1941 Plymouth P11 Staff Car


In 1941, Plymouth started receiving orders for staff cars from the U. S. Army and Navy. Early vehicles were painted olive drab for the Army application and left in the civilian paint scheme for the Navy application. The modifications to the P11 sedan range from just an olive drab paint job to military lighting, sirens and oil filters. The Navy modified the P11 sedan the least of the major services. It was not uncommon to see an admiral stepping out of a P11 staff car with a civilian paint job and shiny chrome bumpers.


The 1941 Plymouth P11 was equipped with a 6 cylinder, 201.3 cubic inch L-head 6 cylinder engine. The engine was similar to the engine on the WC51 weapons carrier which was 230.2 cubic inches in displacement. The engine developed 87 horsepower at 3800 RPM. The transmission was 3 speed with typical low gear ratios, which required a steady clutch engagement to avoid "bucking." The body style was 4 door, a typical requirement of the military. The rear door hinges were set behind the rear occupants with the door locks forward. This door was referred to as "subside" doors where, if opened slightly while the vehicle was in motion, would swing toward the rear, surely pulling the occupant out of the vehicle. Suspension was conventional with cylindrical shock absorbers, a much better arrangement that the "door opener" dash-pot shock absorbers found on many vehicles. Tire size was 600-16.


The P11 was used widely by the Army from transporting VIP's to many other tasks such as courier service, military police, and general behind the lines transportation. The P11 was used in the European and South Pacific theatres. The Navy primarily used the P11 for transportation of flag officers at the various naval bases.
                        ADDITIONAL TECHNICAL DATA

                       Length............16 ft. 4 in.
                       Width..............5 ft. 10 in.
                       Height.............5 ft. 10 in.
                       Ground Clearance.........8 in.

Copyright 1999 Charles C. Roberts, Jr