St. John's

27 July 2013

Lot 117

1956 Plymouth Belvedere Convertible

To be auctioned on Saturday, July 27, 2013

Sold for $90,750

  • Chassis no. 15970732


200 bhp, 276.1 cu. in. overhead-valve V-8 engine with four-barrel carburetor, two-speed Powerflite automatic transmission, independent front and semi-elliptic leaf spring rear suspension, and four-wheel power-assisted hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 115 in.

  • Known history, with two owners since new
  • Well-optioned dealer demonstrator car with Highway Hi-Fi
  • Restored to original condition
  • A beautiful and seldom seen top-of-the-line 1950s convertible


It was hard to beat Chevrolet and Ford’s offerings for 1956, but Plymouth swung hard with a revamped version of their all-new 1955 body, featuring taller, sharp-edged tailfins, a larger egg crate grille, new taillights, and Virgil Exner’s beloved aircraft-inspired styling theme everywhere one looked. The range of trim levels and body styles was simply dazzling, ranging from the entry-level Plaza and Savoy, up to the top-of-the-line Belvedere, which offered a vast amount of additional chrome trim and interior luxuries. A new convenience option was the Powerflite automatic transmission, operated by pushbuttons to the left of the steering column.

The Belvedere Convertible offered here, one of 6,735 top-of-the-line ragtops produced, was ordered as the dealer demonstrator for Burns Garage, of Walworth, Wisconsin. Accordingly, it was built in the eye-catching colors of Turquoise and Midnight Blue, all the better to draw buyers into the showroom, and with the best options that the factory could offer: a four-barrel carburetor, Powerflite, power brakes, and even the Highway Hi-Fi, which is an under-dash 16-rpm record player that was one of the first in-car entertainment systems. A boxed set of records for the player, not with this car but occasionally found at swap meets, included everything from the theme song to Davy Crockett to a dramatic reading from George Bernard Shaw’s Man and Superman—just the thing for those long family road trips!

The original owner of this car bought it from Burns Garage after prospective customers drove it 1,700 miles. He kept it until 2006, when it was sold to the second and current owner, who has known the car since he was 14 years old and spent nearly 20 years trying to acquire it. As one would expect of such a long-pursued dream, the car was given a body-off restoration with the best of care; the original colors and materials were recreated inside and out, and the original engine was retained. The only change from how this Plymouth appeared in Walworth in 1956 was the addition of chrome wire wheel covers, as Burns Garage would have made available “back in the day.”

Owned and enjoyed by only two caring owners since new, well-restored in its original colors, and carrying the best innovations of Chrysler’s “Forward Look” era, this is one of the finest extant examples of a seldom-seen Plymouth.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alain Squindo


Detroit, Michigan

Alain Squindo joined RM Auctions in 2007, after graduating from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., with a degree in History. R... read more

Alex Classick

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+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Alex Classick joined RM Europe in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Nottingham University with a degree in Business Mana... read more

Alexander Weaver

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+1 310 559 4575
California, USA

Alexander Weaver joined RM Auctions in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born into ... read more

Annette Abaci

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Germany

With post-secondary degrees in Economic Science and Mechanical Engineering, Annette Abaci initially worked part-time at Mercedes-Benz ... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a senior car specialist, after more than a decade in the collector car hobby... read more

Dan Warrener

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+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Possessing a degree in Economics from Brandon University, Dan Warrener spent the initial stages of his career working around the globe... read more

Don Rose

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+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don Rose joined RM Auctions in 2006, after many years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputatio... read more

Donnie Gould

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Florida, USA

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Ontario, Canada

Gord joined RM Auctions in 1998, initially responsible for the transportation and logistics of the company’s auction and restora... read more

Ian Kelleher

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New York, United States

Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College, with a B.A. in Politica... read more

Jack Boxstrom

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+1 818 703 2816
Ontario, Canada

Jack Boxstrom joined RM Auctions in late-1996 to assist with the recently acquired, and subsequently record-breaking, auction in Monte... read more

Max Girardo

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+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Max Girardo started his career in the vintage automobile industry in 1998, joining Brooks Auctioneers (now Bonhams) as a car specialis... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Auctions, Mike Fairbairn has a longstanding interest in the classic car industry. Graduati... read more

Peter Wallman

pwallman@rmauctions.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007, following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, read more

Rob Myers

rmyers@rmauctions.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As chairman and founder of the RM Group of Companies, Rob Myers’s entire career has been devoted to the classic car industry. Ro... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmauctions.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, USA

Shelby Myers literally grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to w... read more

Vinnie Mandzak

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+1 310 559 4575
California, USA

Vinnie Mandzak joined RM Auctions’ California office in 2012 as a car specialist, following more than 30 years’ experience... read more