Leroy French's 1949 Plymouth
1949 Plymouth 4-door restyled by Larry Hoffman for San Francisco Shifters member Leroy French of San Francisco, California. Leroy's father, who owned J. E. French Co a San Fransisco bay area Chrysler and Plymouth dealership group, gave Leroy the car. Since Leroy wanted a four door car for hauling around his friends, the Plymouth was chosen as his starting point. Larry Hoffman was picked to do the tasks Leroy had in his mind. The headlights were frenched and the bulb units were slightly recessed. The hood was shaved and fit with four rows with louvers. The doors and deck lid were shaved for handles and all four doors were electrically operated by pushbuttons. According to Rod & Custom January 1956, 3 1/2 inch section were removed from the windshield and door posts. An article on the car from the 1954 National Roadster Show on the other hand claims that the top was chopped 4 1/2 inches in front, and 6 1/2 inches in the rear.
The stock taillights were removed, and a pair of 1949 Ford taillight lenses were frenched vertically in the rear body panels. The rear gravel deflector was molded-in, and the bumperguards were removed in order to to achieve a cleaner look. The front was modified by adding a 1949 Oldsmobile top bar and a 1953 Oldsmobile center bar. To give it the right stance, the car was lowered the same amount all around. Wire wheels and dual spotlights were added as well. Once the bodywork was completed, the car was delivered to Hall and Fanning who did justice to the car's interior in the form of pleated and rolled, two-tone blue and white Naugahyde with contrasting diamond-shaped patterns in the seat backs and cushions. The dash and sills were chromed, and custom carpets were fit inside the car and in the trunk. The engine was hopped up by adding an Edmunds manifold and an Iskendrian cam.
The build took about a year to complete. In 1954 the car was shown at the National Roadster Show in Oakland, California, by then it was painted Bahama Blue with 8 coats of lacquer mixed in. According to Leroy's son, the car was later painted Candy Apple red. Chances are that Joe Bailon of Bailon's Custom Shop painted it, as a how-to-do article was featured in Rod & Custom January 1957. In the article, Joe rounded the door corners and molded the rear fenders with resin. Around 1956 or 1957 Leroy became a member of the San Rafael Swanx car club.
Magazine Features and Appearances
Did you enjoy this article?
Kustomrama is an encyclopedia dedicated to preserve, share and protect traditional hot rod and custom car history from all over the world.
- Help us keep Kustomrama and history alive. For as little as 1 USD a month you can become a monthly supporter. Click here to learn more.
- Subscribe to our free newsletter and receive regular updates and stories from Kustomrama.
- Do you know someone who would enjoy this article? Click here to forward it.
Can you help us make this article better?
Please get in touch with us at email@example.com if you have additional information or photos to share about Leroy French's 1949 Plymouth.
This article was made possible by:
SunTec Auto Glass - Auto Glass Services on Vintage and Classic Cars
Finding a replacement windshield, back or side glass can be a difficult task when restoring your vintage or custom classic car. It doesn't have to be though now with auto glass specialist companies like www.suntecautoglass.com. They can source OEM or OEM-equivalent glass for older makes/models; which will ensure a proper fit every time. Check them out for more details!
Do you want to see your company here? Click here for more info about how you can advertise your business on Kustomrama.