1948 CHRYSLER NEW YORKER TOWN AND COUNTRY CONVERTIBLE
Chassis No. 7406622
Catalina tan with dark red leather and cloth interior
Engine: in-line, L-head, straight eight, 323.5ci, 135bhp at 3,400rpm; Gearbox: fluid-drive semi-automatic; Suspension: front, independent, rear, semi-elliptic leaf springs; Brakes: four wheel drum. Left hand drive.
In the pre-war era, there was a great love in America for quality products made of wood; the finest boats were wood hulled and the best homes were often known for their ornate woodwork. So it is not unusual that Detroit eventually offered cars with exposed wood-sided coachwork.
The Chrysler Town and Country was introduced in 1948 and the salesroom catalogue stated that it had the grace and elegance of a yacht. The wood that was selected was white ash, and Chrysler was so quality conscious that supposedly only one out of every five truck loads were good enough to use. The Town and Country name evolved when someone noted that the front half of the car looked town and the rear looked country. The largely hand built bodies rode on the New Yorker's chassis powered by the straight eight Spitfire engine. At $3,970 the Town and Country was far more expensive than a Cadillac.
This attractive example has been in the same ownership for around thirty years. The current owner purchased the car from a retired minister in Iowa. In January 1998 this Woody completed a highly comprehensive restoration to original specifications. During the restoration it was decided that new wood (mahogany inserts and ash rails) should be fitted and this work was undertaken by the renowned specialists Dennis and Kathy Bickford who own the internationally reputed Vintage Woodworks in Iola, Wisconsin. Their workmanship is highly regarded in the field of Chrysler Woodys and they are one of the few firms recommended for such work in Timber Tails. This same company also re-upholstered the car with red leather and fitted a new tan (the original being black) top. The engine was stripped down and rebuilt, a new fuel and water pump were fitted along with a new wiring harness. The braking system was also renewed. Naturally the car was stripped to bare metal and was found to be in good condition with no evidence of prior damage. It was fully repainted inside and out. While the owner cannot guarantee the mileage, the odometer registers around 70,000 miles from new. The only items which are said not to be currently working are the clock and fuel gauge. Since restoration around 1,000 miles have been traveled, mainly to local shows and parades where it has been well received and garnered a best of show award. Unfortunately, ill health no longer permits the owner to enjoy using the car. The 1948 Town and Country is one of the most desirable models, with only a few convertibles built that year, and this handsome example warrants close attention.