1930 Plymouth U coupe

Rusher 30U

Here's Gary & Vera Rusher's 1930 Plymouth U coupe. Paint, interior and mechanicals have all been restored with the goal of keeping it on the road and enjoying it as much as possible.

Here's the story in Gary's words:

I guess you could call this a family car. Yes, Gary's son's father -in-law, Jim Morris, bought this car, and another 30U Business coupe just like it, in 1959 when he graduated from High School. These cars were only about 4000 numbers different in serial numbers and were both bought from women in the Portland and Eagle Creek areas of Oregon.

Jim stored the cars in a family barn until 1979-80 when he took this one out and started rebuilding it. Note: I didn't say restoring it. The object was to make a correctly rebuilt driver with all the correct original parts. Jims neighbor worked at a Ford agency and he offered to repaint the car. They took the body off and (cleaned) the frame and painted the body the original Marquette Blue with Black fenders. Jim had some friend help him rebuild the engine. Gary has a bunch of the invoices from that rebuild.

Rusher and grandsonJim took his time and even personally scraped and redid the original wood wheels painting them the original cream color. At one point Jim had strung some wires around and had the car running, and even drove it around the block with a plastic gas can hanging from the top bows with a coat hanger and gravity feeding gas to the carburetor. The car didn't have any brakes but that worked out to be OK.

After Gary's son Mike married Jim's daughter Kim, Gary did get a chance to see the car, or part of it a few times. Jim only had a normal two car garage and the car was always covered with blankets and boxes. But you could see the general outline with the front light bar, and occasionally see the oval rear window.

Sorry to say but Jim contracted cancer and had slowly stopped tinkering on the car and ultimately passed away in 2002. Jim's widow, Karen, then had the cars stored in a friend's hanger at the Independence airport for a few years. But one day Don called Karen and asked if she could move the cars as he was going to purchase another airplane.

awardWhile at a dinner at Mike's house, Karen basically asked if Mike and Gary could buy the two cars and finish the one as an original car. Well, you all know how those family things work out. Yes, as of 2006 Gary had two 1930U Plymouth Business coupes.

Having got two cars Gary thought it would be breeze to complete one of them. Wrong, there were a lot of parts that were missing. The first big thing was to rewire the car. Luckily a fellow club member, Mike Bade, had a reproduction wiring harness left over from when he thought he was going to restore his 30U. See the story of Mike's car in this members cars section.

Gary had the top done and the cars upholstery done. The club Tech Committee members spent a day at Gary's house and rebuilt the brakes. Over the years Gary has found all the correct items including some that were only a one year production. These included things like the correct horn, the correct radiator cap and the correct crank hole cover. All gauges, including the speedometer have been rebuilt and are correct for the car. Gary even has a good set of the original AC G12 sparkplugs for the car. At the 2010 POC meet in Portland he got docked in points for not having the correct ones, and they said that they were impossible to find. But, Gary finally did find some good ones.

Ever since Gary got the car it has had an engine RPM sensitive vibration , but that is another story and is covered in this article in the Tech Section. But the end of that story is that the engine was totally rebuilt and is running smooth. As it turned out there was a major difference it the weight of the rods, and there was no way to balance them. That, along with some Babbitt problems led Gary to completely rebuild the engine.

The car is back on the road this summer (2019) and you can look forward to seeing it at several Cruise-Ins.