1942 Plymouth P14C Special Deluxe
6-cyl. 217.8cid/95hp 1bbl
With an experienced team and a lot of data.
Plymouth’s 1942 model production was curtailed by the U.S. entry into World War II after the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7. Industry was placed on a war footing and civilian auto production officially halted on February 9th 1942. The 1942 model year was effectively five months long and unsold cars were quite often diverted to military service. Plymouth production ran from July 25, 1941 to January 31, 1942.
The 1942 Plymouth was significantly redesigned and was lower and wider. Gone was the X-frame used since 1932, replaced by a perimeter box frame. The bottom of the body was flared out to cover the running boards and the full-width grille consisted of six horizontal chrome bars with headlights at each end. A full-length chrome strip ran along the beltline and there were horizontal strips on fenders and running boards. Chrome was gradually removed during the run and late cars could have silver painted bumpers.
Plymouth produced 152,427 1942 model cars and remained in third place in U.S. sales. Only two models were offered, the 1942 Plymouth Deluxe P14S and the 1942 Plymouth Special Deluxe P14C. The truck chassis Commercial line was discontinued, as were the long-wheelbase, seven passenger models and the ambulance conversion. One new model was the handsome 4-door, 4-window Special Deluxe Town Sedan, which had four forward-hinged doors, rather than rear suicide doors and vent panes in the rear doors. It would not return in 1946 and is correspondingly rare.
All Plymouths used the 117-inch wheelbase while the engine was increased to 217.8 cubic- inches with 95hp. Canadian cars continued to use the slightly larger 218.6 cubic-inch engine. A vacuum operated “Powermatic” gearshift option was offered for the last time.
The P14S Deluxe model was easily recognized by the lack of chrome around the windshield. It was available in five body styles. Seven body styles were available in the P14C Special Deluxe lineup. The Westchester Station Wagon was offered once more in single color, or with the recessed wood panels in dark mahogany. A full-length chrome belt molding was deleted on later models. Fender skirts were standard on the Convertible Coupe. Plymouth continued to attract overseas orders and 942 Deluxe and 1457 Special Deluxe models were built with right-hand drive.
The country was on a war footing in the spring of 1942. Civilian car production halted on February 9, truck production on March 3. A national speed limited of 40 mph was introduced in May and later reduced to 35 mph. Gasoline supplies to 17 eastern states were cut 50 percent in May and by December 1942 nationwide ration of fuel and rubber was ordered for the duration.
In the 13-plus years from Plymouth’s launch until production ceased on January 31, 1942, the division built 4,333,444 vehicles. Plymouth’s best year was 1937, when 478,350 cars were built.