Black Battle Wagon: 1962 Chrysler New Yorker Wagon

Way back in the sixties, station wagons became popular with domesticated Americans.  As Americans, we feel the need to have a vehicle capable of hauling a platoon of children, tons of groceries, and a few sheets of plywood all at the same time.  While wagons dominated for years, they disappeared like the dinosaurs after seeing their first snowflake when minivans hit the market.  Long neglected by collectors, station wagons are a very desirable body style now.  It seems people with disposable income want to relive their youth, and a station wagon like this 1962 Chrysler New Yorker being sold on craigslist can help you both dispose of income and relive your youth.  Found in Charter Oak, Indiana, this hefty hauler is being sold for $5500, and we have eagle eyed reader Nicholas Triplett to thank for the tip.

As you can see, this one is ready to go somewhere.  It can’t go on its own, because there are a few obstacles before it once again prowls the road without a vehicular wheelchair under it.  According to the seller, the wagon has a running 440 cubic inch V-8 installed, and he still has the 413 cubic inch mill that originally rested between the fenders.  The problem is the transmission.  The previous owner decided that the cables that connected the push buttons in the spaceship like dash to said transmission each needed to be in two pieces rather than one.  Sourcing cables may be a problem, as the seller seems to have dropped the project after being unable to get it back on the road.  The ad also states that the radiator may need repair, and that the gas tank will likely need flushing.  All standard fare on a car that has been sitting for a long while.

Inside, we see that the car was equipped with factory air conditioning, and that there are even vents in the back to keep the kids and groceries cool.  The red interior, which is in varying states of decay, is the perfect interior color to match the black exterior.  From way back here, the space age dash looks pretty good, and the front seat looks good and comfortable for long cruises to see the world’s second largest ball of twine or an alligator farm of some sort.  If the air conditioning doesn’t work, and it likely doesn’t now, this is a pillarless station wagon.   The good news is that this design feature does away with the metal pillar between the front and rear doors, really smoothing out the lines of the car.  It also allows you to let in hurricane sized amounts of air through the front windows and out the roll down back window.  According to the seller, Chrysler was the last automaker to offer a pillarless wagon, and roughly 1500 were produced.  Of that 1500, only 728 of them were six passenger wagons like this one.  The owner also tells us that the floor will need some patch panels, and some carpet to lay over them when you finish welding them in.

In the rear are two potential trouble areas.  The first is the missing taillights.  Evidently these are rare, and the seller states that a fellow in Australia named George Laurie is reproducing them.  This is not exactly a sign that they will be cheap or easy to replace.  Second, rust is slowly starting to overwhelm the chrome on the center section of the rear bumper.  These cars have a lot of chrome and stainless, and fixing the dents and re-chroming these pieces isn’t going to be cheap.  The cost of chroming seems to grow every year due to environmental mandates and an ever shrinking number of plating shops.  There have been some advances in powder coating that may one day replace traditional plating, but we are not there yet.  Whoever does get us there will likely retire with few financial worries.

What intrigues me most about this heavy hauler is the wheels it is currently riding on.  Obviously not stock, these wheels look all the world like the old BBS rims that yuppies festooned their BMWs with en masse in the 1980s.  At first, they look out of place.  However, when your mind starts shifting into the devious gear, it all makes sense.  This thing would make an awesome battle cruiser.  Hear me out.  It already has a 440 V-8 installed, and these can be hopped up easily.  It is black, with black wheels, so it looks sinister.  Some black limo tint would make it look even better.  The best part is the transmission situation.  One of the favorite tactics of the stop light drag racers around here is to leave the factory shift equipment in the car, but put a Hurst Slap Shifter low on the transmission hump to hide it from opponents.  Attach that shifter to a beefed up, later model Torque Flight transmission, strengthen up the rear end, and maybe even pull out the rear seats and any other weight you can jettison.  My guess is that you’d surprise a lot of people when you stomped the go pedal on this wagon.  The great part is that nobody wants to get smoked by a station wagon.

Would you do it any different?

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. Elrod

    This car is very unique to me. The styling is so very different from other wagons of this era. It would make a nice resto-rod. Not really worth the effort to do a factory restore job – but definitely would be a cool ride on car night with a proper stance/engine/ wheels. Price seems a bit high considering the amount of missing parts and condition -but I’m no Mopar expert. Bet you would be the only guy at the next show with one!

  2. Troy S.

    Cars like this are what I like to see at shows or rumbling down the coast highway. Yea, the 440 is more than capable of moving a beast like this at warp speed, but somehow the 413 would make it more interesting.

  3. Brad C

    Fun bench seat, up front. The driver gets a higher back, while the passengers’ seat back tops out around their shoulder blades. Just a neat, quirky car – a little bit Brady, a little bit Munsters. I’d love to own it, but that cracked windshield is a splash of cold water. If it’s unique to this wagon, forget about finding a replacement.

  4. Rick Byrne

    Yank the engine and transmission and just go with a Gen III Hemi and matching automatic and be done with it. That’ll save you some $$$ to work on that chrome and taillight issue.

  5. Brad C

    Here’s a MUCH cleaner 1963 Newport wagon. At $500 less… it has less pizzaz and trim, but I’d much rather start with this one than the black New Yorker above. Just seems like it’s ready to drive.

    https://portland.craigslist.org/nco/cto/d/1963-chrysler-newport-station/6247273772.html

    • Joe Nose

      Dunno. I kinda like the canted headlights of the ’62 better, even if the ’63 is more readier. But even more better is the ’61 which has both canted headlice AND bat twings. Waay coolier, IMHO. Shop near me has had a green over green T&C for more than a year. Wonder what part he is waiting for.

      • Miguel

        The big advantage the ’63 has over the ’62 is the park lever. It is hard to keep the ’62 from moving with the factory parking brake.

  6. Darrun

    Amazingly, there is lots of parts on Ebay for this car. Front and rear rechromed bumpers, shift cables and new or used tail lights. Lots of chrome trim pieces. Nothing is cheap but it is available.
    If…I was to own a wagon, this one would be close to the top of the list. It’s just odd enough to be cool.

  7. JimmyJ

    My old man drives a 57 custom royal 2 d hot I know the old mopar crowd is pretty tight he could source the parts and if I had the dough I’d grab it!
    When’s the last time u saw one of these? It also has no b pillar we all know that’s the best looking wagon by far

  8. Nicholas

    Looking at this guy’s list on Craigslist he also has a big block Ford wagon for sale.

  9. Jerry Brentnell

    really burns my backside when all that can be said about this rare wagon is comments from guys who know nothing about mopars! parts are out there, get off your ass and look! murray park at cbodies .com has a few of these wagons in ohio! if it was a buick or olds wagon they would be drooling all over it nothing here can’t be fixed with time and not a lot of money if you get dirty and do it your self

    Like 1
    • Keith

      Yep Murray has everything you’d ever need for a Mopar. Not cheap, but he has the goods. He was the ONLY person I found to have a grille for my ’61 300G. Granted, that grille was 4 figures, but he had it.

  10. Ben T. Spanner

    This car has the juke box or space age dash. One year later the 1963 had a flat dash. My 1966 was back to the juke box dash. That was one of my favorite features.

    • Loco Mikado

      The juke box dash is what makes these old 60’s Chrysler’s in my opinion. Had one in my ’65 Newport 30 years ago and I still miss it. Hardtop SW’s of any make are rare because they were only built for a few years, ’56 to ’64 I believe.

    • Rob'sGT

      It’s called an Astrodome with electroluminescent lighting.

  11. Dave Wright

    The first car I ever drove (had been driving trucks for years) was a Newport version of this my folks owned for decades. It was red and had a big block 361 that my dad loved. Great car….hauled countless Boy Scouts, boats, snowmobiles, camp trailers and sheets of plywood. These are wonderful cars. I took my first drivers test in it…..the only demerit I got was for “palming” the steering wheel. Put the 413 back…

  12. Bruce Fischer

    Mopars.I am still looking to trade my 56 Chrysler for a station wagon. e mail tnyahoo@aol.com

  13. gaspumpchas.

    Mr. Exner out did himself on this beauty.Would make a great Nostalgia stocker. They ran these a lot on the strip and many dominated. Check Out Mr. Buttons, named for the push button Torqueflite. Ran strong at the old Pocono Drag Lodge in PA in the 60’s!

  14. Car Guy

    The 17×8 in. wheels are from a late 80’s Trans Am.There were different offset front and rear. If you look closely you can see the difference.

  15. Jubjub

    I’d love to have this. Cool x10. Trade for a TVR?

  16. jim fuller

    In 1962 I was given this wagon as a chrysler test platform. The requirement was that I drive it 100,000 miles with no maintenance except tires. No oil changes, no brakes, no nothing. I used to tow a whaler to Florida, I beat the s… out of it, and returned it to Chrysler after the 100k. They then took it apart and found it still in exceptional condition. Amazing

  17. Matt Knowles

    I miss my old wagons……………this one was mine……it went to Michigan. Hopefully the guy that bought it has it fixed by now!

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