Whenever I hear about a classic car that spent 50+ years in storage, I usually picture a rust bucket that’s not worth saving. But that’s not always the case. This 1933 Dodge coupe proves long-term storage doesn’t become an issue when done correctly.
A whopping 90 years old as of 2023, this Dodge spent more than half of its life in a barn. That’s because it was parked in 1965, meaning it sat for 58 years. It’s unclear why the owner retired it, but the coupe ended up in a decent building, so it emerged back into the light as a relatively rust-free survivor.
A one-family classic with documented history and amazingly original, the Dodge was rescued by YouTube’s “Classic Car Rescue.” Our host also gave the car its first wash in 58 years to unveil an amazingly solid body with no noticeable damage beyond some surface rust. Sure, the black paint has faded away, and the chrome needs polishing to come back to life, but this pre-WW2 coupe is in outstanding condition by barn find standards.
It’s also very complete, still sporting all the chrome elements, the front fender-mounted horns, and the ram statue atop the radiator grille. It also includes the historical Dodge Brothers emblem with the six-pointed star. It’s probably why our host calls it a Dodge Brothers car, but it’s, in fact, just a Dodge since the company had already been sold before this model was released.
Following the death of John and Horace Dodge in 1920, the carmaker was sold by their widows to the investment group Dillon, Read & Co. in 1925. Three years later, Dodge was sold to the then-new Chrysler Corporation in a stock transfer. So why does this coupe, built some five years into Chrysler ownership, still has a Dodge Brothers-era emblem? Well, the explanation is quite simple: Chrysler kept the badge on Dodge vehicles until 1938. However, they removed the “Brother” lettering in 1930.
Much like the exterior, the interior is amazingly complete for a car this old. The seat is in poor condition due to a bunch of raccoons that lived inside, but everything else is solid and will come back to life with a restoration. The five-window coupe also has a few dealer options, including a Motorola radio, rear-view mirror clock, and a cigarette lighter. The odometer shows 51,000 miles, but it’s unclear whether that’s the actual mileage or not.
There’s good news under the hood as well, where this Dodge hides a factory-original flat-head inline-six engine. The mill doesn’t run, but it appears to be complete and highly original. The mill in question is a 201-cubic-inch (3.3-liter) lump that was rated 75 horsepower and 136 pound-feet (185 Nm) of torque when new.
If you’re unfamiliar with 1930s Dodge cars, this five-window coupe is a Six model. Also known as the DP series, it was built in 103,055 examples in 1933. Not exactly rare based on this figure, but most of these cars are no longer around. And the fact that this coupe is in such excellent condition makes it even more special. It’s the kind of time capsule that deserves a complete restoration.