Hemi Wagon: 1958 Chrysler New Yorker Town & Country

Really promising project cars seem to be appearing thick and fast here at Barn Finds at present, and this looks like it could be a great one for all of our Mopar enthusiasts out there. This 1958 Chrysler New Yorker Town & Country has been in hiding for a while but is ready to roam the streets once again. Located in Arroyo Grande, California, the New Yorker is listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding is sitting at $9,400, but the reserve hasn’t been met. Speaking of Mopar enthusiasts, there are currently 153 of them that are watching the listing.

It looks a bit better now that it’s had a wash, doesn’t it? Originally finished in extremely attractive Satin Gray, the Southern Californian sun has certainly caused it to fade quite badly. However, the New Yorker has managed to survive with no apparent rust issues. Early cars developed a rather nasty reputation for rust problems, but if this one has survived for 61-years without problems, then it should be good for at least another 61. All of the external trim and chrome is present, and probably the only real bit of bad news is the fact that the tinted windshield is badly cracked on the driver’s side. I undertook a quick check online, and replacement glass is readily available for under $500, even in the correct tint shade.

Generally, the Red and Gray interior trim in the New Yorker is in reasonable condition. The exception here is the driver’s seat, which has some pretty heavy wear. The rest of the trim is quite dirty, but hopefully, it will respond to a deep clean. The car has been sitting for a fairly long time, and I don’t think that a lot has been done to improve the appearance of the car, with most of the effort being expended on the mechanical components. The dash pad is also looking a bit sad, while some of the plated items exhibit pitting. However, the interior is complete, and it features a few nice creature comforts such as air conditioning, power windows, and a power front seat. What it doesn’t feature is the third row, so this New Yorker is strictly a 6-seater.

How can there be anything wrong with a family station wagon that packs 345hp under the hood? That’s precisely what you get from the 392ci Hemi V8 in the New Yorker. Those horses are sent to the rear wheels via a 3-speed TorqueFlite transmission, while power steering and power brakes are also included. At 4,435lbs, the New Yorker Wagon is no lightweight, but it is still capable of a 0-60 time of 7.7 seconds and can dispatch the ¼ mile in 16.4 seconds. That is in no way shabby for a family wagon, and the good news here is that the Chrysler is in good mechanical health. The owner has now serviced the brakes, and the New Yorker drives and stops as it should.

When you delve into the build totals for the 1958 Chrysler New Yorker, some interesting facts become apparent. Available as both a six or an eight-seater, the six sold for $4,868, while the eight sold for $5,083. In spite of the higher price, the eight-seater sold a total of 775 cars, while only 428 examples of the cheaper car were sold. That is probably the opposite of what most people would expect. With such low build numbers, these are a car that doesn’t come onto the market very often. When they do, good examples tend to sell for around $28,000, while a spotless example with air conditioning can push beyond $65,000. This one has a way to go before it reaches that sort of standard, but at least it looks like the next owner will be starting from a solid base.

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Comments

  1. Rex Kahrs Member

    So Chrysler only sold 1200 wagons that year? I have to assume that the body shell was shared with Dodge, Plymouth, and DeSoto. But I do like the red/gray color scheme…go Buckeyes!

    Like 4
    • Arthell64 Member

      I would love to have this sitting in my garage. I like it.

      Like 10
      • local_sheriff

        Many car guys regard the ’58 models to be a low point in car design – seems this longroof proves the opposite. One doesn’t even need be a Pentastar aficionado to appreciate it

        Like 4
    • Terry R Melvin

      The count is for New Yorker wagons only.

      Like 3
    • Will Fox

      Rex, `58 was a HORRIBLE recession year that started in the fall of `57, and every mfr. suffered badly–hence the low production numbers. The only cars that sold in any great numbers that year were the (new) `58 Rambler American, and the all-new Ford T-Bird that was now a 4-seater. All others reported serious losses that year.

      Like 8
    • Rick Rothermel

      The Syndie TV series UNITED STATES MARSHAL used a Desoto or Chrysler wagon as a hero car updated ’58 and ’59. Could this be…?

      • Will Fox

        Penny’s father on “Sky Chief” (not sure of exact title of show; sorry) in the 50’s drove Chrysler wagons too, but `55-`56 models.

        Like 2
      • On and On On and On Member

        “Sky King” ! Was the show. Cool Cool stuff. The “Songbird” was his plane………….I’ve been waiting for this one to be on the old TV channels…… BTW, Sky Chief was the name of a grade of Texaco gasoline……….you were on the track Will.

        Like 5
    • Bill McCoskey

      Yes, the same body shell was used on the lowly Plymouth Suburbans as well.

      I do prefer the 1960 New Yorker wagon, as it’s a 4-door hardtop, not a post sedan.

      Like 1
    • jerry

      never mind the wagon here I love the coupe that is sitting in the back ground! would love to have that!

      Like 1
      • Bellingham Fred

        Click on sellers other items on the eBay listing. ’41 Desoto. Looks like it came from the same barn as the wagon, as it shows a pic with “sold” written in the dust on the windshield.

  2. Rex Kahrs Member

    I just looked at the listing, does anyone know what the purpose of all those little drawers is? They almost look like a factory thing, but what on earth would they be used for?

    Like 6
    • leiniedude leiniedude Member

      Great question Rex, no clue. Looks like a spitoon/ashtray to the right of them. Could be a J.C Whitney ashtray on the door also. Would that dragon on the gate be stock?

      Like 1
    • Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

      Good question Rex, I have no idea either, never seen anything like that before. It looks like a chain smokers ashtray array.

      Like 3
    • Taylor W

      The drawers are totally ash trays. My family has been restoring the car and there were still cigarettes in there.

      Like 2
  3. canadainmarkseh Member

    What a great looking car, the roof lines look purpose built. the impala in the previous post looks like an add on after thought, because it still has the 4 door sedan c pillar in place. The front body lines and grille work are well designed too and pleasing to look at, and the tail lights are killer. This car and cars like remind me of when I was a kid and camping was simpler no gigantic RV’s just small trailers and tents. This car would look fantastic fully restored.

    Like 4
    • CJinSD

      The right side tail light looks broken, and photos of other 1958 New Yorker body styles look to have distinctly different tail lights and fins. Ouch.

  4. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    I don’t know anything about these New Yorker wagons, in fact I don’t think I have ever seen one. But I agree, it would look cool restored. These were fairly pricey for their day, for reference $5083 in 1958 is about $45,000 today.

    Nice write-up Adam.

    Like 8
  5. That Guy

    A quick consultation with Dr. Google doesn’t turn up any images of those little drawers, so I’m thinking aftermarket. But what are they? I dunno. Regardless, this is a great car.

    Like 3
  6. Rex Kahrs Member

    I’m starting to wonder if the original owner was a pipe smoker, and those drawers were like a humidor smorgasbord.

    “Hey Mabel, load this baby up with some Borkum Riff!”. “Will do, Ralph!”. “How you kids doing back there??”….”Kids?”.

    Like 7
  7. JOHN Member

    Pretty certain the drawers are not OEM, they look home built. The device on the right side looks to be a vacuum powered ash tray… maybe? But overall, what a cool car, the spotlights/rear view mirrors, all too cool!

    Like 3
  8. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Rex – can you read – or just make negative comments ? Production figures in the posting are for Chrysler wagon production.

    Desoto production was less but they were slowly going out.

    Dodge and Plymouth’s did a little better but also offered a two door wagon in small production numbers as well.

    Nice car and will go higher and most likely go across the pond.

    Like 1
    • Rex Kahrs Member

      Stillrunner, I’m not sure where you think I’m being negative. Yes, I read that there were 1200 New Yorker wagons made by Chrysler in ’58…that’s what was written, and that number seems really low to me.

      My post asked the question: if that figure was accurate, how could Chrysler possibly make a profit? Then I assumed that the body shell must have been shared between the other divisions, otherwise 1200 sold wagons just didn’t make sense. I wasn’t being negative, I was just trying to make sense of the numbers. From your post it would seem that in fact Chrysler didn’t sell too many wagons that year across all divisions.

      Like 5
      • Will Fox

        Rex, from the cowl REARWARD, all MoPar wagons shared the same bodyshell; the difference was the front clip for each division and obviously trim. This was the case `57-`58. In `59 Dodge/Plymouth had distinctly different rear quarters because the fins differed. Chrysler/DeSoto shared the same body shell in `59.

  9. bog

    At quick first glance, I thought this WAS a DeSoto. My Uncle had one. I should say, he bought it, but my Aunt drove it. He had a variety of health conditions and I never saw him drive. ANYway, this seems like a pretty powerful and kinda neat wagon. In my lifetime Chrysler corp products always seemed to get high marks for engineering: Hemi engine, torsion bar suspension, Torqueflite trans…and then low marks for Avant-garde exterior design and build quality. How much of that last part is true, have no idea… I’ve got buddies that swear by ’em !

    Like 3
    • PatrickM

      That 392 hemi was, and is, a screamer!! But, with the added weight of the wagon… Well, you know…

      Like 4
      • Miguel

        The added weight makes it a smooth cruiser which is what I look for in a car.

        Red light to red light tire screeching has never been a thing of mine.

  10. 86_Vette_Convertible

    What’s not to like – how about the spotlights in the doors? I don’t remember ever seeing anything like that before. A hemi wagon is something to drool over and this one doesn’t look that bad either. Spent too much time as a kid wandering a junkyard and saw similar to this one. In fact pulled a hemi from something similar to this one to transplant into another car once.
    Hope whoever gets this one puts it back together and back on the road.

    Like 2
  11. ccrvtt

    Mopar styling was on a bizarre trajectory in the late ’50s-early ’60s. At the time it seemed they made remarkably awkward looking cars. In retrospect they truly are remarkably attractive and coherent designs.

    This wagon is a nice find and its rarity makes it more appealing. Not sure there’s going to be a big market for it though.

    Like 1
  12. Car Nut Tacoma

    Lovely looking car. Assuming all the parts are available or there with the car, I would hope whoever purchases the car is able to restore it to driveable condition.

    Like 2
    • Taylor W

      It’s pretty difficult to find the exact tail lights but in all, it’s on it’s way to being restored. It’ll be on the road soon :)

  13. Jim

    I’d paint it destroyer gray and maybe redo the Crome in black

  14. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    A fabulous wagon, the design is really a standout as far as wagons go. This is a car that should be restored to original as almost everything seems to be present. It’s going to be pricey to restore all the outside trim and freshen up the chrome, though. A fresh coat of Satin Gray should make all the shiney bits really stand out. Even though this is a pretty heavy car, the Hemi under the hood should be more than enough to keep the lead-foot crowd happy. Restore to original, don’t change a thing; this would be a magnificent wagon brought back to factory specs.

    Like 3
  15. PatrickM

    When these first came out, I thought they were ugly. But, today, I recognize more distinctive styling. The dragon on the tail gate is an add-on. The ashtrays on the doors are for smokers who didn’t want to “offend” other non-smokers. The little drawers under the dash are probably as predicted by other readers…storage for more cigars and pipe tobacco. The ones with the red knobs are probably for more matches or lighters, like the ones on the shotgun floor. The spotlights are add-on’s. Yeah, I would like to have this one…but, all the smoking storage and such would have to be removed. Bidding at $10,600.00. I sure hope it stays in the Good Ol’ USA. What a boat!! Can you say, “Road trip!!” Of c ourse, you’ll have to pay for gas. This ain’t no hybrid.

    Like 2
  16. Anav8r

    I’m surprised that the author is surprised that the more expensive 8 seater outsold the 6 seater. Station wagons are people haulers. Why NOT get the extra seats? If buyers were looking to save money, they’d have bought a Plymouth or Dodge wagon… Maybe even a Rambler… ;)

    Like 1
    • Bellingham Fred

      Besides that if you look at the price per passenger the 8 seater is about $176 per person less. I doubt that anyone actually took that into consideration when making the purchase.

      Like 1
    • Miguel

      If this was a Plymouth or Dodge, they might have sold more cheaper wagons, but this is a Chrysler which was the luxury division. Those buyers had more money so I am not surprised they sold more of the more expensive model.

      I wish I still had my 1962 New Yorker wagon.

  17. Will Fox

    Not sure if it’s the type of film used, but the writer states the car is originally gray. Look at the door jambs in the interior shots; it looks BLUE. and in the LF view taken inside the shop, it looks blue also. Gray sounds more likely, with the red/gray interior. The only way I see this being blue from the factory is DEFINITELY a custom order for someone. Perhaps the seller can confirm?

    Like 1
  18. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    A friend of mine back in the days of our youth (50’s/60’s) dad had one of these Roy told me it cost over$5,000.00. In those days a new car could be bought for $2k or less so I thought he was fibbing a little bit. I don’t know what his dad did for a living but they had one of the nicest houses in the area on acreage.
    God bless America

    Like 2
  19. Francis Novack

    Ok, now I’m drooling. If I had the money and space……

  20. FOG

    While stationed at the Great Lakes Naval Base, I had one of these wagons to haul a dozen sailors around. Alas, the wagon’s rear springs broke and limped it back to the base during one of Chicago’s infamous snowstorms. Sorry to have parted with it for fifty clams,

    Like 2
    • bog

      FOG – lol , I’m “bog”. I almost bought a lovely house in Lake Bluff, that even had a creek and a bridge that crossed it to get to the garage. I wanted to follow the creek through the woods on the property, and I heard an all too familiar sound of boots on pavement. And THEN came to the 10-12 foot fence with concertina wire on the top. Hm. The North end of that property butted right up against Great Lakes. Since I’d already done my service (Army….tanks), I saw no good reason to have unhappy sailors going AWOL over my back fence ! And yes, we still have some dandy snowstorms. Glad I missed ’67 !!!

  21. BG in Alaska

    First of all, I’m a Mopar nut. I don’t apologize for enjoying their cars & trucks from the second half of the 50’s to about ‘74. Their fins appeared more cohesive than most, their bubble dashes more avant-garde than anything else at that time and mechanically they were very reliable with minimal maintenance.
    I am also a fan of station wagons. The SUV’s of their day with a lot more style.
    I enjoy styles from may manufacturers from the original Mini to modern retro cars, etc but I will always try to have a Mopar in my yard or garage.
    This style of Mopar wagon has been on my want list since first seeing a ‘59 in Tuscan, AZ in 1981, but I lived about 3000 miles away and even then, the airlines had a restrictive policy on checked bags.

    Like 1
    • Miguel

      BG, I am a wagon nut. That is because I was fascinated by the designs. It was interesting to me to see what the designers did to take the sedans or coupes tail lights and make them work on a wagon that had to have the middle part free for an opening door while keeping the same design as the car.

      This is also why I like professional cars. For example on the 1974 – 1976 Cadillac professional cars, since the tail lights and reverse lights ran across under the trunk on the car, they used Chevrolet Malibu wagon tail lights in the lower bumper for those models.

      On the 1967 Pontiac Ambulance they used a round tail light lens. I couldn’t think of a 1965 – 1966 Chevrolet, they always used Chevrolet parts, that had a round tail light. I then saw a Corvair drive by and said Oh Yeah, there it is.

      • Bill McCoskey

        Miguel,
        Sometimes having to make the taillights match the fender ends can result in interesting situations. For example, look at a 1958 Edsel Station wagon. The Edsel wagon was basically a ford station wagon with Ford wagon rear fenders. Ford Wagon fenders end with a high wing fin, as well as a lower wing. So Ford designed the Edsel wagon taillights to fit the Ford wagon fenders.

        The result was a large red “V” on it’s side. Problem was, the taillight looked like an arrow, but each taillight arrow pointed in the opposite direction: Turning on the left turn signal, meant you had a red arrow pointing to the right!

        I’ve always wondered what the Ford designers were thinking when they created those taillights, they HAD to know what it would look like at night or in a fog.

        I can’t post a photo to show you, but do a search for 58 Edsel taillights and you will see what I’m talking about!

  22. Del

    Rare wagon with killer Hemi.

    its running so should not be too much more to fix. maybe shocks.

    paint and new tail light and good to go.

    Easy resto

  23. Andrew Franks

    Vette is correct. What’s not to like? If I had the room I’d be all over it.

  24. BOB

    I had one of these in the early 1990″s saved it from extinction as it had hit a cow and was awaiting scrappingI went to FLA and traded it for a 392 hemi.the car now resides in Germany, another one saved. mine was special order interior,leather and factory air

    Like 1

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