Home » Strangely Compelling Photos Of Lost Causes: 1960 Plymouth Savoy vs 1962 Land Rover

Strangely Compelling Photos Of Lost Causes: 1960 Plymouth Savoy vs 1962 Land Rover

Sbsd 4 15 2024
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Good morning! Today is Monday, which is already suspect, but even worse, it’s April 15, which means if you’re in the US and you haven’t filed your taxes yet, you’d better get a move on. It is also the 112th anniversary of the sinking of the RMS Titanic. Just all around not a great day. So today I’m not even going to ask you to pick which terrible car you want; I’m going to ask you which car’s photos you find more interesting.

Friday’s matchup between an Australian monster and an American widowmaker came out more evenly matched than I expected. The six-wheeled ute won, but it was kind of a close-ish vote. There are more daredevils in this crowd than I thought, apparently.

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The correct answer is, of course, both, even though I didn’t give you that option. Put the Littlest Deuce Coupe in the back of Mad Max’s farm truck, and take it to a race track or dragstrip where you can unleash its potential safely, or at least in a place where there is medical help on standby already.

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Now then: I don’t know how many of you share this fascination, but I love looking at photos of abandoned places, derelict machinery, and above all, junkyards. If done right, such photos have an eerie, dreamy quality to them and a texture that is just irresistible. I could look at them for hours. Usually, in the course of writing this column, I don’t get to see very many artsy photos; most people aren’t very good at photographing cars for sale, as it turns out. But once in a while, someone captures something special, usually when they’re trying to sell a complete wreck that no one in their right mind would pay good money for. These two cars certainly fit that description, but each ad contains at least one or two really compelling photos. Let’s check them out.

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1960 Plymouth Savoy – $2,600

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Engine/drivetrain: No engine, three-speed manual, RWD

Location: Tucson, AZ

Odometer reading: unknown

Operational status: Umm… how fast can you push?

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The late 1950s and early 60s were a wild time for car design. Chrome and tailfins were in; restraint and subtlety were out. Automakers restyled their cars every year in an attempt to outdo one another. At Chrysler, the style boss was Virgil Exner, and even the entry-level Plymouth brand received his attention. Check out the tailfins on this bad boy.

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This 1960 Savoy is believed to have been a police car originally, due to its spec and some holes drilled for lights. It’s a stripped-down model, originally equipped with a big V8 and a three-speed manual transmission. The engine is gone, and the rest of the car is in pretty sorry shape, but it is in the desert, so we should be looking at mainly surface rust. And the advantage to a base model car from this era is that there isn’t as much chrome to source.

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The interior is utterly trashed, but there are some interesting details in there, like that pod on top of the dash that houses the cop-spec certified speedometer. The steering wheel is missing its horn button, which was a wide brushed stainless steel bar straight across the two spokes. The Furys of this year had a wild four-spoke steering wheel that was flattened on the top and the bottom and looked like something out of Syd Mead‘s dreams. No need for such flamboyance in a police cruiser, I guess; foot-tall tailfins were enough.

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The doors appear to be held on by ratchet straps as well. The seller says it’s just the hinges that are rusty and that they’re replaceable; they don’t seem too worried about it. I guess with all the other issues this car has, door hinges are a minor consideration.

1962 Land Rover Series IIA – $2,000

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Engine/drivetrain: 2.25 liter overhead valve inline 4, four-speed manual, part-time 4WD

Location: Atlanta, GA

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Odometer reading: unknown

Operational status: Slowly returning to the earth

One of the problems I run into when writing this column is that I’m writing about cars for sale – which means that once in a while, one gets sold after I’ve downloaded the photos, but before I sit down to write. Usually, this occurrence is followed by some swear words and a mad dash to go find a new car to replace it. In this case, however, I’m just going to go ahead with it, and marvel at the fact that someone actually paid money for this.

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This is the Series IIA Land Rover, made for ten years and used for transportation in some of the harshest environments around. The sight of this one slowly settling into a Georgia forest makes me wonder how many Land Rovers there are in similar condition rotting away in remote locations around the world. This one looks fairly intact, and with the reputation these things have, it may not be a completely lost cause. The one thing I remember from the ad is that the frame is “pretty rusty,” but with a welder and some patience, anything is possible, I guess.

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With all the cobwebs, I also can’t help wondering how many generations of spiders have lived and died inside this truck while it’s been sitting here on three wheels. Kudos to whoever did buy it and dragged it out of the woods. You’d have to pay me to get inside this thing. I can’t stand spiders.

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Old Land Rovers, of course, have bodies made of aluminum alloy, so there’s no worry about rust there. Leave them out in the elements, and you just get this cool sandblasted patina over most of the body. It looks like this truck has been at least a couple of different colors over the years. Personally, I think that if you could do the frame repair and get it going again, it should be left just how it is on the outside.

Yes, yes, I know – they’re both terrible, and you want nothing to do with either of them. I’ll make it up to you tomorrow and do a couple of good-running cars. But tell me there isn’t something fascinating about the photos of these two old relics. Which one do you find yourself more drawn to?

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(Image credits: Craigslist sellers)

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Freelivin2713
Freelivin2713
2 months ago

Definitely the Plymouth…I do like some of these pics…also, I always vote since it’s fun, I don’t understand not voting

Masterbuilder
Masterbuilder
2 months ago

I love Series Land Rovers, and the IIA is a sharp design.

Sgtyukon
Sgtyukon
2 months ago

You gotta admit that when it was new in 1962, or today when it isn’t new, that Plymouth was and still is one ugly car. Makes one wonder, “What?” Were they thinking?” Cutting the fins off the next year didn’t improve it even a little bit.

XLEJim700
XLEJim700
2 months ago

Cop shocks, cop brakes, cop mo…

Nevah mind.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
2 months ago

Very interesting reading and ad placement. My vote is the youngish blonde if the papers show year model is over 18. The brunette is a sexy photo too for sure so I guess you can’t go wrong with either with a year confirmation.

Schrödinger's Catbox
Schrödinger's Catbox
2 months ago

The front end of that Plymouth looks like an old AMF pinsetting machine from a burned-out bowling house.

There’s the ’59 Caddy which is just iconic for how wild it is, yet still recognizable as a Cadillac. Then, there is this monstrosity from Plymouth that is off putting at any angle. The dash is interesting at least. But, over the top styling does not equal iconic.

Stompin’ on the Savoy – I’m with the Land Rover all the way here.

Luxobarge
Luxobarge
2 months ago

This isn’t a competition between a Plymouth and a Land Rover. It’s between the starting point of an art project and an improvised wildnerness drug lab.

WR250R
WR250R
2 months ago

Eh, maybe I can put the body on some other frame and axles (s10 perhaps?) and get the motor running, or just swap it (4.3l perhaps?). Land Rover

The Clutch Rider
The Clutch Rider
2 months ago

Probably the Plymouth.

If anyone can get these back on the road is DT. He brought worse stuff from the dead. Come to think of it i am curious what he would chose? He is an offroad guy through and through, but also a Chrysler guy.

Tim Cougar
Tim Cougar
2 months ago

I can’t be the only one here who gets the Hemmings Abandoned Autos wall calendar every year.

Oh, and the ugly Plymouth for me. Got that violet hour lighting going on.

Tim Cougar
Tim Cougar
2 months ago
Reply to  Tim Cougar

And even if this weren’t an art contest, still the Plymouth. Paradoxically, in pristine condition it’d just be ugly and I wouldn’t want it, but looking like this it has /character/. It’s a two-door sedan, too, the cheapest of the cheap Plymouths, built to be disposable; it has beaten the odds by surviving. It deserves to be reborn as a bitchin’ rat rod.

Last edited 2 months ago by Tim Cougar
Soso Tsundere
Soso Tsundere
2 months ago

Mark, if you’re interested in photobooks of abandoned places, I highly suggest the recentish release of Project UrbEx by Ikumi Nakamura!

Also, that Savoy looks like something you could sell at a profit to Amazon as a background car for the Fallout show.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
2 months ago

These are both overpriced heaps of shit. So I’m going with the cheaper one because I’ll get more money for it when I scrap it due to the higher aluminum content.

Sklooner
Sklooner
2 months ago

Ill buy the Savoy and move out to the Salton Sea and park it beside my trailer

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
2 months ago
Reply to  Sklooner

Aah but the aluminium land rover body could be useful for storage next to your tiny cabin or the world’s most beautiful outhouse. Am I the only one who thinks reuse and reporpoise?

Last edited 2 months ago by Mr Sarcastic
Phuzz
Phuzz
2 months ago

For comparison, there’s the chassis and engine of a Defender up on Ebay UK right now for £2,500(!). Even a non-running hulk of a Defender is worth money to someone.
In fact, now I think about it, they’re both short wheel base models, so for £2,500 and $2000 you could have a fully working Land Rover! (plus one or two minor expenses, and a tiny amount of hard work of course. No more than a decade tops 😉

EastbayLoc
EastbayLoc
2 months ago

Well obviously neither car to buy but the photos of the Savoy are more appealing to me. Just kind of ethereal the way it sits in the desert with that sky behind it. Savoy at sunrise it is.

Tbird
Tbird
2 months ago

The Savoy pics are pure art. You will never restore this car, but might be able to make some cool art car or custom from those bones. I fear the frame of the Landie is a permanent part of the earth now. I do love the patina.

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