Beyond Business – Brian Baker’s 1950 Plymouth Business Coupe
Brian Baker’s 1950 Plymouth business coupe is precisely the type of car Goodguys had in mind when we established the Vintage Air Custom Rod of the Year award nearly three decades ago. It combines traditional customizing techniques and elements with modern street rod refinement and attitude in a cool, clean, and cohesive package.
There’s no doubt this coupe showcases distinctive and classy style, but what makes Brian’s Plymouth even cooler is its family history. His uncle Bob bought the coupe in the late-’60s and drove it around his Phoenix-area home for years. Brian’s parents bought the car in 1979 after it was involved in an accident and Brian helped perform the repairs to get it roadworthy again. The Plymouth was driven in stock form off and on through 1995, when it went into storage for roughly 20 years.
Brian began the current rebuild three years ago, using a 2007 Dodge Magnum as a donor for the 5.7-liter Hemi, overdrive automatic transmission, and independent rear suspension. He narrowed the rearend 9-inches and also narrowed the Plymouth’s original front A-arms and added a GM power steering rack, as well as air springs. The engine, meanwhile, was upgraded with Sullivan Performance valve covers, JBA Headers, custom exhaust, and a Hot Wire wiring harness. One-off 18×7- and 20×12-inch wheels in Continental rubber got things up and rolling.
A host of subtle body mods includes shaved handles and emblems, flipped and tucked bumpers, custom bumper filler panels, one-off hood trim, hidden front turn signals, custom taillight bezels and lenses, a flush-fit fuel door, and custom license mount and trim. Brian did the bodywork himself, and also sprayed the PPG Vintage Maroon finish.
Well-thought design continues inside, with a modified dash that incorporates Classic Instruments gauges, custom trim, Vintage Air, and a tilt column with a custom-wrapped GM wheel. Ryders Custom Upholstery stitched the modified bench seat and custom door and side panels in a combination of leather and ’57 Chevy material, with patterned metal inserts. Brian’s uncle Tom carved the pirate-themed shifter knob.
The LMC Truck Spring Lone Star Nationals was the Plymouth’s first outing and it garnered plenty of attention and accolades throughout the weekend. From there, Brian headed to Arizona for the FiTech Spring Nationals in Scottsdale, where he took his 93-year-old uncle Bob for a ride. We can only imagine the look on Bob’s face when he saw how cool his old 1950 Plymouth business coupe is now!
Photos by John Jackson & Damon Lee