Get two steering wheels for the price of one with this dual-control 1954 Plymouth
In case you ever wanted to teach your teen to drive on a real American classic, it’s your lucky day. The team over at Barnfinds.com spotted an unusual survivor posted for sale on eBay: a 1954 Plymouth Belvedere sedan complete with duplicate steering and brake controls on the passenger side. According to the listing, the car is wearing its original paint and shows just 11,370 miles. There are some ancient oil change stickers, including one dated 1982 and 1984, that illustrate just 326 miles racked up in a two-year span.
It’s rare to see a dual-control car like this, used for driver education, much less one with such low mileage.
Though it’s a bit tough to see from the photos in the listing, it appears that the control for the instructor’s side is limited to steering and braking, as those are the two that would be easiest to link to their respective systems. The mechanical clutch for the column-shifted manual would be difficult to duplicate on the passenger side, and same goes for the accelerator. Yours truly took driver training in a standard car, with no instructor controls, and it seems to me that having an instructor poised to take over or jump on the brake would be more of a confidence-killer than a safety net. Perhaps that’s why they fell out of favor? Regardless, this is an unusual collector piece even if the base vehicle is a rather humble and practical Plymouth.
The eBay listing noted that while the car runs and drives just fine, the brakes leave something to be desired. There’s a crease on the passenger side door and a few dings, but otherwise, the body seems to be well preserved. Interior looks decent, too; the backs of the front seats don’t seem to be damaged from the white-knuckled grip of frightened rear-seat passengers, much unlike the Sentra I used for driver training. Unfortunately, the Belvedere’s carpet is gone, but it does show that the floorboards are intact and the listing notes that the trunk floor is in similar condition.
A 1954 Belvedere sedan in #1 (Concours) condition is valued at $13,100, and this less-than-perfect example is currently at $16,600 with five days left to go. (The reserve price hasn’t yet been met.) It seems that the novelty of dual controls is worth it to some buyers, so we’ll be checking back to see if it sells.