1957 Plymouth Suburban

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The 1957 Plymouth Suburban sports a two-tone finish that adds to its ’50s styling charm

The exuberance of the 1950s, when folks were moving to the suburbs and all things seemed possible, can be summed up with such cars as this gigantic station wagon with tailfins.

Today’s vehicles are all about trim styling and efficient performance, so the Pick of the Day seem might like some outlandish dinosaur. But big wagons have turned hip, making such baroque barges as this 1957 Plymouth Suburban look just as cool now as they did when they rumbled out of Virgil Exner’s Chrysler styling division.

The Plymouth Suburban sports a pair of towering fins

If you are wondering about the Suburban name, yes, it does seem that Chevrolet had dibs on it since the 1930s for its long-held utility-truck brand. But nobody owned the Suburban nameplate and Plymouth used it for its station wagons through 1978 at the same time Chevy used it for its trucks. GM finally got around to trademarking Suburban in 1988.

The ’57 Plymouth Suburban was a mighty piece of work, a bold exclamation point for the Leave it to Beaver era as the U.S. auto industry finished up the ‘50s in grand style. The Plymouth’s brassy styling and family-size interior hit the spot.

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This Suburban is an all-original survivor in good condition, according to the listing on ClassicCars.com from a classic car dealer in Simpsonville, South Carolina. It looks very sharp in the photos with two-tone blue-and-white paint, lavish chrome and fins that tower along either side of the broad cargo hold.

“This car is very much all original and in great shape,” the seller says. “A driver-quality car that is nice enough to be able to restore to show. She starts right up and runs down the road as she should.”

The wagon is powered by its original 301 cid V8 with automatic transmission, the listing says, and despite having 90,225 miles on its odometer, is presentable and ready to drive. The body has no rust-through, the seller adds, although there are some small repair patches on the floor.

The interior is well-preserved, though it has new rugs and a replacement front-seat cover, the seller says.

With a price tag of just $15,990, this would be make a fun ride for loading up with friends and family and taking a Sunday cruise. It also seems like a car that could be driven and enjoyed while the new owner gradually turns it into a preservation showpiece.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

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Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

3 COMMENTS

  1. I find it rather disconcerting to read the author’s rather snobbish dismissal of that era through phrases such as “baroque barge,” and “brassy styling.” I must presume he views all of us who were becoming adults in that era as dunderheads who had no taste.

  2. Some people just like to make noise. That was a wonderful wagon in the day, I bought a new one in 58, wish I had it today. Turn 2 bolts, and put the front up or down. Jep up the good work.

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