- The Washington Times - Friday, October 13, 2000

The low-priced three, Chevrolet, Ford and Plymouth sold 749,481 cars in 1932.
Chevrolet had abandoned its four-cylinder engine in favor of a six-cylinder in 1929, and in 1932 Ford introduced the revolutionary V-8 to replace the four-cylinder engine. Plymouth wouldn't have a six-cylinder engine until 1933.
Sales reflected the development of the engines. In 1932 Chevrolet sold 313,395, Ford sold 256,080 and Plymouth sold 180,006.
Although there was nothing wrong with Plymouth's 196-cubic-inch, 65-horsepower, four-cylinder engine, it was just that Chevrolet had a six and Ford had an eight.
The next year Plymouth would have a six-cylinder engine, but in the meantime it would have to offer more content in the rest of the car to compete.
Chevrolets for 1932 rode on a 109-inch wheelbase while Fords had to contend with a 106.5-inch wheelbase. Plymouth, however, was built on a luxurious 112-inch wheelbase.
One of the more popular 1932 Plymouth models was the PB four-door sedan, a 2,875-pound car that carried a base price of $635. A total of 38,066 such models were manufactured and one of them was purchased by a farmer in Southern Maryland.
After the newness wore off, the car became the mode of transportation around the farm. Eventually it was sold to a father/son team who over seven years restored the handsome black-over-maroon car with black fenders.
The third owner, Ed F. Ianuzi, bought the Plymouth April 20, 1998.
Mr. Ianuzi, on a Maryland outing with his wife, DeAnne, stopped on Route 4 north of Solomon Island for some crab cakes. There they saw that an antique-car show was underway across the street.
Upon entering the show they both were captivated by a freshly restored 1932 Plymouth four-door sedan with a "for sale" sign in the window.
Mr. Ianuzi inquired of the owner and was told two others also were interested he'd have to wait his turn.
He and his wife found a nearby refreshment tent from which to keep an eye on the Plymouth.
Prospective buyers one and two each took test drives, but couldn't agree with the seller on a price.
Mr. and Mrs. Ianuzi were just a few blocks into their test drive with the seller in the back seat.
At a traffic light Mr. Ianuzi made an offer, the seller accepted and Mrs. Ianuzi handed him the check she had already completed.
The elated Ianuzis returned to their Herndon home.
The following Monday the Plymouth was delivered on the back of a truck.
With great care the Plymouth was rolled off the truck on its four 5.25x18-inch, four-ply Allstate Safety Tread tires with a fifth one gracing the rear of the car.
Mr. Ianuzi entered the cozy cabin, turned the ignition key with his left hand, stepped on the starter with his right foot and the Plymouth began to purr rhythmically.
At the top of the wood-grained dashboard in the center is the freewheeling control. To the left is the choke and to the right is the throttle.
Below those three knobs is a chrome-plated instrument cluster with a cylindrical speedometer in the center, oil pressure and water temperature gauges to the left and ammeter and gas gauge to the right.
At the hub of the three-spoke steering wheel is the horn button. Below that button is a lever that operates the headlights. Push it to the left for parking lights and to the right for headlights. In the center position the lights are off.
The driver's vision through the 9-inch high, one-piece windshield is kept clear with the aid of an overhead vacuum wiper. The passenger doesn't need to see where he's going unless the owner paid for the optional right wiper. The wiper hung down from the top to accommodate the ability of the windshield to be pushed open at the bottom for greater ventilation.
Designers of the 1932 Plymouth went to great lengths to visually enlarge the car. One of their ploys was to extend the engine hood past the fire wall up to the windshield, thus eliminating a vertical line that would visually shorten the car. This created a problem in this pre-air-conditioned era what to do about the cowl ventilator since the cowl was effectively eliminated.
The solution was to cut a pair of rectangles at the rear of the lengthened hood and have the two cowl vents protrude through the hood.
A longer hood also allowed a longer run of louvers down each side of the hood, three dozen on each side, to be exact.
The designers outdid themselves in the rear passenger compartment. Imagine, a low-priced car offering a floor-mounted foot rail in addition to contoured armrests and, above them, recessed thumbscrew cranks to operate the quarter-panel windows.
The front-seat passenger had access to a pocket in the right front door.
Mr. Ianuzi found some weak parts at the rear of the car that he promptly cut out and replaced with healthy metal. He then had the hind quarters of the car repainted. All parts of the black top, maroon body, black fenders, ivory 40-spoke wheels and pinstriping match perfectly.
Mr. Ianuzi has gone so far as cleaning, painting and polishing the exposed parts of the undercarriage. Even the nuts and bolts holding the car together are polished. The small hubcaps were slightly less than perfect, so Mr. Ianuzi located a perfect set.
From the 25 slanted vanes of the grille between the two 9-inch headlights to the single combination tail- and brake light on the left rear fender Mr. Ianuzi takes care of his Plymouth.
The chassis has 32 grease fittings, Mr. Ianuzi reports, and he has a hand-operated grease gun to fit them.
The Plymouth, when new 68 years ago, was capable of a 0-to-40 speed in 9.7 seconds with a top speed of 70 mph.
However, Mr. Ianuzi, a construction manager for Twin Contracting Corp. of Alexandria, said, "I don't drive this car to work."

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