Vernon Moorman has probably had more than his share of automobiles in his lifetime, but even he must agree that it sometimes takes a while for a man to find that one car he’s always had an eye for.
“I always wanted a 1948 Plymouth,” Moorman says. “When I was in high school, I absolutely just admired that ’47 and ’48 Plymouth with a split manifold — when you went down through town you could make the windows rattle!”
Moorman bought his first car at age 18, newly married in 1948 and had to “settle” for a 1937 Plymouth.
“It was all I could afford,” he recalls.
As the years went by, Moorman still carried a torch for the 1947 and ’48 Plymouths. He asked a local mechanic to keep an eye out for one and was tickled when he got the call that there was a ’48 Plymouth coming up for sale in Boone.
The year was 1979, and the owner was Elizabeth McNiel, a Boone woman who had purchased the ’48 when it was just three months off the production line.
“A salesman had bought it first, didn’t like it and turned it back in,” Moorman explains.
McNiel bought the Plymouth in August 1948 and over the next four decades would put only about 80,000 miles on it. McNiel was single, worked for a local plumbing company and drove it to work and home all those years.
Moorman was thrilled to finally find the Plymouth of his dreams. There was only one catch — he always wanted one in Marlin Blue, and this Plymouth was about 50 shades of gray.
“If she got a ding in the car she’d just go to town, buy a can of gray paint, and cover it up. There was a dark spot here, and a light spot over there,” Moorman says, recalling the patchwork of grays that covered the car.
Of course, the color was easily fixed with a new paint job of beautiful Marlin Blue. The original six cylinder flathead engine was overhauled, and the car now has about 94,000 miles on it.
As for Miss McNiel, well, when Moorman got it all fixed up, she was the first one he called to take it out for a spin.
“She was just thrilled with it,” Moorman recalls with satisfaction.Contact Darren at 953-4822 ext. 304 or firstname.lastname@example.org to recommend someone for an upcoming issue of “What’s In Your Garage?”