Parked In ’77: 1959 Chrysler New Yorker Wagon

Nothing screams the ’50s like a two-tone, seafoam green and white station wagon. Throw in some vestiges of Exner styling and you are seriously good to go. We do cover a lot of station wagons on Barn Finds but those found are frequently Impalas or Country Squires – always good to find an example from the third leg of the Big Three stool, Chrysler. And speaking of Chrysler, finds are usually along the lines of this  ’78 Dodge Monaco as opposed to a seldomly seen Chrysler like a New Yorker. This big wagon is located in Madison, Wisconsin and is available, here on eBay for a BIN price of $5,000. Thanks to Russ D. for this tip!

Chrysler offered two station wagons in 1959, the New Yorker Town & Country, like this six-passenger example, and the Windsor Town and Country. The Town & Country name is a venerable one for Chrysler, having been in use for many years right up until recently. Production volumes for ’59 Chrysler station wagons were notably low. According to Hemmings, there were 2,751 total wagons assembled and only 444 six-passenger New Yorkers – rare indeed.

Right out of the gate and nestled deeply under the hood is the 350 HP, 413 CI V8 engine, known as a “Golden Lion V-8”. Unfortunately, it does not run or turnover as the seller states, “Engine is all there, does not turn and will need to be gone through- assume rebuilding eng and trans”. He also opines, “Last chance or the SBC with 700R4 gets dropped in and back to the beach!” I can’t imagine a worse fate for such an old Mopar as substituting an SBC for an RB big-block, regardless of how much machining and rebuilding is needed. The existing transmission is a TorqueFlite automatic.

The interior is a mess, there is no nice way to put it. Sure the headliner and the door panels are in nice shape as the seller claims but the rest of it is in serious need of a makeover. The carpet in the cargo area is advertised as original; it looks contagious. The seats and carpet are trashed though the instrument panel may be OK, it’s tough to tell from the accompanying images. The dash pad definitely has some trouble brewing. If you note below the dash, it looks like there is a switch for an after-market, four-way flasher system that was installed somewhere in the past. I recall seeing such an installation on pre ’67 cars a long time ago but haven’t come across one recently. The seller advises that this New Yorker is a “radio delete” car with a panel in place of the radio. It is a matter of semantics, but since a radio was an option, it seems that this was a Chrysler ordered without a radio as opposed to one where it was deleted. Admittedly, it’s not a common occurrence.

The exterior is a bit of a mixed bag. At a distance, it looks reasonable but close up you can see the damage. The seller advises, “Great bones, some floor and rocker replacement will be needed- This car has rust but overall is a great candidate for resto”. Followed with, “rear quarters as seen in pics need work”. The two-tone color scheme is great but the paint is a bit tired in places. Nevertheless, the oh-so fifties trim is mostly present and the extensive grille work still looks fantastic, surprisingly so.

But here’s a concern, this underside is looking shaky. It may just be the inner rocker panels and the floors as the seller suggests, but it looks like more than that from this image.

Cool car, no doubt but it needs a lot of work and the engine issue could be expensive. Parts are probably hard to source too, though the wagon specific ones seem to be here, including the missing tailgate bumpers and bezels. While a big project, this is one great old car that really needs to be saved, don’t you think?

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Comments

  1. Chris in Pineville

    Lots of rust, stuck engine, roached interior-
    where’s the $5000 value here?

    would have to be a labor of love for someone with deep pockets……

    Like 16
    • JP

      More like a labor of lunacy. Part it out and be done.

      Like 4
      • Tman

        More like a labor of rust.

        Like 5
  2. Fred W

    Wow, the impression you get from the first picture (I want that car!) is a lot different than the overall impression (RUN!).Interior probably wasn’t bad when parked, then some rodents had a field day. You can smell it from the pictures.

    Like 24
    • Phlathead Phil

      Yo, Fred W,
      Man, you hit the rusty nail on the head. And the rat problem ???, that’s a stinky mess to deal with. Rat-Rub as I call it, is sometimes impossible to get rid of, just like rust. Not even laquer thinner takes it off.

      This is (imho) NOT a project, it’s a deep, bottomless pit you toss bags and bags of money into.

      Yes, RUN FAST & FAR from this car!!!

  3. Bob C.

    That 1959 Pontiac wagon in the background looks more inviting.

    Like 13
    • Tman

      Or maybe the guy who collects these goes by outward appearances and the Poncho has mashing (matching) interior and loves everything shredded.

      Like 3
      • DON

        You could be right ; If you look closely at the Pontiac you can see it has no door panels !

        Like 2
  4. Joe Machado

    Package on the 59 Chrysler, 59 Pontiac, 57 T-Bird?

    Like 2
    • Johnny Cuda

      Or is that a 59 Caddy back there?

      Like 4
  5. Will Fox

    Missing the rubber guards on the tailgate; could be hard pcs. to locate but were shared with the other MoPar lines. The floor rot is concerning; depending on how extensive the damage, it could be a deal-breaker. Wow! The seats are nothing but a tattered rat’s nest! NOS material is available to reupholster, and it would be worth it. As scarce as the `57-`59 Chrysler wagons are, this is still worth restoring, but it won’t be cheap. The end result would be a stunning car younger people today have no idea ever existed!

    Like 7
  6. Angel Cadillac Diva

    There is a ’59 Cadillac parked behind the Chrysler, Johnny Cuda.
    Apparently this guy likes ’59s

    Like 1
  7. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    Is it worth it? I don’t know, perhaps to the right person. Nostalgia often plays a part with cars like this. My childhood friend Roy Brooks who lived a few miles from me, his father owned a wagon like this, but was a model with seats in the back. He said the car cost over $5 grand. That’s when most cars were under $3 grand.
    God bless America

    Like 2
  8. Bill McCoskey

    I had this exact car, except in white. My friend bought a 1959 Plymouth Sport Suburban wagon, and when he parked next to the Town & Country, we quickly realized they were the same car body-wise, except for the fenders.

    Like 2
  9. 370zpp

    Yeah, first impression – cool car, kinda rare. But when I saw that front seat that looked like it exploded, well so much for what once was.

    Like 1
  10. Mountainwoodie

    @ Bill McCoskey- We had a ’59 Plymouth wagon. Glad to see my thought about how similar they appeared to be is endorsed by you!

    Its obvious someone left this out wth the windows down. Damn shame. I’m sure you can find one in slightly better condition

    Like 1
    • Bill McCoskey

      The ideal situation is to find an east coast car with low mileage and lots of rust, swap out the motor/trans, and interior. I would have to keep the radio delete cover in place, and hang a modern radio below the dash.

      And not only does the body look similar to the Plymouth, Dodge, or DeSoto wagons, other than the outer rear fender skins, from the firewall rearward the bodies ARE the same.

      Like 2
  11. HARM R SMIT

    A lot of work but worth saving! Beautiful cars we will never see again. Captures the imagination of optimism down to its color name ‘seafoamgreen’

    Like 2
  12. geezerglide85

    Just some trivia for you wagon lovers, all 57-58-59 wagons (Plymouth, Dodge, De Soto and Chrysler) used the same body with different front clips. If you notice the fins don’t really match any of the sedans or hardtops from any one division. The one exception was the ’59 Plymouth. For ’59 all Plymouths got restyled fins and this carried over to wagon as well. Other than the rear quarters the rest of the body was the same. I had a ’59 Dodge Coronet and thought the fins and tail lights were the nicest of the bunch, but the ’59 Dodge wagon was a letdown for me with the genaric body.

    Like 2
    • Mark C

      Geezer, I’m a touch jealous of your Coronet. The fins and tail lights on those ’59s really looked like spacecraft from a sci-fi movie and I loved them. And the front had an aggresive look without being unattractive.

      Like 3
  13. Dave

    Absolutely inconceivable that anyone would try to sell a vehicle..or anything…in such deplorable condition. Sucker born everyday.

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