It’s a known fact that station wagons were among the most expensive models in the line up from most manufacturers in the early forties. Typical of this was Plymouth. In 1940, the Deluxe station wagon sold for $925 while the Plymouth Convertible Coupe sold for $950. Interestingly, Plymouth production shows just (P9) Roadking wagon sold just 80 units while the (P10)Special Deluxe sold much larger quantities selling 3,128 units in 1940, So its little wonder these Plymouths wagons are rare today. By comparison, the 1940 Plymouth Convertible Coupe sold 22,174 units.
For the 1940 model years these eight-passenger wagons were no longer considered a commercial model but sales were still focused on the sportsman-set. With its U.S. Body and Forging Co. body, the wagons marketing to the wealthy buyer accounts for the enormous sales differentials between the base model Roadking and the Deluxe. Why would you not opt for the upgrade when it was only $25 to move up to the $950 Deluxe model? Obviously, many buyers didn’t hesitate.
In 1941, a few things changed, but U.S. Body and Forging Co. continued on as the designated station wagon body builder. The new model featured refreshed bodywork and a new look to the basically unchanged styling station wagon woodwork. The basic blonde woodwork with white maple panels and white ash framing was supplemented with the new optional two-tone woodwork using mahogany panels that contrasted so neatly with white ash framing. The wagon was still an eight-passenger two-model line up of a P-11 Deluxe and a P-12 Super Deluxe and the back two rows of seats could be removed if needed. Plymouth where now moving towards a more modernized look with the large new chrome grille, sealed beam headlights and a brighter color-pallet of paintwork options. Both sales and pricing moved up this year. The selling price only crept up a few dollars but the unit volume basically doubled. The Deluxe wagon(P-11) sold 217 units at $995 while the Super Deluxe wagon (P-12) sold a stout 5,594 units at $1,031 each this year. By comparison, the base-model, four-door Plymouth sedan sold an astounding 212,588 units for around $845, while the Special Deluxe Phaeton sold 10,545 units at for $1,007. The most expensive Plymouth this year was the factory Limo at $1,078.
As you can see from these two Plymouth promo pictures, the 1940 wagon ad was focused on the rural horse owner while the 1941 press photo was focused on an equally sporty-set, aiming at yacht owners, weekend sailors and fishermen. Its amazing how many of these Plymouth wagons have survived and as it’s just as stunning to see how few of the base-model sedans now to be found when you look at the mass production numbers. The Plymouth’s were maybe not as smart looking as the comparable Fords, but they certainly have a grand and sophisticated elegance that marks them as model worth watching and owning.