13k Mile Barn Find: 1960 Chrysler New Yorker

The “Forward Look” Chryslers of the late 1950s were followed up by the unibody Chryslers of the 1960s. They still had their tailfins (for a while) and still looked different than what most of Detroit was making, but they now had unit-body construction where the body and frame were as one. The process is said to make for a quieter car and a smoother ride. This top-of-the-line 1960 Chrysler, a New Yorker, was pulled out of a barn by the seller and may only have 13,800 original miles on the odometer. While it looks good at a glance, there is rust in several places to have to deal with. But it will run off a can of gas.  This winged wonder is located in West Bloomfield, Michigan, and available here on eBay where the no reserve auction has reached $5,200.

Next to the Imperial, the New Yorker was the snazziest car you could buy from Chrysler. Built from 1940-96, the New Yorker was the longest-running nameplate on an American car. The New Yorker was intended to help Chrysler define its brand as a maker of upscale models but sandwiched between Ford and Chevy and below Cadillac and Lincoln. Its usual competition was upper-level models from Buick, Oldsmobile, and Mercury. All full-size Chrysler products were treated to unibody construction beginning in 1960, which was accompanied by an increased use of rustproofing materials (the latter in response to criticisms of rust problems).

In the 1960s, unit-bodied construction was the latest in technology for auto manufacturing and assembly. The production process featured minimum weight with maximum strength, all packaged with the body and frame as a single, solid unit. This was a departure from when Chrysler connected separate body and frame units together. However, the downside to this production efficiency is that a unibody is harder to repair when it rusts. The body-on-frame can often just have the rusted part replaced while everything else is fine.

The seller of this 1960 New Yorker has gone to a lot of trouble explaining his offering, which is much appreciated over the limited effort others often take. As the story goes, he bought it off the estate of the original family. It was squirreled away in a barn in the mid-1970s with 13,800 miles on it (he believes this is the original mileage, but that’s not documented) and stayed there for 45 or so years. He pulled it out, trailered it home, cleaned it up and decided he had too many other projects to devote the proper time to this car, and then listed it for sale.

This pinnacle of Chrysler engineering looks good from a distance, but when you get up close you start to see the rust. Hence lies the reason for mentioning rust and unibody construction earlier because of the problems that can sometimes be hiding. The lower rear quarter panels and front fenders have some corrosion and the rocker panels have some surface rust under the trim. The rest of the seller’s inspection is said to reveal a basically solid car with doors that “shut like bank vaults.” The use of undercoating from the start may or may not have helped most of the undercarriage to be crusty in appearance.

The interior is in overall good condition, except for a place that has been patched on the driver’s side swivel front seat (how cool is that!). The padded dash and space-age instrument cluster look good, although the clear parts of the steering wheel are now yellow. The seller says the headliner, visors, and carpeting are all intact, although I’m sure not about the floor coverings.

The car will run, but only briefly on a gravity-feed tank. The seller did a full tune-up on the car along with a new battery and the 413 cubic inch, 350 hp Golden Lion Wedge V-8 fired right up. He believes the brakes are of dubious condition, so he did not try to move the car under its own power. This means the status of the push-button TorqueFllite automatic is unknown. As you would expect of a New Yorker, this car is dressed to the hilt, even having factory air conditioning (whose condition is also unknown).

We’re told the seller regrets having to let the car go, but limited space and other projects have won out. He believes that a restoration would be simple, but I don’t think that any restoration is simple. It probably boils down to how much of an issue the rust is that has materialized. Chrysler built nearly 73,000 cars in 1960, with nearly half being the New Yorker and Saratoga (can’t find a breakout between the two). So, this car was in plentiful quantities when new, but the survival rate probably only leaves a fraction left. Hagerty says a top-drawer ’60 New Yorker could be a $50,000 car, while one in fair condition is $17,700. What would you give for this finned wonder?

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Comments

  1. Rex Kahrs Member

    I would absolutely need to personally inspect the car on a lift, and I suspect I wouldn’t like what I saw. Oftentimes the undercoating opens up and traps water, making a car rust worse than if it weren’t treated at all.

    Like 8
    • Skorzeny

      I hear ya Rex, and if that did trap any moisture, maybe it would just need floors and a trunk pan. No clue what metal availability on this one is. It looks to be a good deal for someone with those skills. Its a nice looking ride, and that interior screams Rat Pack!

      Like 2
  2. 370zpp 370zpp Member

    The back seat looks as though it has never been used.
    Beautiful New Yorker.

    Like 5
  3. Slantasaurus

    Who’s kidding who here, this car has 113K miles.

    Like 11
    • ADM

      Got that right. No car is going to rust like that, in 13K miles. The engine bay also looks like it’s seen some miles.

      Like 5
  4. Henry

    nasty seats

    Like 1
  5. tiger66

    1960 New Yorker 4-dr sedan production: 9,079. It was the most popular NYer body style.

    Like 2
  6. Keith

    A little too crusty…..I’ll pass.

  7. Howard A Member

    13 “thousand” miles, I believe the seller is implying,,,um, excuse me, but a judge at a pie eating contest could tell it’s a lot more. It’s clear, the seller doesn’t know what 13K miles looks like. It’s a cool find, I saw’r someone cut the front end off one and make a fireplace surround out of it. For any appeal, they have to be nicer than this for today’s mechanically inept to enjoy something like this, and I fear there will be a glut of these kinds of cars that nobody wants. I’d worry about any unibody car that looked like this underneath.

    Like 6
  8. Joe Sewell

    Love these cars but I’ll have to go along with the 113k mile observations made previously.

    Like 1
  9. Phil Maniatty

    My dad had a ’60 Windsor 2-door hardtop. It had the greatest looking instrument panel I have ever seen.

    Like 3
  10. Steve Clinton

    Beautiful car…if you squint and don’t look too closely!

  11. Thos

    My Dad had an identical New Yorker. Rust was a major problem and they couldn’t get the leaks (rain) stopped. Floors were constantly wet. Ran good and burned LOTS of fuel.

    Like 3
  12. TouringFordor

    Get it running and drive it until parts start falling off.

    Like 3
  13. Frank R

    Got to really love this one. I love that body style. I had chrysler 300h 1962. 413 2x 4s. What a car. As a kid you just dont know what you have untill too late. That car definitly over 100.000 miles. Id offer 4000.

    Like 1
  14. Terry

    Those cars had one of the nicest instrument clusters ever made, the “space globe” dash. And the AM radio (“Golden Tone”by RCA) sounded fabulous too.

    Like 2
    • Frank R

      God i loved mine. Looked like a spaceship dash

      Like 1
    • dr fine

      Electroluminescent painted numbers glowed green under projected light. The glass globe enclosure was the icing on the cake.

      • Bill McCoskey

        When I was in High School, studying Electrical Engineering & Electronics, My dad took me to an IEEE National meeting where he introduced me to a guy who was an electronics engineer for Chrysler. [I wish I could remember the engineer’s name.] When he found out I had a 1961 Newport hardtop that I was fixing up as my younger brother’s first car, he became very animated, as he headed up the team involved in the electroluminescent gauges for that dash.

        For those readers here who are not familiar with these dash gauges, the moving analog needles [pointer arms that move in an arc across the gauge face, indicating the level of whatever is being measured] were designed to glow when power was applied to the needle.

        Basically, he said his team was working on a problem where they needed to get electrical power to the gauge needles [pointers] so they would glow when the power was applied.

        There were multiple problems to solve. The first one was that when passing electricity thru a metal object, you create a magnetic action. This caused the needles to be inaccurate. The second problem was that if they passed current thru the needle, the electrical current ran thru the needle pivot gimble, a type of “needle point” bearing. Electrical current would set up a corrosive action at that point. Third, they had to create a special copper wire to carry the current onto the needle, thin enough that it could bend with the needle’s motion, but not break under the stresses of repeated use in a vehicle.

        He said that the first 2 problems were solved, but due to the metallurgical knowledge of the time, they never really got the wire strength needed, and that is why about 15 years later, they were still replacing those gauges for free, if the car was still in the hands of the original owner.

        Like 1
  15. Terry

    A word about low miles claims. When the car came out of the factory , the numbers on the odometer lined up perfectly. They will stay that way until the mileage has exceeded 99,999 miles. If someone claims the car has under 100k miles, you’ll know they’re lying if the odometer readout is cockeyed. The counter was either turned back or rolled over at least once.

    Like 5
    • FRANK R

      Right about that

      Like 1
  16. Bill McCoskey

    As someone who has collected post war big Chryslers & Imperials for 50 years, I have to agree this car has 113,000 miles. Sort the fuel system out along with any other mechanical repairs, have a class 3 hitch added to the back, and this would make a great long-distance tow car! Before I made my own ramp-type tow truck, I used Chryslers & Imperials as tow cars, and I’ve flat-towed many big cars behind my Chryslers.

    This is actually a fairly hard to find car, very few Chrysler 4 door cars were equipped with swivel seats, this is the only one I’ve ever seen. I always thought the 4 door cars were not available with swivel seats, because the center door post would be too close when the seat is turned.

    I’ve done some further research, and yes, swivel seats were available on 4-door full-size cars, 1959 to 1961, but someone I know who has the MoPaR parts books says the 4-door cars use a different seat assembly, and they don’t swivel as far. He indicated the seat’s main frame was like a bench seat, and when adjusted, the whole front seat moves.

    Taking a quick look at photos on the internet, I was able to spot 3 more 4-door cars with swivel seats; 1 New Yorker 4-door hardtop, an Imperial 4-door hardtop, and a New Yorker 4-door hardtop station wagon! Not a post sedan among them.

    It’s possible this car was the only 4-door sedan equipped with swivel seats.

    Like 4
    • dr fine

      For a time, the passenger seat swiveled when the door was opened. A Chrysler exec was taking his wife out on the town when a doorman opened her door, and she splattered on the sidewalk. The geared swivel system was immediately discontinued.

      Like 2
      • Stan Marks

        That is too hilarious. LOL!!!

        Like 1
      • Bill McCoskey

        I would also suggest the swivel seats were discontinued mainly because of low volume sales, as well as Chrysler management knowing that within 2 more years all new cars in the USA would be required to have seat belts for the front seat passengers. for the company to engineer the swiveling system to handle the crash tests for seat belt rigidity, it would be a nightmare.

        Like 1
    • Onree Member

      I have a good clear memory of my uncle Marvin buying a new 1959 New Yorker that had swivel seats. I was 15 at the time. What I don’t remember is whether it was a hardtop or a sedan.

      Like 1
    • Stan Marks

      Bill, are you on FB?? I found a Bill McCoskey in Still Pond, Md.

      • Bill McCoskey

        Stan,

        That’s me. However as of about 5:30 this morning my facebook account was hijacked, and I’m currently waiting for them to accept my photo ID so I can get it back. So right now, don’t send me anything there, but you can use my email account, It’s my first & last names without the space, [at] aol.com.

        This is the first time I’ve had anything hacked, will probably never know how they did it.

  17. Frank R

    Hy bill.sounds like you been around quite a bit in the field like me. So what your saying is quite possible

    Like 1
    • Bill McCoskey

      Frank R,

      I began selling old car parts [mostly Studebaker & Packard]
      while I was in high school. I started my own restoration shop [after a stint in the military] at the end of the 1970s. I rented a small 2-car space in an old barn [without a bathroom] and worked 70 to 80 hours a day until I built it up to a 13,000 sq ft old car dealership with 8 to 12 employees. Lost it all when lightning struck the place and my insurance company was able to wiggle out of paying a dime.

      Today I’m retired due to medical issues & I’m on Social Security. I live with 2 wonderful girlfriends who take great care of me. I don’t go on buying trips to England and Europe anymore [I can no longer use an airplane due to medical issues], but I have lots of great memories and photographs of the things I’ve accomplished over my lifetime.

      I’ll never forget when I went to work at a big blue home improvement store [I needed the insurance coverage], where the manager gave me a hard time about my “tall tales” of automobile adventures. So a few days later I drove one of my vintage coach-built limousines to work, parking it where employees park. Inside on the front seat for all to see, were laid out old vehicle registrations of various Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Packard, etc, cars I’ve owned. It didn’t take long before everyone in the store had seen the car and what was there on the seat for all to see.

      Like 7
      • Stan Marks

        Great story Bill.
        Only one question..
        How do you fit 70-80 hours in a day??

        Like 1
      • Bill McCoskey

        Stan,

        Whoops! That’s accomplished thru [pick one]:

        A. A lot of hard work.
        B. Broken clock.
        C. Should have read weeks, not days.
        D. Failure to proofread.
        E. Lack of edit capabilities.
        F. All of the above.

        Like 4
      • Poppy

        Stan:
        Forget the 80-hour days…let’s hear more about how Bill has time for two girlfriends at once!

        Like 2
      • Stan Marks

        OK, Bill…..
        Fess up… How exactly do those two girlfriends take care of you??????

        Like 2
      • Bill McCoskey

        Poppy,

        As for the 2 girlfriends;

        Well first I gave up the 70+ hour work weeks. And the “addition” was not planned by me, that situation just sort of evolved over about a year.

        The additional family member came into our life because she was in a bad way with her family down in Virginia. We knew her thru a mutual friend, and she ended up coming to live with us. Our compatibility between all 3 of us is on a very high level, and things just slowly evolved.

        Both girls love old cars, and are often the first to point out one in our travels. This past Monday Pepper Anne saw a 1940 Ford panel delivery street rod, and we just had to stop so she could get photos. We have attended many car events together, but never try to make it obvious we are a thruple.

        Poppy, I’m gonna twist the knife a little bit more when I tell you I’m 68, Veronica is 36, and Pepper Anne is 32.

        Like 4
      • Bill McCoskey

        Stan,

        I’m a VERY lucky guy. They take good care of me. There’s only a certain amount of stuff I can go into here, but the 3 of us are quite happy. Prior to this situation, had someone said it was gonna happen, I’d tell them they were crazy.

        I will say this: There is a very important part of our relationship: We don’t believe in jealousy. All 3 of us are equal partners. We also agree to discuss anything that impacts or may impact the relationship, whenever the need may arise. I have always been open to people, for example, I use my real name here.

        If one can love multiple children, why not more than one partner?

        Like 1
    • Stan Marks

      Bill was the first Mr. Wizard.

      Like 2
      • Stan Marks

        Bill,

        You must have a large place, with THREE bedrooms..
        WINK-WINK.

        BTW….. I’ll be 77 in March. My girls, at the local AMP, are in their mid 20s..

        Like 1
      • Stan Marks

        Bill, you’re a lucky man. Good for you, buddy…

        I believe you can love more than one partner.
        Just ask my 4 ex wives. I loved them all. Just not at the same time. LOL!!

        Like 2
      • Bill McCoskey

        Stan,

        An upgrade was required from the Queen size to a King, and I have to say it’s a damn good thing that Veronica’s parents were in the bedding business, as a top quality 11″ thick foam mattress in King size is very expensive!

        What surprised me was that the manufacturer’s price for the mattress, was only about 10% of the public’s “discounted” price! I also realized I should have been in the mattress retail business! [Manufacturer’s cost: $298. Wholesale price: $800. Discounted retail: $3,000. Full retail: $5,000.]

        And I discovered that the person who has to get up to pee a couple of times a night, shouldn’t sleep in the middle!

        Like 1
  18. Ron

    Even if it was only 13k miles, when I buy a used car, I buy it or not, based on condition, not on claimed mileage. Mileage claims are irrelevant as far as I’m concerned.

    Like 5
    • Johnny

      The nice shiney ones you better check out good. I started to buy a NICE LOOKING 65 Mustang one time. I asked the guy if he mind if I raised the hood? No problem. First thing I notice was the shock tower on the driver side was rusted bad. Then I asked if I could looked under it. He said no problem and tried to steer me away. When he said the floors was in really nice shape. Him and his son-in -law just put in a new carpet. I looked anyways and their was a big hole covered up with a piece of tin. Just laid over it and not replace correctly, The rest of the floors ,behind the rockers was all bad. Where it was sitting and the place his garage was built .Had a steep (about a 30% grade. I told the guy I,d pass. Just trying to get it out of the garage would more then likely brake the car in too. He got mad and started telling me. He thought I was gonna buy it. He waited on me. I told him I had paid a guy to haul it with his trailer and look what I,m out of.My time and expense. Gotta look good,don,t be distracted and don,t take their word. Believe in what you see.The guy wanted $3,500 .The motor and transmission was stuck. Two days later. I bought a 77Fire bird for $1,300 in alot better shape and drove it home.

      Like 3
  19. Kenn

    Glad to hear someone else feels as I do about claimed mileage, Ron. What I’ve gleaned from reading comments for almost a year now is that mileage claims – or the disputes concerning them – are simply the basis for price negotiations, up or down. And in large measure, I think “numbers matching” is in the same ball park, except for high-end collector cars that are never going to be driven to the local cars and coffee cruise nights. Or do folks at those get-togethers crawl around under hoods looking at the numbers? I’ve never seen it personally.

    Like 2
  20. Johnny

    i really like these older Chrysler cars. My brother had a 1961 New Port with a 383. I really liked the way and the lights were on the dash. They used something special for that affect. I don,t recall what it was called. My brother bought it in 1968. When he was discharged from the army and he had just returned from Viet Nam. As he started to take off pretty fast. He thought he was in an old duece and a half. Instead of pushing on the clutch. He hit the power brakes . It almost put me through the windshield. The ONLY thing I don,t like about it is unibody. I,d put it on a truck frame and put coils all the way around it. I wonder who makes body parts for these now.? I could have bought a really nice 62 NewPort about 4 years ago. For $2,500. I tried to talk my friend in buying it. It was in really nice shape and had only a couple of really small bubbles on the passenger side rear fender behind the tire. It was a beauty. Then later on my friend said he wished he had bought it.

    Like 2
  21. Stan Marks

    Bill,
    None of the above…….
    Here’s the box I checked…… Old Age
    LOL!!!! I should talk.
    love ya, buddy

    Like 1
    • Stan Marks

      Bill,

      At almost 77, I still sleep through the night, without having to get up.
      I sleep on a Tempur-Pedic. I love it.

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