440-Equipped: 1969 Chrysler Town & Country Wagon

How times change. It doesn’t seem to have been that many years ago that you only owned a station wagon if you had no other choice in life. Wind forward those few years, and now classic station wagons are big business. This is especially true when you are talking about nicely equipped wagons like this 1969 Chrysler Town & Country. The original owner ticked a lot of the right boxes on the options list, and the result of this is a potent wagon that will happily swallow a family of nine. It is an original survivor, and it is now looking for a new home. The Chrysler is located in Euclid, Ohio, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has reached $8,100 at the time of writing, and the best news is that this is a No Reserve auction.

Finished in Bahama Blue, the Chrysler is an attractive car. The paint looks like it is in generally good condition, with only minor chips and marks to show for 51-years of use. The faux wood-grain that graces the car’s flanks is generally quite reasonable, although there are a few defects to note. The worst of these is on the tailgate, but it still looks very presentable and is definitely in above-average condition. The owner supplies some photos of the wagon’s underside and the fact that it was undercoated back in 1969 means that everything still looks nice and solid. The same is true above decks, with the panels and lower body extremities all appearing to be free of rust issues. The trim and chrome appear to be in good order, while the factory chrome luggage rack is a nice touch. The Town & Country was originally ordered with tinted glass, and apart from a couple of small cracks in the bottom of the windshield, this appears to be free from obvious defects.

The interior presentation of the Chrysler is generally quite good for a family wagon of this age, but it definitely isn’t perfect. It is nice to see that someone has had enough respect for the car that they have installed rubber mats to protect the carpet. Having said that, the owner does admit that the carpet does sport its fair share of stains that are covered by those mats. The dash looks very nice, while the door trims appear to be free from obvious defects or problems. The same is also true of the headliner, but from there, things do go downhill a bit. The front seat has suffered from multiple seam separations, and while the owner has taken the steps necessary to prevent further deterioration, they will require specialist attention. It is possible that a repair could be affected, but I suspect that the cover might be destined for replacement. Some of the plastic trim has also deteriorated over time, including the kick panels, and some of the side trims in the cargo area. This is the sort of deterioration that comes with time and UV exposure, and restoring these items is going to be extremely difficult. As far as extras are concerned, the original owner really had their pen working overtime when they got their hands on the options list. The Chrysler comes equipped with the third row, making this a 9-seat wagon. In addition, they chose to equip the vehicle with air conditioning with automatic temperature control, power windows, a power front seat, cruise control, a clock, and an AM/FM radio/8-track player complete with power antenna. The A/C does work, but it sounds like it does require a recharge in the near future.

The original owner didn’t just choose to wield their pen on interior appointments when it came to choosing the options for this wagon. What they chose to fit under the hood was the 440ci V8, pumping out 375hp. This is backed by a 3-speed heavy-duty TorqueFlite transmission, while the car also scores power steering and power front disc brakes. This made for a pretty potent vehicle because, in spite of the fact that it is a 9-seat family wagon that tips the scales at 4,735lbs, it could still demolish the ¼ mile in 16.5 seconds. Maybe that isn’t the fastest car on the planet, but for what it is, that has to be considered to be impressive. The owner claims that the Chrysler has covered a genuine 48,000 miles, and given the fact that it does come with an enormous pile of documentation, I wouldn’t be surprised if he holds evidence to verify this claim. The wagon is said to run and drive quite well, but there are a couple of issues that will need to be addressed. The fuel tank is going to need to be cleaned and sealed properly, as there has been sludge found in it at some point in the past. The original carburetor turned up its toes, so the previous owner has had this replaced with a Holley. The linkages for this don’t match up properly, so the secondaries don’t operate. The choke also doesn’t work for the same reason, and this mismatch also means that the cruise control is inoperative. However, the original carburetor is included in the sale, and while it may have been deemed to be beyond repair in the past, it would be worth getting a specialist to examine it further. If this can be restored, then that would address all of these issues in one go. Beyond that, the owner says that the Chrysler runs and drives nicely and that the transmission shifts smoothly.

When I look at classic wagons like this 1969 Town & Country, it really makes me stop and think. The growth of the SUV spelled the death of the full-sized family wagon, and it would seem that no manufacturer has the development of such a vehicle on their radar for the near future. However, I do wonder just what the response would be from the buying public if a new wagon suddenly hit the market now. Would it be a sales success, or would such a model be a complete folly? Since there is no evidence that any manufacturer is going to bite the bullet, that means that those who want a wagon will have to “settle” for one like this Chrysler. And this is a bad thing because…? Sorry, but I can’t think of one negative on that one.

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    Don’t be so sure, Adam, history, in the automotive world, has a way of repeating itself. New ad in the future, “Come to your Chrysler dealer to see that ALL NEW 9 passenger station wagon for 2025”. Last of the wagons that had any oomph, before emissions took hold. They were the kings of the demo derby, which is why you never see one today, except here. Great find.

    Like 8
    • stillrunners stillrunners Member

      Actually they were banned at our Demos along with the Imperials – ever notice how far back the radiator is on C- Bodies ?

      Nice wagon – one just like showed up at my picking yard out of an estate – he wanted $1500 as is and I just didn’t have the spare funds – so I striped what I could for my Polara wagon…….

  2. normadesmond

    Had our own ’69 T&C wagon. Ours was dark blue. Used to sit at my bedroom window and stare at it. It was our first wagon and it was gorgeous.

    And yes, foot on the gas and it flew.

    Like 7
  3. LandYacht

    This right up my alley! I love this barge, as a 60’s – 70’s era muscle car fan, they have priced themselves out of my leagues, and truthfully I can’t see paying 50K + for a 1968 Charger, that said I’ve turned to appreciate these boats from the same era. When they are loaded with options like this, I really wake up.
    I really enjoy seeing loaded wagons, and 4 door hardtops, and one day I’ll come across a 4 speed 65 Caprice or LTD with A/C and power windows. If I do, sorry better half, I’m buying it!!
    This wagon is Land Yacht approved, really nice find!

    Like 9
    • LandYacht

      OK even the vent windows are power operated, if this was some how a 4 speed, I’m bidding

      Like 2
    • Beel

      Dad bought the Ford wagons during this time because only they could fit a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood inside. The Chrysler and GM products were mere inches too narrow inside.

      • Rex Kahrs Member

        Sounds like another of Ford’s better ideas!

  4. Superdessucke

    Put a 2 1/4″ exhaust with glass packs on it. It would sound nice and nasty, which would be a cool contrast to the family wagon look.

    Like 2
    • Claudio

      the Chrysler is an attractive car.
      Ahaha
      I find it fugly!
      Look at that front end look
      The designer must have been visually challenged!

  5. Paolo

    I’m keeping my eye on one of these that someone has sitting in their driveway in the next town over from me. I’ve left a note on the windshield a couple years ago but have yet to get a response.

  6. Jan

    My folks had one of these, they bought it in December of 1969 it was a beautiful car , however like many cars that were built in 69 were of poor quality by all the manufacturers. This particular wagon we had was the biggest lemon going. My father was a mechanic and week by week he grew less patient with the dealer and Chrysler. He kept the car for 23 months and put 8000 miles on it. It had serious electrical problems, rear axle was replaced because no gear oil was ever put in the differential someone put water in it ! , all the steering components replaced including steering box and power steering pump at 60mph the car would pull so hard to the right it would rip the wheel right out of your hands. It leaked like the titanic after it hit the iceberg. He should have known day one when he turned the wipers on and they flew across the driveway onto the neighbors front lawn.He did stick with the car and the dealer he did not give up all these warranty repairs were done before it hit 3000 miles he then drove it another 5000 miles to be sure everything worked properly. It was funny when he traded it in the dealer said what a beautiful car with extreme low miles this will make a nice used car on the lot ! It did and when Dad picked up his 72 pontiac safari wagon the salesman said they already had a buyer for it! We ran into the next owners about a year and a half later at a grocery store. They loved it and asked why we would get rid of a perfectly good car. I guess the dealer cleared out all the warranty repair orders from the glove box !! My Dad was not a 1 percenter pia about perfection nit picking everything he could deal with some issues but this car was the true definition of Detroit’s worst!

    Like 3
    • alphasud Member

      I think it could be said build quality and reliability was a hit or miss affair. Like I’ve said before I think most people buying a car from the bygone area won’t be using the car as a driver. Also owning one of these cars you will be checking things more often. Especially if driving it any distance. From a technical standpoint these are pretty simple as compared to a modern vehicle.

      Like 2
  7. Ken Jennings

    I don’t think it was the SUV that spelled the death of the station wagon, it was the great Minivan. Minivans have gotten a bum rap, they were great! easy to get in and out of, lots of room to haul people and stuff. SUVs are heavy expensive monstrosities that the world never will, nor will ever need.

    Like 13
  8. John Mele

    I learned to drive on one of these .I was 15. The power breaks would put you through the windshield if you pressed more than a 1/4 in on pedal but the power steering had a half turn of the steering weal of slop
    I’ve never driven a larger car
    you could set a full table setting for two on the dash
    We had a shared driveway in a brick house my father cut a little bit of the foundation wall so he could pull it in and out
    No one could ever have stolen it you only had a few inches on ether side of the length of the house 60Ft to back it out

    Like 1
    • RNR

      John, I learned to drive in my family’s ’69 Polara, and can vouch for your experiences with the zero travel power brake pedal. In New York we had to do hand signals during the driver’s test, and when you are belted into a Fuselage Body MoPar, the window sill is at your forearm, making signaling for anything other than a left turn problematic.

      The Chryslers wore the the look the best of the ’69 C bodies, and I’ve often fantasized about having a muscular long roof – nice car!

      Like 1
  9. Rex Kahrs Member

    It is well known that the SUV is so popular because it allows morbidly obese Americans easier ingress and egress. Ford has forsaken normal cars altogether in favor of SUVs and giant pickup trucks, none of which get driven off-road or are used by tradesmen. I see people in these types of vehicles drive around speed bumps!

    My wife loves her Volvo station wagon, it’s a great car and extremely utilitarian without being unnecessarily big…the opposite of so many Americans, unnecessarily big and not particularly useful!

    Like 10
    • Philip

      I love my country (USA) but ya gotta wonder about the crap people are willing to eat, every day.

      Like 2
    • JCA

      According to the numbers, it seems skinny people love SUVs too. The SUV is way more popular than a wagon due to the elevated driving position, not just ease of access. It gives people a better view and a “king of the road” feeling. The same reason people love a pickup truck when they rarely use the bed. A lot of SUVs are just jacked up wagons anyway. Plus, you have AWD and extra clearance for the snowy areas and big beefy tires for those winter road craters that we get here in the Northeast. We want our vehicles to be tough and survive bad roads and not have to change a tire on the side of the road in the middle of winter. Let your wife test drive a Volvo XC cross county model and see if she wants her wagon back. I highly doubt it

      Like 2
  10. Jonathan
    • Ron

      Both of those have been killed off. America has turned it’s back on new wagons. People don’t know what they are missing.

      Like 1
    • Tom M

      Hi
      I got an amazing deal on a TourX about a year ago, and am delighted with this wagon. Truly a sleeper, German engineered and manufactured the all wheel drive and power train are fantastic, the electronics are far easier to use than my last three German cars, and this car has everything. Adaptive cruise, blind spot, lane departure and truly annoying shut off at lights.
      My first new car was an Opel GT so
      I jumped at the chance to own another one. I rebadged my tourx as an Australian Holden (same exact car) and I get constant questions about whatI am driving.
      If I could only defeat the engine cut off without voiding the warranty, it would be perfect.
      Tom M

      Like 1
  11. charlie Member

    Unless you see one of these in person, it is like the Grand Canyon, no photo can accurately convey how big it is!

    Like 1
  12. CharlesS

    The Town and Country was based on the New Yorker with the 440 engine as standard equipment for both models. Dodge and Plymouth had base engines, and the 440 was an option. We had a 71 model. It ran well and towed a big travel trailer for several years. The only issues we had were power window motors. After changing several, I could swap a defective window motor out in less then 45 minutes. The engines were generally good for 175K miles, and even then they would run, but would smoke, drip oil, and run low oil pressure.

  13. 67Firebird_Cvt Member

    I have to question a marketing department that thought it was a good idea to put “TNT” on the air cleaner.

    • Paolo

      My question is “How do I get one of those?”

    • CharlesS

      I believe that was added on after the car left the showroom. The performance models had that tin plate that sat on top of the breather. All of the full size Mopars I remember came from the factory with a plain black breather.

    • Mike

      The 375 Horse 440 in Chrysler was always called TNT 440 as Dodge called it a 440 Magnum and Super Commando in a Plymouth.

  14. Allgonquin

    Our family had a ’68 followed by a ’72 Chrysler wagon, each with a 440. The ’68 got hot rodded with a big Holley, headers, glass packs, a tune, and a rear gear swap – I think we went to a 3.91. At about 8 MPG, we pretty much lived at the local Mobil station, but gas was about 43 cents per gallon, IIRC. I remember that the station ran a promo to get free silverware, we had full service for 25 people, give or take, when that one was over. Surprised many a muscle car with that “lead sled”.

    Like 1
    • JCA

      This thing is, this kind of station wagon is about as useful now as Commodore 64 PC. It sucked gas, was tough to park anywhere, bad in the snow, and really didn’t have the space you would expect for its size. The rear area was large, but front and back seating areas were just average due to the bulky doors and acre long hood. Its a cool conversation piece for cars and coffee but thats about it. If you want it to actually use, get older Escalade or Navigator which is cheaper and better.

  15. CharlesS

    I believe that was added on after the car left the showroom. The performance models had that tin plate that sat on top of the breather. All of the full size Mopars I remember came from the factory with a plain black breather.

    • Mike

      It was factory on the HP 440 in a Chrysler which was an option for this car however in 69 the HP 440 would have been orange. This car is a K code which was the standard non HP 440 so you are correct that it was added on.

  16. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    SOLD for $19,600.
    In the last 2 minutes of bidding, it jumped 10 grand.
    Is this really worth that much?

    Like 1

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