Coachbuilt Plymouth

1935 Plymouth Deluxe Model PJ Cabriolet by Tüscher

Offered by Oldtimer Galerie | Zurich, Switzerland | June 16, 2018

Photo – Oldtimer Galerie

When you think coachbuilt classics of the 1930s, Plymouth is likely not the first brand that comes to mind. When Chrysler introduced the Plymouth brand in 1928, it was a budget brand – the entry point into the marketplace for the Chrysler Corporation.

The 1935 line was called the Model PJ and it was available in three trims: the Standard Six, the Business Six, and the Deluxe. There were nine body styles offered on the Deluxe trim. Some of them were quite common, and others quite rare. But for the day, they were all inexpensive.

This particular car found its way to Switzerland where it was bodied by Tüscher in Zurich (they’re still around, building bus bodies). This was not the only 1930s Plymouth that they turned into an opulent convertible, either. You have to admit, this car looks downright diplomatic. I don’t have the exact history of its use or ownership, but the catalog listing does say it was very expensive when new, so it probably went to someone special.

It’s powered by a 3.3-liter straight-six that makes 82 horsepower. The restoration looks fantastic and is 10 years old. It should bring between $86,000-$96,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Australian Terraplane

1937 Terraplane Series 71 DeLuxe Utility Coupe

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Auburn, Indiana | May 11-12, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Terraplane was a marque introduced by Hudson as a standalone brand in 1934 (in ’32 and ’33 they were called Essex-Terraplane). As an entry-level car on the pricing scale, for a brief period during the Depression, Terraplane outsold its parent, Hudson.

Unfortunately, the lifespan of Terraplane was short and 1937 was the final year the cars could be had. Two models were available for ’37: the Series 71 DeLuxe and the Series 72 Super. Both were virtually identical to the Hudsons of that year with just slight trim changes. The DeLuxe differed from the Super in that it only had one taillight and no vents on the front windows.

This well restored example (the restoration cost $263,000 – quite a bit for a car that cost about $600 when new) is likely powered by a 3.5-liter straight-six that makes 96 horsepower. What’s interesting about this particular car is that it is an Australian example, hence the “Utility” or pull-out pickup bed out back. Terraplanes were sold in Australia when new but were all bodied locally, hence the Aussie take on an American export.

A rare body style stateside, and one of only a few known to exist worldwide, this entry-level Hudson should bring between $80,000-$100,000. Click here for more info and here for more from RM in Auburn.

Update: Not sold.

Avolette Record Deluxe

1956 Avolette Record Deluxe

Offered by RM Auctions | Madison, Georgia | February 15-16, 2013

1956 Avolette Record Deluxe

Photo – RM Auctions

The Avolette Record Deluxe was a French license-built version of the Brütsch Zwerg. Zwerg? Zwerg. Most Avolettes were three-wheelers, but you can see this one has four. It has a single-cylinder engine of 250cc making 14 horsepower. In production for only two years, the Record Deluxe didn’t rack up record sales numbers – only about 30 were produced. This one should sell for between $45,000-$55,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $74,750.

Henry J

1951 Henry J Deluxe

Offered by Mecum | North Little Rock, Arkansas | June 16, 2012

Henry J. Kaiser’s vision of what his post-war automotive empire would look like was, well, optimistic. Kaiser, along with Joseph Frazer, took the remnants of Graham-Paige and bought Ford’s wartime Willow Run production plant to build automobiles under the Kaiser and Frazer nameplates. In 1950, Kaiser decided to try and bolster production of his cars by pulling a play out of the Henry Ford playbook: build a small, inexpensive car for the masses. The Henry J was born (and it was marketed as its own make).

So how did they do it? Kaiser wanted a car that seated five adults and could do 50 mph “for sustained periods of time.” It also had to retail for $1,300 (about $12,500 in 2012). To hit these marks, they had to cut some corners: there was no trunk lid – you had to go through the rear seats, which was probably difficult as the car was only offered with two doors. The base model also lacked armrests, a glove compartment, a sun visor and flow-through ventilation. Fortunately, the car you see here is a Deluxe model.

Which means it has the straight-six (instead of the four-banger). It’s a 2.6-liter making 80 horsepower. Unfortunately, even though it was very cheap, it only cost a few dollars less than a Chevrolet 150 – which had a functioning trunk, armrests, and more interior room. Sales declined steadily through 1954 when the Henry J was axed.

They didn’t build millions of these cars – which was part of the problem originally, as Kaiser needed mass production to make a profit. He didn’t get it and the Kaiser nameplate disappeared from passenger cars in 1955. The company went on to focus on it’s recently acquired Willys and Jeep business, which went on to become part of AMC.

It was a pioneering compact car, but you just don’t see Henry Js everyday. And this one looks to be in exceptional condition. We’ll see what it brings when it sells. For more information and photos, click here. And for more on the Salmon Brothers Collection, click here.

Update: sold $16,000.