The Plymouth Savoy receives a hard time from contemporary critics. But if it's good enough for Johnny Cash, it's good enough for us!
When looking over a specification sheet boasting of six-cylinder muscle, air conditioning, anti-lock brakes, power steering, cruise control, a premium sound system, and Bluetooth connectivity; we doubt a 1954 Plymouth Savoy would spring to mind. Yet, that’s exactly what GAA Classic Car Auctions are offering up for sale on Friday, July 26.
Having been totally restored both inside and out, this 1954 Plymouth two-door Club Coupe blends contemporary motoring with old-school retro charm. While the dashboard, steering wheel and carpets remain all original, the drivetrain has been upgraded with modern touches to ensure ease of driving. Or, at least, so the listing claims.
From GAA’s pictures, we can see the quality of the Shimmering Bronze Metallic paint on the roof, paired to the beige-colored body and painted wheels. The interior has also been redone with a period-correct two-tone color scheme over the seats and door cards. It all appears factory fresh. There’s even a modern radio installed for the iPod generation.
Power arrives courtesy of a 3.6-liter inline-six engine via three-speed transmission, delivering little over 110bhp and a nought-60mph time of roughly 20 seconds. This was before Plymouth shoehorned all manner of V8s into the second-generation model, so don’t expect rapid performance. Yet, what you lack in outright grunt, you make up for with marque infamy.
Most gearheads can tell you that 1954 was a poor year for Plymouth, with sales down 40% and rival marques leaving the Savoy for dead. Positioned between the base Plaza sedan and top-whack Belvedere range, as a mid-level purchase the Savoy was trumped by Ford’s offerings of the time – not to mention an aggressive marketed (and priced) Motorama-styled ’54 Buick.
Then there was the Savoy’s design, which is often described as ‘backwards’ and ‘dowdy’ by present-day critics. Apparently, the Plymouth retained all the desirability of Nurse Ratchet’s white shoes when new, and presented an image where the driver endured the sex life of an amoeba.
Well, even if that were true, it didn’t put Johnny Cash off. In the early 1970s, local dealers advertised that the Plymouth division had paired with the country signer to find the nicest Savoy still in existence. The ‘winning’ owner was encouraged to trade their car up for a brand new equivalent.
Cash, seeking to rekindle fond memories of a Savoy he once owned during his early days on the road, picked out a 1954 example owned by an older lady in Tacoma, Washington. She received a 1972 Gran Fury upon trading her Savoy in. Personally, we’d have kept the ’54…
Fancy acquiring a slice of classic automotive Americana, with a few 21st-century mod-cons? Get a closer look at this 1954 Plymouth Savoy with GAA Classic Car Auctions here.