1950 Chrysler Imperial Newport Town & CountrySOLD

RM Auction - Vintage Motor Cars at Amelia Island - March 10, 2007

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ESTIMATE: $150,000 - $200,000

$167,750 Sold

135bhp, 324 cu. in. eight-cylinder engine, three-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with coil springs, solid axle rear suspension with semi-elliptical leaf springs and four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 131.5"

Success sometimes drives from its path cherished but costly attributes. Carefully fitted and finished, the Town & Country ’ s cabinetry reflected a more leisurely era of hand-built coachwork that was inconsistent with Chrysler ’ s dynamic future. 1950 would be the final year for the wood-paneled Town & Country.

Chrysler introduced the wood-sided Town and Country models as part of their new postwar lineup. These cars were immediately successful and often difficult for Chrysler dealers to obtain, which resulted in long waiting periods for the eager customers.

Chrysler ’ s wood-bodied cars were low production vehicles, because the time involved in making a well-finished wood-paneled car was far beyond that of a regular steel-sided automobile. It is believed that Chrysler never made a profit on any of their Town and Country products due to the labor-intensive nature of their construction.

In 1950, Chrysler produced one final exemplary Town & Country model, the Newport two door hard top. Only 700 were built and this one-year-only combination of all steel hardtop styling and carefully fitted wood trim signaled the end of the era of “ coachwork. ”

Power came from Chrysler ’ s reliable inline eight-cylinder engine and a three-speed manual transmission and column shift. With the Newport Town & Country, Chrysler added another landmark engineering accomplishment to its long list of technical milestones – four-wheel disc brakes. Jaguar is well known for its introduction of disc brakes on its C-Type racing cars at Le Mans but its heralded accomplishment trailed Chrysler by over two years. Chrysler ’ s disc brake system was unusual in that it employed disc-shaped friction surfaces that expanded against a rotating housing and was designed to be moderately self-energizing for light pedal pressures. It was a 1950 only feature of the Town & Country and Crown Imperial.

The 1950 Chrysler Imperial Newport Town & Country pictured here in black with a two-tone black and white interior is entirely original, having never been restored. It has been driven less than 5,000 miles from new and, most remarkably, it has never been registered.

Today, the Chrysler remains in excellent, well-preserved, original condition, having never seen neglect or experienced any damage. The wood sides remain original and are well preserved. The upholstery is original and excellent throughout. Mechanically, the vehicle runs as a new 1950 Chrysler was intended - smooth and quiet with no squeaks or rattles.

The 1950 Chrysler Newport Town & Country is an important and historically significant automobile, even among the wood-bodied cars and station wagons that have enjoyed a surge in popularity in recent years. There were only 700 of these cars built, of which approximately 77 remain. In today ’ s collector car marketplace, significant premiums are being paid for well-preserved, original, low mileage vehicles for one simple reason; while a car can be restored to perfection several times, it will only ever be in exceptional original condition once.

Reference Number 6346

as of 1/21/2007

Car 1950 Chrysler Imperial Newport Town & Country
VIN 7412042 
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