Plymouth Cranbrook Four Door Sedan (Series P-23)

The Plymouth Cranbrook is an automobile which was built by Plymouth for the model years 1951 through 1953. It replaced the Special Deluxe when Plymouth changed its naming scheme and was essentially the same as the Plymouth Concord and Cambridge. In period TV commercials, the cars were all introduced as “the new Plymouth” then followed by the model year, and made no mention of the nameplate, which was used to describe the trim package, standard and optional features that were included. The Cranbrook model name was however featured in contemporary sales brochures.

The Plymouth Cranbrook, as a car, was conservatively styled, designed to fit K.T. Keller’s notion that cars be practical and allow drivers to sit upright while wearing a hat; it was sold at a time when competitors favored the low and sleek look. Differences between the 1950 Special Deluxe and the 1951 Plymouth Cranbrook are relatively few in number and scope, with interchangeable glass and doors, but different rubber seals; lack of woodgrain on the instrument panel; plastic brake handle instead of chrome; and other similar changes. More substantial was having what had been the hood release handle function as the overdrive control. Fender lettering and other badging necessarily changed as well. From a distance, the cars were essentially similar.

The Plymouth Cambridge and Plymouth Cranbrook models shared the P-23 Series Number in both 1951 and 1952. The six-cylinder flathead engine produced 97 HP.

For 1953, the boxy shape was changed for straighter lines, with sleeker and more modern styling. The windshield went to a modern one-piece unit; and the door handles pulled out instead of twisting. The glove box was moved to the center for easier access by the driver. The gas cap was moved to under the trunk lid, resulting in initial problems with gas spilling out of a full tank into the trunk; this problem was resolved with baffles in mid-1953.

The three-window coupe and fastback sedan were dropped for 1953; the former long and short wheelbase models were consolidated with a common wheelbase of 114 inches (2,900 mm), only one inch shorter than those of Chevrolet and Ford (although considerably less overhang than those competitors gave the Cranbrook a “shorter” look.) Power increased marginally, to 100 hp (75 kW).

Assembly: San Leandro (California, USA)

Years of production: 1951—1953

Length: 4804 mm

Width: 1864 mm

Height: 1636 mm

Engine: 6 cylinders; 3569 cc

Power: 97 HP

Max speed: 135 km/h

Fuel consumption: 16 l/100 km

Weight: 1450 kg

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