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How Can A 1938 Plymouth Change To A 1937 And Back Again!

10/17/2019
Tad Burness
High Sierra was an exciting 1941 film classic, starring Humphrey Bogart and Ida Lupino. In the movie, Bogart portrays Roy "Mad Dog" Earle, a career criminal who plans a daring robbery of a posh resort in southeastern California. Roy Earle is not "all bad," as he helps a young girl pay for surgery that heals her clubfoot.
 
In the film, High Sierra, Bogart's car is a 1938 Plymouth coupe (as illustrated), but in many scenes, it suddenly becomes a 1937 Plymouth! There are noticeable differences between the 1937 and 1938 that many people would have recognized back in 1941, when these cars were seen everywhere. The grille on the 1937 (illustrated at left) extends all the way down to the bumper. Not so with the 1938 grille, shown at right and on the car at the top of the illustration. The 1937 had a windshield that swung open in warm weather, while the 1938 had a slightly higher, stationary windshield.
 
 
Inside, the dashboards of the two cars differed greatly, as in this illustration. The standard "Roadking" dash is shown here. On the deluxe dash, there were decorative horizontal chrome strips.
 
Since High Sierra is truly a great picture, I recommend that you watch for it on television, or better yet, rent or buy it on video. If you watch the film carefully, you'll see Bogart's car change from one year to the other, back and forth, even in some of the wild chase scenes.
 
The only Bogart movie I like even better than this, or the famous Casablanca, is Dark Passage (1947), which is set in San Francisco. Bogart's wife, Lauren Bacall, is his co-star in this one, where she hides Bogart (on the run from a prison sentence for which he was falsely convicted) in her luxurious split-level apartment. Two interesting cars in this movie are: a rare 1930 Ford Model A two-door Phaeton, and a 1946 Chevrolet taxi. Why not see both of these classic films and enjoy!
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