1948 Plymouth 2 Door Coupe

Owners: JP Jonker

Builder : Danie Van Der Merwe

JP Jonker always had an interested in cars, but It was only when he was 16 and in High school, that his interest in Hot-Rods started. JP was 16 at the time and some interesting Neighbors moved in next door. 

JP Explains, My new Neighbor turned out to be Hannes Meyer (Who is Well known for His love of Hotrods and Classic Cars in PE). I always admired his beautiful cars and dreamed of owning one myself one day. I visited Next door Quite Frequently (Hannes has Beautiful Cars and a Beautiful Daughter) and so my liking and interest in hotrods grew. Today I have a beautiful Hotrod of my own and I am also married to his Daughter. 

JP interest peaked when Hannes brought home a 1949 Plymouth. The car was originally found in Queenstown Eastern Cape. It was then brought to Uitenhage for the Previous owner Oom Louis Gericke who owned it for a couple of years. (He made a couple of adjustments ie. Gauges, New Carburetor, New Paintjob etc.) The car was then sold to Hannes Meyer. In my opinion a 1948 Plymouth Coupe has one of the most beautiful Rear ends around. I love the “Coupe Look” even though there is More than enough space inside for 4 people to sit comfortably  The Car was already what we call a “Hot Rod” (Had a V8 Engine, Upgraded Suspensions, Gauges and Bright Colour, but still had all of its original chrome trims, moldings, taillights and handles). The original plan was to just Take out the Engine, Strip the interior, Redo the dash, Repaint the car and put everything back together. The project stalled for a while due to other projects, but it Recommenced June 2018 with a whole lot of new Ideas. So the body was sent to Danie Van Der Merwe

The body was in Fair condition, most of the Original Chrome strips and moldings still in place, but some damaged and scratched. The body definitely needed attention. The Floor of the car had quite a bit of rust. 50% of the Floor was Rebuilt using new Sheet metal. Minor rust spots on the body were removed and taken care of. The most bodywork on this car was the Dash and gearbox tunnel. One interesting Feature is a custom built Tunnel in the firewall that accommodates the changing/setting of the distributor. 

Me and my Father in Law Spent weeks looking through Old SA Hotrod Magazines, US Hotrod Magazines and Pictures on the Internet. He took out a New Car book and showed me what the color looked like on a New Audi A4. There and then I decided that it was the color, VW Nano Gre.  The Paint was Mixed according to the VW Color but was too dark at first. After 3 x tries the color looked great. It is slightly Lighter than the VW Color. City Paint and Tool in PE (Brent van Niekerk) supplied the Paint The Original chassis was strengthened, braced and Reinforced where necessary. I have been told that a Plymouth has one of the most challenging chassis to fit aftermarket suspensions.

When I bought the car, it had Chev Deville front and rear suspensions already installed. The ride was a bit rough to my liking and I decided to Leave the rear suspension and Replace the front with a Jag suspension. The chassis had to be cut and Reinforced for the Jag suspension to fit and achieving the proper “Low” look and good stance.

I decided to Leave the rear suspension in, because the previous owner had the Diff and brakes completely reconditioned before it was sold to me. The front suspension however had to go as it did not have power steering and was a rough ride. I decided on Jag suspensions because I have driven a couple of Rods with Jag suspensions and in my opinion are the smoothest ride for a Hotrod.  Rear Brakes were reconditioned, and the frons Brakes were skimmed, New pots and brake pads installed thanks to Jag & Daimler Spares in JHB The Motor was bought from an advert on Gumtree. The Previous owner took the motor out of a running Impala with +- 20 000km on the clock. The motor came from Upington 

Neil Flannigan was the mechanic involved with the motor. He has built 3 Motors for me and Approximately 6 for my father in law. The Idea was to keep the Motor internals Standard as far as possible due to it having such low Mileage. So no Cams, Pistons etc were changed. Only a Performance intake and Holley Carb Added. The Idea was to keep the Motor internals Standard as far as possible due to it having such low Mileage. So no Cams, Pistons etc were changed. Only a Performance intake and Holley Carb Added. Polished Tapped Covers, Chrome Power steering Pump, Air cleaner and Alternator were added to Give it a nice shine.

I went for the 327 Chevy due to the fact that they are “Bulletproof” engines. I went with the 700r4 Gearbox for the convenience of an extra gear and better fuel consumption on longer trips. I bought the Gearbox from a Local in Port Elizabeth about 4 years ago. I bought and stored it knowing that one day I would love to have this 4 speed Gearbox in my Hotrod.

The interior was done by a Local Guy from Port Elizabeth. It was done from Home. The seats came from a Ford Fiesta and were sourced from Merbida. A Local Company in Port Elizabeth. I wanted to make a statement with the interior and that is why I chose to go with the Cream and Red interior. The Seats and Panels are Genuine Leather. There is also a DVD Screen with a Nice sound system. The steering wheel was replaced with a Custom One from Autosport in PE . All new Gauges from Speedyquip in PE (Jerome). Dash was completely rebuilt and a “Cubby hole” especially installed for my Wife. For wheels Jp went with American Racing Wheel that he got from Concept Wheels PE (Wasim) running 17” Rims with 235/55/17 on the rear and 225/50/17 in Front

All new Glass except for the Rear window which is original. Windows tinted all round. Front Quarter panel windows Removed and Converted to One Piece. Original Headlights were recessed and Original Moulding placed around. Upgraded the original headlights to Golf “Angel Eye” headlights. Original Tail lights were removed, and a set of Pontiac Taillights were recessed into the body. A Large stop light was also added under the rear window. Bigger Fuel Tank with 70L Capacity was added.

The car has a couple of Unique Features, Front and Rear bumpers were removed. The rear end was formed to run with the shape of the body. The front of the car received a custom scoop. Driprails were totally removed and body finished off. Top of doors edges were rounded off instead of leaving them at an angle. Front fenders were slightly rolled out to accommodate the wider wheels. The color scheme changed from a two tone (Maroon and Green) to the color that is on the car today. But if Definitely came out better as what was originally anticipated.

Anybody you would like to thank?

  • Hannes Meyer for most of the Ideas and for introducing and igniting my Passion for Hot Rods.
  • Danie van Der Merwe for al of the work done on the car. 
  • Neil Flannigan for the Engine work
  • All the Suppliers of Materials, Parts etc. (too many to mention)

Names of companies you used for parts and work done on the car.

  • Motown Cape Town – Engine Parts
  • RS Performance Johannesburg – Engine Parts
  • Speedyquip Port Elizabeth – Gauges and General Parts
  • City Paint & Tool Port Elizabeth – All Bodywork, Paint Etc
  • Powerflow Exhausts Port Elizabeth – Exhaust
  • Concept Wheels –  Rims and Tyres