Special Order Wagon: 1970 Chrysler Town & Country

I sometimes wonder if the joy of owning a huge cruising wagon is sometimes tempered by the raw space they occupy and the fuel they consume. The 1970 Town & Country seen here is indeed an American classic, a land yacht to the highest order, but it is also likely an extremely floaty vehicle with a deep thirst for gasoline. Still, it checks every box necessary for an awesome road trip machine. Find it here on craigslist for $3,500 and equipped with a 383 engine featuring 440 heads.

Thanks to Barn Finds reader FordGuy1972 for the find. The seller of this Town & Country seems quite interested in moving this project along, noting in the listing that no reasonable offers will be refused. It’s already pretty cheap, and comes with an interesting build sheet consider the first owner spec’d it with the 440 heads and power windows. Looks like dad wanted comfort and performance in his wagon.

The interior appears to present nicely, with a whole ‘lotta maroon inside. The bench doesn’t look torn up, nor does the dash pad. The convenience features list is long, as in addition to the power windows the Town & Country comes with power steering, power brakes, a rear window washing unit, and air conditioning. The seller doesn’t say whether the A/C still works, but I’d assume it needs more than a charge. 

Speaking of charging, the 383 occupies a lot of space under the hood. Whether the 440 heads will wake this beast up is a determination I’ll leave to our Mopar folks, as I suspect the Town & Country is geared to be slow and ponderous even with the heads installed. The seller doesn’t let on about any major flaws, so hopefully, someone could pick up this road trip machine for a reasonable offer under $3,500.


  1. Den Prichard

    I had a 1970 New Yorker back in the day. Loved that car! It was cream four door hardtop with cream leather interior, black fabric top, automatic climate control. I remember a trip from Savannah, GA to our home in East Liverpool, Ohio one dark and Rainey night and the efficiency of interval wipers plus comfort of the ride. We decided just to head for home through the night. Baby daughter slept in her car seat. We arrived at 4:15 am in East Liverpool and were still fresh enough to head for 24 hour supermarket to stock up as we had been gone about ten days in Florida. Baby daughter now a 46 year old teacher with two kids of her own. We live nearby in California, senior citizens driving an efficient Ford Fusion Hybrid. Do miss my 70 New Yorker as well as the golden 77 I later owned!

    Like 2
  2. Stephan Meli

    For me the maroon exterior is very good but hold the simulated wood grain.It would be better without it or only with lighter colors…

  3. Randy

    383 and 440 used the same heads.

    Like 6
    • Will Fox

      But the 440 was standard in the T & C `68-75. If in fact this DOES have a 383, the block got swapped at some point.

      Like 6
    • Dave

      If that’s true, then why was the “special Road Runner engine” advertised as having “440 heads and cam”?
      Granted it was a special time, but I don’t believe that the H code 383 was available in a Chrysler.

      Like 3
    • TJohnson

      That would make it a 383 with 440 Magnum heads, would make it a 383 Magnum. Not sure why they would order it with that because the stock 440 that would be standard would be 15 hp more, (335 vs 350 hp). Not sure if the 375hp TNT was optional with the T&C. However, Mopar would build about anything if you asked nice enough.

      Like 1
  4. Pete in PA

    Exactly. What is this nonsense about “440 heads?” And “special order” power windows? They’re just “optional at extra cost” power windows. Neat car but skip the hyping, seller.

    Like 8
  5. CCFisher

    And who would go to the trouble to order “440 heads” on a 383 when you could just order a 440?

    Like 5
    • Will Fox

      The 440 was standard in the Town & Country in `70.

      Like 2
      • CCFisher

        According to the 1970 Chrysler brochure, the 383 was standard.

        Like 6
  6. Sal

    I concur with Randy and Pete. I don’t even think power vent windows (which this car doesn’t have) were anything ‘special’ unless maybe you got away without paying for them!

    Still a nice car. If I had space….
    “Hmmm.. could I make space?”

    Like 1
  7. Bultaco

    Buy the two 1970 Hurst 300s listed plus this car and make a 1970 Hurst 300 wagon. How cool would that be?

    Like 8
  8. Ken Carney

    Incredible bulk all the way! Now THAT’S
    a wagon for you! Why spend $125K for
    a non discript pick up or SUV when you
    could have all this and soooo much more? This thing would never run out of
    uses in between cruises. 32 gallon gas
    tank you say? No worries, just top it off
    every other day and you’ll be fine. This is
    what you put your family into to keep them safe on the roads today. Case in
    point, many of these cars wound up in
    Demolition Derbies in the late’70’s and
    early ’80’s. After that, their 440 big blocks
    went into a lot of Super Bee clones or
    General Lee lookalikes. To me, 3K is very
    reasonable–provided I could have it driven back here to Florida. The shipping
    costs would certainly do me in on this one! Thanks guys, great way to start my

    Like 4
  9. Chris

    When I was a kid I spent a lot of time in the back seat or a ’69 Chrysler T&C.
    20 Gallon tank, 200 mile cruising range.

    Like 2
    • Nelson

      I own a factory ordered H code R R 383 Town and country. They made 143 of them.

  10. the one

    My Uncle gave me one of these in 1975. I used it to haul our rock band equipment.. It wasn’t too good on gas but ,turn the key and go!. later after the band broke up,1978, I traded it to my other uncle who was a house painter for a 1964 4 door Valiant with a 273 2bbl push button auto that came with a Franz cartridge filter.
    That car ran and ran and ran, and then ran some more!! drove that car daily for 8 years! Gave it to my brother in law who about a year later, wrecked it.
    Nothing beats a Mopar. Nothing…

    Like 10
  11. Royal Ricci


    I know of this car as it is for sale in my local area. I recall it was also here on BF when it was being offered somewhere around 8000, but he has come down on price. This will need a full tear down to be brought back right, but for what is it being offered for now, it would make a nice beater if you don’t mind laying out for fuel.

    In on photo the car is in Wappingers, but in the other is it in Pleasant Valley so this must be roadworthy now.

    If it were a different color and had a smaller more fuel efficient V8, I would be interested.

  12. art

    Like the lines and style of this wagon. A tank for sure.
    From some research, I found the engine codes for 1970 Chrysler (in part):

    L= 383 V8, standard
    N= 383 V8, High Performance
    R= 426 V8, Hemi
    T= 440 V8, standard
    U= 440 V8, High Performance
    V= 440 V8, Six Pack
    Z= Special Order Engine

    One of these will appear in the “fifth” position in the VIN.
    This puppy has an “N” Engine code in it’s VIN. The engine appears to have been modified if it has 440 heads, otherwise the factory “Z” code would explain the different heads, assuming one could, in fact, order the engine that way.

    Like 1
    • acptulsa

      Only L, N or T was available in the Town and Country.

  13. Pete in PA

    The difference between an L and N 383 is cam grind, carburetion and exhaust. IOW the “high performance” N code 383 has a 4 bbl carb with the cam grind, air cleaner, and exhaust manifolds to make use of that extra airflow.

    Like 2
    • acptulsa

      It also had higher compression, and required premium fuel.

  14. acptulsa

    This car “…is also likely an extremely floaty vehicle…”, Mr. Lavery? So, you believe every American car in 1970 rode and handled like a Buick Electra?

    I once had a 1971 Imperial LeBaron, son. It had eight courtesy lights, seven armrests, six power windows, five glove compartments, four cigarette lighters, three green glove leather seats, two air conditioner evaporators (one in the trunk) and a tilt and telescope steering wheel (try that with airbags).

    It also had variable rate springs at all four corners with superior geometry. Torsion bars do not move as they flex. They react instantly, have no momentum of their own, kept that big body under control, and kept the wheels firmly planted at all times.

    One time I was tooling down the street when an oncoming Chevy pickup started to turn left in front of me. He froze in my path like a deer in headlights. If anyone on the road is going to try to kill you, he’s driving a Chevy pickup. Fortunately, the no parking signs started right at that intersection. I got slowed down to 30-35 and changed lanes in about one and a half car lengths. There was no fuss, no feathers.

    Try that in a 1970 Fleetwood, and see how far a Chevy pickup can ricochet.

    Like 2

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