Solid And Affordable: 1956 Chrysler Windsor

How often have you heard “don’t judge a book by its cover” or “looks can be deceiving”? Well despite this Chrysler’s appearance, this car is a smooth operator needing some brake work. Even the air conditioning system is still operational. Found in a barn, having been owned by an elderly gentleman, this Chrysler has some patina, but has a prospects of returning to the road. Bidding has reached $510 but the “buy it now” price of $2,500 seems like a fair enough number on this Chrysler. Find it here on ebay out of Bullard, Texas.

Equipped with air conditioning, this Chrysler would be a great classic to have during the summer, for drive in movies, and ice cream socials. 225 horsepower comes from a 331 cubic inch “Spitfire” V8 and is transmitted through a push button automatic transmission. The heat and air conditioning are operational, but the output of the air conditioning system is unclear. Worst case scenario, the A/C system would need to be rebuilt with fresh seals, and recharged. The engine bay is a little grody, but appears to be complete aside from the air cleaner assembly. Although this Chrysler does run and drive, it will likely need a “fine tooth comb” to work out all of its details to make it reliable and road worthy. The brake system is complete and operational, but the rear wheel cylinders need to be rebuilt. The seller is including a kit for the wheel cylinders.

Inside of this patina’d Chrysler is a very original, and solid interior. Granted there are some stains to the white upholstery, but there is little wear. For being a Texas car, I would have expected more sun fade and damage to the upholstery, and the dash pad. Thankfully it would appear that this Chrysler spent many of its days in a barn. The sun visors are a little rough needing to be recovered, and the headliner looks to be sagging as well. Not the best interior, but certainly a reasonable one.

The most obvious features of this Chrysler now is the patina’d paint, and the thin layer of dust that has accumulated from being stored.  There is plenty of surface rust, but all of which appears to be minor, with no rot, or holes present. The front fenders, rockers, and quarters, appear solid from what can be seen in the photos. There is no mention of any rot, or concerning rust, appearing much like a car that spent its life in Texas. The chrome is fair, with no major rust, but with a few minor dings. Both rear taillights are broken, but it appears to be a random act of vandalism, or some other situation. Possibilities for a solid classic car, with air conditioning, seem endless.  Whether you maintained its appearance with some measures to make it a safe driver, or you set your heart on restoring it, this Chrysler seems like a deal. What would you do with this affordable classic Chrysler?

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Comments

  1. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    Buy it now has been dropped to $2,000!

  2. Howard A Member

    Again, cars like these need to be nice to begin with, ( or at least, better than this) and unless someone has a special tie to a car like this, it’s just too much work. I see a great parts car for someone.

  3. RicK

    wonder if this year Chrysler has that nutty dual wheel cylinder setup on the front brakes?

    • Ed P

      It does. That changed in the 60’s.

    • G 1

      Yes. At least they stopped.

    • Keith

      It does, and the cylinders run about $50 a piece. Ask me how I know……

    • Bruce Fischer

      Rick.Yes it is my 56 Chrysler had 2 wheel cylinder for each side of the front brakes, and only 1 for each wheel on the rear. Mine looked kind of rough when I bought it but she ran nice. Heres a picture when I 1st brought her home.Bruce.

  4. jcs

    Those cows in the background in a couple of the pictures are a nice touch for a BF featured car.

    • bill

      I don’t see any cows. I think that’s called a horse

      • ags290

        The cows are in the Ebay listing main page.

  5. Wayne

    Since when is rust called patina. They are as different as chalk and cheese.

  6. Rustytech Member

    She’s crusty but, if this car has always been in Texas that’s mostly surface rust from the paint baking off it. It would be nice to see some pictures of the bottom, but the pictures of the trunk and under side of the hood look solid, the seats aren’t trashed, and it’s got A/C. I see potential.

    Like 1
  7. grant

    Clea it up and cruise it while you either save for a paint job, or prep it yourself and learn how. Beautiful.

  8. John D

    To me, patina means: needs a paint job.

    I would give a paint job and fix whatever needs attention, both mechanically and in the interior. Then I would make it my summer driver or at least, one of them.

    • Mark S

      I agree John I would follow the same plan, I believe they call it a simpathetic restoration where only what’s needed gets attention, that and a good cleaning. These old cars had single stage gloss paint which is easy to apply. This defanetly not a parts car as Howard put it. This hobby has lost it way people used to do this for the sake of having and rescuing there favorite car. Now it’s more about speculating the turnover value, and a lot of cars like this are just getting past around with no real interest in bringing it back. At the rate that old country side bone yards are being emptied out it is going to get harder and harder to find a project car, and worse yet spare parts for it.

      • Howard A Member

        Hi Mark, I agree on most your points, but this car is hardly a “sympathetic restoration”. It’s going to need everything, and unless you’ve done that ( my 1950 Packard was in similar shape before I tackled it) it’s a lot of work. I’m not saying it can’t be done ( good luck on the tail lights) but there are similar projects, that may only need a “sympathetic restoration”, for a few grand more, you can have a driving one you fix as you go, kind of like what Bruce did. If it was a 2 door, or convertible, or some real fancy Chrysler, that would be different as well.

      • Mark S

        HI Howard I seem to be ruffling a lot of feathers these days so I’ll try not to do that to you. The fact is I’ve been around cars and motorcycles since I was a kid. I know that this might sound like a rerun but I worked as an auto mechanic since 1980 and have been a welder fabricator since 2004. I have been doing a restoration of my own car since 2010 and have been through just about every part of that car I guess my definition of sympathetic is different than yours in that I only replaced or repaired what was required I did all the sheet metal but I didn’t do a body off frame restoration. It’s not perfect and that’s ok I know lots of tricks to keep it going. That to me is a simpathetic restoration where as a pebble beach car would be a full restoration. I don’t like patina its unchecked rust and is simple incomplete work. I think you bring a lot to the table Howard with plenty of life experience. I don’t always agree with you but I’m always interested in what you have to say. Thanks for your input.

  9. Fred W.

    Patina doesn’t look good on this car. But if it’s only surface rust as it appears, that will save a fortune on bodywork over the typical rustbucket.

  10. Eric 10Cars

    I like this car. It was the first year Chrysler used the pushbutton shifter. I believe that it was mostly mechanical too. It got rid of that incredibly dangerous shifter in the dashboard that stuck out like a javelin, which they used for only 1955 cars. Also, the Windsor got a standard V8 in 1955, replacing the Spitfire flathead 6. It was still a 2 speed automatic. I think the Torqueflite tranny was 3 speed and introduced in 1957. A New Yorker would be preferable, but this is a nice car. They were very comfortable to ride in. My understanding is that the 57s were lower and had thinner cushions and thus were less comfortable. I think of the 55s and 56s as the transitional models from the essentially post-war boxes to the smoother lines of the late 50s and early 60s, and they initiated the fin craze. The fenders were more integrated into the bodies, especially the front fenders, in the later years and only minimally accented in the 60s. Of course there were the tailfins, but they began to disappear around 62 or so. Consider for example, the 61 Chevy, or the 62 Chrysler or the 64 Ford.
    At this price, this 56 would be a nice project to turn into a pretty daily driver, if you can afford the gas. I assume you’d have to take the top of the engine off to install hardened valve seats in order to handle today’s gasolines. But that’s no big deal. I’d want to do it anyway just to see what’s going on inside. It is a heavy car and either new ceramic brake shoes or upgraded disk brakes would be a good thing too.

    Like 1
    • Ed P

      Eric, you are correct, the push button shifter was totally mechanical. The system was very reliable. Ford and Packard used a electro mechanical systems developed by Autolite. The Packard system was particularly problematic.

      • tom driscoll

        Not totally reliable…my ’56 sometimes gets stuck in R or D and I have to push buttons for a couple minutes to get it to switch…

  11. Walt

    I would paint it candyapple with the top pearl white

  12. Bruce Fischer

    I traded my Olds station wagon for my 1956 Chrysler Windsor. I had one a few years back and loved it. It has the bullet proof 331 motor.I am really liking this one. Yes mine has the dual wheel cylinders on the front brakes. I am really looking forward to driving her this spring.E bay has all the parts I need for this car. Bruce.

    Like 1
  13. Petey

    All white paint.kelsey Hayes wires wide whites.your in.

  14. tom driscoll

    A/C is a nice option, but not terribly efficient…I got it working on my ’56, blew nice and cold, but because it blows from the rear deck, by the time the air gets to the front it’s not so cold…and that 30 amp generator really struggles with the blower (1 of 3 in these cars). These cars are not as big as they look…certainly smaller than ’57 and up, and do get pretty good gas mileage.

  15. Bruce Fischer

    My 56 also gets stuck in Reverse and have to really hit the nurtral button for it to go in. Bruce.

    • tom driscoll

      Bruce, has anyone ever told you what the fix is? I wonder if it’s the cable or something else???

  16. PatrickM

    You’re right!! It IS a horse!! However, Sunday, 4*15*18, listing has expired, so I won’t be able to go cow tipping. But, I digress… Back to the car… I think it would be quite restorable. I may take some time to get all the parts needed, but, these things take patience and endurance. It would surely be a labor of love. I’m not a huge Chrysler Corp fan, but, these were nice cars.

  17. Bruce Fischer

    Here my 56 Chrysler done.Bruce.

    Like 1
    • TMD

      Nice looking car Bruce! I really like the front end on these, but I prefer the rear on the ’56 Dodge…

      Like 2
      • Tim

        Hello TMD, is the 56 Dodge yours? I have a 56 Dodge factory AC but missing the ac Engine brackets. If it is your car, could you send a few photos of the ac brackets. Mine is a 315 4 barrel and one bracket attached to the right manifold. That is what I’m missing. Thanks

  18. TMD

    Hi Tim, yes, the ’56 is mine. I would be happy to get a pic of the a/c bracket for you, It’s currently off the car, as I located my alternator conversion in that location. Give me a day or two…it’s pretty busy here with the Dream Cruise going on in Detroit this week…

    • Tim

      Fantastic, I’m going to try and fabricate it. Building for show. If you happen to know of an extra one I’d be happy to buy it. I can send my email if needed. Thanks again, it will be of great help!

  19. TMD

    No problem. Prefer not to part with it, as I did have the system working.You should be able to find one off ebay if you’re patient, a post in the H.A.M.B. forum might turn something up as well.

    • Tim

      The restorer should be able to duplicate with photos. I would never have parted with it either, you have a beautiful car, just thought you might know of someone. Thanks again.

      • TMD

        Tim, I have some pics for you…do you care to share your email? Not sure if there’s a way to private message on this site…?

    • Tim

      tjbihhg at gmail, I appreciate it greatly!

      • Tim

        Just making sure you got my email? Thanks

  20. Petey

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