Brief history of design and construction
The initial Plymouth Belvedere was built in response to Chevrolet’s Bel Air in 1951 and gained great success despite competing in a generally low-priced American market. First year prices began at $2,114.
In the following years, Plymouth customized the Belvedere in a number of ways in order to distinguish it from the cheaper Plymouths, such as a two-tone colour scheme.
However, during the early- to mid-1950s, Plymouth still struggled to compete with Chevrolet and Ford. During 1951 and 1952, Plymouth totalled 51,266 units, which accounted for just a quarter of both Chevrolet’s and Ford’s production in the same period. In 1953 a total of 35,185 Belvederes were sold.
In the 1960s, Plymouth produced a succession of hit and miss models, including the “downsized” 1962 model and the popular “slant back” model in 1964. The most successful Belvedere of the late 1960s, however, was the Plymouth GTX and was introduced as the top of the line Belvedere in 1967.
In 1970, the Belvedere name was dropped by Chrysler and was replaced by the Plymouth Satellite series.
Due to America’s fascination with the "muscle cars" of the mid-twentieth century, owning a Plymouth Belvedere signifies an outstanding opportunity for a collector to own a piece of American automobile history. The series spanned several iterations and styling changes in its nearly twenty year history and has become one of the iconic big American cars of the mid-twentieth century.
A wide range of Plymouth Belvederes can be found at various online car dealerships and at some top end auctioneers, such as MK Motors Charlotte, Bonhams and Christie’s. Invariably, models sold at car dealerships are fully restored to their original condition and can cost up to $50,000. Belvederes sold at auctions tend to vary significantly in condition.
Parts for Plymouth Belvederes can be found at online stores, such as Classiccarpartsgiant.com and Plymouthcentral.com.
Rarity and value
Plymouth frequently produced rare and unique versions of many of its models. Most predominant are the variations of its GTX model. Only 881 left-hand drive GTX 440’s were sold and they occasionally feature at both car dealerships and auctions, such as Carandclassic.com and Sunsetclassics.com. Restoration, although time exhaustive and may cost up to $25,000, is recommended by Plymouth enthusiasts and experts.
Extremely rare Plymouth models can fetch incredible prices. A 1967 Plymouth GTX Hemi convertible was sold at RK Motors Charlotte for $219,900 in 1997. The early Plymouth HEMI models are especially desirable for collectors as they were the first cars to be equipped with HEMI engines and were produced in relatively low numbers. There were only seven ever produced and this particular model had been immaculately restored to its original condition.
In September 2009, at Bonhams, Los Angeles, an unrestored 1954 Plymouth Belvedere realised a price for $4,680.
In June 2008, a restored 1954 Plymouth Belvedere Convertible realised a price of $64,350 when it sold through Bonhams, Greenwich, California.
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