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413 Under The Hood: 1962 Chrysler Newport

Yes, I’ve recently been on a station wagon bender. First, there was this 1953 Chevy, then a 1995 Mercedes, following, with a surprising amount of coverage, was this 1991 Buick Century, and today, for your reading enjoyment, I have a 1962 Chrysler Newport. While I suggested that the Buick was the most unlikely coverage candidate, I’d posit that this Chrysler is the most significant of the quartet. Why? Well, Chrysler has been out of the station wagon business for a long time (unless you consider the departed Durango-based Aspen as a station wagon, which I don’t), and it’s a Chrysler, a once top drawer and stoic marque, now barely on life support as an individual brand. Anyway, this wagon looks good and seems reasonably priced at $11,000. Located in Thousand Oaks, California, this example of the end of the line for Virgil Exner styling is available, here on craigslist.

A couple of weeks ago, I commented on Lincoln’s ‘58 – ’60 diagonal headlight treatment and this Chrysler is evidence that Ford’s top brand wasn’t the only marque going for an eyeball statement. It’s totally subjective on my part but I think Chrysler’s designers did a better job of making the unusual not so unusual looking. One of this Newport’s standout features is its hardtop body style (no B-pillar). It’s not the only brand to feature such a station wagon body design, but it’s in the minority. The seller claims this to be a “rust-free” California car but adds, “still (a) project car“. Maybe so, but the presentation doesn’t indicate “project kinds of things” that require attention. Then again, let’s face it, a 62-year-old car is always going to need something.

The seller tells us that the 413 CI V8 engine “runs and driver great“. Research indicates that a 265 HP, 361 CI V8 motor was the only game in town for the Newport but another Chrysler source states that the 340 gross HP 413 was an option so I guess that’s what’s going on here. What throws me off is the air cleaner assembly which looks more like one covering a two-barrel carburetor (361) than one hovering over a four (413). The motor, which is stated as having experienced 80K miles of use, is certainly clean, yellow spark plug wires notwithstanding, so maybe its appearance is the result of some cosmetics, or maybe something more than that – the listing is not too informative. A pushbutton-activated TorqueFlite automatic transmission handles all things gear-related.

As for that project business, perhaps the seller is referring to the interior as a Mexican-style blanket is covering the front seat which is usually an indication of upholstery problems. There aren’t any other interior images included in the listing, none of the way back area, but there is a straight-on shot of the Robby the Robot instrument panel – always an attention-getter.

These are not common cars with only 5,600 wagons assembled in ’62. My guess is that this Newport is a six-seater model which further parses the count down to 3,300 copies. Hard to find a problem with this Chrysler and it certainly differentiates itself from the typical Country Squire or Caprice/Kingswood Estate. Let’s talk price, as I previously stated, the $11,000 ask seems reasonable to me, how about you?

Comments

  1. Avatar photo Steve R

    It won’t last long.

    Steve R

    Like 13
    • Avatar photo Will Fox

      And at that price, you can still afford to reupholster the front seat if needed!

      Like 14
      • Avatar photo Fox owner

        IDK, I kind of like the Mexican blanket look.

        Like 12
    • Avatar photo Neil R Norris

      Bang on. Very cool wahgoon at a good price.

      Like 2
    • Avatar photo John S Dreibelbis

      Great affordable price. The engine looks like the the 413 cu in . Ours was a 1960 Windsor with the 383 Golden Lion with mutted gold valve covers and air cleaner. Fast cars with light unibody construction.

      Didn’t that toggle under TorqueFlite buttons put it in and out of “park”?

      There was a foot parking brake peddle aswell.

      Wow this car is a real “looker”.

      Like 2
      • Avatar photo RICK W

        UNFORTUNATELY family had a 62 Plymouth Belvedere (great car but SO ugly). On that PUSH button for transmission were mounted vertically with lever to the left. I don’t think the lever actually shifted into PARK but did function much like Emergency brake pedal. I seem to recall that our 61 Phoenix convertible had a similar set up. Turn signals on both were standard column mounted.

        Like 1
      • Avatar photo bob boyd

        yes the toggle under shift buttons is parking brake

        Like 2
  2. Avatar photo RICK W

    Interesting how rear seems to show similarities to ugly 62 Plymouth. Radical change from 60 and 61🤔 fins. Not a big fan of station wagons, this is much better than current SUVS and crossovers. What’s left of Chrysler is a sad end for such a storied Corporation.

    Like 8
    • Avatar photo Gene Paul Boyd

      Nice car. I believe it’s a 361 not a 413. They were both big blocks with front passenger side distributors.

      Like 2
      • Avatar photo St.Michael

        the RB blocks “413-440″ has a cast in pad in the block just behind the water pump on the right side looking at engine from the front. B blocks 350-400” do not have it….I can’t tell if this one has it can you ?

        Like 2
      • Avatar photo Yblocker

        I had a 361 Dodge with the casting # in the same location as you mentioned, and as you insinuate, it can’t be seen in the pictures. I’m not arguing, nor am I a Mopar expert, but I’m guessing the early ones had that engine ID in the same location up front

        Like 1
  3. Avatar photo Charlie Patterson

    What a great looking Mopar wagon. If I had the money, I’d check it out in person and make an offer. My Dad had a 62 Imperial LeBaron with a 413 and that thing would fly!

    Like 6
    • Avatar photo Mark E. Switzer

      A rare find indeed ! That will sell fast . I will bet there are less than 100 left in existence ! They were Chryslers top of the line models back then and were expensive as well. 1964 was the last year of that bodysyle ,. Starting in 1965 , all full sized Chryslers were redesigned . Happy Motoring !

      Like 2
  4. Avatar photo bone

    The engine looks clean because its been cleaned up- that’s Chryslers corporate blue , not the color the 62 Chrysler should have .still a cool looking car !

    Like 2
    • Avatar photo Big Bear 🇺🇸

      Bone… Correct on the engine paint. That is corporate blue used late 70s 80s. It should be that light green paint which is very hard to get a hold of. Is that wagon was over here on the East Coast it would be gone in a heartbeat. 🐻

      Like 6
  5. Avatar photo Gavin Elster

    Before there were Mercedes G-Wagens, or passenger Range Rovers these Chryslers was the real, classy, prestige “people movers.” There were very custom Cadillac station wagons, and ultra-pricey Radford-conversions/”shooting breaks” on Rolls-Royce and Bentley chassis. These Chrysler wagons were the companion cars of a Lincoln or Cadillac convertible. Our neighbor had one, white, rare black leather front bucket seats, dual air-temp AC, and all power mod-cons. I think it had some prior association with either Bob Hope or Lawrence Welk, who were provided these, gratis, by the manufacturer.

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo RICK W

      Think it was Hope. Dodge had dropped Welk by 62. Subsequent sponsor was Geritol and Serutan.

      Like 2
  6. Avatar photo Timothy Vose

    Great wagon!

    Like 6
  7. Avatar photo Yblocker

    Chrysler reached the peak of weird by 62, but they did manage to turn loose of a couple nice looking cars that year, the Chrysler itself, and the Dodge 880. And that’s what the new Chrysler was, a Dodge 880, with a Chrysler front clip and dash/instrument cluster. It made for a great looking combination, much cleaner than the previous models. I love old wagons, and this one’s a beauty, never knew the 413 was available in a Newport, I would’ve guessed a 2barrel 383 at most. A number of years ago, I inherited a 62 300H, which I no longer have, but that’s another sad story. Here’s a little test for the Mopar guys, what’s that little lever right below the transmission shifter buttons? I’ll give a hint, it’s not the park lever.

    Like 3
    • Avatar photo Kego

      The lever you mention is the turn signal control. My family had a new 62 New Port 2 door hard top. Great car. It became mine in high school for a year till I got my 67 Coronrt R/T.

      Like 1
      • Avatar photo Yblocker

        Bingo

        Like 1
      • Avatar photo bob boyd

        sorry , but the toggle mentioned is the parking brake!! i have had several of these old mopars.

        Like 0
      • Avatar photo Yblocker

        I had a 62 Chrysler, that lever IS the turn signal switch, the parking brake is foot operated, and mounted on the back of the transmission, and these cars had no park gear

        Like 2
  8. Avatar photo Kenneth Carney

    Looks like the one Tippi Hedren and
    some of the schoolchildren took shelter in during the movie The Birds
    in ’63. Always liked these ever since I
    saw them at the Chrysler dealer in our
    town and on TV when I’d seen them
    in the ads for Forte & Shocke Chrysler Plymouth over in Peoria and
    Pekin Illinois in the ’60s and ’70s.
    Think they made ’em through ’65. What a nice ride too.

    Like 3
    • Avatar photo Yblocker

      I remember that movie, I was always partial to the green 56 F250. But they didn’t make this wagon through 65, 62 like the one listed, was the last year, 63 was a totally new car

      Like 0
    • Avatar photo Mark Switzer

      1964 was the ” last” year for that body style . Starting in ’65 , all the full sized Chryslers were totally redesigned .

      Like 0
      • Avatar photo Yblocker

        Ok, if you wanna split hair, 64 was the last year for the back half of this wagon, but in sedan form, 63 was a totally different Chrysler

        Like 0
  9. Avatar photo St.Michael

    this is a B block …so its not a 413

    Like 0
  10. Avatar photo DJZ

    My ’62 was a 300 coupe, 383 4 brl, and I miss those headlights as much as any styling feature of the many cool cars I’ve had! I don’t remember well enough to comment about this engine color or size. I love wagons, and if this one had AC and a third seat, as well as the smaller mill which seems to be the prevailing opinion, I’d be all over it for a daily driver.

    Like 1
  11. Avatar photo DavidC

    It’s a shame it doesn’t have the factory air conditioning with the rear air duct work. That said I do love this body style.

    Like 1
  12. Avatar photo Mike D

    I own the 4 door hard top version of this model. I have the 361 engine, I suspect that’s what is in this car. Here are some pics of mine.
    https://www.guyswithrides.com/2021/08/18/62-chrysler-newport/
    The white paint on this wagon doesn’t seem to go with the dash color IMO.

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo DJZ

      Love yours, too, Mike! Not sure how tan can not go with white/cream, but your lavender takes the cake… todays few choices are so boring. So, since you are driving a ’62 now, what is your verdict on the debated lever below the gear buttons? Obviously, there is a foot parking brake, which I do remember from my ’62 300, and I don’t see a typical turn signal in yours, but I don’t remember that lever. At the time my understanding was that there was no “park,” only neutral and the brake, but it seems like I would remember if the turn signal had been so different. Thanks.

      Like 0
  13. Avatar photo Sunshine

    Aside from obvious upholstery needs, it is also missing any headliner. This IS a 9-passenger wagon, evidence are the rubber steps on the rear chrome bumper. It also appears to have electric windows, which does not make up for the SIN of not ordering air-con on this micro-environment Station Wagon. [lack of A/C may also explain why headliner and upholstery failed. Still, a handsome baby-boom wagon.

    Like 0
  14. Avatar photo Eric_13cars Member

    2 years ago this one appeared on BF –
    https://barnfinds.com/hardtop-wagon-1962-chrysler-new-yorker/

    A New Yorker, which I believe was the top of the line, with the Newport replacing the Windsor. The original Newport in the early 50s was a hardtop coupe and may have been the top of the line then (I don’t know) with Windsor as the low end (such as it was…still a pretty plush car..we had a 54) and the New Yorker and New Yorker-based Imperial at the top. One of the MoPar sages on this forum will know details I’m sure.

    Like 1
  15. Avatar photo Homer

    In reply to Rick W, Lawrence Welk was extremely loyal to Chrysler/Dodge etc. My brother was a professonial musician who had a guy in his band that had worked for Welk. The guy bought a non-Chrysler product and Welk fired him.
    Loyalty was a bit different in the older generations.

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo RICK W

      Thanks for the update. But did LW continue driving Chrysler Corp products after Dodge dropped him? As you indicated, he was very temperamental, firing Alice Lon (the Champagne Lady) over her dress 👗. And YES, loyalty, like these great automobiles, is UNFORTUNATELY Gone With the Wind!

      Like 1
  16. Avatar photo Hammer

    Nice clean car, priced to sell. The younger crowd are starting to grab these old wagons. Probably because they’re not the goofy looking not to mention they all look the same suv. They are called classics cause they had class. It’ll go quick.

    Like 0
  17. Avatar photo Jerry

    Love that roof rack! An attention getter even without Grandma tied up there.

    Like 1
  18. Avatar photo RichardinMaine

    We need a cargo hauler for my wife’s candle company to do trade shows. Only way to do it now is to strap part of the booth fixtures to the roof of my BMW 3 series wagon. I refuse to own a minivan or SUV. This whale would be perfect

    Like 0
  19. Avatar photo Hollywood Collier

    I had the same car as a 2 door hardtop. It had a parking brake foot pedal. It had a drum around the driveshaft for parking. No push button for parking. The next year they had a lever that slid to the left to park under the buttons, but this year under the buttons is the turn signal lever. I wish i could afford this. Great car and would sell my pickup truck to buy this. Sweet to me. Nice write up Staff. I love Barnfinds. Thanks.

    Like 0
  20. Avatar photo Carbob Member

    This car sure has elicited quite a few remarks. I’m not surprised. This is a very nice and fairly priced too. But as usual it is on the opposite side of the country from me. If it was in my region I’d be interested in going to see it and possibly make an offer. I’m surprised that it hasn’t already sold. Someone is going to get a neat old Mopar. GLWTS.

    Like 0
  21. Avatar photo Robert Calderone

    My Uncle had a 1963 Dodge Polara station wagon with the push button Torque Flite Automatic Transmission with a lever underneath the automatic transmission buttons that said PARK on it. My uncle would move it to the Right that shifted into Park and at the same time the Neutral Button pushed in by itself. The LEVER is a PARK LEVER.

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo Eric_13cars Member

      In a 63, not in a 62. Read Hollywood Collier’s comment. He had a 62.

      Like 0
      • Avatar photo Yblocker

        Geez, what about my comments, I’m the one that started this debate, and the one who told it the way it is from the start, although a certain someone refused to believe me. I feel so deprived 😞😓😩😫Lol

        Like 0
  22. Avatar photo RNR

    My dream car as a high schooler with a taste for eccentric MoPars in the early 70’s was a white ’60 Chrysler hardtop wagon – alas they were all claimed by salty Buffalo winters by that time. Later, as a freshman in college I regrettably declined a graduating seniors’ gift of his non-running ’62 New Yorker four door hardtop. I could rewrite the course of my automotive life with this one purchase…

    Like 0
  23. Avatar photo HC Member

    Very fair price for a clean, Chrysler wagon, and love the hardtop treatment as well. 413s were no slouch either. For this price you could afford to add Vintage Air AC. I’m kind of glad it’s clear across the country, in California.

    Like 1

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