Gus, My 1941 Plymouth Special Deluxe P-12
- OR -
Who the heck needs a PT Cruiser?
FLASH - Gus is no longer blue and peeling.


1941 Plymouth Special Deluxe
4 door "suicide" sedan
6 cyl L-head, 3 on column, runs and drives fine.
Owned and driven by Roger Reid.

The car's name is Gus, after Gus Wilson of the Model Garage.
Or maybe after Gus Hall...nah.

January/February 2001 - Came from a cowboy/farmer's field in southwest Missouri, late of Kearny Nebraska. Photo prior to shipping Shipping involved several weeks of anxiety as a cast of quirky personalities from the Midwest to New England interacted in dysfuntional ways.
mid March 2001 - The car didn't need much to pass inspection. New headlights and other bulbs, fix a few bad grounds in the lighting, a wiper motor rebuild by Ficken Wiper Service, and reconnecting the horn after replacing the missing screw in the horn ring.

I'm using off the shelf radials - more info here.

Spent some time finding a set of plates - they are 1941 NY GR-681 from Greene County in the Catskills. Took a long time to get the approval through, maybe because of the general reissue going on. Note: almost everything you need to do with the New York DMV you can do online. You can't a historical registration using vintage plates online, but you can get the instructions and forms.

April 24, 2001 - The Registration Has Arrived. I stuck it on the windshield and scheduled a day to take the car to Tom at Bob's Service Station in Hastings On Hudson NY.
May 6, 2001 - On The Road. Gus the Bus now has its state inspection sticker. Tom put it up on the lift so we could seriously see the bottom. Looked pretty good. No real rust except the muffler (which actually has 2 small holes in it). We pulled the drums and the brakes look fine. I adjusted them up and then took it out for the first `real` drive.
May 2001 - I went to a local guy to have my 3 point harnesses (lap and shoulder belts) installed. He said it would cost a few thousand and require tearing out the interior. He wasn't exactly wrong, but once there was no alternative I did it myself. Now I feel a little safer.

The homebrew paint job on this thing is not holding up well to washing. I'm probably going to get a Maaco job in the future and put it back to black.

July 2001 - In which driving Gus is getting to be a run of the mill affair and Gus wins a trophy! And becomes a charter member of the Long Island Region of the Plymouth Owners Club
August 2001 - In which Gus gets his interior done and the spouse and dog go for a ride. Later, Gus travels over 200 miles in one day on a trip to Long Islands pastoral north fork.
Sept 2001 - In which Gus, for the very first time, won't start!
mid Sept 2001 (actually written Dec 2001) - In which Gus, born just before the horror of Pearl Harbor, as Fascism marches throughout the world, experiences a Fascist attack on the US again...
Dec 2001 - We've had an unusually warm autumn, here it is early December and I'm still taking Gus out several times a week. A mechiah.
March 2002 - We've had an unusually warm winter, with almost no snow. Gus gets out just about every Sunday.
May 2002 - I finally went and put the new exhaust system on. Ran for a few moments with NO muffler - vroom!
June/July 2002 - Remove all trim breaking as few studs as possible. Sand. Prime. Fill. Sand. Prime. Fill. Finally I say "good enough". Far from perfect, but I have things to do with my life.
Wow. It isn't bright blue anymore. Gus is as black as the day he was born. And yes, I should have spent another two months sandinging and priming and filling. Its just a hobby.
November 2002 - My orthodoxy is fading. Although I'm confident I will never ever make a street rod out of it - if nothing else, I like the original design far too well to do that - I am seriously contemplating adding an Offy dual intake manifold so I can run 2 1 barrel carbs. I think this might give me a bit more pep for hauling this ton and a half of steel up hills.
April 2003 - I am no longer contemplating dual carbs for any possible reason but the coolness factor. At some point late last year my vacuuum wipers started working really well, even when accelerating uphill. And I've had no trouble with hills I can't pull while mostly keeping up with traffic. I think some vacuum problem solved itself, long after I redid the vacuum lines (my fuel gauge did the same thing at one point - had rewired everthing, replaced the float, fixed the bad grounds, still not working. Then a couple weeks later it comes to life).

What has changed is there is now a working Mopar 800 radio in the dash. I know, I said it wasn't worth it for AM radio. But I got a darn good deal on a rebuilt unit, so I went with it.

I have scratched the new paint several times now, being careless with tools. This validates my idea not to spend TOO much time and money getting it perfect.

I replaced the cowl vent gasket. This is VERY exciting because it means I can wash wash the car without flooding the front floor. I have started replacing the door weatherstripping. The rubber parts were fairly cheap from Roberts Motor Parts.