Bring a Trailer NO RESERVE auction in progress: 3-Speed with overdrive and A/C. Well-suited to rally events and loaded with character!
1959 Plymouth Savoy NASCAR Tribute (auction end July 26th, 2023)
Chassis Number – M234101923
Exterior Color – White and Blue with NASCAR livery
Interior Color – Blue Vinyl and Cloth
Engine Type – 318 V8
Transmission – 3-Speed Manual w/Overdrive
Current Miles –64,861 (TMU)
Under the direction of Design Chief Virgil Exner, the 1950s was a booming decade for Chrysler. With each of their divisions, uniquely designed cars emerged as Exner and his team launched an all-out battle for the most outrageous tailfins, chrome, and detailed features against giants Ford and GM. By 1959 even the base model Plymouth offered a full-sized sedan at an entry level price. The Savoy became well known for durability, low operational cost, and reliable V8 power.
Overlapping the surge in American automotive excess was the rapidly growing sport of NASCAR racing. And no one exemplifies that growing force of motorsports more than Richard Petty. Having earned himself “Rookie of the Year” in 1959, Petty would go on to legions of #43 victories driving famous Plymouths through the late 50s, 60s, and into the 1970s, eventually earning his title as “The King” of NASCAR racing.
History of this Plymouth
Although this car was originally delivered and used as a road car when new, the current owner had this car prepared to participate in various road rally events such as the Mille Altuno and other contemporary vintage tours. Built and painted to reflect the 1959 Richard Petty NASCAR 2-Door Savoy that Petty would campaign after shifting mid-season from Oldsmobile to Plymouth sponsorship. Reflecting Petty’s #43, vintage livery, and Richard Petty’s signature on the front fender, this Plymouth is reflective of period correct racing livery and graphics as campaigned during the 1959 season.
Factory Build Tag
0410 – April 10, 1959
MP2L – 1959 Plymouth Savoy V8
231 – Savoy 2-Door Coupe
XX – Paint color “Iceberg White”
303 – Interior Color (Blue vinyl and cloth)
According to documentation on file, this Plymouth Savoy was originally delivered to the first owner Carl Hecker, Union Gap, WA, April 17, 1959. Service records on file indicate Mr. Hecker continued ownership until the late 1970s with invoices shown for both Carl and Brian Hecker. By the 1980s, the car had moved to the next owner in Santa Clara, CA with invoices for suspension service, tires, engine and transmission rebuilds in 1986, and brake work noted as late as 1988. The current owner purchased the car in 2008. In 2010 a new set of Mopar 15x7 steel wheels were purchased, a new windshield in 2015, and the engine was comprehensively rebuilt in 2017 including magnafluxing parts, surfacing cylinder heads, honing the block, a valve job, new pistons and rings, new valves, main bearings, pins, tappets, a balanced crankshaft, camshaft regrind, and dyno testing for cam break-in.
Finished in captivating #43 NASCAR livery this Plymouth Savoy presents as a handsome example of restoration with updated features ideal for vintage events and tours. The paint is smooth and glossy, showing excellent gloss and uniformed coverage. Signed by Richard Petty in 2000, his signature is visible on the front fender and properly preserved for posterity. The vintage branded stickers are vivid and colorful displaying a litany of Who’s Who in the 1950s performance suppliers and sponsors. The exterior chrome and trim are excellent throughout. The modest trim is properly polished, and the rare features unique to the Savoy body design are in excellent condition including the tall rear fenders, topped with polished trim, and flanked by Savoy emblems. The car sits on modern Grand Prix Performance GT radial tires with matching blue steel rims. The two-tone color scheme is both dynamic and appropriate for the vintage character and reflective of the emergent “Petty Blue” color that would eventually dominate his cars for decades to come.
The interior has been largely restored to reflect original finishes with some updates for modern convenience. The cloth and vinyl material textures, color breaks, and seat patterns are correct and while consistently spartan for the Savoy line, the lack of trim or options reduced weight and made them ideal for NASCAR consideration. The padded dash and instrument cluster are enhanced by a set of chronograph stopwatches, three Stewart Warner vintage style instruments, an aluminum center console, and contemporary ventilation/climate controls which operate modern Sanden air conditioning that blows cold. The interior condition is very cohesive and well prepared including a set of matching blue seat belts installed in the front seats, and a properly configured roll bar installed to the rear and floor of the car. The full-size steering wheel with safety-recessed center hub creates a nice touch of chrome while a contemporary Sunpro tachometer is fixed to the upper windshield header minding the revs from the V8 engine.
Under the hood, triple 2-barrel carburetors sit atop an aluminum Edelbrock intake manifold, flanked by chrome valve covers dominating the V8 engine. The engine bears the casting number 4 1737929. The engine compartment was refreshed when the engine was removed for rebuild in 2017. Attention to detail is both fresh and very tidy, capturing a nice blend of vintage appearance with performance updates including power front disc brakes, a 1970s era Chrysler alternator with points ignition. The trunk is properly lined with a correct pattern mat, body color finishes, and full-sized spare tire with matching vinyl cover. The blue roll bar mounts can be seen inside the trunk, bolted to the rear structure. Underneath the car, the chassis appears largely original with evidence of use but still presenting dry, clean components, solid floors, and a sturdy frame all attributed to dry west coast climate this car has enjoyed since new. Modern performance-oriented dual exhaust has been fitted, the fuel tank appears to have been more recently replaced, and an aftermarket overdrive unit is installed which is very beneficial for highway cruising and longer duration events.
The car starts easily and reliably with a deep dual exhaust rumble from the potent V8 engine. The “Three on the Tree” plus overdrive manual column shifter engages easily for smooth starts and, once underway, the performance comes on strong with ear-grinning torque and romp-worthy acceleration especially in the long-stretch second gear. With all that power on tap, it’s helpful to know that stopping capability is greatly improved with power assisted front disc brakes. Highway driving benefits greatly from the contemporary overdrive while the suspension is surprisingly less buoyant than most cars from the late 1950s. Considering the size and heft, this Savoy manages to capture the power and presence worthy of “The King” and his signature endorsement.
Included with this car
The car is accompanied by copies of invoices dating back to 1967, an original 1959 Plymouth owner’s manual, three spare single carburetors, two spare keys, a spare lock, and two Plymouth key fobs, an original Jiffy Jet windshield washer bag, various belts and hoses, spare Plymouth tail lights, spare accelerator pedals, and several miscellaneous spare mechanical parts.
The above vehicle information is complete and accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time it is posted to this website. Corrections or additional information is always appreciated. All advertised prices exclude government fees and taxes, any finance charges, any dealer document preparation charge, and any emission testing charge. Vehicles are subject to prior sale. All advertised to be true but not guaranteed. We assume no liability for errors or omissions.
Fantasy Junction • 510-653-7555 • 1145 Park Ave, Emeryville, CA 94608