Movie Star? 1956 Chrysler New Yorker Town & Country

Calling all automotive sleuths, this is one for you to consider, and to maybe unravel a mystery. This 1956 Chrysler New Yorker Town and Country may have a movie link, but there is no documentary evidence to back the claim. The owner is under the impression that it may have been driven by Robert Redford in the 1990 movie, “Havana.” This is a movie that I’ve never seen, but a search of the internet turned up a few images of a similar car from the movie. However, I am no closer to the truth. This particular Chrysler does have a couple of fairly distinctive features, and it is these that may provide some substantiation to the claim. If you would like to own this Chrysler, regardless of any possible movie links, you will find it located in La Grange, Kentucky, and listed for sale here on eBay. The owner has set a BIN price of $12,500 for the Wagon, although there is the option available to make an offer.

The overall condition of the Chrysler seems to be quite good. What can be seen of the floors appears to be solid, and the body itself appears to be free of any major rust issues. It looks like there might be some rot in the tailgate, and also some present in the lower quarter on the passenger side, but that seems to be the worst of it. There are a few trim items that will require restoration or replacement. The most notable of these are the hinges for the tail-gate, as they are quite heavily corroded. I’ve also done a photo comparison between this car and the one featured in the movie, and the most obvious external difference between the two is the fact that this one has exterior mirrors, whereas the movie car didn’t. Still, those are easy to fit at a later date, so that is far from conclusive.

When I referred to the distinctive features that are present on this car that might assist in confirming its identity, they mainly revolved around the interior trim. It looks to be in serviceable condition, but the material on the door trims isn’t original, while that, um, “tasteful” upholstery on the seats certainly isn’t. Looking at the state of the upholstery, it looks like it has quite some age to it, and it could quite conceivably date back to 1990, or even earlier. That could mean that if this is the movie car, then it is likely that it wore this trim back then. Over to our movie buffs to see what they make of it. If this isn’t the movie car, then I would certainly be looking at restoring the trim to original, as the material used has a real hint of the 1970s or 1980s about it, and it is completely out of character with the rest of the car.

There really can’t be a lot wrong with a classic wagon with a Hemi under the hood, and that’s the case with this one. The engine bay is home to the original 354ci Hemi, Powerflite transmission, and power steering. Here, the news is quite good. The owner says that the car runs well. Certainly, the engine bay looks nice and clean, and this is always a cause for optimism in a car like this one.

In 1956, the Chrysler New Yorker Town and Country sold new for $4,523 and was the most expensive vehicle in that manufacturer’s model range. Build estimates vary between 1,070 and 1,135 cars, which made them a relatively rare vehicle when new. It is unclear today how many have survived, but I have seen estimates from a number of sources that suggest that this number could be less than 100 cars. That number might seem low, but a survival rate of around 9% for a 63-year-old car would be about right. Even if this car can be positively linked to the previously mentioned movie, what value that this might add, if any, is an unknown. The fact that it is a relatively rare car in pretty decent condition makes it a classic wagon that is well worth considering for anyone seeking a restoration project.

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Comments

  1. Kenneth Carney

    Never heard of the movie, but I sure like
    the car! Last time I saw one was when
    the church we attended bought a surplus
    airport version to give rides to paritioners
    wanting to go to Sunday and Wednesday
    night services. That was in ’61 or ’62.
    I couldn’t have been no more than six or
    seven back then, but I still recall that car
    to this very day. Nice to see one after all
    this time.

    Like 5
    • Del

      Nice car. Very clean

      But what the heck screwed up the dash ?

      I doubt it was in Havanna.

      Most of those cars are still their. Americans were given 36 hours to get out.most if not all the cars stayed

  2. Ron H

    Cannot confirm or deny but they almost always take the mirrors off during movies to avoid obscuring the actors faces. That may account for the missing exterior mirrors in the movie.

    Like 5
    • Miguel

      They also don’t want you to see the camera in the mirrors reflection.

      Like 1
  3. exartist
  4. Gaspumpchas

    Beautiful wagon with a baby Hemi makes for one cool cruiser. Load it up with kids and go for ice cream!! Owner says he might take an offer–for around 10 large sounds like a deal. Very rare car here in New yawk. Good luck to the new owner!!
    Cheers
    GPC

    Like 1
  5. Bluetec320 Bluetec 320 Member

    I found a low quality, Italian version of the movie here on YouTube.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_R0yh7y9uNs

    Like 5
  6. Pete Phillips

    Looks like it has a G.M. power steering pump that’s been added, along with the alternator.

    Like 1
  7. Bill Krzastek

    If I had this car, I would place a “Flying Crown Ranch” logo on the doors. Let’s see if any of the Barn Find folks can remember why!

    Like 4
    • Lance

      Hey Bill would that also include a Cessna 310B named Songbird? lol

      Like 4
    • JimmyinTEXAS

      “Sky King” LOL.
      I have never seen one of these in the wild but I sure wish I had seen one when new or slightly used.

      Like 4
    • moosie moosie

      sky king tv series, but wasnt that one white?

      Like 5
      • Rick Rothermel

        Lighter color, definitely. This model was also used in SHERIFF OF COCHISE, a Desilu series shot in Arizona.

        Like 2
    • Will Fox

      “sky king”!!!!

      Like 1
  8. Philip B

    Those mirrors are aftermarket; I’ve had them on my 58 Chevy for a while. You see them on a lot of older cars.

    Out of the blue of the western sky, comes Sky King…

    Like 1
  9. PatrickM

    Nice car. But, price is out of my range. It will need a thorough going over. Interior show a lot of peeling/chipped paint on dash, seats, door panels, head liner, carpet. Love the engine and conversion from generator to alternator. Would really like to see more pics of underside and tailgate interior. But, that said, it is still a good looking animal.

  10. Will Fox

    I seriously doubt this T & C was in “Havana”. This is NOT the only seafoam over metallic green example around; I know of at least one other in the Walter P. Chrysler Club. The movie “Havana” Was set in Cuba just as Batista was ousted & Castro took over in `59. Lots of gambling, American tourists anxious to get back to our country, and memorable beautiful music of the period. Good movie.

    Like 1
  11. Del

    Nice car. Very clean

    But what the heck screwed up the dash ?

    I doubt it was in Havanna.

    Most of those cars are still their. Americans were given 36 hours to get out.most if not all the cars stayed

    Like 1
  12. FOG

    Had one of these wagons while stationed at Great Lakes. One winter in Chicago eight sailors loaded up to take liberty on the town.. On the way back, while sitting at a stop light, the guys started rocking the car from side to side. First one rear spring broke, then not long after that the other broke. We limped it back to the base with the tires rubbing in the wheel wells. Sold it for $50, before we shipped out. Never seen another one till now.

    Like 3
  13. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Looks nice – was glad to sell my running/titled 1956 Chrysler wagon a couple of years ago….wasn’t a lot of demand even back then and it was a documented Fire Chief’s wagon…..it went to a retired firefighter.

  14. Carl Leach

    My family had a blue and white 1956 new Yoker convertible. That was in late 80s. Four of us could sit in the front bench.
    We still keep in touch with the current owner.

  15. Robert N Snyder

    If you want to see a nice original 56 Windsor Town & Country mine is still at America On Wheels In Allentown, Pa til Sunday, April 14

    Like 1
  16. PatrickM

    Listing ended. Sold for $12,500.00. I think someone got a good car. Best of everything to ’em.

  17. Bellingham Fred

    According to Wikipedia the film Havana was filmed in The Dominican Republic. US law prevented the film makers from spending money in Cuba. This means that they could have shipped cars in and out for the production

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