THE CAR AND ITS OWNER
1960 Plymouth Savoy four-door sedan owned by Ben Deutschman
WHAT MAKES IT INTERESTING
With so many veteran collectors focused on more expensive vintage convertibles and coupes, beginners can enter the hobby by focusing on well-preserved, older family sedans, such as Deutschman's gold-and-white Savoy. The Savoy was the entry-level Plymouth for 1960, with Deutschman's car bearing a list price of $2,675, including options. Since these sedans were practical family cars, many of them went to the crusher after their useful days were over.
While about 51,000 were built, Deutschman estimates there are only 87 left. His ride features the venerable (and virtually indestructible) 225-cubic-inch "Slant Six" engine with a push-button "TorqueFlite" automatic transmission, power steering and brakes, and factory clock. It also sports a rare musical accessory: Plymouth's "Highway Hi-Fi" radio and accompanying RCA 45 RPM record player.
HOW LONG HE'S OWNED IT
WHERE HE FOUND IT
The car was bought new by Deutschman's father at a Metuchen, NJ dealer. "Since the purchase of the '60 came not long after having moved into a new home," he says, "my father wasn't exactly flush with cash. The car had to be reasonable in cost to purchase and operate, thus a six-cylinder Savoy model because the vehicle of choice."
Deutschman gradually brought the exhausted Plymouth back to life after he became its owner. After a failed rebuild of the original motor and the purchase of an unsuitable replacement, he finally found another engine and the Savoy was up and running under new power by 1975. "Though it took a few years, some dented fenders and lots of hard-earned money," he says, "I did finally wise up, treating my aging Plymouth more carefully. I also started attending car shows, as well as joining a couple of car clubs." He undertook body restorations in 1978 and 1989 and had the interior redone in 1985. The rare, factory-correct radio/record player was installed in 1991 after another collector offered it to him for $200 at a car show.
The NADA Guides places a "high retail" value of $5,873 on a 1960 Savoy sedan without options
"Though it has now been 37 years since I first got started on the restoration of my Plymouth," Deutschman says, "and I have had more than my share of ups and downs with this project, I can say it has been worth it. Not only has my Plymouth served as the wedding limo for my wife and me. It has also survived long enough to serve as transport home from the hospital for my son. Much like the mythical phoenix, my Plymouth rose from the ashes to live again, to serve three generations of our family and become a rolling piece of automotive history in the process."