1951 Plymouth Concord
6-cyl. 218cid/97hp 1bbl
With an experienced team and a lot of data.
Plymouth renamed all of its model lines in 1951, choosing more attractive names to replace the entry-level short-wheelbase Deluxe, and longer Special Deluxe. Ascending in luxury, the new names would now be the Concord, Cambridge and Cranbrook models. The handsome but complicated woody station wagon was discontinued, and only steel-bodied wagons were built.
The new models were called the Plymouth P-22 Series and would carry over with little change from 1951-52, as Chrysler anticipated military contracts with the outbreak of the Korean war. The company would soon be building seaplane hulls for the Grumman Albatross.
P-22 styling changes were relatively subtle. The hood was lowered and broadened, front fenders sloped downwards and the grille featured a curved upper bar with a horizontal center blade. The bumper was bigger and featured vertical over-riders. There was new trim around the windows and new hubcaps.
The $1,639 two-door Plymouth Concord sedan would be the last Plymouth fastback until the Barracuda of 1965. The Plymouth Suburban was the lower-priced two-door wagon and the Plymouth Concord Savoy was the new Special Deluxe two-door wagon. There was also a two-door three-window coupe, which was the cheapest model at $1,537, but also the least popular. Mechanically, the P-22s were unchanged from 1950, with the same 217 cubic-inch flathead six-cylinder delivering 97 bhp. There was no automatic or semi-automatic transmission option.
The models were so little changed that Plymouth didn’t break down the production by year and merely totaled P-22 manufacture through the 22 months the models were built. Thus Plymouth Concord production totaled 139,914 for the two years, broken down into 49,139 fastback two-door sedans, 14,255 coupes, and 76,520 wagons, which included Suburban and Savoy models. In 1951 Plymouth maintained its 3rd place position in the U.S. auto industry.
Detail changes were introduced in 1952, and Plymouth offered overdrive gearboxes for the first time. A total of 51,670 P-22 Plymouths were delivered with this option. The company claimed 46 mechanical improvements for 1952, including a new combustion chamber in the engine, and improved brakes, starter motor, transmission and wipers. Unusually, some cars were equipped with dealer-installed power brakes, although the factory didn’t fit that option until 1955.
The sales slump of 1951 continued in 1952 and though Plymouth sales fell 23.74 percent, everyone else’s sales fell too, so the company retained its #3 ranking. The Concord line was discontinued in October 1952.