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Still In Storage: 1954 Chrysler New Yorker

54 Chrys side

For some reason I really like 1954 Chryslers. At least to me, they are beautiful, large smooth driving cars and with the larger output engine in the Deluxe models, they do have some get up and go. 1954 Chrysler Corporation cars are the last year of a series that dates back to 1949, predating the corporate wide changeover to much more modern technology and designs in model year 1955 (Virgil Exner’s “Forward Look”) and while they lack the panache of later fifties Chrysler cars, the 1954s are attractive big cars.

54 Chrys front

While the Imperial was Chrysler’s true luxury model, the New Yorker was definitely a high end car, and the Deluxe added the more powerful version of the 331 hemi V-8 that also was used for the Imperial (starting in 1955 it became it’s own distinct brand, not called Chrysler Imperial). This “FirePower” Hemi featured a four-barrel carburetor, a larger air cleaner, larger cylinder head ports and exhaust manifold outlets, larger valves, a different camshaft grind and dual exhaust that increased horsepower from 180 to 235 and torque from 312 to 330-lb.ft.

54 Chrys fender

New Yorker Deluxes all came with the two speed Powerflite automatic transmission (no more Fluid Drive!) along with some trim changes and unique wheel covers, front and rear center armrests, special folding window control handles, a horn ring and two-tone broadcloth upholstery. The two door Newport hardtop was the top of the 1954 New Yorker line and is extremely rare, with only 1,312 units manufactured for this model year.

54 Chrys interior

Consequently, this one for sale here on craigslist and located in Medford, in southern Oregon, is pretty special. I am guessing the yellow body with white top color scheme makes it even more unusual to find. The seller is extremely curt with his description: “Barn Find, runs, stored in dark garage for decades.”

54 Chrys rear int

He then goes on to say “see pics” but only provides seven fairly poor photos of the car still in its dark garage. No picture of the engine, under the car, or even the left side of the car, all of which are inaccessible because of the way it has been put away. However, the pictures do indicate the car is in pretty decent condition. The chrome and stainless look really good. The interior is remarkably clean, though the steering wheel needs some work. It does appear there has been some previous rust repair to the lower rear fender, and of course, we cannot see enough of the rest of the body or underside to know what kind of work it might need. Nevertheless, this is a special car and well worth saving.

54 Chrys dash

The seller is looking for offers. Hagerty’s price guide indicates that this car might be worth around $9,000, whereas Hemmings, in an article about 1954 New Yorkers from last summer suggested a bit less. If you like Chryslers from this era, this is one of the best to have. Presumably the seller knows what he has, but there is no way to know what kind of value he places on it unless you call or visit. Someone needs to get up to Medford right now to rescue this incredible car!


  1. Nessy

    Listing was already deleted by owner. All 54 Model Chrysler products were nice looking cars. Gee, the guy has enough stuff around the car.

    Like 1
  2. The Walrus

    The August ’15 Old Cars Price Guide lists:

    1954 New Yorker DeLuxe Series, V-8, 125.5″ wb

    2d HT: 6 – 1,160 5 – 3,480 4 – 5,800 3 – 13,050 2 – 20,300 1 – 29,000
    2d Clb Cpe: 6 – 800 5 – 2,400 4 – 4,000 3 – 9,000 2 – 14,000 1 – 20,000

    I’m not sure what a ‘Club Coupe’ is. I’m guessing it would have true B-pillars and smaller, non re-tractable rear windows. So this is more likely the Hard Top. This car, given that nothing is really known about the state of the drive train (maybe it ‘ran’, but I see no photographic evidence of ‘runs’ and even less evidence of ‘drives’), is definitely more ‘4’ (good) than ‘3’ (very good). I’d say $9K would be all the money and then some for it.

    Like 0
    • David Wilk Member

      Club coupe is the pillared two door. Hardtop was called the Newport.

      Like 0
  3. Dave Wright

    In general Chrysler ( and other makers too) terminology, a club coupe would have a back seat as opposed to a busisness coupe that did not. I am sure there are variations of the terms but in my 50’s Chrysler collecting days that was the deal. The listing is gone and I can’t tell for sure by the photo but this does look like a hard top…..very nice car. Probably a good thing it is gone……it is too close to home to resist.

    Like 0
  4. Mark E

    I had to google it to recall what these looked at. Yes, they are imposing and I particularly like the two door models. It seems that 1954 was the last year for both Chrysler AND Packard to have their old carry over body styles & mechanicals. In ’55 Packard also debuted it’s new ’55-56 style body with their new high compression V8 engine.

    Like 0
    • Donnie

      Hi Mark E Have you ever went to wikipdea to look up cars I think they are a lot better then google

      Like 0
  5. Donnie

    of course it does not run WALRUS but it is a great car that needs to be bake on the road

    Like 0
  6. Brad

    We’re restoring a ’54 New Yorker wagon; always interesting when you have to search for one-year-only trim… and in some cases, different even between models within that year. The rear bumper and windshields of sedans, for example, aren’t interchangeable with the wagon versions. I’m sure this one will stay intact, looked great.

    Like 1
    • David Wilk Member

      Brad-54 NY wagon is a great car, good luck with the restoration. Will you post pics when it’s done? I had one about 35 years ago, sold it along with a 54 NY sedan to someone who promised to restore them both. Hope he did. Loved that wagon.

      Like 0
  7. Robert White

    Always remember that you can stuff more crap under the stored car if you put it up on jack stands, and open the hood to the engine compartment. Clearly, this guy failed to realize that he could stuff the car full of useless crap too.

    I’ll give him a 10 for being the worst packrat I have seen on BarnFinds to date.


    Like 0
    • krash

      wow… cool photo Bob….is that your ride.?…

      what make/model?

      Like 0
      • Robert White

        Not my ride, Krash, but if I win the lottery it will be. My real car is a 1996 Monte Carlo with 237k and a big rust hole around the gas tank filler door
        on the drivers side. The rest of the car is solid steel.

        And I collect Merc pictures that I find on Internet.

        Just dreaming BIG is all.




        Like 0
  8. Howard A Member

    Hmm, gone already. Cool. This car really strikes a memory for me. When I was a kid, (late 60’s) a friend down the block ( who was 10 years older than me) bought a car just like this ( only a 4 door) It was in perfect shape, ( except the motor was bad) and was a one family car, and you could tell they cherished it. They made him promise to fix it and keep her shined, which he agreed ( to get the car) I think it had the flathead 8. Anyway, he bought a very tired ’53 DeSoto with a 331 Hemi, and we put that engine in the Chrysler. He then proceeded to destroy that car. That car did some of the best burnouts. I always remember what he said to people he bought it from. After a while, the 2 speed auto gave up, and he junked it. You know, it’s funny. When you think Hemi, images of chrome supercharged monsters come to mind, but in reality, most of the Hemi’s I worked years ago, on were oily, sloppy, poor running slugs.
    Somebody got a nice car here.

    Like 0
  9. Eric Dashman

    I’m biased about 54 Chryslers. I grew up with one. In the early 50’s, Pop was making some money with his machine shop and used it productively to buy a house in Ossining, NY in December 1952. In December 1953 he followed that up by buying a 1954 Chrysler Windsor 4 door from Heckman Motors in Croton. It was a two-tone job, light blue with a black top. Straight 6 engine, 2 speed automatic, power steering, padded dash with an art deco feel to the instruments and push button radio, really comfortable seating, and a huge trunk. Among the boxier offerings from Chrysler in the early 50’s, this was actually a nice looking luxury car. He paid $3000 for it (the New Yorker with the hemi V8 with dual exhaust pipes being a good bit more expensive). He drove that back and forth to the city every day for years, had at least 2 major accidents with it that I remember, and loved that car almost as much as his wife and 3 sons :-). Some 250K miles later, some drunk parking garage attendant managed to smash all 4 quadrants of the car, finishing it for good.
    The Newport name in this vehicle was later reprised in the early 60’s for the low end Chrysler, largely replacing the Windsor line.
    Apropos the Newport hardtop above and its rarity, there’s a guy down east in North Carolina who regularly drives his 1954 Windsor convertible survivor to the Raleigh Carolina Collector show twice a year. It’s also in a light yellow and all original, including the “spitfire” 6 (Chrysler’s name for it as I recall). Faded and a bit worn, but rust-free and wonderful.

    Like 0

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