Revisiting the 57 Plymouth

Mike P

Mike P

Master Mechanic
Aug 7, 2009
438
147
43
Arizona
#1
I hate being bored.



With the 37 Dodge PU on the road I decided to revisit the 57 Plymouth I built 10 years ago (with an eye on driving it back to Illinois for my 50th HS reunion in a couple of years). The car has a 1956 354 Hemi, Tri-Power, Overdrive 4 speed, and Chrysler 9 ¼ Rear end with 4.10 Posi.


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57 Plymouth
by M Patterson, on Flickr



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57 354
by M Patterson, on Flickr



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57 Int
by M Patterson, on Flickr



The car is fun to drive, but as age is catching up with me I wanted to redo a couple of things. So far I’ve redone the clutch linkage to slow down the engagement and take a bit of pedal effort out of it. The rear springs were starting to sag a little bit so they got a couple of additional leaves in them.


The next thing I want to tackle is putting power steering on it. The 50s era PS is huge, slow and has absolutely no road feel. I purposely built the car with manual steering for those reasons. So right now I’m in the process of seeing if I can retrofit a Saginaw steering gear in it. Of course the PS pump bracket I want to use that will work with my current pulley set up was made by PAW and they no longer exist.


Also on the to do list is the induction. The Tri-Power has been great and gets 20 MPG on the highway. I always thought I could pick up some more mid and upper range power with a bit more carburetion soooooo…….


I dug up an original 57 Chrysler intake and a pair of my favorite early 60s Cadillac AFBs to try on it.




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Cad afb s
by M Patterson, on Flickr



As long as I was building linkage, I also did built a progressive set up. It will be interesting to see what the engine likes best (and how far in the dumper my mileage goes ).



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Cad AFB P
by M Patterson, on Flickr



.
 
Texas82GP

Texas82GP

Comic Book Super Hero
Supporting Member
Apr 3, 2015
4,377
6,805
113
Spring, Texas
#2
Tuned in. Beautiful car!
 
DRIVEN

DRIVEN

Comic Book Super Hero
Apr 25, 2009
4,942
3,541
113
Owyhee County
#3
Agreed. Once again, Mike pops in out of nowhere with a cool project.
 
axisg

axisg

Royal Smart Person
Jul 17, 2007
2,310
1,185
113
YYZ
#5
very cool ! They look mean just sitting still.

There was a Green 2 door 57 Fury in the family that sold for stupid money in the 80's to build a Christine Clone. I will always have a soft spot for them.

This dual carb setup looks really cool.

Is that a GM Cruise Control and upgraded alternator ( instead of generator ) I see there ? What else have you done to it ?
 
ssn696

ssn696

Comic Book Super Hero
Supporting Member
Jul 19, 2009
3,169
1,876
113
New Mexico
#6
It would be less work to audition a chauffeur for the boring part across many zip codes...
 
ed1948

ed1948

Royal Smart Person
Aug 6, 2016
1,165
1,318
113
Toronto
#8
----Gasp!----
 
Mike P

Mike P

Master Mechanic
Aug 7, 2009
438
147
43
Arizona
#9
Thanks guys.


Good eye on the cruise and alternator axsig.


“….What else have you done to it ?....”


Oh, you had to ask LOL


The Hemi is .060 over (now at 364 CI) and runs 10:1 compression. The block is an A1 casting and uses the “triple 5” heads (supposedly the best flowing factory heads for the first gen HEMIs). It’s got the BB Chevy water pump and screw on oil filter conversions and uses the 1956 354 “rams horn” exhaust manifolds. The cam is an older PAW unit (the second hottest one they offered at the time). The distributor is the original Prestolite dual point converted to Stock Chrysler electronic internals and is connected to an MSD 6AL box.


The current Tri-Power is a really unique piece. I wish I could take credit for building it, but it was with a bunch of old Hemi parts I bought years ago. The work was probably done in the early 60s. It started out life as a dual plane 2 barrel industrial intake. At the time places like JC Whitney sold what were called “U Fab It” kits to do these conversions….basically a hand full of bits and pieces and instructions on how to do the conversion. With the small runners it’s great for bottom end torque but I think it may be hurting mid and top end power a bit.


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tri-Pwr Int
by M Patterson, on Flickr



Whoever did this conversion did a great job. The required holes were actually milled into the outer runners and pieces welded in a way that maintains the integrity of the dual plane design. When I got it was set up for 3 bolt Strombergs and I converted it to use Rochesters (Large base 2G center and small base 2G out boards).


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tri-Pwr Mod
by M Patterson, on Flickr

Of course because of the height of the Tri-Power the hood would't close and I had to add a scoop, (which I hated to do). I eventually decided on using the scoop section from a 63 Thunderbird, which seems to fit the car pretty well.

You are right about the GM cruise and alternator. The car also has been converted to disc brakes in the front. I got lucky and found a set of Chrysler NOSR torsion bars that fit and added a front sway bar from a 58 Chrysler Imperial.

I eliminated the division bar and window regulator assemblies on the rear windows and made 1 piece stationary rear windows for it (the same thing the factory did on the 2000 or so business coupes they built in 57). Visually it takes a lot of the boxy look out of the roof line.


The AC is a real deal early 1960s Mark 4 with a Sanden compressor. The seats and fold down center are from a 67 Chrysler 300. The drivers is 4 way power and the passenger seat actually reclines.


The stereo is just and older AM/FM cassette player but I added a 60s era “reverb” unit to it. For those too young to remember these were an accessory that delayed the signal to the rear speakers by a split second causing a reverberation or Echo effect and adding depth to the sound. HEY COME ON IT WA S THE 60s LOL any way it takes me back to my mis-spent youth.



I recently reposted a build video of it on you tube you might get a kick out of.


 
Last edited:
Mike P

Mike P

Master Mechanic
Aug 7, 2009
438
147
43
Arizona
#10
".....It would be less work to audition a chauffeur for the boring part across many zip codes..."

I've driven the car back to Illinois twice now (4000 miles round trip) and there really are no boring parts when I'm driving it LOL.
 

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