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Home Pick of the Day Pick of the Day: 1950 Chrysler Town & Country with real...

Pick of the Day: 1950 Chrysler Town & Country with real wood accent trim

The 2-door hardtop was a luxury model meant to evoke stylish suburban living

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What’s the matter with the car I’m driving? / Can’t you tell that it’s out of style? / Should I get a set of whitewall tires? / Are you gonna cruise the Miracle Mile?

Billy Joel summed it up pretty well in his hit 1980 song “It’s Still Rock & Roll to Me.”  Automotive trends evolve just like fashion trends.  And whether it’s whitewall tires, window louvers or body kits, the automobile has always been a means of individual expression. 

Wood paneling, like so many other aesthetic enhancements, has pretty much  phased out.  But 70 years ago, Chrysler was wild about wood.

chrysler

The Pick of the Day is a 1950 Chrysler Town & Country Newport 2-door hardtop that is trimmed in real wood.  The car is offered on ClassicCars.com by a private seller in Monrovia, California. 

Wooden bodies and wood accents have been around since the dawn of the automobile.  Early cars were horseless carriages after all.  But toward the middle of the 20th Century, wood paneling had evolved into a stylistic enhancement rather than a means of construction.  And thus was born the “woody.”  California’s surfing community will forever be associated with woody wagons.

chrysler

This Chrysler Town & Country is powered by an inline-8 engine paired with a three-speed fluid-drive automatic transmission, a rare configuration, according to the seller, with only 698 built.  The seller calls the vehicle “semi-restored,” and goes on to describe the condition of the 76,000-mile woody. 

“This fine example features original wood panels and original engine, rebuilt,” the seller says in the ad.  “The paint shows very well, the interior is new and period correct, it drives smooth and the engine purrs like a kitten.” 

The seller’s photo gallery conveys how well the Chrysler shows for being 71 years old, right down to the generous chrome trim, dual spotlights and hood ornament.  The doors, rear quarters and trunk lid are all trimmed in a combination of chrome and wood that works well with the brown paint scheme. 

The Town & Country model was launched in 1941 and went on to be offered in a variety of body styles:  station wagon, 4-door sedan, 2-door hardtop and convertible.  Much later, the name was applied to a rebadged version of the Dodge Caravan minivan.  And indeed, the Town & Country minivan could be had with faux wood paneling; by that time, real wood had been replaced by woodgrain applique. 

A handful of vehicles as recently as the 1990s, such as the Jeep Grand Wagoneer and a limited-edition Chrysler PT Cruiser, briefly brought woodgrain trim back to life.  But it’s been a couple of decades since wood was used in exterior applications on production vehicles.  Today’s use of wood is primarily limited to interior trim in the luxury-car segment.   

chrysler

The seller is asking $28,000 for this wood-trimmed hardtop.  Oh, and it also has those whitewall tires Billy Joel was talking about. 

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

Hagerty
Tyson Hugie
Tyson Hugie grew up in a family of gearheads and enjoys anything to do with automotive and motorsports. He is a contributing editor to Redline Reviews, a YouTube channel with coverage from major auto shows. He also writes for Arizona Driver Magazine and holds leadership positions with a number of car clubs. Tyson has lived in Arizona for 10 years and his current obsession is Japanese cars from the early 1990s which, though hard to believe, are now becoming classics. Tyson can usually be found exploring offbeat and obscure road trip destinations on his blog "Drive to Five," which started as a way to share travel stories and experiences with his now-550,000-mile Acura.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I find it interesting that almost every seller of a classic car from the 50’s, 60′ states that the mileage is about 76,000. It’s uncanny and funny. Hundreds of thousands of cars only have 74,00- 78,000 miles on them?

    I’ve seen this model car in Kansas and they are beautiful.

  2. A Classic Car collector doesn’t really care about the mileage, because if it has been restored or semi-restored as mentioned in this write up, it’s no big deal. However, rolling back the Odometer was an easy task by a Odometer specialist. Undercarriage pics would be a plus. The asking price is right on for a 1950, 71 year old Classic. The ‘real wood’ is a rarity on these Classics. Kudos to the Seller for keeping this Classic in superb condition all those years.

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