Wealthy Wood: 1947 Chrysler Town & Country

The Chrysler Town & Country is a captivating car which stirs up imagery of well-heeled owners navigating mountain roads with custom luggage affixed to the wooden roof rack.  Today, they are prized collectors items no matter which body style, ranging  from station wagon to coupe to convertible, with plenty of cargo space for ferrying friends and family all about the countryside. This recently uncovered 1947 convertible is listed for sale in the Hemmings classifieds. The seller is asking $34k and it will still require a significant investment to bring it back to its original glory.

If the American novel, The Great Gatsby, were set in the 40’s, it would not be hard to imagine Jay and Daisy opting for a car like this. As a design statement, the wood paneling conveyed wealth and strength, capturing the excitement of post-Depression era America. However, not all cars wore real mahogany. Vehicles manufactured through the middle of 1947 featured the real-deal, whereas subsequent models opted for metal panels overlaid with a wood-grain sticker. Although the seller of this ’47 doesn’t mention which category this car falls into, the splitting of the surfaces makes it obvious that this one features the desirable solid mahogany panels.

Despite its high price tag of almost $3,000, the Town & Country was extremely popular. The convertible even more so, and even today it remains one of only a few cars that have outsold their fixed-roof counterpart.This ’47 has seen better days, but the important pieces are there including the glass, chrome, and even a set of optional spotlights. The ravaged top could indicate that this car wasn’t fully protected from the elements while in storage. Surprising the leather/Bedford Cord upholstery still remains intact as does much of the interior.

With only 3,136 convertibles produced in 1947, this car is indeed a rare find. The seller states that it is available as-is or they professionally restore it for you. It’s tempting to think that a new set of white walls, mechanical overhaul, and a thorough cleaning could bring it back to life. Despite being untouched since 1971, the car’s Straight 8 does turn over freely, so there is some hope.

Incredibly, the original inspiration behind the car’s unique design cues was not opulence. Instead, with steel supplies running low after World War II, Chrysler chose more readily available materials like white ash and mahogany to frame its cars. While the original concept may have been the cost-feasible solution at the time, it requires an experienced professional to refurbish today. However, with restored examples fetching six figures at the auctions, this rough ’47 could offer its next owner an impressive return on investment.

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Comments

  1. Rick Rothermel

    Great example if someone wants to triple the outlay in a year for a good profit in a better market than today’s. Wooden Carr in Signal Hill Ca, has done a few of these, and I saw a coupe in Burbank years ago that had been customized in the early ’50s, lots of lead work- filled seams, hooded lights, early custom paint. The restorer sourced another front clip… I’d’ve loved to have the one-of-one front clip!

  2. 6.3

    Monumental, colossal, seems to be the adjectives coming to mind.
    What a great car, I am thinking and that it would take quite the wood work as well as metal work expert to bring this back to former glory.
    However, it would make the ultimate parade car and then some.
    I hope it get’s saved and not linger further and beyond repair.

  3. TVC15

    Once a great car but , save yourself lots of time and money and buy a nice running and driving one

  4. Tom

    I have ’48 Chrysler Windsor parts for sale in Iowa. Lots of interchangeable parts.
    inmanelectric@ncn.net

  5. Edwin

    Just ran into this searching for parts, my friend dad bought this car and now i own it. I have completely stripped the car down going for a concourse restoration in it. Maybe in a couple years it will be done. Most of the major parts are completely rebuilt body is next on the list. It going to need a lot of metal work. I attached a picture of the engine. Kinda shitty pic though.

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