One of the elements we love about an NSRA show is there is always a varied selection of pick-ups on the showfield. One that really caught our eye this year at the NSRA Fun Run was a 1937 Plymouth PT-50 pick-up.
Plymouth was one of the top-selling American automobile brands, together with Chevrolet and Ford. But interestingly, Plymouth, a division of Chrysler that started in 1928, was better known for their coupes, sedans and muscle cars rather than pick-ups. Plymouth built pick-ups for such a short period – from 1935 to 1942 – as well as a few models in the mid-70s, and the 1937 model is one of Plymouth’s most popular pick-ups. It’s thought that only 11,000 of the PT-50 model were originally built so to see one nowadays is fairly rare.
Let us introduce you to Luke Briggs. Luke, together with his 1937 Plymouth PT-50 Pick-Up, was winner of the Trick Truck award sponsored by ClassicLine at this year’s NSRA Fun Run. After the show, we were delighted to be able to catch up with Luke and find out more about this great car.
Luke has been into hot rods since his teenage years. His passion was ignited by attending the NSRA Hot Rod Supernationals with friends at the event’s original venue, Knebworth Park.
Luke, who also owns a pro-street 1934 Ford Coupe, first acquired his 1937 Plymouth Pick-Up eight years ago as a US import from Florida. As just under 11,000 of this model were made, the truck itself is quite a rare find.
The pick-up was drivable when Luke purchased it, but it was a typical American build and needed a fair amount of work to make it useable and suitable for the British conditions. This came in the form of a full rebuild and respray!
The running gear was upgraded to a TH350 gearbox, the rear suspension to 9” on 4 bar and track locator with 15×15 rear wheels. Up the front Luke has a custom Fatman Fabrication independent front suspension with 5×15 wheels, all powered by a stock 350 Small Block Chevrolet.
We love the personal touches that Luke has added. Custom chassis and metal work, tubbed rear end, full custom tan leather interior. Luke recalled the day he took the pick-up to the trimmers. It was the trucks maiden voyage, over 120 miles on one of the hottest days of the year!
The paintwork is stunning. You have to see this car in the flesh to get the full effect of the deep BMW 668 Black paintwork.
The pick-up is immaculate so it’s no surprise that the pair have scooped up a few awards already over the past 12 months. Wins so far include a Top 10 place at the 2018 NSRA Hot Rod Supernationals, Best of Show & Participants Choice at the 2018 A602’s Autorama and 3rd place in the Best In Britain at the 2019 National Hot Rod, American and Custom Car Show. Not only did Luke win the ClassicLine sponsored Trick Truck award the recent NSRA Fun Run, but he was also a Top 5 winner – any excuse a for double celebration we think!
We did have to ask Luke what part of the build caused him the biggest headache. When the truck arrived from Florida it had aftermarket 7” sealed beam headlights, but Luke was adamant that the truck needed to have a set of original headlights with the bulging lenses. After various searches online a pair of original headlights and lenses were sourced, from the US of course. They needed a bit of work like re-silvering and re-wiring, but Luke was relieved that a set had been found. Luke tells us, “due to fitting issues and some breakages, you wouldn’t believe how these headlight lenses just pop into place! We actually ended up with three sets of lenses, all from the US as you just can’t get them in the UK, before we had them ready for the truck”. Luke has some finishing trim to fit to the headlights but daren’t take them apart to fit just yet – watch this space on that one!
Luke, together with his partner Teresa, are members of Smoke City Wheelers, a great London custom car club. The pair will be heading to this year’s NSRA Hot Rod Supernationals with their fellow Smoke City Wheelers. So, if you are going to this event, make sure you take the time to admire one of our favourite pick-ups.