When we first saw this 1935 Plymouth street rod, we knew right away there was something different about it. Beyond the obvious absence of front fenders, hood, grill, and anything at all that goes in front of the engine, there was something else off about it. The 5.7 liter Hemi powered Plymouth was missing the radiator and any kind of cooling fan off the front of the motor.
Definitely not your average hotrod, we had to talk to the owner, and that’s Jim Moore of Briar, Washington. Jim’s only had the Plymouth about five years now, and in that time, it has made some significant changes. “My friend was using it for yard art beside his house,” Jim explained, “and it was just a bare body, the top was totally rusted away, there were no floorboards, no frame, and obviously no running-gear — but I didn’t want that anyway.” He rescued this car from a fate of lying dormant in someone’s yard until it rusted to nothing.
He acquired the car by straight across trade: the 1935 Plymouth for Jim’s Ruger .44 Magnum revolver. We think Jim definitely made it out on top with that deal, especially after looking at the car today. A lot of work has gone into getting it to where it is, and a lot of work is still left to be done.
Jim had to widen the rear fenders by about 4-inches to get the width he wanted.
Jim bought a frame out of Maple Valley, Washington, “It was rusted but totally straight,” he explained. “I used that as a sort of template to make a new frame.” Jim hand fabricated the current frame from scratch. He also welded on a new roof and chopped the top by two inches. “You can’t just order parts that you need for it.” Jim detailed that this is not like buying parts for a tri-five Chevy. “If you need it, you have to make it. Go online and look for parts for a ’35 Plymouth and you’ll find a gas cap, that’s it.”
The drivetrain on this 1935 Plymouth is just a tad newer than the rest of the build. Jim bought an entire turn-key 2012 5.7 liter Hemi drivetrain off eBay. It came out of a 2012 Dodge Challenger from Cleveland Pick-N-Pull. “It came with a wiring harness, the computer, and everything else,” he told us. Behind that Hemi powerplant is a 6-speed manual transmission and Ford 9-inch rearend with 3.70:1 gearing. “I had to look everywhere to find a Hemi with a manual transmission.”
Jim also opted to go with some improved suspension by using a triangular four-link rear suspension system, Mustang II front end, and a Heidts front crossmember. The front end also features power rack and pinion steering, but at this point Jim hasn’t gotten the power steering pump hooked up yet. “The 2012 Challenger had an electric power steering pump,” Jim said, “so until I get that hooked up I’m driving with a power rack without power!”
It's a Hemi!
As far as the exterior, Jim plans on putting on the front fenders, but nothing else. He is going to leave the radiator and all the cooling apparatus in the back. “The engine does still look a little bare though,” he explained, “so I’m probably going to add twin turbos.” Great aesthetic decision if you ask us, and it comes with the added bonus of a just a little extra boost.
Jim is going to get the body to the point where it would be ready for bodywork and paint, but he’s just going to put on another layer of primer and call it good. He isn’t a fan of bodywork. He plans on leaving the exterior with a similar look to what it already has, and focus on a clean interior. It’ll have new door panels, carpet, headliner, and power windows all the way around.
We love Jim’s car, and we’d love to see what you guys are driving out there. If you love it, odds are good that we will too, so shoot us an email with a couple pictures and a little information on your ride, you might just see it here as one of our Street Features. Still a work in progress? No worries, we’d always like to see a project for our What Are You Working On series.