JULY 2024: 1955 PLYMOUTH BELVEDERE CONVERTIBLE—IT MAY HAVE A SUPERMAN CONNECTION

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Fans of the 1950s TV show Superman will recognize Lois Lane’s cars.

Lois drove Nash convertibles in the earlier years of the TV show, but in 1955 she hopped behind the wheel of a ’55 Plymouth Belvedere convertible.

She drove a two-tone blue version of the car in season four and ushered in a new automotive era for Superman’s girlfriend.

Jerry Sutherland

1955 was the first year Virgil Exner (a legendary car stylist) really had a chance to showcase his Forward Look designs. Chrysler had a ‘function over form” philosophy up to that point, but Exner changed the game so cars like this ’55 Plymouth looked nothing like the ’54 Plymouths that came in the previous model year.      

Ken Rice is the proud owner of an exact copy of the Lois Lane ’55 Plymouth. He knows it was an original California car, but he hasn’t verified it had anything to do with the Superman TV series. Ken is working on the history behind the Plymouth, and he may uncover the origins of the car, but that’s not why he bought it. He bought it because it was a great opportunity at the time.

Ken was visiting in Prince Edward Island, Canada when a buddy told him about “an old Plymouth for sale” so he borrowed a car and checked it out. Ken said, “The guy wanted 58K for the car” but that price was out of his comfort zone, so he pulled out a business card and wrote down a number.

Ken told the guy to call him before winter if he wanted to sell—the guy called him 15 minutes later and told Ken he couldn’t take the offer. The seller countered with another offer and Ken pounced on the deal—he said, “it was only 1000 bucks more”. He couldn‘t believe his luck so he pulled the trigger on the deal. 

This Belvey has a 260 cubic inch poly V-8—the first year for Chrysler’s foray into V-8s for Plymouths. Ken bought the car because he’d just lost his wife and he’d retired, so he thought, “What am I going to do with all this time?” The Plymouth was the perfect answer because it gave him something to focus on at the right time.

The Belvedere convertible was in good shape, but it did need a few things. The driveshaft had a serious vibration at higher speeds, so he replaced it with a new, balanced one and the vibration went away.

Ken said the interior “wasn’t great”, so he had an OEM replica installed. The rest of the Plymouth was rock solid, so he has the car out whenever he gets the chance. Ken likes the dimensions of the car, so it sees some daily driver time because it’s so manueverable in traffic.

The Belvedere can run easily in traffic, so Ken is comfortable at 70 miles per hour on the highway and that makes it a perfect choice for cool summer driver.

No wonder it appealed to Lois Lane.      

Jerry Sutherland

By: Jerry Sutherland

Jerry Sutherland is a veteran automotive writer with a primary focus on the collector car hobby. His work has been published in many outlets and publications, including the National Post, Calgary Herald, Edmonton Journal, Ottawa Citizen, Montreal Gazette, Saskatoon StarPhoenix, Regina Leader-Post,  Vancouver Sun and The Truth About Cars. He is also a regular contributor to Auto Roundup Publications.

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