Chris Wramage is an old-school car guy.
He lives and breathes old iron and he truly believes cars belong on the road-not in trailers or museums.
He’s in the process of building a ’57 Plymouth 2-door hardtop but he needed something to to help him cope with the lack of time behind the wheel.
The solution was pretty obvious.
Chris bought a driver quality 1957 Plymouth Savoy 4-door sedan and he is definitely not afraid to hit the road in this big fin-mobile.
Plymouths were well-received in 1957 with their “Suddenly it’s 1960” Forward Look style. Virgil Exner nailed it with these cars but quality control, the economy and supplier issues really hurt the image of these ’57 Plymouths.
Chris has a survivor car in many ways because of those historical factors but that doesn’t mean he’s thrown a protective wing over the Savoy. This is a four season car in every sense of the word because Chris wants it that way. He explained, “I’m not afraid of bad weather, I’ll take it out to visit buddies no matter what it’s like”.
He’s a detail guy for sure, “I like to see everything working on it like the lights, windshield wipers and heater because they have to work. This is the real world”.
Chris doesn’t just subject the old Plymouth to bad weather and simply forget about it, “I’ll bring it in, put it on a lift and hose it down after a run in bad weather”.
The Plymouth has never let him down,“It starts every time with no choke, no problem at all. This is a 318 car and it’s been really good”.
Chris admits there have been a few adventures with the old Savoy, “I’ve had to change out the transmission a few times because it had a mind of its own. It went into whatever gear it decided whenever it wanted so I’d lose reverse or something like that but this is the third transmission and it’s pretty good but there’s a little bit of a problem with Drive”.
The key to this relationship is the retro-experience behind the wheel as Chris explained, “I run with bias-ply tires, a single master cylinder and drum brakes so it’s pretty stock”.
Chris did admit to one concession in new tech, “It’s got a rear speaker now and a CD player because there’s not a lot of AM radio these days”.
There was another surprise to this 57-year-old Plymouth, “This car is quieter and more comfortable than my 2006 Silverado on the road and it gets better mileage”.
The late, great Virgil Exner would be very proud of that lasting legacy.
Chris clearly has his eyes on the prize with his 2-door hardtop but this 4-door sedan has been the perfect antidote to the “waiting game” behind virtually every car project.
He wanted to give full credit to the guy who sold him the car,”Without Fury Jim Rawa this would never have happened. He sold me this car and the hardtop and he helped me out a lot-I had to put this in the story”.
The moral to the story is simple-buy an old ride that isn’t bound by mere changes in the weather if you really want to experience the old car hobby.