Stored 30 Years: 1973 Chrysler Town & Country

 

Ships ahoy, matey! Welcome aboard the land yacht that was the 1973 Chrysler Town & Country station wagon. This was perhaps the biggest family hauler on the market because it’s largely based on the Chrysler New Yorker. Like the New Yorker, it was also luxurious, so you could haul the kids and all their junk around in style. This ’73 Town & Country was in dry dock for 30 years, but has been beautifully maintained and ready to move on to a new port. It can be viewed in New Hudson, Michigan and is available here on eBay where the bidding has reached $7,500 where the reserve is yet to be met.

The Chrysler Town & Country was a station wagon that Chrysler built from 1940-42 and again from 1945-88. The name was resurrected in 1990 as Chrysler’s top-of-the-line minivan. For most of its run, the T&C could be had in both Newport and New Yorker trim levels, but the latter was quite common. The sixth generation of the big wagon was produced from 1969-73, using the “fuselage design” theme employed by all the big Chryslers, riding on a 122-inch wheelbase at about 224 inches overall length. During that five-year period, the wagons went largely unchanged until 1973 when those “cow-catcher” 5-mph, federally-mandated bumpers were deployed. They added five inches of length out front and looked like what they were, add-ons.

From the final year of the fuselage generation is the seller’s ’73 T&C. It has quite the impressive look from virtually any angle you might choose. We’re told that 99% of its paint is original, with one small spot repair having been done on the left quarter panel. The photos show us a car that looks rust and damage-free with nothing more than the usual little dings here and there that have accumulated over 47 years. The seller presents us with a ton of visuals of the exterior and the car looks pretty straight wherever you turn. It’s one BIG wagon!

This is a nine-passenger model that would have room for everyone and the kitchen sink. The interior is said to be original and looks extremely nice. The upholstery, dash and door panels all look great, especially with 92,000 miles showing on the odometer. The carpeting is also original, but there is a stain that might be removed with a good cleaning. The car has even retained its original, clear Chrysler floor mats for the first and second rows. This wagon has just about every electrical doo-dad, such as power seats and windows, although the passenger front window needs help staying on its tracks. If you like static, that’s what the factory radio plays, so there may be an antenna issue. The only other unresolved issue is with the climate control system. It’s fully charged and everything comes on except the fan motor, so no cool air leaves the vents.

The seller says the car originated in Colorado and – for whatever reason – was parked and stored indoors since 1987. It apparently came out of hibernation in 2017 and received a complete servicing to make it roadworthy again. This included a full tune-up and rebuilding the carburetor, as well as dropping and cleaning out the fuel tank and adding a new pump and filter. All this is said to make the big 440 cubic inch V8 purr as it should. When it comes to stopping this beast, the brakes were redone including a new master cylinder, calipers, brake hoses, and a rebuilt power brake booster. The water pump was replaced along with a re-cored radiator and four new tires are touching pavement. Occasionally, a drip of oil might be found underneath.

Chrysler built about 20,000 of these land yachts in 1973, but fell out of favor after the OPEC oil embargo drove up gas prices. They don’t seem to have become popular with collectors yet as resale values according to NADA looks to be at used car prices. $10,000 might be the top end and, if this one were to go that high, you’d be getting a lot of Detroit iron for the money. About $2 a pound!

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Comments

  1. Rex Kahrs Member

    Awesome car. Great design.

    Like 9
  2. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    Impressive wagon, all 18-1/2 feet of it. If you like ’em big, this should suit you. The condition is outstanding, especially considering it’s been driven 92k miles and it was stored for three decades. I like it but single digit (or low ‘teens) MPGs aren’t for me or the fact that my garage is too short by a few feet. It’s a nice car and probably a good investment in the long run, plus it’s a turn-key buy; pay the money and drive it home.

    Like 9
  3. John D.

    I thought I remembered selling some LeBaron Town and Country station wagons in days past. A quick search confirmed that I had indeed. Starting with the rear drive F Body and again the front drive K Car chassis before the name plate moved to the minivan. This is a beautiful car. Who cares about fuel economy when you only ever take it out for car shows and other special events.

    Like 14
    • 370zpp

      Take it out of where? Having a place large enough to store this beauty is the unfortunate deal breaker for most of us.

      Like 3
      • Luxurious Lexus Land-Yacht

        I measure the garage of any house my wife and I are interested in purchasing.

        My minimum is 22′ of depth, for reasons.

        The ’73 Coupe deVille I used to have was this length, 228″+, and I yearn for a 2-door 70’s Imperial/New Yorker Brougham.

        Like 3
  4. karl

    This car is so nice and original , I wonder why somebody had to go ruin it by painting under engine bay black ?

    Like 1
    • 1-MAC

      The car was rustproofed( see the plugs) Some rustproofers did do the engine compartment and inner fenders.

      Like 8
    • Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

      It is not unusual to paint the engine bay black to set off the engine and ancillary bits from the rest of the compartment. Easier to see things and service. By the way, my MG midget is about 4 feet shorter than this wagon, 4 and 3/4 if I take off the 1974-only mandated 5 mph bumpers/guards (Sabrina bricks).

      Like 2
  5. Skorzeny

    This is a lot of car for the money, no pun intended. I would change a few things, but this is a nice cruiser!

    Like 1
  6. JOHN SKEADAS

    Ziebart was big back then. Dealers pushed it in order to upcharge customers. A complete waste of time. Did nothing

    Like 5
    • CJinSD

      My grandparents lived in Williamstown Massachusetts. Cars vanished in only a couple of years unless they were thoroughly rustproofed by an aftermarket company. You could have two colonnades in one driveway, and the older one might look fine while the newer one was dissolving from bottom to top and back to front. I do believe that Rusty Jones did some rust and paint repair on one of my grandparents cars under warranty, which certainly would have helped. Cars with good aftermarket rustproofing were still the way to go.

      That being said, I don’t know if Ziebart was one of the better rustproofers or not. The proof on this car is in the pudding. It’s 47 years old and not a rustbucket.

      Like 3
      • Brian K

        So True. I live in the north shore and I remember vividly the cancer rust on 70’s cars. My first car was a 1976 buick Regal and it looked like it was underwater in the ocean for a year. It was 10 years old at the time. Its crazy how things have changed today. Glad to see this gem from ’73 surrvive.

        Like 2
  7. art

    Hmmm, thinking about the A/C and Heater fan not working…could be the motor itself, a fuse or a blower motor resistor that a number of manufacturers used.
    Usually mounted on the heater/A/C blower case under the hood.
    Nicely kept car and I’d guess has lots of life left, even at 92K miles.
    Not many left in this condition.

    Like 1
  8. Miguel

    It is so odd to see previously worthless cars bringing 5 digits.

    Like 5
    • John Calabro

      I can’t see the beauty ever being worthless.

      Like 2
  9. David

    Where’s the anchor?

  10. Car Nut Tacoma

    Nice looking car. Although I was just a boy at the time, way too young to drive, I remember cars like this. They were massive cars! I’ve always found the Newport more attractive than the New Yorker. Assuming the car is an original survivor, that hasn’t been in an accident or been molested in any way, I think it’s worth the $7,500 asking price. That should leave you with enough money to have the car inspected, to make sure you can safely drive it anywhere.

    Like 2
  11. George Louis Member

    To John Skeadas: You do not know what you are talking about when you say Ziebart Rustproofing is a waste of time and did nothing. Ziebart was a good thing and a lot of metal got cover preventing rust thru. Look at a lot of cars and the paint shines more with the rustproofing process, it seals the metal from the other side,

    Like 1
  12. John

    A great example of Americana on the elegantly grand scale of the late 60s and early 70s. Town and Country was probably the most opulent wagon in that time and this one is a wonderful example. I hope it finds a great home.

    Like 3
  13. Super Glide

    Blower resistor is probably the issue with the fan, but there may also be a motor issue. If the fan only works on “high”, then it’s a resistor. If it doesn’t work on any speed, do the blower motor. If doing the blower motor, always do the resistor. Always easier to do the resistor when the motor is out then latter.

    Like 3
    • MoPar Joe

      MoPars were notorious for bad blower switches in any vehicle!
      Love this wagon, reminds me of the 73 New Yorker 2dr I had. 440, full power, a/c, and after the cam and 3.55 gear, it would really move!

  14. Dave Peterson

    This vehicle epitomizes the age of its origin. Huge, with a strangled 440 and a terrifying beast to bring to a halt. We’re I in the wagon mood, I’d go with a 90’s Buick or Oldsmobile, shed the Opti-spark and lower it two inches. And save $3k plus. Then add a Baer package. Voila!

    • Glenn

      I had a 72 Town and Country for 15 years, 02-17. I loved it but not its 7 MPG either pulling my camper or not pulling my camper! I am very impressed with the 12 MPG pulling my camper or 22 not pulling my camper with my new for me 94 Roadmaster wagon, that Opti spark is a pain but other than that its got lots of power and rides like a RoadMonster should! I got $9500.00 for my Chrysler and paid $2100.00 for the Buick with 135000 miles and very little rust for a Wi. car. Now is the time to pick up the last of the true rear drive wagons!! that big black box on the right side of the engine bay for the climate control
      have a reputation of causing lots of problems, I know all about them!!

      Like 1
  15. Maestro1 Member

    I’m with Miguel. One could of bought this car in the hundreds some time ago, and now its worth 5 digits. Very bizarre, but we must remember that rising tides lift all boats. As do rising prices.

    Like 1
  16. martinsane

    Thats one sexy behemoth.

    I bet it rides like a marshmallow ensconced in a cloud.

    I wish i would have bought all these wagons 10 years ago for the hundreds of dollars not thousands as it seems i cojld have retired on the profits

    Like 1
  17. Robert L Roberge

    Don’t forget, though, not all Town and Countrys were station wagons.

    Like 1
  18. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    I wonder how hard that side chrome trim is to get, not that there’s anything wrong with this cars, but I’m thinking of putting wood grain trim on my 2015 Explorer just to be different than all the others.
    God bless America

  19. Paolo

    I parted out an exact copy of this car about 12 years ago. It’s hard to imagine but this color was very popular at the time and for long after. Chrysler was still using the yellow with tan interior combination through the end of the 1980s and probably after that. Mine wasn’t in much worse shape than this one but had been sitting for a long time and wasn’t running. The owner needed to get rid of it and we towed it out of their driveway and only charged $75 for the tow.
    I still have the roof mounted airfoil. It’s a very well made piece and looks more like some exotic racing item.
    So yeah, 12 years ago nobody seemed to want the one I had and other than the drivetrain I didn’t get much interest in the other parts. I still have the nice heavy cast headlight bezels. Any takers?

    Like 1
  20. Brian K.

    I love how all the problem areas were fixed from it sitting. Id go over those brakes and even upgrade if i was to drive this. Thats a ton of weight coming go a stop. Id check gaskets, fluids ect. The cool thing is you can do this stuff yourself with basic tools. I absolutely love these big bombers from 73′.

    Like 1
  21. Dave

    One would expect the seller to repair the window, climate control etc…prior to sale.

  22. Mark

    To all the young guys driving imports today who think whipping in and out of traffic like they do in the Fast & Furious movies makes them a skilled driver……I got news for you….many of you wouldn’t even be able to get a license if you had to parallel park a beast such as this like many of your Grandmas had to as part of their driving test.
    And stay of my lawn.

    Like 9
  23. Richard Martin

    Finding a place to park this wagon indoors shouldn’t be any more difficult than finding a place for any crew cab pickup.

  24. Phlathead Phil

    I’m glad they will never build such beasts again. Some wagons are very cool, but IMHO this one ain’t.

    IT IS HOWEVER, appearing to be in excellent condition and well cared phor.

    You’ll need a barn to park it in.

  25. K. R. V.

    I grew up the oldest of six in a family, whose Dad lived big cars, MOPARS to be exact. Dad bought a 1968 Chrysler Town&Country Beach Wagon with a 440/4 brl Dual Exhaust and factory tow package with hitch, wiring and 3:08 Posi! That was an amazing family car, that lasted for a good 15 years and 180,000 miles! Without any issues other than maintenance and freeze plugs! Oh an brake shoes, lots of brake shoes, especially when I started driving it!

    • K. R. V.

      Oh one other thing. If you had a period Airstream, or any other travel trailer, this is the best tow vehicle this side of a Suburban!

      Like 1
    • Snuffy Smiff

      Your Dad sounds just like mine. He bought a ’68 Newport w/383 after Mom finally learned to drive in his old ’65 Ford Falcon. After it got worn, he traded it for a 73 New Yorker w/440 Commando with 8,000 miles. Loved that car! Lost my virginity in that huge living-room sized back seat which was made for the drive in! It would hold first gear to 70 mph if fully floored,(as you watched the gas gauge drop!) Nothing else on the road like it above 110 mph. Took it out slinging it around one night and didn’t realize Pop’s big tool box was in the trunk. Boy, did I ever catch hell for that! I was stuck driving my old Mustang for a couple years following that stunt! After the starter went out and the carb was replaced twice, he traded it in on a new Nissan Sentra (he had become disabled and didn’t think he could swing that huge fuel cost) I just about cried. He got a whopping $400 trade in for it…

      • K. R. V.

        Oh I guess so! On more than one occasion I brought one good friend at a time out on the new stretch of highway, to show them how I could bury the speedometer, that no one would believe. But the car went so fast the speedometer needle went past 120, into the clock just past the speedometer all the way to three o’clock! That big ol 440 Commando was screaming like mad! Like that 1/4 tank of gas gone in about 2 miles n a minute!

  26. Bill McCoskey

    in 1972 an upscale local “assisted living” facility in the White Oak area of Silver Spring, Md. ordered a new 1973 Town & Country in the same colors as this one. It was sent to Armbruster-Stageway in Arkansas where it was lengthened into an 8 door wagon! The car was ordered with all options including dual A/C.

    It even had the DiNoc wood trim on the outside, and the 4 center doors had power windows [the driver’s door had 2 sets of the 4-switch power window switches, one on top of the other. The top set were for the left windows, the bottom set for the right windows! It had room for 12 people including driver.

    I really wanted this limo, so after living in Germany for 2 years, when I got back to the area in late 1975, I checked to see if it was still there. I was told it had been struck in the side by a bus, and junked. I was soooo disappointed. Ended up buying a 1971 Ford Ranch Wagon Armbruster-Stageway stretch.

    • Paolo

      Bill,

      Check out the Motortrend show Roadkill. The host David Freiburger bought an 8 door Stageway Chrysler. Not sure if it’s a wagon or a sedan though.

      Paul

  27. Ganjoka

    You need at least a crew of two to man this giant. One to man the bridge and another in the crow’s nest watching for icebergs!

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