Not many people customize a 1940 Plymouth business coupe, but Larry Glaze of Carthage, Mo., is used to doing unconventional things. He and his son, Mark, own Antler Art of the Plains and they create chandeliers, sculptures and furniture from deer, moose and elk antlers as well as the Osage orange tree.
Last February at the World of Wheels car show I discovered Glaze’s Plymouth covered in purple metallic paint with pearlescent ghost flames and a huge airbrushed image of a one-eyed Purple People Eater on the trunk. What was more interesting than the paint, however, was the fact that Glaze’s dad bought the car new for $666. It was originally dark gray.
Glaze, now 73, said that this was the car he drove when he was in high school from 1955 to 1959. He worked in a body shop sanding cars, and that’s when the Plymouth received its first coat of purple paint. One of his friends lettered Purple People Eater on each rear fender. The business coupe has no back seat, and the trunk is so big that Glaze said he could squeeze 12 kids into it for sneaking into the drive-in movies.
Eventually the Plymouth was retired to a barn where it sat for decades. About four years ago Glaze pulled it out and decided it was time to make it into a custom. He dropped in a Chevrolet V-6, Corvette front suspension, Firebird transmission and rear axle, wire wheels and custom power seats. Chrome is abundant, but what really sets off the car is the Mopar Plum Crazy paint and the airbrushing created by B Street Paint Works in Joplin. Even the engine is concealed by an airbrushed cover.
Glaze said that only 32,000 Plymouth coupes were made in 1940, and few have survived because they were often used as dirt track racers or whiskey runners because the trunk is 11 feet long. His is undoubtedly one of the few that has been in the same family since new. If his dad could see the car today I’m sure he would be speechless at how his plain gray business coupe has been transformed.