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Junkyard Gem: 1947 Dodge Custom Club Coupe


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As we've seen in this series, most Detroit four-door sedans of the postwar era aren't worth much to enthusiasts and they continue to be discarded after languishing for many decades in fields and driveways. Chrysler products of the 1940s and 1950s are particularly vulnerable to this grim fate, particularly ones with flathead straight-six engines (i.e., most of them), and I've found plenty in just the last few years. Coupes, on the other hand, are worth something and tend be better at avoiding that sad tow-truck ride to the nearest Ewe Pullet. The bad news here is that today's two-door Junkyard Gem now resides in such a place, but the good news is that that place is a family-owned yard near Denver that will sell whole cars and not just parts.

I know it's a 1947 because the body number shows that it came out of the Dodge Main plant in Hamtramck that year.

CAP seems to believe it's a (nearly identical) DeSoto, but this dash badge shows the Dodge family crest and not the image of Hernando DeSoto. I've long admired those elegant Bakelite knobs on the dashes of this era of Plymouth/Dodge/DeSoto vehicles.

The MSRP for the 1947 Custom Club Coupe was a very reasonable $1,502, or about $21,451 in 2024 dollars. Its less luxurious Plymouth counterpart was just $1,264, which is about $18,052 after inflation. Either way, that's a lot of car per dollar.

This car is one of more than a hundred 1940s-1970s vehicles that have been placed in CAP's general inventory after spending decades in a separate storage yard. I've documented some of them, including a couple dozen first-generation Mustangs and Cougars, a 1971 MGB-GT, a 1948 Dodge Custom sedan, a 1951 Studebaker Champion, a 1958 Edsel Citation, a 1951 Kaiser Deluxe sedan, a 1959 Citroën ID19, a 1965 Ford Fairlane 500 military staff car, a 1969 AMC Rambler 440, a 1959 Princess DM4 limousine and a 1976 Mercedes-Benz 450 SL… so far.

The glass, engine, transmission and floors are gone. The interior is mostly gone and what's left is a nest of horsehair and rodent poop. The shell is solid, though, and this car would be a fine starting point for a street rod or race car.

The dual around-the-corner electric horns would need to be kept with the car, though they're almost certainly designed for six-volt power.

These things must have been loud.

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