Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Unibody Builder: 1961 Chrysler Town & Country Wagon

Head to an FCA...err...Chrysler showroom today looking for a Town & Country and you will find a big monster sized minivan with MSRP starting at $29,995 that offers adequate safety and convenience for hauling around a large family, but the excitement and sex appeal of a bag of dead squid.  If you want to guarantee that you won't get a call (or text or e-mail?) from a potential mate, just drive one of those on your first date; it is as good a mood killer as bringing along your mother.  There was, however, a time when the Town and Country name wasn't a total buzzkill and was used on a wicked looking station wagon from Detroit.  Find this 1961 Chrysler Town & Country Wagon here on eBay bidding for $12,200 reserve-not-met with 5 days to go, located in Old Bethpage, NY.

The third generation Town & Country was sold from 1960 through 1964 and was at the time one of the largest automobiles ever constructed on a unibody chassis.  Styling was still stuck in the Virgil Exner tailfins and wonky headlamps world of the 1950s, but the 6-pillar hardtop design is really a feast for the eyes.  Don't expect to maneuver this 18 foot long beast into a tight urban apartment complex garage -- you will need to rent space in a hangar at your local airport.
Power comes from a 361 cubic inch Golden Lion V8 mated to a push button shifted slushbox.  The 305 horsepower won't be much match for the 4400 lb curb weight, but with a long enough runway you should be able to seriously overwhelm the stock brakes and handling capability. 
The "space age" instrument cluster/binnacle is a wonderful thing to experience and this one looks in great shape, which is good because I wouldn't expect to find any replacement parts for anything on the inside of this old gal. 
See a cooler GIANT classic for sale? tips@dailyturismo.com


  1. Nice looking car.

    I thought the 1958 Lincoln Premiere was the only car with that particular slanted headlamp treatment.

  2. The last of the chrome plated dinosaurs. It does present the image a dragon or a pterodactyl from the back.

    1. An older friend of mine commented, "It is a cool car alright, but back in the day, when these tanks would get in accidents, the cars would be hardly damaged, and someone would die. No seatbelts, huge windows to launch through, lots of pointy bits to impale yourself on or just tear you open and zero crumple zones. Heavier was safer. This was considered a very safe car."

    2. I have seen this car at the local cars and coffee Sunday's. It's spectacular and a bargain compared to what it would cost to restore one. Amazing find. The car has unbelievable presence in person,


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