1947 Plymouth Coupe

Owner: @Charles Darmanjian

Built by: ESC Fabrications

Photographer: Brandon Pottenburgh @bpotsy


There are some cars that I come across online that leave me with the feeling that I need to know all about the owner and the vehicle. When I first saw the video clip of Charles in his 1947 Plymouth Coupe doing a burnout, I instantly fell in love with this car. I made contact – from SA to Troy, New York – and here is his story about what I consider to be the world’s most badass Plymouth Coupe.

What was the reason you decided to build a Hotrod and what initially sparked your enthusiasm with regards to these type of cars? I wanted to build a car that had enough power to thrash on and no pretty panels as I did not want to spend my weekends cleaning it. I would rather spend my time driving it. This car is my first “build”, I had a 1969 Pontiac Catalina before this and did some resto work and customizing, but other than that, I had no experience building a car from the bottom up. This car taught me almost everything I know in regards to fabrication. I worked in a factory for almost 20yrs, I now work for myself at escfabrications.com and part time at 1945 Speed and Custom building anything from 1jz swapped Camaros to $200K restomods. You could say that this car holds a huge part in my life and how it has transpired in the past few years.

Is this your dream car? This is not really my dream car – in fact, I have never really had one. I like something about all cars. The best cars are the ones that you build yourself. There is no other feeling like cruising down a backroad in a car that was destined to decay somewhere out there, back into mother earth. The feeling of saving her makes all the time spent on the build well worth it. 

Where did you find the project: My father was delivering cement one day and spotted the car in the yard next door to the job he was on. 

What condition was it in: It was 6 inches in the mud with no fenders, doors or hood. I was say it was a 2/10 with regards to the condition it was in. 

What was your original plan for the build: My original plan was bare bones minimum. It was planned to be a really ratty build. 

How bad was the rust or body work: The rust was pretty extensive and all of the floors had to be made from scratch.

How long did the body work take: It is still in progress

What other mods did you do to the body: I extended the front grille and lowered the fenders by 5 inches. I remade all of the bumper brackets and shortened them by 2 inches. The front spoiler is attached with custom brackets under the bumper and attached with fully torqued racing splitter rod supports – all handmade by yours truly.

Colour: Flat black 

Paint Type: Rattle can

Why that color? I wanted something that went on easy and looked badass

Motor: The motor is from a 1962 Chrysler Imperial 413RB that I found on Craigslist. I had to drive 3 hours to New Jersey to collect it but it was worth the drive. The motor was rebuilt by Universal Machine Shop and then myself and Tim Pinson did the assembly.

What is the part Spec on the motor: Rebuilt 0.030″ over, 440 source aluminum heads 2.14″ Intake/1.81″ exhaust (up from 2.08″ intake/1.60″ exhaust), Edelbrock Torker single plane intake manifold, Holley 750cfm double pumper, MSD all in one distributor, aero motive electric fuel pump and regulator, Comp cams Thumpr cam Lift .486″/.473″
Duration 279/297, 440 source Roller rockers, Smith bros .080 wall pushrods, Mellings Hv oil pump/shaft, High torque mini starter, Hedmann headers 1.75″ primary tubes, custom built exhaust from headers back with dynomax race bullet mufflers

+/- how many horse power to recon? Enough to make me smile

Intake/Carb: Holley 750 / Edelbrock Torker Intake

Exhaust:  Custom made by the owner with Dynomax Race Bullet mufflers.

Gearbox; 1969 Dodge charger 727 Torqeflite

Where did you find the gearbox? The first gearbox was also found on Craigslist but it was trash so I had to source another one to rebuild. 

Rear end: 8 3/4 Sure Grip with Eaton Trutrak Carrier and 3.73 gears

Suspension: Custom 4 Link set up in the rear, Fatman Chassis 2″ Drop Spindles, Custom Air Ride Set Up all four corners, Dual 444c Vair Compressors with powder coated 4 gal tank

Brakes: Rear – Stock 11″ Drums / Front- Disc Swap with 79′ Volare 11″ Rotors and mid 80’s Camaro Calipers 

Wheels/Size: Rear-15×9 Wheel Vintiques / Front- Crown Vic 16×7 Steelies

Where did you get the wheels? Craigslist and sourced the fronts from a friend

Tyre/Size: Nankang Ns20 275/60/15, Front- 

Seats: 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee 10way power heated

Upholstery: Custom made door panels and powder coated trim and dash.

Steering: The steering wheel is by far the fan favourite – It was made up from LS Rods, Mopar Timing gear, Honda Pistons and Indistrial chain. It also has a quick release.  My favourite thing about the car is the view from the driver’s seat 

Windows: stock With 35% Tint

Headlights: Custom

Taillights:  Stock

Fuel Tank: 16 Gal Fuel Cell

Garage Built: Yes Absolutely!!

Rebuild Time: 32 Months

What is the best part of the Plymouth: I think the best part about this car is that it is simply a cool looking beater car. It is not quite a Hot Rod and it is far from a finished Rod. Just something cool in-between. I built the car to drive it – not to spend hours cleaning it and worrying about people touching it. 

Is the end result same as the original Plan?  The end result keeps changing and evolving. As I mentioned earlier, the car definitely went way off track compared to my original plans for it. 

Anybody you would like to thanks? I want to say a huge thanks to my wife, son and my family and friends that helped me get through some tough times with this build.