Classy Droptop: 1948 Chrysler New Yorker Convertible


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The listing on eBay describes this beautiful old convertible as a 1948, but it appears to be a 1949. It’s located in Orange Beach, Alabama. It appears to have survived 20 years in storage pretty well and looks very original and complete.


From here, it looks like a good cleaning is all it needs inside. This times, the busy rodents were denied a home.


Even 20 years ago, folks could appreciate how sturdy these old cars are. The top looks like it might be serviceable in the pictures and the back window looks dirty but in decent shape.


Wire wheels were an option, so perhaps these wheels are original.


That is a 1949 grill. There’s a hub cap missing, but the trim looks complete and there’s no sign of rust. The engine is not seized, but a picture under the would be nice. It might be possible to do the usual mechanical work, clean it up and drive it.What do you think the paint looks like under the dirt? Can you just imagine cruising along in this old convertible?

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  1. Kevin

    I would not restore this car. All it needs is the mechanicals gone through to make it a safe driver, then a good cleaning/detailing job and leave as is when it comes to cosmetics.

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    • Brad

      You bet. Anything else would be throwing money at something that isn’t a problem. Not every car needs to cross the block at Scottsdale or win a trophy at Amelia Island. This is a beautiful, honest car in a great color combo. I’ll bet with a thorough cleaning, it would really come to life.

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  2. MeepMeep

    This car is a ’49, as the ’48 was a longer wheelbased car. Those look to be Kelsey-Hayes wire wheels, and I would fully restore this particular example. Not to be a “trailer queen” mind you, but to drive on a regular basis, weather permitting. This specimen is the duplicate body style to My Father’s ’49 Chrysler New Yorker Club Coupe as well as sharing the same body as My ’49 DeSoto Custom.

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    • David

      Thanks for confirming it’s a 1949! I thought this was a 1949 just based on the grill. According to the specs, the 1949 has a longer wheelbase, 131.5 vs the 1948 127.5, but the 1949 is shorter, 208 5/8 vs. the longer 1948 at 214.25. It is confusing.
      I have to agree, this would make a greart driver. I can just imagine cruising with the top down around town or up north through the redwoods.

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  3. David C

    I love this thing! I will be there this coming weekend if anyone is serious send me an e-mail and I can take a look.

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  4. JW454

    The internet can provide the sight and sometimes, the sound but, it can not provide the smell. As a convertible guy, I’ve been in a lot of old convertibles and I know the smell of a damp old convertible. To enjoy it, all the textiles in this one will have to be replaced. Fabreese will just not do it. Consider that on any convertible purchase. Neat old car none the less.

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    • DrinkinGasoline

      In reply, I choose not to replace the scent of days past with modern spray scents but relish in the ora of driving among, and in the past. Fabreeze did not exist in the past.

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  5. Mike B.

    Why do I suddenly hear Danny Zucco singing in my head?

    Why, this car is automatic…
    It’s systematic…
    It’s hyyyyydromatic…
    Why it’s greased lightning!!

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  6. Pete

    The smell of mildew etc. Can be removed easily these days. Put an ozone generator in it with everything buttoned up and sitting in a lockup for a few days. As long as it stays dry the smell of funghi stays away.

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  7. packrat

    Rolling this out in the sunshine with the top down repeatedly, a dry bay with a dehumidifier inside, and a lot of elapsed time, before doing Thing One on this. Looking at the black powdery dustings on the exterior, I can smell the interior like Hans Laube filmed it for us.

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  8. Alan Brase

    Chrysler only WISHED it had a hydrOmatic.
    AKA as Hydramatic. GM surely came up with the names back then, Like “Frigidaire” “Futuramic”
    Hydramatic was a very unusual design, with a 1:1 fluid coupling rather than a torque converter, the design that eventually won out. With 2 planetary reductions making 4 forward speeds, it worked pretty well and built like ag equipment. It survived well into the 1960’s (1964?) with changes.

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  9. curt

    3 forward speeds…no standard low position…blocked, only reverse, the standard second gear position, and the standard third gear position. Up was very low, down was the other two gears. Never needed the upper (standard second gear position) really, it was too low, just clutch the lever down into the standard third position and go, then let up on the throttle and it clicked into high.
    Trust me on this…our first HS date was in my Dad’s ’48 Chrysler…second date was in his ’52 Desoto coupe with the first Hemi…my HS car was a ’50 Dodge Coronet, and I drove the first ’50 Chrysler into town for the dealer before they came out. All had the same shifting process.

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  10. Tim Dinger

    I know where one of these are, last tagged in 1972 he has never moved it since and it has the two rear glasses on the pointy back roof….

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  11. Doc

    Pretty nice shape for a “Rag Top”! Generally you see rear seat and rear deck rot and rust. Dig the wheels. Lots of nice trim to match them.
    A very cool car..

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