The Chrysler Town and Country was introduced in 1941, but it was originally conceived in 1939 by Dave Wallace, who envisioned a wood-bodied car with the same basic lines as Chrysler’s steel-bodied models, yet one that also had greater refinement, quality, and panache and a level of artistry that recalled a bygone era. In fact, its ash and mahogany-framed body, which was hand-built with techniques more closely associated with fine wooden boat construction, projected an image of affluence and leisure that increased traffic at Chrysler dealerships nationwide.
For 1946 the convertible coupe variant was introduced, replacing the more utilitarian four-door station wagon. Heightened public interest in the new Chrysler model, enticed by a two-page spread in the widely read Saturday Evening Post, prevented the firm from making clay models or prototypes. As a result, the car was reportedly built just from sketches to meet looming production schedules.
Cosmetically, very little changed between 1946 and 1948, but plans were laid for the launch of the 1949 Chrysler models. The Town and Country Convertible was based on the upscale New Yorker series, yet it offered a wide variety of luxurious appointments in addition to the New Yorker’s many standard features. With a starting price of $3,420, the Town and Country Convertible was the most expensive Chrysler model available. While about 8,400 examples were built in 1948, only few survive today, and fewer still compare to the very fine example offered here.
This dashing 1948 Town and Country Convertible continues to benefit from an older high-quality restoration. It was finished in factory-correct Noel Green and is complemented by a newer tan convertible top, a matching boot, beautifully finished chrome, and, of course, handsome wooden bodywork. Exterior adornments found on the car include dual side-view mirrors, dual spotlights, and front and rear bumper guards. The car rides on a set of period-correct wide whitewall tires that are mounted on steel wheels with chrome-plated hubcaps and trim rings. It is powered by a 323.5-cid, 135-hp inline eight-cylinder engine mated to a Fluid-Drive transmission.
The inviting interior is fitted with tan leather and Bedford cord upholstery, which is complemented by well-fitted green Wilton wool carpeting. In addition, this well-equipped example features an AM radio, a clock, and a heater, as well as a beautiful dash and instrument panel, crowned by a three spoke steering wheel. Under the hood, the engine bay displays correct finishes throughout, and the original Spitfire inline eight-cylinder engine is mated to the innovative Fluid-Drive transmission, making the car well-suited for comfortable touring.
Today, the 1946–1950 Chrysler Town and Country models are highly prized by astute collectors. This 1948 Town and Country Convertible is beautifully finished, impressively optioned, and period-correct throughout, resulting a fine opportunity for a serious collector to acquire one of the most attractive and luxurious wood-bodied automobiles ever produced.