1941 Chrysler Town & Country BarrelBack Woodie WagonSOLD

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

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ESTIMATE: $175,000 - $225,000

$170,500 Sold

114bhp, 250 cu. in. Spitfire
six-cylinder, fluid drive
semi-automatic transmission, front and rear coil springs and shock absorbers, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 121.5"

Conceived in 1939, the Town & Country Estate Wagon represented Chrysler’s desire to create an entirely new car that was both luxurious and dramatic. It had to be elegant enough for city and chauffeur driving, but utilitarian enough for country living. David Wallace, Chrysler's president, was the driving force behind the creation of the unique Town & Country Estate Wagon design. He wanted a wood-bodied car that would have the same basic lines as the steel-bodied sedans, yet with greater refinement, quality, and panache. The cars were constructed utilizing two different types of woods, including the structural wood of white ash with contrasting panels in a rich Honduran mahogany.

By 1941, the evolution of the Town & Country had blossomed into the streamlined and beautifully designed Wagon as presented here. Built for a limited time – as production was halted with the onset of World War II – Town & Countrys were a rare sight on the street, and are arguably the most attractive, rare, and desirable prewar wood-based vehicle built.

Overall, they represented approximately one percent of all automotive production in the period of 1941 to 1942, and, though they increased nominally in the postwar period, they still represent the rarest of all cars produced in the 1940s as well as through most of the 1950s.

All told, in 1941 only 997 of these hand-built masterpieces were produced. Of these, 797 were nine-passenger cars and 200 were six-passenger cars. According to the Town & Country Registry, only 20 in total are known to exist. Of this 20, it is said that less than half are running, driving cars. The Chrysler’s most recent owner purchased this stunning six-passenger Town & Country out of Northern California.

While largely complete, the Chrysler required a complete restoration to return it to its former flagship glory. The body was then taken off of the frame and all wood was replaced utilizing new, correct white ash and Honduran mahogany; the woodworking was done by noted Town & Country specialists Henderson Classic Woodworks.

Following the completion of that stage, the Chrysler was then sent to R. C. Restorations in Palm Desert, CA for sheet-metal assembly, painting, and leather interior.

Finished in a bold maroon and trimmed in red leather, these colors combine with the white ash and Honduran mahogany wood to produce a truly attractive and stylish overall look.

The comprehensive, no expense spared restoration was completed in 1993, and was enjoyed and shown for several years by the current vendor. In 1996, the Barrel-Back was invited to the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, where it was
well-received by the public and judges, and was celebrated as a winner in the Wood Estate Wagon class.

Since then, the Chrysler has been lovingly maintained and, while a previous show winner, we understand that this Barrel-Back is a true enthusiast’s car as it is in excellent operating and driving condition. The interior, paintwork, engine, and underbody are all in presentable, tidy condition and will surely continue to impress judges and onlookers at events in the years to come. This fully restored six-passenger Town & Country presents a rare opportunity for the serious collector to acquire one of the most unique and luxurious wood-bodied station wagons ever produced.

Reference Number 7337

as of 2/20/2007

Car 1941 Chrysler Town & Country BarrelBack Woodie Wagon
VIN 7706908 
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