Lot 251

Hershey 2015

1956 Plymouth Belvedere Convertible


$68,750 USD | Sold

United States | Hershey, Pennsylvania



Chassis No.
  • Known history, with three owners since new; restored to original condition
  • Well-optioned dealer demonstrator car with Highway Hi-Fi
  • A beautiful and seldom-seen top-of-the-line 1950s convertible

200 bhp, 276.1 cu. in. overhead-valve V-8 engine with a four-barrel carburetor, two-speed Powerflite automatic transmission, independent front and semi-elliptical leaf-spring rear suspension, and four-wheel power-assisted hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 115 in.

Addendum: Please note that this car is accompanied by one record for the record player, not the box of records mentioned in the catalogue.

It was hard to beat Chevrolet and Ford’s offerings for 1956, but Plymouth swung hard with a revamped version of their all-new 1955 body, which featured taller sharp-edged tailfins, a larger egg-crate grille, new taillights, and Virgil Exner’s beloved aircraft-inspired styling theme everywhere one looked. The variety of trim levels and body styles was simply dazzling, ranging from the entry-level Plaza and Savoy up to the top-of-the-line Belvedere, which offered a vast amount of additional chrome trim and interior luxuries. A new convenience option was the Powerflite automatic transmission, which was operated by push-buttons to the left of the steering column.

The Belvedere Convertible offered here, one of 6,735 top-of-the-line ragtops produced, was ordered to be the dealer demonstrator at Burns Garage, of Walworth, Wisconsin. Accordingly, it was built in the eye-catching colors of Turquoise and Midnight Blue, which made it all the better to draw buyers into the showroom, and with the best options that the factory could offer: a four-barrel carburetor, Powerflite, power brakes, and even the Highway Hi-Fi, an under-dash 16⅔-rpm record player that was one of the first in-car entertainment systems. The boxed set of records for the player, now a great rarity occasionally found at swap meets, included everything from the theme song to Davy Crockett to a dramatic reading from George Bernard Shaw’s Man and Superman—just the thing for those long family road trips!

The original owner of this car bought it from Burns Garage after prospective customers drove it 1,700 miles. He kept it until 2006, when it was sold to the second owner, who has known the car since he was 14 years old and spent nearly 20 years trying to acquire it. As one would expect of such a long-pursued dream, the car was given a body-off restoration with the best of care, which included recreating the original colors and materials inside and out and retaining the original engine. The only change from how this Plymouth appeared in Walworth in 1956 was the addition of chrome wire wheel covers, as Burns Garage would have made available “back in the day.” The car is accompanied by photographs of the restoration and several period brochures.

This Belvedere, having been owned and enjoyed by only three caring owners since new, well-restored in its original colors, and carrying the best innovations of Chrysler’s “Forward Look” era, is one of the finest extant examples of a seldom-seen Plymouth.