Blown Hemi-Powered Plymouth Coupe Transformation

Paul’s 1932 Plymouth Coupe With Plenty Of Mopar Performance

By Chuck Vranas   –   Photography By the Author

When stepping into the world of hot rodding there are plenty of exits to follow off the interstate depending on what styles and marques grab your attention. Many times, this influence follows you from an early age, blazing a path to the promised land and never letting you go. Such is the case for Paul Barber of Milton, Ontario, Canada, who spent plenty of time growing up as a helper at his dad’s auto parts store surrounded by plenty of hot rods, customs, and muscle cars as well as their owners. With a family dedicated to Chrysler products, it’s no wonder that he followed suit through the decades with his latest efforts, a 1932 Plymouth coupe PB, laid out across our pages with an amazing story to tell.

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02 Vintage hot rod from Ontario Canada

Before he could even drive, Paul had become a member of the Waterloo County Rod & Custom Club, attending meetings regularly as he started on his first build at age 15, a 1954 Dodge pickup with a 360ci V8 engine. Many others followed as he became an active part of the local scene, eventually owning and operating Horton Hot Rod Parts in his hometown. In a sea of Fords, nothing stands out like something different from the rest, particularly a 1932 Plymouth coupe PB. In its most basic form, the PB coupe held a 112-inch wheelbase, 6 inches longer than Ford’s Deuce, along with a 175-inch length (9-1/2 inches longer than Ford’s), giving it a higher level of elegance with its flowing body and fender lines for $565, making it a bargain when compared to higher-level marques.

04 Paul Barber s Plymouth coupe PB with a fresh set of Deuce ’rails from ASC

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Read More: Kevin Hart’s 1969 Pontiac GTO

Having always wanted to take on the build of an early hop-up packed with all the right goods, Paul commenced the search for a suitable donor car. Locating one, however, was like searching for a diamond in a pile of sand. With just over 11,000 coupes having been produced, the survival rate wasn’t at the highest level. Acting on a lead from good friend Jim McAllister, he followed up with a local estate that was offering up a partially restored roller with a garage full of parts. Knowing how rare the find was, a deal was made swapping cash for keys, with it all landing in Paul’s home shop. A plan was then set to craft a highboy coupe on Deuce ’rails packing a supercharged Hemi V8 engine.

05 Plymouth coupe PB with a supercharged Hemi V8 engine

Knowing the car would need a fresh frame capable of handling the new demands, a call was made to Grant Schwartz of Bloomingdale to design and fabricate a rock-solid base. He started with a fresh set of Deuce ’rails from ASC, stretching them 10 inches forward of the firewall and boxing them for added strength while also adding custom crossmembers to the mix and sculpting the ’rails to match the body lines. Out back, a Winters quick change rear end spins 3.70 gears through matching axles, suspended in place by a combination of Pete & Jakes ladder bars and a Welder Series Panhard bar while a transverse Posies Super Slide spring and Ridetech Hot Rod shocks soak up the bumps. For a wicked stance, a 4-inch drop-and-drilled Super Bell axle was deftly matched to Pete & Jakes spindles with matching Viper-Series hairpins, Posies Super Slide transverse spring, and Hot Rod Ridetech shocks. When it’s time to stop on a dime and give change, a Kugel Komponents reverse 90-degree under dash brake pedal assembly with a Wilwood dual master moves fluid through stainless lines to 11-inch finned Ford drums from John’s Industries out back and SO-CAL Speed Shop front discs with finned aluminum drum covers in front. For the perfect bit of dazzle linking it all to the street, a set of Wheel Vintiques chrome Artillery-styled wheels topped with Shannon Cones, sized 15×5 in front and 15×6 in rear, are shod with Coker American Classic Radials, sized 5.60R15 and 8.20R15 respectively.

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08 The blower shop throttle body bracket

Read More: Purple Reign: Custom Pinstriped Merc Coupe

When it came time to address an engine for the coupe, it was obvious the beat would need to come from a vintage Hemi engine. To handle the task, Paul contacted Big Al’s Toy Box of Gaylordsville, Connecticut, to assemble a fire-breathing 1956 Dodge Hemi engine packed with a speed shop full of go-fast goods. A 354ci block was massaged to perfection and filled with a Scat forged steel crank with matching rods capped with forged aluminum JE pistons getting bumped by a Comp Cams camshaft. Up top, a set of warmed-over iron heads make seamless power, especially when matched to a Weiand intake manifold wearing a 71-Series 6-71 supercharger from The Blower Shop breathing deep through a pair of 750cfm Q-Series Quick Fuel Carburetors crowned by a BDS scoop. It all sparks to life through an MSD ignition with hot exhaust moving through a set of Sanderson headers and 2-1/2-inch stainless pipes with four Hushpower II Flowmaster mufflers all fabricated by Schwartz. Other cool bits include finned aluminum Mooneyes valve covers, aluminum Edelbrock water pump, Powermaster alternator and starter, as well as Hot Heads timing chain cover, water crossover, distributor adapter, and oil pump with drive. To move the goods, a TCI Automotive Torqueflite Super StreetFighter 727 transmission links to a custom driveshaft from John’s Industries.

14 Hot rod with a Lokar shifter and Vintage Performance restoration

With the degraded condition of the rare factory sheet metal, it would take a true master to bring it all back to life. Rob Allison of Pinhead Metal Craft in Elmira, Ontario, Canada, took on the task, starting with fabricating fresh floors and the lower trunk followed by all lower side panels and new wheel wells. He followed by filling and smoothing the firewall while also metal-finishing the body and setting all the gaps. Schwartz gets the credit for all body mounts and alignment to then prepare it for the final steps. When it came time to give the coupe a subtle elegance, Paul’s wife, Raquel, selected PPG’s 1966 Ford Seafoam Green. John Miles of Vintage Performance in Waterdown then handled the final bodywork and laid down the vibe. With just enough plating from the dunk tank adding brilliance, the final icing came from the brushes of Rollie Guertin who added the fine lines to the body.

19 Hot rod with a Vintage Air Heritage Series under dash unit

Read More: Deuce Coupe With Vintage Vibes

For an equal amount of allure in the business office to match the rest of the build, the factory dash was smoothed and treated to a refreshed 1936 Dodge instrument cluster, converted to Plymouth by the team at Classic Instruments to monitor the vitals. A 1946 Plymouth steering wheel restored by Vintage Performance mounts to a tilt ididit steering column to carve the course while shifts move effortlessly through a Lokar shifter with a Vintage Air Heritage-Series under dash unit, adding a cool breeze on hot days. An American Autowire Builder-Series kit installed by Cam Wadsworth of Guelph, ties it all perfectly together. For the ultimate in comfort, Peter Giampa of Tack Auto & Marine Upholstery in Loretto, Ontario, Canada, covered a Tea’s Design bench in a combination of caramel and beige leather while also crafting all side panels and headliner, wrapping it all up with complementing French-weave carpeting. Finally, special thanks are to Paul Henderson for their support of the project from start to finish. This is one rare coupe packed with a newfound elegance that’s racking up the miles and to us that’s as good as it gets! MR

Click on this issue’s cover to see the enhanced digital version of Blown Hemi-Powered Plymouth Coupe Transformation.mr april 2024

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