Over the last couple of years I've been pleasantly surprised with the growing number of early Plymouths I've seen popping up at events across the country. This past season while wandering the grounds at the Ohio Expo Center and the Goodguys Nationals, I spied what I thought was a nice mid-'40s Plymouth resto off in the distance. As I approached I noticed that the car sat a bit lower than stock and sported meatier rubber than I would have expected of a stock vehicle of that era. When I finally got right up to it, its large diameter dual exhaust and digital dash cluster erased all thought of it being a stock resto-I surmised at that point that it was more than likely powered by an SBC crate engine like many updated cruisers are these days. Unfortunately, the owner was nowhere to be seen, but the car was so nice that I vowed I'd keep swinging by during the day to see if I could catch someone at the car. Well, on about my third swing back I finally got to meet Jim and Nancy Sievenpiper and get the lowdown on this wolf in sheep's clothing.
When Jim popped the hood there sat a more than healthy 354-cube Hemi, quite a pleasant surprise to say the least. After getting a closer look I knew this was one I had to share, but I'd unfortunately booked all my remaining feature shoot time-that's where pal Eric Geisert pulled my fat out of the fire by offering his time and talent to shoot these images for me. So, at this point I'll cut my babbling short so you can take a look at this cool resto-rod-I'm sure you'll love it as much as I do.
Oh, as an aside, it turns out that Jim and his brother Don had been rodders and racers since the 1950s, having owned and operated S&M Speed Shop in Alden, New York, in the '60s and '70s. The duo manufactured tube dragster chassis and campaigned a number of front-engine AA/FDs, AA/A, and B/Altereds as well. As time passed, Jim's love for hot rods never waned and he managed to stay active in the hobby to this day. The '46 is just the latest in a long line of racers and hot rods he's built over the years, and a fine example of what can happen when you end up with a spare Hemi sittin' around the shop.
Facts & FiguresJim & Nancy SievenpiperAlden, New York1946 Plymouth coupe