1 Of 724: 1954 Chrysler New Yorker Deluxe Convertible

Chrysler sold nearly 100,000 cars for 1954 and the New Yorker Deluxe convertible was a small portion of that at 724 units. The New Yorker Deluxe was the top-of-the-line car at Chrysler in 1954 as the Imperial was another model year away. The seller found this one in a storage building where it’s lived for the past 45 years. We don’t see many images of the car, but it appears to have held its own. Santa Rosa, California is where the car is located and offered here on craigslist for $23,500. Thanks, Ikey Heyman, for your super-sleuth skills once again!

In 1954, the competition in the premium car segment was busy, with Chrysler facing continuing competition from Lincoln, Mercury, Cadillac, and Buick. The Chryslers were largely carryovers from the year before, but they would be all-new for 1955. They would be powered by the 331 cubic inch FirePower Hemi V-8. For 1954, the New Yorker’s would be upgraded with a 4-barrel carburetor and dual exhaust, which increased horsepower from 180 to 235. Adding more power to New Yorker helped Chrysler sell 25% more of them than in ‘53, yet ‘54 was a recession year.

It’s always great to find a car with a story, and this 1954 New Yorker Deluxe convertible has one, but its mostly about registration lineage. The car’s history seems to be all in California, beginning with registration in Hollywood in 1957. It must have changed hands and was in Forestville in 1959. In 1961, the car obtains the Black California plates that it still wears today. In 1975, the most recent owner titled the car and it’s lived at the same address since them, presumably under wraps for all these years.

The seller tells us the odometer reflects 51,000 miles and believes the number could be accurate, although it not documented. It retains its factory engine, but there’s no indication if it runs. We’re told its rust-free and the photos seem to support it. The Tahitian Tan paint job looks original and has its flaws, which adds to the appeal as they’re only original once. There appears to be some chrome trim missing that we hope is still in the garage.

Hagerty suggests a top-line example of one of these cars tops out at $30,000, but that’s for a standard hardtop rather than a Deluxe convertible with the more powerful motor. So, this 1954 ragtop should be worth extra bucks, but it’s going to need anything from a new paint job to a full restoration. The seller’s asking price doesn’t leave a lot of room before the buyer would be upside down on the restoration. Thanks to Wild About Cars Online for everything you wanted to know about the 1954 Chrysler but were afraid to ask!

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  1. Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

    I have the Marx “Take-A-Part” toy of this car, pretty big scale with tool kit to use in taking its wheels off, engine out, etc etc. Never seen a real one until now.

    Like 12
    • Will Fox

      Ideal did a take-apart model of the `54 Olds Starfire 98 cvt. too.

      Like 4
      • Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

        I was mistaken, I think my toy Chrysler is and Ideal Toy. They also did a 54 Cadillac, Jag 120, Corvette and tow truck in the take-a-part series. The Starfire made its way into a model kit later with limited added detail. It’s been on my bucket list for 40 years! Since I wouldn’t build it now, I refuse to drop several hundred dollars for the privilege of looking at a mint box on the shelf.

  2. DON

    You wont get much more info / history out of the seller, hes obviously a flipper as he states he bought it a few weeks ago. It could be beautiful if restored, but its not the most popular body style and the color isn’t the best so it could be a hard car to sell. I think he asking an awful lot for a car he knows noting about.

    Like 14
    • Will Fox

      Flippers operate by the old stock adage:
      “Buy low, sell high”. `54 is a so-so year for MoPar collectors, as most prefer the post`55 generation of cars. This was the last year of the K.T. Keller cars–frumpy and tall enough roof to wear a fadora in.

      Like 8
  3. Will Fox

    Russ, I have one correction for you as to where the New Yorker stood in Chrysler’s lineup in `54. There WAS an Imperial that year, making it Chrysler’s most expensive offering. However no convertible Imperial model. I think you were referring to the Imperial in `55 becoming it’s own make?

    Like 4
    • Pete Phillips

      Will Fox is correct. I have a 1954 Imperial 2-dr. hardtop, but there were no Imperial convertibles that year.

  4. Maestro1 Member

    I think the price is too high, I remember these cars when they were new, and I think the hubcaps are not correct. I could be wrong. There’s too much
    unknown about the car, and apparently the Seller is not interested in finding out what works and what doesn’t. I’m looking for more room otherwise I might be interested, but not now.

    Like 7
    • Will Fox

      The hubcap I see on the LF wheel IS correct; those with the star in the center were on New Yorker Deluxe models.

      Like 3
  5. Jake

    Like Richard Rawlings. $$$$$$$$$

  6. George

    Seeing that first picture, it kind of reminds me of when Wm. Holden hides his Plymouth in an open garage on Sunset Blvd. to escape the repo man. (movie Sunset Blvd.)

    Like 1
  7. Eric_13cars Eric_13cars Member

    In the fall of 2013 a guy from down east in NC showed up in a 54 Windsor convertible in this same color at the Carolina Collector Classics car show (Fair grounds, Dorton Arena in Raleigh). He wasn’t selling it but it was a reasonable driver with no visible rust (I’d say it was a 3+ grade car). I was all over it because Pop bought a 54 Windsor 4 door (2 tone, sky blue bottom, black top) in December of 53 and put about 230,000 miles on it.

    The instance car is at best a 4 and likely worth between $10-$13,000 as it is. This flipper is at least $10K too high. Pity the poor sucker who pays that price for a not very desirable, albeit rare, car. I’d love to have it at a decent price, but I’m on the wrong coast.

    Like 5
  8. Mountainwoodie

    Props to the seller for detailing the provenance of the car in a Craigslist ad.

    But come on. 24 Big Ones for the frumpiest of Chrysler’s, perhaps ever built?

    I can see a Mamie Eisenhower like woman driving this down Hollywood Blvd in 1954 on her way to the hairdresser. Her hsband, Max is a furrier, He thought this year he’sd go all in and buy his wife, Eloise, a racy convertible.

    He failed.

    If ever a car embodied the staid sensible center, this is it. Nice restoration project at a much lower buy in.

    Like 3
  9. Rod Dean

    I am a car nut and live here in Santa Rosa. How, when, and where could I see your car and just maybe talk about a possible sale?

  10. Hc

    The price is way too high for a non running car. If hes a flipper he needs ro at least get it running and stopping again. Money pit

    Like 2
  11. WGH

    Nice Chrysler with a lot of potential, but not worth $23,5K! $5K big money for this ride. Would be a minimum of $25K for a full restoration if the owner did some of the work himself. Paint alone at the present time is $8-$10…

  12. Angel Cadillac Diva

    Have you guys ever considered that these people price their cars extremely high so that there is “haggling room” and the seller gets the price he really wants and the buyer feels like he got a deal?

    Like 1
  13. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    It’s a Flipper – they usually always don’t know the market.

    Like 2
  14. Jetfire88

    The perfect deal is when the Buyer and Seller each believe they screwed the other one!

    Like 1
  15. Johnny

    Way over priced. The wheel cover look like AFTER MARKET—not like any 54 Chrysler wheel cover with star in the center. I like the car,but no history and no details about the car, Even no pictures of the engine bay back seat or dash. A flipper trying to make alot and not putting any effort or spend any money on it. He MIGHT have given $400-$500 for it.

  16. glenn

    Yes the star wheel cover is correct for this 54 convertible! My friend had a 54 New Yorker Deluxe hard top with these same wheel covers!

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