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The Don Davis Collection | Lot 106

1946 Chrysler Town & Country Convertible

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$132,000 USD | Sold

United States | Fort Worth, Texas

27 April 2013


Chassis No.
7400604
Engine No.
C397945
Body No.
1607
  • Rare early Town & Country Convertible
  • Restoration featured in Cars & Parts
  • Outstanding show-ready restoration

Model C39N. 135 bhp, 323.5 cu. in. “Spitfire” L-head inline eight-cylinder engine, Fluid Drive semi-automatic transmission, independent front suspension with unequal length A-arms and coil springs, semi-floating rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 121.5 in.

Chrysler rolled out its all-new, wood-bodied Town & Country models in 1946 with an enticing advertising campaign, including a two-page spread in the Saturday Evening Post and promises of a full line of “woodies,” including a convertible, a sedan, a two-door sedan, a hardtop coupe, and a roadster. In the end, only the convertible and sedan saw production. While the sedan was a warm, clubby sanctuary for the trip to one’s hunting lodge, the convertible was elite, a favorite of such celebrities as actress Marie “The Body” MacDonald and popular Western actor Leo Carillo. Some 8,368 convertibles were sold in three years.

This particular Town & Country Convertible was built on August 7, 1946, and it is a long-time Texas car, originally delivered in El Paso, making its inclusion in the Don Davis Collection fitting indeed. Prior to Mr. Davis acquiring the automobile, it was painstakingly restored in factory-correct Royal Maroon, with a burgundy leather and beige cloth interior and maroon convertible top. As an early Town & Country, it was originally built with solid mahogany veneer, replaced with Di-Noc, correct to later cars, as the wood was replaced during the restoration. Accessories include dual side-mirrors, dual Unity spotlights, and an AM radio. The restoration was unusually well-documented, as it was featured in over 24 issues of Cars & Parts magazine. Copies of the articles featuring the car are among a large collection of documentation that accompanies the Town & Country, also including the Production Record letter from Chrysler, an IBM Build Card, photographs of Town & Country production, historical background information, and more.

It is safe to say that a Town & Country restoration was never “watched” by so many as with this particular car, and as a result, the quality to be found throughout is outstanding indeed. The convertible earned a Platinum Award at the Boca Raton Concours d’Elegance in 2007, and aside from some light oxidation of the exhaust manifold, it remains “as-finished” today, showing 89,389 miles. Its panel fit is excellent, its paint is deep and sparkling, its hood opens and closes beautifully, and the finish of its wood trim is like clean glass. This Town & Country is simply among the most outstanding examples in existence.

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