1947 Chrysler Town & CountryTown and Country Sedan
Year of manufacture1947
- Offered from the Muckel Collection
- Formerly part of the Otis Chandler collection
- One of 2,752 sedan examples built in 1947, of which only a fraction survive
- A desirably optioned example comprehensively restored during the 1990s
- Cover car of the spring 1983 issue of Timber Tales
- Awarded at several California-area concours d’elegance; ideal for further event exhibition
- Documented with copy of factory build card, former owners’ correspondence and research, model literature, and original owner’s manuals
Much rarer than its convertible sibling, the masterfully styled Chrysler Town and Country sedan was built on the company’s postwar Windsor model platform and continued the prewar station wagon’s exterior design of mahogany veneer paneling framed with white ash trim. In production for three years only, the Town and Country sedan was built in a modest quantity (sources vary slightly, but it is believed that 2,752 examples were built during 1947); only a small fraction of these cars are known to survive to this day.
This beautiful example benefits from careful attention by a handful of documented owners through the years, after which it was treated to a comprehensive cost-no-object restoration during the 1990s. According to a file of documentation that includes copies of a factory build card, serial number 71002450 was completed in late November 1947, and therefore featured elements of the 1948 cars, including 8.20-by-15-inch wheels and larger rear fender openings. It was desirably optioned with the “All Weather Air Control” climate-control system, dual swan-neck exterior mirrors, dual spotlights and fog lamps, an outside windshield visor, and an electronically controlled gas cap lock.
Reportedly distributed to Manners Chrysler/Plymouth in Cheyenne, Wyoming, the Town and Country was purchased new by local resident Clara Austin, and remained in her family until her passing in the early 1960s. Sold by her estate, the Chrysler passed through three Colorado-based owners before being acquired by an enthusiast in St. Paul, Minnesota, who relocated to Maryland in 1978. After being acquired by a collector in Washington, D.C. in 1983, the car was sold two years later to an owner in Florida.
The Chrysler was discovered there in 1996 by Philip Jones of Kentfield, California, who had long been searching for well-preserved Town and Country that would be ideal for restoration. Mr. Jones conducted a complete refurbishment that included a rebuild of the engine, transmission, brakes, steering assembly, and gauges. The wiring harness was replaced, a stainless steel exhaust system was installed, and the exterior was treated to a fresh refinish in the original deep blue paint color, while the mahogany paneling was re-veneered, and the interior re-upholstered with red leather and tartan broadcloth. The brightwork was re-plated, the mirrors, foglamps, and spotlights were replaced, and the engine bay was finished to show-quality standards. The finishing touches were applied with the addition of a correct luggage rack.
Following completion of the restoration the Chrysler was presented to award-winning results at a number of regional shows, including the Wine Country Concours d’Elegance at Santa Rosa, and the Palo Alto Concours d’Elegance, where the sedan won the George S. Paddleford Trophy. Unfortunately the cost of refurbishment was so high that Mr. Jones was compelled to sell the car, and in 2002 it was purchased by the renowned Los Angeles Times publisher and noted collector Otis Chandler.
Following Mr. Chandler’s passing in 2006, his collection was offered for sale and the Chrysler was acquired by the current owner. Still presenting in show-worthy condition, the Town and Country is a breathtaking example of a model that is deemed a full classic by the Classic Car Club of America. Ideal for presentation at regional concours d’elegance and American car shows, or admiration within the confines of private collections, this exquisite and rare example of the finest in American craftsmanship would make a beautiful addition to any collection.To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/mo20.