There's no arguing with the numbers when it comes to the 1949 Plymouth lineup.
Even though Plymouth introduced its steel-bodied Suburban station wagon late in the 1949 model year, it sold 19,220 of them. Meanwhile, the traditional higher-maintenance wood-bodied wagon -- available from the start of the selling season -- drew just 3,443 orders. Is it any wonder, then, that the "woody" was pruned from the Plymouth lineup after 1950?
It cost at least $2,372 to secure the services of a 1949 Plymouth Special DeLuxe wagon. Suburban prices started at $532 less, but the difference bought more than 7.5 inches of additional wheelbase and two extra doors. The Special DeLuxe seated up to eight passengers with its third-row seat installed.
Limited to two rows, the Suburban could hold no more than five. The Special DeLuxe also boasted nicer interior trimmings and more external brightwork.
After an extended run of 1948-style Plymouths, the "true" 1949s arrived in the spring with fresh, but somewhat frumpy, styling. Even the U.S. Body and Forging wagon body was modernized, with a steel roof replacing the wood-and-fabric top of years past.
When photographed, the well-optioned car seen here was owned by John Slusar, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Though mostly stock, he took a few liberties in its restoration, such as adding full carpeting and selecting a paint color not offered on '49 wagons. In 2003, he sold the car to Carl Germain, of Syracuse, New York.