Demolition Reject: 1968 Chrysler Town & Country

Josh MortensenBy Josh Mortensen

This Chrysler wagon has quite the story behind it. You see, a previous owner had big plans for it. They were going to enter it in the local demolition derby. At that point it was just a worn out family hauler, but given it’s incredible size and weight, the derby’s officials wouldn’t allow it to compete. Apparently, it was too strong and would have dominated all of its competitors. I actually don’t doubt it, but I’m kind of glad they didn’t allow them to enter it. It might look a bit ugly, but it looks solid and quite complete. The current owner is flipping it, again it’s better that then see it destroyed. Find it here on eBay in Burbank, California with a BIN of $5,500 and the option to make an offer.

The asking price is a bit high if you ask me, but the seller has gotten it running and driving. They upgraded the carb from the original 2 barrel to a better breathing 4 barrel. It sounds like it probably still needs brake work and to be gone over, just to be safe. The seller proved a video of the engine running and it sounds great!

One thing is for sure, this beast has an interesting look to it. I’m not sure I would call it a good look, but it’s definitely something. As many of you are aware, I’m a wagon fan, so clearly I think this one would be fun to have. Clean it up, go through the brakes, install some new tires and you’d have one heck of a cruiser.

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  1. Marty Wilke Marty Staff

    Although the “rejected for demolition derby” story is probably apocryphal, plenty of these went out that way, and that’s part of what makes this one scarce.

    With all the current fad of running the “patina” look, this one has it in spades. If I were a builder of “Icon Derelict” type cars, and I were looking to venture into the 1960s body styles, this would be a great place to start.

    I’m not clear on the 2 barrel to 4 barrel conversion. The video doesn’t appear to show a new intake manifold, so what exactly was done?

    Cool car either way.

    • Don

      You can get an adapter kit that goes on the 2barrel intake and let’s you put a 4 barrel carb on it , kind of a cheap way to do it .

      • Rod

        They could of put a used four barrel intake on it.

    • CJay

      Some demo derbies have a “No Chrysler Imperial rule”.

      • Marty Wilke Marty Staff

        This is not an Imperial.

      • Horse Radish

        Chrysler / Imperial

      • Charlie V

        Marty, this may not be an Imperial, but as an owner of 3 1968 Chrysler Newports and a 300, the WAGONS were just as heavy as the Imperial.

      • Marty Wilke Marty Staff

        The point being, it’s unlikely that it was ruled out from any demo derby just for being a full size Chrysler wagon.

        The Imperial was listed as more than 600 lbs heavier than the Chrysler wagon, but this is splitting hairs because I don’t think the curb weight by itself is why Imperials are not allowed in most derbies, it’s probably due to way the bodies are constructed, the fact that they’re so hard to bend, and this is not due to weight alone.

        I had a ’68 Chrysler myself, a ’65, and plenty of Furys from that era, I know they’re heavy!

  2. CowboyChris

    The rear passenger area is big enough to run a brothel in…. I’m just saying

  3. glen

    From smack up derby to a bin of $5500.00 If they can get that, it’s a good thing they didn’t get allowed to enter the derby.

    • Alan (Michigan)

      My thoughts exactly. Derby cars are generally $500 types, that then have certain critical modifications done to increase the likelihood of enduring the crash-fest. So, the question is: does the flipper really think that he can make 10X the investment as a quick profit?

      The car does have a very solid appearance. But to be a driver, is still needs a lot, and I’d not want to ride in the interior until it was refurbished more than a little.

      • Horse Radish

        Just throwing it out there, to see if it sticks.

  4. CJay

    From what I understand the reason Chryslers were banned from a lot of demo derbies because of their frame construction. The bumper would fail, but the C channel frame would stick out like a spear.
    While at Ft Bliss El Paso TX I would scour the salvage yards.
    It was not uncommon for several non running cars be loaded onto a tractor trailer at a time.
    Electras, LTDs, Chevy wagons any LARGE rust free American steel. No wheels just stacked on top of each and strapped down.
    When I questioned “why?”. The yard operator told me that he was getting $1000 each and they were going the east coast for demo derby cars.
    That was 10 years ago.
    A big derby can have a $10,000 1st prize.

  5. Sam

    How about a resto-rat-mod-rod? Viper or Hellcat engine, AWD, grill/hide away lights, bucket seats/console (67 Charger), shaker hood intake, steel wheels, lots of black satin paint and leather!

    • Cory

      383 and 440’s with a mild rebuild you get over 500 hp…Cheaper than trying to fit and buy a V-10 or 6.2 Supercharged..and have less reliability than a bullet proof old Big Block Mopar !

      There are a few 440’s with Superchargers on them that have over 1000 hp..

      Check out Muscle Motors..Best bang for the buck is a 400 big block for $7000 it has 500 hp and 525 torque.. They have more too,440 versions 600 hp ish..

      Also have stock appearing 383/400/440 based are 500 cubic inch pump gas animals. They use stock style aluminum heads and a hydraulic cam with a non-adjustable valve train for low maintenance and cost.

      With 550 HP and over 600 ft/lbs of torque, this stock appearing pump gas !

      I don’t have these engines in my cars,but my 68 Charger Rt runs mid 11’s on pump gas with a 440,and didn’t cost much to build it..Basic 69 300 ran 12.60’s with a 440 TNT ,3.23 gears and it only had a purple cam no head work..Stock except purple cam..And didn’t even hook up,struggled for traction.

    • Oscar

      You mean, turn it into a generic cruiser, to hell with that. That patina is unique and what makes this car special. #1: New bushings, hoses, give everything a good shot of grease and put a quart of ATF in with the engine oil to dislodge the gunk. #2: Drive.

  6. Howard A Member

    I can’t believe these are no longer allowed in demo derbies. What, are future demo derbies going to be K cars and old Camry’s? (sorry Scotty) Where’s the fun in that? The fun part, was hearing these big V8’s with straight pipes, scream bloody murder, as they die. In N.Wis. I’m sure this is still the car of choice. Again, proof positive, people from California MUST use a different monetary system than the rest of us.

    • CJay

      I Googled demo derby rules and found a couple organizations still have a no Imperial rule of some type.
      But everyone loves the large loud V8s.
      It is getting harder to find large, rust free, rwd cars for demos. Especially in the Rust belt.
      Guys that run lots of demos (and constantly win) have well built V8 motors that they move from car to car.
      They have compact(that sounds like p***ed off bubble bees), fwd and pickup classes also.
      One of the most fun events I was in charge of was a School Bus Demo!!!

      • glen

        School bus demo, very cool!

  7. Ben T. Spanner

    Decades ago. I bought a 1966 to use as a cheap weekend truck. They are huge. I wanted a large wagon, fake wood trim and a roof rack. We once hauled a small refrigerator on the roof rack. The dash looked like a juke box.

    Try to change a rear tire with a bumper jack. The jack is disappearing into the stanchion as the wheel comes off the ground. No floor jack ? chain two bumper jacks side by side. Still iffy.

    A small wire broke off the coil and the plastic attachment for the brake booster hose broke. Nothing else.

  8. ShaunD

    Love, love, love this! Spend enough to get it mechanically sound, and leave her as-is. Beautiful old girl.

  9. Bill McCoskey

    30 years ago a friend used big 1968 & earlier Chryslers in the local demo derby. One day I was at his gas station as he was preparing another ’66 New Yorker for an upcoming derby. He was taking off the rear bumper by cutting off the bolt heads holding the bumper brackets to the frame ends. He then took a set of used bolts and put the bumper back on the car. I had to ask him WTF? He told me the original bumper bracket bolts were grade 8 bolts. The bolts he used to put the bumper back on the car had no grading marks at all, and once hit hard, he claimed the bolts would shear off.

    He said the goal was to lose both bumpers early in the event, because the front & rear frame extensions [as CJay said above] were like spears. Once tightened, and a little bit of old dirty grease wiped around the replacement bolts & nuts, it looked like the bumpers had never been off the car.

  10. Jubjub

    April fools pricing eh!

    Seems a shame when a factory red car gets painted over like this. I bet it was one helluva wagon when it was new. I’d at least try color sanding it back down to red. The wood paneling is a different story. A set of correct wheel covers would be cheap and go a long way too.

  11. Ken Owens

    Have a 65 much in this condition, love it. Former owner put a cheap paint job on the car lapis blue. Gets a lot of attention. It isn’t hard to put a lot of money into these cars. The power windows always seem to have something wrong. Just got through with a bill of over 4 grand and that doesn’t include working on the air conditioning. It’s going in for that soon, another 2 grand to bring it up to current air standards. It’s a love/hate thing. Love the wagon, hate the repair bills. Eventually will have to deal with re-doing the interior. It is shot. The patina on the car had to have some help to get that many colors. Love the look of these cars, always get comments of appreciation or the story of someone who owned one. My girlfriends parents owned a 65 white Chrysler wagon. Loved to drive it on church trips with a whole gang of people. Girlfriend and her mother would not drive it as they was overwhelmed by the length. Instead they drove her mom’s 57 Pontiac. No real comparison in my book. The Chrysler Wagon Rules in my book ! ! !

  12. Bruce Fischer

    Got to love station wagons.Bruce.

  13. ckkurtz Member

    I’m with ShaunD on this one!

  14. Ralph Robichaud

    To think someone would part with $5500 for this heap! I love chryslers, but not this one!

    • Cory

      Nice wagons are $30,000 now for these Chrysler’s…Sure $5,500 seems high $2500 sure even 3 if its solid..$3000 isn’t a lot of money at all these days..

  15. glenn

    someone please restrore this we will regret losing so many of these in the future


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