1958 Plymouth Belvedere


Nov 8, 2023
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Good morning everyone,

I finally bought my first Plymouth. It is a 1958 Plymouth Belvedere 4 door. I was looking for a 2 door but they are VERY hard to find and are CRAZY EXPENSIVE. The car I bought has the 4 barrel V8 and 3 speed push button automatic. The car has been in the same family since new. I bought it from an older lady who's aunt bought it originally and passed it on to her Car has very little to no rust in the floors and trunk. Does have a few small rust holes behind the left/right side bottom of the rear window and the same on the front window. The car has an older restoration on the interior but the driver seat is a little torn. Car was repainted the original blue at one time but based on the paint fading, that repaint was a long time ago.

The one thing I am confused about is the door tag lists it as an LP2L car which would make it a Plymouth Plaza....but it has the factory V8, 4 barrel carb, dual exhaust, the push button 3 speed transmission, power brakes, power steering, dual fender mirrors, the shark fins on the front fender, the factory radio, the clock in the gauge cluster, the gold V badge on the front grill, the dual angled power rear antennas, the ribbed chrome on the roof over the doors, Belvedere badges on the quarter panels and all the chrome/inserts going down each side exactly like a Belvedere/Fury. The seller said it was a Belvedere when new and based on how stock the car is I don't see that they modified anything. Could there be some goof up on the tag? It also seems to have an extra set of tail lights right next to the license plate. I'm assuming those were added a long time ago. There is also a blank spot where some option was on the dash next to the headlamp knob (see photo). The seller could not remember what went there and I've not seen this knob in any pictures.

Any help would be appreciated.


Front left of car.jpg

Right rear of the car.jpg

Dash panel.jpg


Extra rear lights.jpg
Welcome and congrats on your purchase. Neat that it has the cast iron TorqueFlite and 4bbl, too.

If you have not already done so, head over to www.mymopar.com and download a Chrysler Factory Service manual for free. If not there, too, you can find parts books and other related things at www.jholst.net. The service manual and parts book should decode the VIN as to model and such, too, which might answer your questions on those subjects.

As to the "rust holes", are they on the inside of the glass or the outside? Reason I ask is that ages ago, I was at a body shop customer's place and he had a '57 Imperial there which had been disassembled for blasting and repaint. In looking at the inner instrument panel corners, I noticed a little hole just inside of the glass seal. Looked like it also had some sort of metal grommet around the drilled hole. Another corresponding hole was hidden in the lower cowl area. Same on the back window, too.

What those holes were for was for accumulated moisture which might accumulate just behind the class to drain into a rubber hose and then to the outside of the body. If the moisture had collected there, rust would eventually form in the later years. If the rubber hoses wer not there, then the condensate would drip onto the hvac case and into the front floor (for the front drains) or into the trunk (for the rear tubes).

NOW . . . such drain items were NOT unique to Chrysler products as I saw some similar items on a restored '56 Chevy BelAir just inside of the back glass. They were there when the body was repainted as the hoses were repainted body color, too. Almost like everybody was hedging their bets that the glass rubber seals would not seep/leak by putting those drain holes and hoses into their car designs back then!

Head over to www.jholst.net and look at the parts book "exploded views" and also the VIN decode in the "Information" front section of the parts book. Learn about the car and see what
"makes it tick".

There are a lot of YouTube videos on the 1957 and 1958 Chrysler products out there. Not that many on Plymouths, though, but all of the others can relate to Plymouths as the chassis items were very similar. The ones done by Ross Roy, Inc. are some of the better ones, from what I've seen. There are also some of the older television commercials on the '57 and '58 Plymouths, too, which can be pretty glamourous in their presentation of the products.

The "extra rear lights" are interesting, especially as the back-up light is in the lower rear section of the back bumper.

Might need to chase down an Owner's Manual to check on the instrument panel items.

Looks like the factory back-up light in the bumper is missing, too.
There should not be anything to the left of the wiper and headlight switches. It looks like something may have been added like a manual choke or a hood release of some kind. Nice car but I would get rid of those goofy extra taillights. 58 taillight lenses are not rare and should be easy to get.
I don't think that valve cover to air filter hose is factory.
If the headlight switch is obstructed behind the steering wheel, the item to the left of it is a light for when the parking brake is engaged.
I believe it's a #90 bulb that is easy to access from under the dash and pulling the pin and dropping the parking brake handle.

If that is what your talking about, do not leave the parking brake engaged with the ignition on or running for too long or the bulb will melt the red lens.
Been there, done that.
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Thanks for all the comments!!

Yep, I plan on replacing the factory tail light lenses and removing the "extra" ones. I imagine these were added long ago. They are integrated into the rear brake harness very cleanly so someone did a clean job adding them. The one negative is there will be 2 holes in the back until I can get it welded up.

As for the brake fluid reservoir, it seems like they were not thinking when they put the power booster above it. It's almost impossible to get the brake fluid cap off and I'm not sure how you would even see the fluid level or add fluid.

Also, in other pictures I've seen I don't see a valve cover breather hose running into the top of the air cleaner. Is that factory?
You can remove the master cylinder cap.
You loosen the bolt, (7/16"), but you remove the cap with the bolt still in it.
To fill it I used the cap off a gear lube bottle with a section of clear tubing through it on a brake fluid bottle to fill the master cylinder, which you will be able to see the fluid level.

Putting the cap back on is done by feel to get the bolt started and will probably take a few tries but all in all this is not as tough as it looks.
There should not be anything to the left of the wiper and headlight switches. It looks like something may have been added like a manual choke or a hood release of some kind. Nice car but I would get rid of those goofy extra taillights. 58 taillight lenses are not rare and should be easy to get.

Left of the headlight switch is the factory warning light that the parking brake is engaged.
There is what resembles a door jamb light switch under the dash with one wire that is at the end of the parking brake rod.
Works just like a door jamb switch.
That looks like it was an add on accessory. I've never seen one come from the factory like that. Whoever did it looks like they could have spaced it out a little better.
I've owned quite a few 57/58 Plymouths from Savoys to Furys and have never seen a light down there for the parking brake.

It was an option.
On the Plymouths without the light there is no hole if it didn't have the option .
On the Dodge there is a bezel cover on the factory hole if it didn't have the option.
Similar to a radio delete plate where the radio knobs would protrude from the dash.
The cars I've owned all had parking brakes on them. None of them had that light there. I've owned the one I have since 1964 and it came with the parking brake which is located on the back of the cast iron torqueflite. I don't think there was a warning light anywhere.
Regardless of what you've seen, to answer the OP's question, that is not a hood release or a manual choke but it is a parking brake on warning light.
I agree with you on that. What I was saying is that it never came that way from the factory and was an add on sold by the dealers in their parts dept.