1948 Plymouth Coupe – Race Car – Bret Polley

Bret Polley Decided to build a Gasser Race car. He and his wife agreed it was a great idea and he found this 1948 Plymouth Coupe to do it to. A dirt track racer, previously, this was the perfect fit.

Se below what Bret is doing to his 1948 Plymouth Coupe and what he has already done to make this thing a Gasser. Don’t forget to scroll to the bottom to see all of the pictures!

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What type of vehicle is this?: Race Car

Make, Model, Year of Project

1948 Plymouth Coupe

What stage is this in?

Somewhere between complete and not sure if it will ever get finished

When did you purchase it and for how much?

Running driving project for 4k

Why did you choose this vehicle?

Every car I have ever bought has to be unique. Usually a one year body style.

This car is a 3 year body style.

What sort of condition was it in when you started the project, what was wrong with it, etc.

This car was a running, driving dirt track car.

What, specifically have you done, or had done to it?

I removed the old front suspension and installed straight axle suspension.

Installed front clip.

Rewired from firewall forward.

Installed proper tail lights and badging on car.

All new brake lines were installed.

Can you list any and all parts that you have put in?

350 SBC with comp Cam Thumper.

Speedway straight axle kit with Wilwood disc brakes.

Speedway Vega Steering Box.

Equus gauge cluster.

Homemade side view mirrors.

New window felts.

Numerous handmade parts and swap meet parts.

Where have you purchased your parts?

Summit Racing Equipment

Speedway Motors

Facebook Marketplace


Swap meets.

What about you?

First off this build is a bucket list thing. I have been an avid Hot Rodder for to many years to count. At 56 years old I decided I wanted to build a Rat Rod Gasser. If I didn’t do it now it would never get done. And it will never be finished I’m sure.

I got sober in 2002 and racing has been my passion ever since. Old skool racing is where it’s at.

I told my wife of 20 years at the time that I wanted to build a Gasser. She was on board immediately, and that is when the fun began.

We found this car at Dragway 42 in Ohio and thought it was the perfect candidate. There aren’t many 48 Plymouth Gasser’s out there.

This car had the perfect patina. It started as a dirt track car.

In exactly one year the transformation is amazing.

I’m a machinist by trade so the whole car building thing is new to me. I have always worked on my own car’s but never built one.

This whole build could not have been done without the help of my brother’s from other mother, Adam Schroth and Harold Ernst.

Adam’s 2 son’s Nick and Bret also added their help to this project.

Any stories regarding this project?

I bought this car in August 2018. Work began in January 2019.

This build started in my brother Adam Schroth’s garage.

The first thing we did was drop the front suspension. Setting up the front axle was a bit tricky. You see no real directions come with the kit. Adam is a mechanic but never did a straight axle and me being a machinist I never have either.

Getting clearance for steering link and drag link was not easy. Got it together somehow but it wasn’t quite right.

You see the steering link and drag link connected to the same bolt (which is the way this particular kit works). Well the bolt that connected it was to long and was creating flexing which in turn created slop in the steering.

I have now changed it to a set up with 2 sets of steering arms so that the drag link and steering link do not share the same bolt.

My ability to engineer from a machinist view point helped rectify these steering issues. Still had some slop in the steering so I felt the steering box was bad from the beginning. Contacted Speedway Motors and they replaced it without a problem even though by this point it was over a year old, although it only had about 150 miles on it.

Well being in Ohio I haven’t got to drive it with all the new parts but it feels tighter than at any point in this build.

The car is now back at my place where it is much harder to work on as I don’t have a lift here.

My brother Harold has been helping with all the electrical. The whole car is being rewired. We are making our own wiring harnesses. From the firewall forward is rewired now.

We are getting ready to pull the dash and redo everything under the dash.

Also in the next couple months we will be adding a Thumper cam to the engine. This car has made 2 passes down the 1/4 mile so far.

There are going to be plenty more stories in the future.

This car has already made some wonderful stories, now we need to get this down the track faster.

Slowly getting there. I don’t believe this car will ever be finished because race cars are never finished. But in one year for someone that has never done anything like this it is coming together fairly quickly.

I almost forgot to mention my friend Stosh Pealer for his artistic help on the lettering and numbers. You see Stosh is an old skool sign painter and pinstriper. He is probably the best in my area.

Any garages, parts stores, fabrication shops, etc you want to call out specifically?

Stosh Pealer sign painting and pin striping

Check out the pictures below, make sure to click on the picture to see the full version.

Before you go, check out these articles. Restoration and I’m going to fix it someday

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