1952 PLYMOUTH Cranbrook Convertible Coupe

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1952 PLYMOUTH Cranbrook Convertible Coupe


Plymouth - in common with most American manufacturers - entered the post-war market with a dusted-off version of its 1942 model and little changed until the launch of an all-new model in 1949.

Built on a long wheelbase and offering plenty of space inside, the Plymouths were notable for their practicality.

In fact, even though conceived and sold at a time when automotive tastes were trending towards the low and sleek, the Cranbrook was designed with practicality at the very heart of a brief stipulating that the driver and passengers should be able to sit comfortably upright while wearing hats.

Powering the Plymouth was 217.8 cu in (3.6-litre) Plymouth flathead straight-six mated to a 3-speed manual gearbox (overdrive was added in 1952).

Plymouth kept design changes for 1952 to a minimum, with chrome model script on the front wings and a redesigned badge on the nose the only clues to the fact that this was a new model.

The Cranbrook was available in four body styles - sedan, club coupe, hardtop coupe and convertible.

Only 4,171 Plymouth Cranbrook Convertibles were ever built.

The Vehicle

This motor car is being sold as part of an overseas collection. It has been imported under the Bonhams temporary admission customs bond and is therefore subject to the lower rate 5% import tax if the car is to remain in the UK & purchased by a private individual. The 5% is calculated on the final selling price. Cars less than 30 years old will pay 10% duty + VAT as well as VAT (a company buying the car will always have to pay VAT on the hammer price, as well as duty + VAT).

The winning bidder will receive a receipt for the final hammer value, and proof that HMRC fees are paid. If the car is subsequently exported abroad within 30 days then these fees are refundable.

Lastly, there will be a nominal administration fee of £350 for processing the NOVA application, and payable direct to the shipping company. A completed and processed NOVA will provide you formal proof that all duties & taxes are paid in UK and thus allow you to register the vehicle with the DVLA

In common with the majority of cars in this collection, this vehicle has been on static display for a number of years and there is no history available beyond that displayed in our photography section.

We have not tried to start or drive the car, it will require recommissioning prior to full road use and is sold ‘as seen’. We cannot vouch for its mechanical viability or functionality.

It is available for view and inspection at our HQ near Abingdon and we will be delighted to show the car to you and/or your appointed engineer.

Although we haven’t tried to start or drive this car and can therefore only comment on its cosmetic status, we are of the opinion that this LHD manual 1952 Plymouth Cranbrook Convertible has seen better days and now has ‘project’ status.

Which is unfortunate, because it doesn’t take too much of a leap of imagination to see just how charming and pretty this car must have been. Of course, it could be returned to its former glory but that would require someone with the right amounts of passion, time and expertise to do the car justice.

The chassis number is: 13027095.

The odometer reads 47,091 miles.

In common with many vehicles from the vendor’s collection, the car comes with no history or service records.

We know the car was in New York State in 2015.

It entered the vendor’s collection in 2016, at which time it was described on a shipping document as being in ‘running’ condition.

We can confirm that we have managed to turn the engine by hand and so believe that it is not seized.

On the Outside

Let’s start with the positives.

The pale blue metallic paint colour is, in our humble opinion, very attractive, and contrasts strikingly with the white hood.

Also, there are no big dents, creases, ripples, warps or folds in the bodywork.

The chrome work is good at the front of the car (but nowhere else).

The wheels look reasonable.

But there are, of course, one or two negatives to consider.

There is significant bubbling and flaking along both flanks of the car at the bottom of the doors and in the sills, on the o/s/r wing below the hood and the rear window, and below the windscreen and on the bonnet.

There are some scuffs and scratches on the n/s/r wing.

The front passenger’s window is cracked, there’s a big dent in the middle of the windscreen and the boot doesn’t close properly.

The white fabric hood is ripped in a few places and is held together with staples in others.

On the Inside

The interior looks to be in rather better overall condition than its exterior counterpart.

The black and grey vinyl upholstery is in pretty good order, with no rips or tears that we can see.

The seats are comfortable and supportive, although the padding in the rear seats feels a little ‘crispy’.

The door cards are good.

The dashboard, instruments and interior fixtures and fittings look to have endured the passage of time with commendable fortitude.

We can’t make any claims about the functionality of switches, knobs, levers, toggles, buttons, dials or other electrics as we haven’t tried to start or drive the vehicle.

The boot, which contains a spare wheel and boxes of assorted parts, doesn’t look too bad.

The carpets and mats here and elsewhere in the car look OK.

It’s when you lift them up that the mood darkens somewhat – there is significant corrosion to be found in a number of places.


In places, the undersides have corroded away leaving large holes.

You’ll want to have a look for yourself and reach your own conclusions about the extent to which the rust compromises the structural integrity of this car.

Everything in the engine bay appears to be clean, dry and in its right and proper place.

A message chalked on top of the radiator announces that the car received an oil, filters and brakes service in 2014.

History Highlights

The car doesn’t come with a service history or any records of work done beyond what is shown in the gallery.

It must be registered in the country of your choice and you will need to contact the appropriate vehicle licensing agency for instructions on how to do this.

What We Think

We know that this Plymouth Cranbrook Convertible has seen better days but, because we’ve grown quite attached to it, we’re really hoping that this rare, 70-year-old car captures the imagination of someone prepared, willing and able to give it a new lease of life.

Provided that the engine and mechanicals prove to be in good working order, we think this could yet be a project that’s well worth pursuing.

We’re confident to offer this car for auction with an estimate of £5,000 - £10,000, plus Bonhams bond payment and £350 NOVA fee.

Viewing is always encouraged, and this particular car is located with us at The Market HQ near Abingdon; we are open weekdays 9am-5pm, to arrange an appointment please use the Contact Seller button at the top of the listing. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

Bidders MUST ensure they are aware of the registration situation of a car in auction, and whether it will be possible to export/register a vehicle in their country BEFORE they bid.

All vehicles MUST BE COLLECTED WITHIN 7-DAYS of the auction end. Storage fees of £180 + VAT apply (per week) thereafter without exception.

If needed, Footman James classic car insurance and Classic Concierge offer storage can offer you options, plus we have a list of contacts who can help with transport and shipping both domestic and international.  

BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we always encourage bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at those vehicles which are delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.

Also, localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.

Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using basic cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.

Please note that this is sold as seen (Caveat Emptor) and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, a return policy does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.

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  • Location: The Market HQ, Abingdon, United Kingdom
  • Seller Type: Private
  • Odometer Reading: 47091
  • Chassis Number: 13027095
  • Gearbox: Manual
  • Steering position: Left-hand drive
  • Colour: Blue
  • Interior: Grey
  • Estimated Price: £5,000 - £10,000

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