1950 Chrysler Town & Country Coupe

From launch in 1941, Chrysler’s handsome Town & Country models epitomized luxury, quality, and the sporting life as no other American car of the era. A far cry from the utilitarian depot hacks that eventually gave rise to the spartan yet attractive elegant “Woodies” of the 1930s and 1940s, the Town & Country originated from drawings penned around 1938 by Chrysler designer “Buzz” Grisinger. Chrysler Corporation General Manager Dave Wallace then championed the idea as a more glamorous, limited-production model to generate showroom traffic.

The first Town & Country models were sold for 1941 and 1942 and while production halted in early 1942 soon after America’s full-scale entry into WW II, the Town & Country returned for 1946–48 with a convertible and low-production sedan, followed only by a Town & Country Convertible for 1949. For 1950, the final year of “true” Town & Country availability, the luxurious concept was applied to Chrysler’s top-of-the-line Newport 2-door pillarless hardtop, which was just added to the Chrysler model lineup. In fact, the 1950 Town & Country stands alone as the sole wood-bodied Chrysler hardtop ever produced.

A great deal of handwork typified the assembly process throughout the Town & Country’s run and the Newport-based model for 1950 was no exception. Its signature features – the beautifully joined and finished Ash hardwood overlays – were assembled separately prior to being fitted to each vehicle’s body. Extensive hand-forming of the compound-curved wood frames was then required to ensure proper fitment. Unlike prior Town & Country models, the only wood used for the 1950 Newport-based cars was the visually striking Ash body framing, with the painted spaces between the frames finished in body color.

The 1950 Town & Country also marked another end of an era as one of the last Chrysler models  powered by the same L-head inline 8-cylinder engine design first used on the Series CD-8 of 1931. Delivering 135 brake horsepower, this torquey 323.5-cubic inch unit was paired with Chrysler’s famous Fluid-Drive semi-automatic transmission as standard equipment on the Town & Country Newport. Interiors featured an artistic Streamline Moderne motif and chrome details, an unusually beautiful steering wheel, more wooden trim, and top-quality upholstery.

Launched on May 23, 1950 as a late-year addition to the Chrysler lineup, the Town & Country Newport was priced from $4,003 and stood as the most expensive American-built coupe when new. While numbers vary slightly depending upon the source, only 700 were built. Predictably, they were a favorite of the era’s top movie stars and personalities, including Gary Cooper and Rita Hayworth. Based on their sheer grandeur, rarity, beauty and star power, all surviving examples are highly coveted and valuable today, exemplified by the vehicle offered here.

One of the finest examples in existence and currently available, this 1950 Chrysler Newport Town and Country Hardtop is the product of a comprehensive frame-off restoration and features an attractive Green paint finish, very good Ash wood framing, and gorgeous chrome and brightwork. The interior is equally impressive, featuring a bench seat up front with split and folding seatbacks, trimmed in Green leather and White and Green striped cloth. Welcome passenger amenities include a heater/defroster, in-dash clock, and pushbutton AM radio. The 323 cubic-inch, L-head inline 8-cylinder engine delivers power through Chrysler’s renowned Fluid-Drive semi-automatic transmission and stopping is delivered by a very rare set of factory 4-wheel disc brakes – an advanced design for the period that was exclusive to the Town and Country and Imperial models for 1950-51. According to our recent inspection, this final-year Newport Town and Country runs and drives very well, consistent with its unforgettable looks. A handsome set of chrome wire wheels mounting new Diamondback Whitewall radial tires provide the crowning touch to this truly rare and captivating postwar motoring icon.


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