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Parked since 1973: 1956 Chrysler New Yorker

052016 Barn Finds - 1956 Chrysler New Yorker - 3

This 1956 Chrysler New Yorker Convertible is in Anderson, California, “140 miles north of Sacramento” on eBay with a current bid of $8,300 and eight days left on the auction. It looks like a fairly solid project and it’s hard to argue with the style of these big, mid-’50s Chryslers.

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This nice looking fourth-generation New Yorker was made for just two years, 1955 and 1956. Chrysler called the model year 1956 “PowerStyle” and as you probably already know, it was a Virgil Exner design. For 1956 the New Yorker got a new mesh grille and another 30 hp. This particular car was found in a garage where it had been stored since 1973. The seller says that it “runs great” but that it needs tires and brakes. And, you can see that it’ll need a bit of bodywork if you’re going to bring it back to its former glory. It looks like mostly small dings rather than rust-through, but there is some of that, too.

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What a crisp, clean-looking car! That’s one heck of a front bumper, you don’t want to bump into a modern vehicle with this car in a parking lot, the plastic-mobiles that folks drive today would disintegrate. This is a highly-optioned car, with “p/s, p/b, p/w, p/seat, mark IV air, town and country radio, power antenna.” And, thankfully, there is no “evidence of prior rust repair or body work.” Of course, there are things to be done, there always are, but this is a heck of a solid starting point.

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There aren’t any direct, good photos of the dash, which is unusual. But, there’s a skewed photo that shows it, at least partially, and it looks good. And, a photo of the great-looking driver’s door panel, although the blue upholstery on the interior should be matching coral to the seat fabric so it’s been changed at some point. I’d want to restore those seats, at least the fabric. Hopefully OEM material can be tracked down, and the white leather looks like it would clean up nicely.

052016 Barn Finds - 1956 Chrysler New Yorker - 5

Here’s the 280 hp 354 V8 and I hesitate to even mention that it’s a Hemi because there is usually a debate as to whether the 1950s Hemis were worthy of the name. This one is said to run great and you can see that it’s had some work done to it and it has: new water pump, full tune-up, oil and filter change, gas tank and lines cleaned, all of the “gauges work great. fuel, temp, oil, amp. runs cool, good oil pressure, charging system working.” What would you do with this car, is it worthy of a full restoration or would you get it working like new and drive it as it looks now?


  1. George

    Road Trip!!! Maybe restoration in the future.

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  2. Kevin

    I’m more inclined to believe that the seats have been replaced, not the door panels. The blue in the door panels matches the blue of the paint, and swapping seats out is a lot easier than swapping interior panels, seats tend to endure more damage as well. Just my two cents. Beautiful car though and a fine starting point for a summer cruiser!

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  3. grant

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. A “true” Hemi has hemispherical combustion chambers. The only thing that makes a modern “Hemi” a “Hemi” is Chrysler’s decision to trademark the name and call it that.

    Like 0
  4. geomechs geomechs Member

    These were true Hemis. The newer version is a variation on the theme. This one nice car that one could enjoy while fixing it up.

    Like 1
    • grant

      Lol these yes. I was denigrating the modern day “Hemi”

      Like 0
  5. Dolphin Member

    The first and last photos in the Ebay listing are some of the most appealing photos I have seen on Ebay of any car for sale. They make me want it for warm summer cruising. The paint combo is terrific.

    I’m trying to think of a more attractive US convertible from 1956, and the only other contender would be a Caddy, but it would be a hard choice to make because this Chrysler looks great and is less common.

    Like 1
    • John Taggart Member

      Buicks Dodges and Lincolns were gorgeous both the Chryslers of this era are styling gems

      Like 1
  6. JoeW

    I have to disagree. This car looks rather plain for a ’56. The chevy was way more beautiful. The last photo reminds me of a Rambler (Before all rambler fans respond, I am not dissing the rambler, just not the most highly styled car in America)

    Like 0
  7. Kent Pearson

    I want it. i want it. i want it. Watched Ed and Mike restore an earlier Chrhysler sedan with a Hemi which Ed had to remove the heads from and give an explanation tion of what a concave head is. while showing and explaining what the advantage is. So if it is concave its a Hemi. as oppposed to a flat piston head which is not.

    Like 0
  8. Kent Pearson

    It is so hard to type on your site sometimes.

    Like 0
  9. Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

    A very rare vehicle, especially one without severe rust. You ask what I would do with it? Clean it, wax the paint, repair whatever mechanical problems exist, call upholstery suppliers like SMS, and reupholster the seats to match the original blue interior. [Cleaning up the white leather.]

    Now as for the difficult typing here, If you are referencing how slow it can be, waiting for the letters you typed to appear, I have a feeling it’s due to the large amount of advertising info being downloaded.

    Like 0
    • David G

      I agree RE the advertising content-loading on here. Always seems that there’s lots of background activity going on, sucking down the site’s responsiveness. Not to mention that many of those content-heavy ads on here are trying to run Shockwave, which always crashes out on my machine anyway..

      Like 0
    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      Sorry about the ads guys! We have to pay the bills somehow. It costs a lot to run a site like this so until we figure out a better way to monetize things, the ads are a necessary evil.

      Like 0
  10. MrF

    What could be more “real” than a 50s Hemi? It had the most widespread use in modern times, appeared every high performance application (drag racing, boats, hot rods), and was the precursor to the 60s Hemi. That’s as real as it gets.

    Like 0
  11. Peter R

    I’m usually a GM guy but I like this car – worth putting in good driver condition – repair mechanicals as needed and fix the seats – then just enjoy it!

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  12. stillrunners

    dang it……nice one there…..

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  13. John Newell

    I had chrome rocker covers for that engine many years ago and finally gave up finding a buyer for them and threw them out in perfect condition. If I still had them, I’d buy this car just to give the rockers a good home. I ended up with them because my brother had a black 4 dr sedan known locally as the Rocket Car. Those 354s were pretty quick in their day.

    Like 0
  14. BG in AK

    The 1950’s Hemi engines are usually referred to as ‘the early hemi’. Most of the Chrysler Corp. product lines had these early hemi’s but Chrysler had the largest size motors.
    If you doubt their capacity for power, refer to a lot of the slingshot dragsters of the late 50’s and 60’s. There wasn’t much could touch them. The 60’s Hemi’s were built because of the 50’s hemi’s.
    They were also popular in early and later model street rods if you wanted something impressive.
    Major downfall of the early hemi’s would be their weight, but with the power that could be generated from them, it was a very good trade.
    I had both the 331 and 354 versions 25-30 years ago when performance parts were not available, but you can now build high performane Chrysler 331, 354 and 392 cubic inch hemi’s.
    The new Hemi’s are a cool marketing strategy but do they deserve the capital ‘H’ any more or less than the original or second generation motors.

    Like 0

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