable, great handling with the torsion bars, and very dependable.”

2 Comments

  1. Tom

    Beatiful a work of art in architecture and automotive design

    Reply
  2. Marty Giles

    Outstanding car. I’ve been looking for one for many many years since it was the car my Father give me just before he passed away. The question is . IS IT FOR SALE?

    Reply

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