Really a Three: 1956 Chrysler New Yorker Station Wagon – Sold?

Oct 2020 | Classifinds, Wagon Wednesday

October 6th Update – While preparing for our latest Wagon Wednesday feature, we confirmed the Craigslist ad for this ’56 Chrysler Town & Country expired.  With no replacement listing found, we’re assuming this wagon “Sold?” but we will keep an eye open for future ads if it didn’t.

September 4th Update – Over the weekend, we discover a fresh listing for this 1956 Chrysler Town & Country we first featured earlier this summer.  While the pictures and description remain the same, the private seller lowered their asking price by $2,100 to $27,900. The trade-off with this wagon is that it is a well-optioned rare car offset by a number of items needing attention called out by the seller, including rust in one of the rocker panels in need of attention.  At best, those facts make this at best #3 condition car.

July 17th Update – We confirmed the original listing for this 1956 Chrysler New Yorker station wagon expired and has been replaced with a duplicate ad that is still asking $30,000 for the car.

This New Yorker Town & Country just posted recently on Craigslist in East Hampton, New York (Long Island) was part of Chrysler’s “PowerStyle” line for 1956.  Presented as a driver quality example featuring an older restoration, the current caretaker currently has his Town & Country optimistically listed for the revised asking price of $27,900.   A review of the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms this private seller now has their well-optioned New Yorker priced between the current #2 “Excellent” appraisal of $29,400 and the #3 “Good” estimate of $19,000.  Hagerty’s three-year trend notes that prices for these cars appear to be on the decline, so that combined with our assessment below will likely have you leveraging all of the information during your negotiations. 

In 1955, Chrysler did away with the out of fashion high roofline designs of then-Chairman K.T. Keller and came out with a new sedan that borrowed styling cues from Virgil Exner’s custom 1952 Imperial Parade Phaeton. The Hemi V8 engine produced 250 horsepower.  Chrysler christened the 1956 model year’s design “PowerStyle,” a product of prolific Chrysler designer Virgil Exner. The New Yorker gained a new mesh grille, leather seats, pushbutton PowerFlite selector, and a 354 cubic inch Hemi V8 with 280 horsepower. Also new for 1956, Chrysler introduced an under-dash mounted 16 2/3 rpm record player, dubbed the “Highway Hi-Fi”, manufactured by CBS Electronics. A two-way switch in the dash changed the input for the speaker from the all-transistor radio to the seven-inch record player. The Town and Country Wagon model was Chrysler’s most expensive vehicle of 1956 with a base price of $4,523. This combined with more updated and stylish wagon competition from GM and Ford meant that Chrysler produced only 1,135 Town & Country wagons for 1956.

Here’s a ten-minute dealer promo highlighting the line of 1956 Chrysler full-size cars for the model year:

While the seller presents his black-and-white two-tone New Yorker as a “solid driving car”, the honest description of “some rot” on one of the rocker panels combined a leaking exhaust manifold, several non-working gauges, and cracking paint have us calling this more of a #3 “Good” condition driver rather than #2 “Excellent.”   You should plan on pointing these out to the seller and the final price should reflect that.  Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“The Chrysler comes with power steering, power brakes, working a/c and automatic transmission. The engine runs strong, the transmission shifts like it should and the brakes stop, but not as good as they should. All the glass is good. All the windows go up and down including the manual tailgate window. In 2007 the car was rewired using a Rhode Island complete wiring harness. At that time all the wheel cylinders, brake hoses, brake shoes and master cylinder were replaced. The floors and the chassis are solid. The only issue is some rot on one of the rocker panels. The other issues are the paint is cracking, the right side exhaust manifold has a leak, the clock and the fuel gauge do not work. Overall this is a nice solid driving car. The Chrysler is being sold as is. The Chrysler has a New York transferable registration. We did not have titles back then. If you have any questions please ask.

Do you have a New Yorker Town & Country story you’d like to share?  Comment below and let us know!

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