Beautiful Survivor: 1953 Chrysler Town & Country Wagon

These days when people think of the Chrysler Town & Country they think of a minivan, but from 1941 until 1988 it was a line of mostly station wagons. The early cars were beautiful cars and several models had real wood bodies. Later models had vinyl woodgrain trim. Thank you Peter R for the tip on this beautiful example! I understand some of you may wonder at my sanity or senility for being so excited about an old station wagon like this, but ain’t she a beauty? It’s listed on eBay in Haviland, Ohio. Bidding is at over $6,000 but reserve has not yet been met. The old repaint is showing some age, the upholstery is shot, the chrome is pitted, there’s rust reported in the driver’s floor and the power brakes don’t work but it is an old car. It’s been in the same family since the 60s and was repainted the factory color in the 1970s. Everything else is original and works, even the power windows, except for the brake booster.

Look at that beautiful woodwork! When you fold down the back seat you almost have a panel truck. I love to see any woodwork in old cars in good condition, whether it’s a 1941 “Barrel Back” Town and Country or the floor of an old station wagon.

The front seat does need work, lots of it. Fortunately the back seat looks to be in much better condition.

The dash looks really nice, amazing for an unrestored car over 60 years old.

Things under the hood look tidy and well maintained. It could use some cleaning and detailing but overall it looks original and complete.

How much do you think someone will be willing to pay for this? Hopefully it will be at least the reserve price. There’s no pictures or details about the rust in the drivers floorboard and there might be other rust repair needed. You never know what you might find upon inspection. This wagon will need some work but hopefully not too much. Wouldn’t this be a grand old driver? Thank you again Peter R!

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Comments

  1. Joe Nose

    Is that padded dash original?

    • RayT Member

      It appears to be. My guess is that the actual material isn’t, but Chryslers did have a padded dash in ’53.

    • terry h.

      it is original.

  2. Tommy

    I love it!

  3. Jon

    Too Cool…. it will make make a nice cruiser…

  4. terry h.

    Thanks!!

  5. Rustytech Member

    There’s a completely restored 1954 scheduled to hit the block at Mecum’s next week. It too has the beautiful wood floors, the padded dash, and has what looks like leather seats. I’d like to see what that brings, might help set a value for this one. There can’t be many of these left. Nice find.

    • terry h.

      thanks ,I’ll be watching

  6. terry h.

    this one is listed on ebay.

  7. Howard A Member

    What a tank! Can you believe our parents ( that both had good incomes) bought cars like this? I guess it’s difficult to fathom driving this today in a sea of SUV’s, but you’d stand out, and heaven forbid one of those SUV’s get’s in your way. ( did you hear something?)Back then, when 2 of these things collided, it was never good. Somebody really took care of this car. Engine is clean compared to most of the oily messy hemi’s I remember back in the day. This would be a car I’d have no problem driving across country, if I could afford the gas that is. You know, at this stage of my life, I don’t need a hemi under the hood, and wouldn’t it be great, if you could have some reasonably economical modern engine, and still enjoy floating down the road in this. Regardless, Chrysler made some darn nice cars in the 50’s. I read, Chrysler had the padded dash as an option, beginning with the 1949 T&C.

    • RJ

      Padded dash gleaned from the Tucker school of thought I wonder.

    • G 1

      1949 on, Chryslers all had padded dashes.

  8. Ed P

    Wow! Less than perfect but very nice. Just enough left to do to make it yours.

  9. RicK

    I’d fix the brakes and throw an old Navajo blanket on the front seat and leave it the way it is and drive it. That is after I swapped the original motor and tranny out for a 426 street Hemi and 727 automatic. Now that would be a SLEEPER! Jump in and HANG ON!

    • terry h.

      the 331 cu.in. does just fine for me,why mess it up ?

  10. Joe Haska

    Howard, I agree with you today. When I was about 10 years old , my parents and I , and my aunt & uncle and my two cousins drove from Colo.to Cal. in my dads 49 Chrysler. I will never forget it!
    Howard, if you go back to Mack Fire Truck, I did respond to your question.
    Thanks Joe

  11. charlie martin

    My dad was a Dodge dealer in the 50’s in Bellingham, Washington.He saw maybe one movie in his life and that was “The Long Long Trailer”, then ordered from his Chrysler dealer buddy in Seattle ,Stan Sayers, (Slo Mo 4 and Slo Mo 5) a 1954 red with pearl top Chrysler Station wagon (no wood), and bought a 41 foot red and silver New Moon house trailer. Pulled it all over the west and the hemi never missed a beat going over the rockies!

  12. Jon

    Cool story. ..

  13. Tom Driscoll

    Pretty Hemi!

  14. Brad C

    This has all the bits and pieces, which is good news — people buy these as “projects” and it’s terribly difficult to find the missing stuff. They only made 1200 wagons in each flavor for the ’53 / ’54 body: Chrysler Windsor, Chrysler New Yorker, and Desoto Firedome… with different front clip designs for each. Even the windshields are wagon-specific… don’t ask me how I found out.

  15. Jill harris

    Owner passed away March of 2017

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