HomeCar CultureMy Classic CarMy Classic Car: The Largers' 1942 Chrysler Windsor Town & Country wagon

My Classic Car: The Largers’ 1942 Chrysler Windsor Town & Country wagon


This 1942 Town & Country was built with "blacked-out" painted bumpers | Jeffrey Larger photos
This 1942 Town & Country was built with “blacked-out” painted bumpers | Jeffrey Larger photos

Our 1942 Chrysler Town & Country is one of the very last civilian vehicles produced in late January, 1942. It came off the assembly line one month after Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, and just before Chrysler-built Sherman tanks began rolling off the assembly lines.

Not only is this vehicle one of the rarest of T & C vehicles — only the pre-war T & C were built in this configuration — it is the only known full “black out” vehicle.

Wood remains original and has yet to experience snow
Wood remains original and has yet to experience snow

Because of the war and the threat of aerial attacks at night, the car received a monochrome paint treatment that predated our current monochrome paint schemes by 50 years. Most of the typically chromed trim is painted and the overall level of trim is even less than the regular, pre-war, production vehicles.

Richard Larger rescued this rare vehicle from the burning “Hough” area of Cleveland in 1966. The vehicle’s mileage was just 22K at the time, it essentially had not been driven for the previous 15 years.

The original owner, E.S. Carpenter, had used the vehicle for his industrial training film company in the 1940s and was very meticulous about its care. The vehicle had reportedly never seen snow and was rarely been exposed to rain. All of the wood and interior are completely original owing to the low very protected use of the car during its first years of service.

In 1976, Jeffrey Larger freshened the exterior paint and then again in the spring of 2004. Jeff and Gary Larger freshened some exterior paint, bumpers, and performed other minor detailing. We have endeavored to retain as much of this vehicle’s originality as possible, which is why you see some age and wear on seats, under the hood and in the trunk areas.

Town & Countrys from 1941 and 1942 are different from their post-war successors. They are not the sedan and convertible models that were produced from 1946 to 1951. These pre-war vehicles are also not station wagons but rather a combination of sedan and wagon.

Built on the Windsor sedan chassis, these cars were mostly hand built and only 999 T & C vehicles were produced before war production in 1942. Just 150 of these six-passenger vehicles like ours were produced and no more than two are now known to remain. There are also are 15 nine-passenger cars for a total of 17.

Historical Information
Original Owner: Ernest S. Carpenter (ESCAR)
Current Owner: Richard & Maureen Larger (1966)
Mechanical Refresh: Gary & Jeff Larger, 2004 & 2005
Paint-Detail Refresh: Gary & Jeff Larger, 1976 & 2005

— Jeffrey Larger, Powell OH

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  1. ‘Blackout’ vehicles did not refer to the monochromatic paint, rather to many chrome items (like the grille bars, hubcaps, etc.) being painted. This was to save the nickel in the chrome plating for war time production of tanks & other vehicles & armament. Many of the last 1942 cars off the assembly lines also had wooden planks for bumper to save the metal for the war effort

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