Tyler Pullen’s Well-Decorated 1939 Plymouth Convertible
One of the most appealing attributes of Goodguys events has always been the diversity of people and cars. That’s exactly what Tyler Pullen experienced when he attended his first Goodguys event recently. Tyler and his wife, Isis, both cruised in behind the wheels of their custom creations – his 1939 Plymouth convertible P8 and her ’64 Buick Riviera.
Not knowing exactly what to expect, the Pullens were quickly swept up by all the different vehicles and styles, as well as all the positive attention their Tyler-built rides were receiving. It wasn’t long before the Goodguys staff tracked Tyler down and let him know they were considering his car for the Gazette Pick if he was able to stick around for the awards ceremony, but they were also considering another car and they were tracking down that owner as well. They said the other car was a nice Riviera parked on the opposite side of the building of where Tyler’s convertible was parked. Both Tyler and Isis had to laugh as they told the event staff that the Riviera was their car as well!
Tyler’s automotive affliction began in high school when he was handed down the ’76 Chevy pickup his grandfather bought new. He would fix that truck up, followed by a ’64 Chevy Malibu, a ’37 Chevy pickup, and a ’37 Chevy panel truck, all of them finished before graduation. The ink had not fully dried on his diploma when Tyler knew what he wanted for his future and began working in a body shop and honing his skills. In the nearly three decades he’s been at it, Tyler has finished many more personal projects and has managed to keep them all! With a garage and additional warehouse filled with 26 cars, Tyler says with a laugh, “it’s an addiction!”
The 1939 Plymouth convertible P8 rumble seat came to be part of all that when Tyler was looking for a 1930s convertible to give a traditional lowrider treatment. When certain brands of project cars exceeded Tyler’s established budget, he gave the Plymouth some thought and decided the lines were right and it was worth a try to purchase the car. Going only from pictures of the car, which at the time was located in New York and covered in snow, Tyler was confident he had his work cut out for him. But to his amazement the car turned out to be in fantastic condition with no previous body damage or filler and even more surprising it was completely devoid of rust, even in the floor and chassis! A 70-year old convertible with only a Band-Aid-sized piece of flaky metal was beyond Tyler’s greatest expectations, so he headed into the project full bore.
The chassis and suspension components on the Plymouth remain pretty much the way they left the factory, other than being cleaned and painted, along with the addition of an air spring suspension system built by Tyler. Same goes for the drivetrain, which retains the original 217c.i. factory flathead six (with a split exhaust manifold and straight pipes) and manual three-speed trans that are reliable enough for Tyler to still put plenty of miles on the road, none of them on a trailer.
This brings us to the part of the car that really makes it stand out, the paint job. Tyler was able to pull off this fantastic piece of art in just four months of his spare time after hours from bare metal to the finished product, and that’s only half of the car’s complete build time! The majority of the sheet metal is the original stuff that came with the car, with the addition of a pair of rare side-mount front fenders Tyler tracked down. Tyler tries to claim that he is not an artist because he does not draw, but the extensive pattern work on his Plymouth makes him a Picasso with a paint gun. He said he takes his time with the masking tape, preparing each panel as he goes and if something doesn’t look right when he stands back he will just pull the tape and start over until it’s exactly what he wants. The foresight required to lay out such an intricate design is amazing. “It’s therapy having the design in your head and making it a reality,” Tyler said. “You just have to make sure you haven’t had any coffee when you lay out the long lines.”
Tyler sprayed on the multiple layers of black lines and patterns over a dark gray base. With the paint complete, he added back all the restored factory trim, along with adding a few vintage accessories like the bumper guards, fog lights, luggage rack and a new set of Firestone whitewalls on the original 16-inch rims. Contrasting the subdued gray and black tones on the outside is the brighter-than-bright red vinyl upholstery inside stitched up and installed by D.J. Designs in South City, California.
Tyler and Isis look forward to attending more Goodguys events in their eye-grabbing rides in the future. Be sure to look out for Tyler’s next creation, a long and low ’47 Pontiac convertible with plenty of detail that should be a knockout, just like this Plymouth.
Photos by John Jackson