Werner Wilson's 1948 Plymouth Sedan
(from Volume 27, Issue 327)

story by Werner Wilson, photos by Michael B. Kelly


My name is Werner Wilson, and the story of our family’s 1948 Plymouth goes back more than 20 years. Previously we had a chopped ‘72 Chevrolet C-10 Pickup. It was a very cool ride but as our family grew, it was not able to meet our needs. I began looking for a suitable family hauler in 2001. I narrowed my search to pre-1948 vehicles, as I really wanted to be a Street Rodder (in the past a line was drawn between pre-1948 Street Rods and 1949 and newer Street Machines). I saw this 1948 Plymouth Sedan in the classified section of the Goodguy’s Gazette, and after a few phone calls and photo exchanges we boarded a plane for California.

The car was complete and previously rodded but it needed many repairs and updates. After it was shipped home, we began the 20+ year process of personalizing it to our tastes. One of the earliest modifications that we made, after the addition of the Budnik wheels, was to update the interior. As a foundation, we started with a split bench seat from Tea’s Design. The factory rear seat was recovered to match the front. My son Jacob and I made the door panels, kick panels and arm rests from scratch. A Budnik steering wheel and VDO gauges round out the interior.

Under the hood is the trusty 350/350 combination. Many modifications were made here including an Edelbrock intake, thermoplastic Demon carb and Pertronix electronic distributor. We added a Summit aluminum air cleaner and valve covers, had them powder coated black, then pinstriped by “Jungle Jeff”. Another big improvement to the power plant was the custom aluminum radiator by Performance Rod and Custom.

To get the ride and stance correct, many modifications were required. The car was purchased with a 1980 Monte Carlo subframe grafted to the original 1948 Plymouth frame. To this we added narrowed tubular A-arms from Fat Man Fabrications. Two inch dropped F-body spindles were employed in addition to F-body brakes. Ride Tech Shockwaves make up the front suspension, while the 10-bolt rear end rides on Posies Super Slide springs with lowering blocks. Ride Tech Shockwaves were also used in the rear, and all of this is controlled by a Ride Tech Air Pod mounted in the trunk.

This 1948 Plymouth has truly been a family hot rod for the past 20 years. Our kid’s have grown up with this car. As a family we don’t camp, boat or ski. We have traveled to the Street Rod Nationals, done the Hot Rod Power tour, and countless other events throughout the country as a family. I have found truth in the saying, “The family that rod’s together….stays together”. CN