Plymouth Phaeton PA Cabriolet. An exotic on the IJsselmeer

ER Classics Desktop 2022

Today, petrol and hybrid cars are generally equipped with smaller engines than in the past, while the outputs have increased. It is part of the desire for ever more efficient engines that get more performance from less content. And are made to consume less or to emit less. Not even that long ago it was different. Let alone in the 1931s. Then it happened that four-cylinder engines could just have a capacity of three liters or more. Like the XNUMX Plymouth Phaeton PA convertible, an absolute rarity in the past and today. Ben Knelange Sr. from Edam has such a rare American classic. 

The Plymouth on the banks of the Ijsselmeer is an exotic. Ben tells us a beautiful and telling story about his oldtimer. “The car was imported from America to Europe in 1931. It has a 4-cylinder 3.214 cc engine and four doors. More special is that only 513 of this car were made, and only 113 units were exported from the United States. It's really rare, the Plymouth Museum in Michigan also indicated. They do not have such a copy in their collection. ”

Unique in its time

Ben and Monique Knelange's car is therefore exclusive, but it was also something special in its time, especially as a convertible. The Plymouth Phaeton was for sale in various designs and body styles and was built over 100.000 times. Only 518 of them came off the factory band as convertibles. The Plymouth Phaeton PA was built from May 1931 to February 1932 and featured a refined finish. It was perfectly screwed together. The engine had four cylinders in line, and was a side-valve with a displacement of 3214 cc and 56 HP. It had a three-speed forward gearbox. The use of rubber bearings made the car considerably quieter and more comfortable, so that the comparison with six-cylinder cars was regularly made. The bodies and chassis were redesigned, leaf springs were used for suspension and damping. In addition, the wheels were suspended from axles placed in the width direction.

Purchased restored

As far as we know, the American van Knelange has been in the Netherlands for many years. He made wanderings in Utrecht and Oss, among others. In 1986 the Plymouth Phaeton PA ended up in Boxtel. The owner - Mr Spakenburg - started a major restoration but stopped work on the car in 2004. The car was sold in parts and prepared. Ben Knelange saw the car for the first time a few years ago and knew that a new wish had arisen.

Beautiful details, distinguished appearance

Since April 2018, the Plymouth Phaeton PA has been owned by Ben and Monique Knelange. They say they have made some cosmetic changes. What is particularly striking is the chic state where the car is in, to say the least. The black-red color scheme is already eminent anyway, but the combination with the beautiful black wire wheels with whitewalls (including the large spare tires on the right and left), the ornaments, the light upholstery, the various silver plates and the beautiful convertible roof is first and foremost. If you look closely you will also see details such as the special speedometer, the lights with the brand name Plymouth, the beautifully finished footboards and the numerous shiny decorative work on the car. And it is also clearly visible under the skin that every effort has been made to make the case top-notch. A beautiful, prize-winning car.

"A technical"

You would expect the nearly 75-year-old owner to be technically skilled in preserving the case. But Knelange Sr is not. He says surprisingly: "I am non-technical." In the case of the Plymouth, the heavier maintenance work is therefore reserved for the specialists, who will also have to look carefully for available parts. Because not many Plymouth Phaeton PA copies are known anymore, it also dates from a very long time ago. Speaking of which, the owner of the rare Phaeton has nothing to do with more modern cars. “I often drove new, due to the fact that I could often lease a car. I built a history with Ford and Volvo, but that was purely functional. ”

"A car should look like a carriage"

Knelange Sr continues his story. “I had two A-Fords in 1979, one I bought in Australia. I sold both in 1980, but I always had a feeling for pre war cars. I'm a big fan of that, everything that got more streamlined from the 2018s on I found less interesting. As soon as the car resembles a carriage, the blood flows faster. And it was when I saw this Plymouth Phaeton PA for the first time. Then I thought: if I ever start again, I want this one. In XNUMX the time had come. As a child, we are so happy with it, every time I look at it, my mind runs away. I think it's so beautiful. ”



A reaction

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  1. Cool, it is even an original car delivered in the Netherlands: date of first registration number is 30/06/1931, after which in February 1955 the provincial registration was exchanged for the current registration.

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