1947 Chrysler Town & Country Convertible

Highlights

  • Only known example in the UK
  • Top-of-the-line post-war luxury with beautiful hand-assembled woodwork
  • Very rare livery, believed to only be available for Q1 1947
  • 5.3L I8 powerplant with a 3-speed manual Fluid-Drive transmission
  • Plenty of work completed since arrival in the UK

The Appeal

Before the likes of Chrysler stepped in, the ‘American Woody’ was a creation of adaptation, a sort of hack to try and get more out of Ford’s Model T chassis. It’s perhaps a blessing in disguise that Ford’s insane levels of standardisation necessitated it - as the wood-bodied vehicle quickly became a fashion statement. 
By the mid-30s, when people could afford to consider how their car looked thanks to a new, burgeoning market, the ‘Woody’ had been sealed as one of the finest ways to take a bit of country estate styling into the city. The exoticism of rural and rustic culture - the ‘Old American’ way of life - only made it more of a statement. 
It wasn’t until 1941 that arguably the ultimate evolution of the pre-50s Woody hit the market, with the Chrysler Town & Country. The car perfectly embodied its name - which is often credited to Paul Hafer of Boyertown Body Works because it was ‘town in the front, country from the rear’. 
It was expensive to produce, amongst the most expensive cars on the market, and was so successful that every other US manufacturer of the era set about trying to release their own - but Chrysler’s proved to endure all the way up until the 1950s. 
That’s where we come to this simply remarkable example. The only known example in the UK, this car is particularly notable for its livery, something only offered in the first quarter of 1947 and perhaps unique to this rare survivor. Plenty of work has been completed, and the car sits comfortably in temperature control as we speak - ready and waiting to meet its next owner. 
A guaranteed show winner, with perhaps one of the most stylish interiors of the age, this Town & Country Convertible is an exceptionally rare groove that summates the golden age of the motor car. We’ve no doubt this will attract plenty of interest.



The History and Paperwork

  • Built in 1947
  • This convertible carries a rare livery that reportedly only appeared in the first quarter of ‘47
  • Sadly we don’t know much regarding this car’s history in the USA
  • It was based in Arizona as late as 2005
  • Since then, it’s been with the same owner
  • MOT exempt, and last tested in 2012
  • From the MOT history we can discern the car has travelled less than 5,200 miles since 2005
  • Always kept in temperature-controlled storage
  • Winner of multiple car show awards with a whole host of cups and trophies
  • Finalist in the Classic American magazine’s Car of the Year show
  • The car comes complete with all of its UK paintwork since arriving on British soil
  • Currently indicates 7,193 miles on a five-figure odometer
  • The odometer might have been replaced in the past, but its condition does support very light usage

It’s fair to say that this Town & Country has enjoyed a very comfortable life since arriving on British soil. Plenty of work has been completed since it arrived from Arizona in 2005, and it comes to us with a whole host of cups and trophies, something very well deserved for such an impressive example.

The Condition

  • Impressive, long-nosed profile with smooth, flowing deco shapes
  • Rare Costa Rica Brown paintwork that was reportedly only available for Q1 1974
  • Catalina Tan soft top
  • Steel bodywork panels with White Ash and Honduran Mahogany woodwork
  • Chromework is beautifully presented
  • All badging and branding present and correct
  • Steel disc wheels with white Firestone tyres 
  • Solid, nicely-kept underside with no sign of corrosion

It’s impossible to deny this car’s mid-century American aesthetics. From its long-nosed profile to its beautifully buffed curves, the Town & Country was a headturner then and is even more of a headturner now. Built to great expense in two different factories, the Town & Country carries elegant White Ash and Honduran Mahogany to all but its quintessentially city-car nose, with the hand-assembled joints and joists all proudly on display. The original Chrysler catalogues recommended varnishing every half-year, and to our eyes, this car seems to have had exactly that - it’s all still carrying a wonderful lustre. 

Its first-quarter livery only adds to the car’s remarkable rarity - you’ll have trouble finding another in this charming shade of brown, which perfectly matches up with the car’s woodwork. Other colours often contrast or clash too greatly - while this one is picture-perfect. 

The chrome is still nice and bright, with only gentle signs of use, and the soft top appears in fine fettle. Underneath, we can spot very little sign of corrosion or wear, something all the more remarkable for the car’s venerable years. 

  • Beautiful leather cabin with light age-commensurate wear
  • Distinctive dashboard with art deco instruments
  • Original, chrome-laden radio still beautifully presented
  • Wheel-mounted shift with original clear lucite knob
  • Light wear to the headlining
  • Believed to be entirely original to the car

Chrysler weren’t content with just having a nice-looking bodywork. The interior of the car is simply exceptional and was notable even for its era. The signature ‘Library Chairs’ are still upholstered in beige leather, which carries age-commensurate wear, testament to its venerable years. No rips or tears - just gentle discolouration, indentation and creasing from nearly eighty years on the road.

The dashboard is where things truly shine, though. The Mopar 802 radio, festooned in chrome with electronic push buttons, acts as a remarkable centrepiece, with an inlaid clock, a selection of tactile knobs and the branding all present and correct. 

We also note the original heater, horizontal speedometer, and even the original clear lucite shiftgear knob, a wonderful bit of luxurious excess that only '30s Chrysler would consider necessary.

There are a few stains and marks on the convertible roof’s headlining, and some light corrosion to the door hinges - but we’d be surprised if anybody was looking there when the rest of the cabin is such a remarkable survivor.

The Mechanics

  • 323.5 cu in (5.3 L) Chrysler I8 powerplant
  • 3-speed synchromesh manual w/Fluid Drive
  • Very original engine bay
  • Work completed since 2005 includes:
    • Rebuilt water pump
    • Rebuilt dynamo
    • New clutch
    • New core plugs
    • Overhaul of clutch and flywheel housing
    • New bearings for clutch, lever and thrust release
    • Strip and rebuild of carburettor
    • New battery
    • New brake master cylinder
    • New front wheel brake cylinders
    • New ignition
  • All work has been done in under 5,200 miles according to the car’s records
  • Paperwork provided
We don't often see an I8 come into play at Car & Classic - though any seasoned enthusiast will recognise that long nose as a tell-tale sign. The Chrysler I8 was quite a machine in its day, having often been seen in Dodge Trucks and Fargo buses during its tenure. It’s no doubt thanks to this that the Town & Country was well-regarded for its performance considering the car’s immense weight.

The model was, however, more intended for its luxury and comfort - aided by the well-regarded Fluid Drive, which acted in the same way as a modern torque converter. This was a fairly expensive option, often more commonly seen in taxis and limousines at the time, and only adds to the car’s period luxury. 
We understand that this car is still running as well as ever it has - the vendor highlights that it’s quiet, smooth and very enjoyable to get behind the wheel, and has proven a very proud purchase. We’ve no doubt that will continue when the car reaches its new owner. 
 


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This vehicle is “Sold As Seen”, on an “As Is Where Is’ basis and without warranty. Photos and descriptions are solely for guidance purposes and it's customary to carry out a full inspection of the vehicle prior to purchase for your own peace of mind. 
✓ VAT is included in the buyer's deposit. VAT may or may not be included in the final bid or offer price, as specified in the listing. 
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Auction Details
  • Year 1947
  • Make Chrysler
  • Model Town & Country
  • Colour Multicolour
  • Mileage 7,193 Miles
  • Engine size 5300
  • Seller Type Private
  • Town Lamport
  • County Northamptonshire
  • Country United Kingdom
  • Auction ends
Bidding history
5 Bids from 3 bidders
  • paulie_•••• £18,000 19/07/24
  • perfere•••• £15,000 15/07/24
  • Dimbula•••• £13,000 15/07/24
  • perfere•••• £12,000 15/07/24
  • Dimbula•••• £10,000 15/07/24

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