Burl first saw this car at the Long Beach High-Performance swap meet, and then he saw it again the following week at the Pomona swap meet. As he puts it, "It must have been destiny."
Custom '53 Plymouth Suburban wagon
Does that mean the Red Ram,...
Does that mean the Red Ram, Firedome, and FirePower Hemis were all created on the same day?
Too many '50s-vintage rides...
Too many '50s-vintage rides had their underhood paint singed off by fires caused by leaky carburetors and/or backfires. If Burl's Plymouth ever had such a fire, you'd never know it now.
The original two-piece tailgate...
The original two-piece tailgate got its share of attention during the customizing process and still functions as before. "Plymouth" script on the tailgate is a replated original trim piece.
Mopar Power Engine: Out: The original flathead six. In: A 315-inch Dodge Red Ram Hemi, bored .060-inch over, with plenty of reproduction speed/appearance goodies. That includes a .472-inch lift/276-degree duration camshaft and lots of underhood chrome. There's also a custom four-muffler exhaust system downstream of the Red Ram. Transmission: Three-on-the-tree? No. GyroMatic Drive? Are you kidding? A built 727? Yes! with an adapter that fits the modern aluminum-case 727 to the vintage Hemi engine Rearend: a 3.21-geared 8 3/4-inch.
Sure Grip Suspension: In front, a brand-X ('79 Camaro Z28) coil-sprung subframe with a Mopar F-Body steering box. In back, rear leaf springs from a '72 Valiant. All around, KYB Gas-A-Just shocks. Brakes: Front disc/rear drum system provides plenty of stopping power. Rims & Rubber: Wheel Smith Smoothies (14x6 inch in front, 15x7 inch in back) wear Firestone blackwall radial-ply tires (P195/60R14 front, P225/60R15 rear).
High Impact Body: The original two-door Plymouth Suburban wagon's top was chopped, and all other body panels were shaved, smoothed, and expertly metal-finished by Jerry Burton and Gary McDonald. Paint: Burton and McDonald sprayed on a shade of Red Pearl that would have caused a scandal if it was a stock Plymouth color in 1953. Interior: Ford EXP front buckets (upholstered in grey velour) and a custom center console replaced the original chair-high front bench seat. Mopar F-Body steering column with a Grant steering wheel replaced the OEM column and pizza pan-size stock wheel.