Hemi Hauler: 1953 Chrysler Town & Country Wagon – Sold?
January 12, 2022 Update – We just confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found we’re assuming this ride “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.
December 27, 2021 Update – We just confirmed the private seller just lowered their asking price by a significant $10,000 from $59,000 to $49,000. That action places the asking squarely between the #1 and #2 condition value estimates of our typical syndicated pricing resources.
One of Chrysler’s more storied brand names is “Town & Country.” Over the years, the company used it to brand everything from wood-bodied two-door coupes to mini-vans, and, of course, station wagons. By the early 1950s, Town & Country signified Chrysler’s dedication to providing a luxurious, all-steel-bodied, station wagon. We came across this 1953 Burgandy-over-red Town & Country originally listed in December 2021 on Craigslist in Turlock, California (Los Angeles) with only 64K original miles and featuring a Hemi V8 connected to a Fluid Drive semi-automatic gearbox.
Currently offered for $49,000 (the original ask was $59,000), comparing that price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms the private seller has their Town & Country priced four hundred dollars less than this guide’s #1 “Concours” appraisal of $59,400. Similarly, the Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask is $1,400 higher than this guide’s #1 “Excellent” appraisal of $57,600.
Following the end of World War II, Chrysler introduced its new postwar three-box, ponton design for the 1949 model year in versions also shared by the Dodge and DeSoto divisions. Chrysler continued to power these cars with its 323.5 cubic inch straight-eight coupled to either a Fluid Drive or Prestomatic four-speed semi-automatic transmissions.
In 1951, Chrysler upgraded the power train. The company’s first application of Hemispherical combustion chambers came in the form of its new 180 horsepower FirePower Hemi V8. FirePower Hemi equipped cars could accelerate 0 to 60 mph in ten seconds, faster than the Oldsmobile 88 Rocket engine of that time. The engine subsequently became a popular choice among hot rodders and racers.
Also new for 1951, New Yorker models also offered Fluid Torque Drive, a true torque converter automatic transmission. Cars equipped with Fluid Torque Drive had a gear selector quadrant on the steering column. Another industry first, Hydraguide power steering, appeared as an option on Chrysler cars with the Hemi engine.
For 1953 Chrysler stylists gave the New Yorker a less bulky look when they reduced the car’s wheelbase to 125.5 inches, added a new one-piece curved windshield, and integrated rear fenders into the body. Wire wheels were now an option. Chrysler dropped the lower-priced Saratoga line and renamed its top models “New Yorker DeLuxe”. Convertible and Newport hardtops were available only in New Yorker DeLuxe trim while the base New Yorker offered a long-wheelbase sedan and a Town & Country wagon.
We came across this great video explaining how to operate Chrysler’s early 50’s Fluid Torque Drive transmission:
Since the seller does not call it out specifically, you’ll need to confirm whether this car is a 64K original mile survivor or the benefactor of restoration at some point.
Here’s the seller’s description:
“1953 Chrysler Town and Country station wagon. All stock, runs perfect, every option available, only 64k original miles 331 ci Hemi motor, near perfect condition. Ca. title on non-op status. $59k or partial trade for Harley Davidson. “
Show or go: what would you do with this 1953 Chrysler Town & Country? Comment below and let us know!