Chrysler Town & Country Newport Coupe
Wood-bodied station wagons were popular utility vehicles from the 1920s, and by the beginning of WWII, every automaker offered one. But they didn’t merge with mainstream auto design until Chrysler’s 1941 Town & Country “barrelback” models. After WWII, woodies enjoyed five years of passionate acceptance, with station wagons, sedans, coupes and even convertibles from Ford, Mercury, Packard, Chevrolet, Nash, Oldsmobile, Buick and especially Chrysler. But the new full-width bodies of 1949 didn’t accommodate structural wood very well. High insurance costs and constant maintenance sealed the woodies’ fate.
The few made after 1949 tended to have wood bolted to metal panels or, in some cases, just have metal pressed into wood shapes. By 1951, it was essentially all over. The last Chrysler woody was the 1950 Newport coupe, of which only 700 were built.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in March of 2010 at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida and in July of 2010 at the Shotwell Gustafson Pavilion at Meadow Brook Hall, Rochester, Michigan and in July of 2012 at The Inn at St. John's, Plymouth, Michigan.
331 cu. in. OHV Hemi V8 engine, four-barrel carburetor, Fluid-Drive semi-automatic transmission, independent front suspension with coil springs, semi-elliptic rear springs with live axle, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 131.5"
Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel