1947 Chrysler Town & Country Convertible / Photos, Specs, Styling, Model History

As styling goes, this beautiful 1947 Chrysler Town and Country Convertible is a big winner. This classic automobile is a real head turner and a very rare automobile as well. The 1947 Town and Country Convertible is of the Chrysler New Yorker Series and was Chrysler’s top of the line model.

1947 chrysler
1947 Chrysler Town and Country Convertible

Chrysler’s Wood Bodies

It was quite natural for the earliest of automobiles to be constructed with wood bodies. Wood bodies of carriages was centuries old and it was considered normal that wood would be used in 1900 and before for motorized vehicles.

It was during the decade of the 1930’s when real styling took serious hold. More than merely a means of transportation, automobiles became in many cases a status symbol. This was true especially with higher priced luxury automobiles such as the Duesenberg’s and Cadillac’s.

Using real wood as styling enhancements for automobile bodies only lasted a relatively short time. Basically it covered the decades of the thirties and forties and in the case of Buick extended into the very early 1950’s. Chrysler’s wooden parts came from Pekin Wood Products in Helena, Arkansas. From Arkansas they were shipped to Chrysler’s Jefferson Avenue plant in Detroit for assembly. The wood framing was assembled before being placed on the body, Very labor intensive, the wood panels would need to be contoured correctly to fit onto the steel body. Wood bodies were expensive to produce and required care to maintain.

There’s no question that wood bodied cars were considered special. They cost more to build and they cost more for the buyer. They looked good and conveyed a sense of being special. When wood bodies were used in the 1930’s they made a fashion statement. The 1940’s are considered to be the golden decade of woodies and it was near the end of that decade where wood was phased out. One big exception was Buick which finally phased out real wood bodies after 1953.

The Chrysler Town and Country

Chrysler introduced the Town and Country in 1941 and the model had great reviews. Chrysler management wanted to start bringing in more wealthy car buyers into their showrooms. As an example, the 47 Town and Country convertible was priced new at about $3,400 which translates into about $45,000 today.

The Town and Country is a very stylish car with beautiful wood paneled bodies. This first model was a four door eight passenger wagon. Not that using wood on cars was new. Wood parts were used in automobiles ever since around 1900 for support, flooring and other parts. The wood on the Chrysler’s were mostly white ash and were used on the doors and the rear trunk area. The structural white ash was accented by contrasting panels of Honduran mahogany with a finish you’d see on fine furniture. The combination of white ash framing with the mahogany creates a stylish contrast.

The Town and Country Convertible came exclusively in the New Yorker series, meaning that it used Chrysler’s 127.5-inch wheelbase and 135hp, 323.5-cubic-inch L-head straight-eight engine. The New Yorker name is what helped Chrysler gain the reputation as the maker of upscale cars. While the New Yorker was in production its main competitors were the upper level models from Oldsmobile, Buick and Mercury.

1947 town and country

The 1947 Chrysler New Yorker Town & Country was the flagship model for the company and, at a cost of $3,420 or just shy of $40,000 accounting for inflation, it was the most expensive Chrysler of its time. This beautiful car was also one of the last real wood-bodied autos that were ever produced.

1947 Chrysler Town and Country Specifications

The two engines offered with the 1947 Chrysler Town and Country was a 250 cubic inch inline six and a 323 cubic inch inline eight. Horsepower was 114 and 135 respectively.

Transmissions are a three speed manual and a four sped semi automatic.

Brakes are four wheel hydraulic drums.

Front suspension is independent coil springs and rear is a live axle and semi elliptical leaf springs.

chrysler town and country

Total 1947 Chrysler production came in at 119,000 vehicles. From that number there were 3,140 Town and Coutry Convertibles produced.

Related Auto Museum Online articles are on the links below…

1947 Ford Woodie Wagon

1951 Buick Super Woodie Wagon

Reference material for this article includes…American Classic Cars by Quentin Wilson…Cars and Parts Magazine October 1994Car Collector and Car Classics March 1983Woodys by David Fetherston.

The Rare 1947 Chrysler Town and Country Collector Car

For classic car collectors, vehicles like this don’t come along every day and the quality is plain to see. For classic car collectors, vehicles like this don’t come along every day and the quality is plain to see.

Some of these Chrysler Town and Country’s have had extensive frame off restorations and have sold at auction at strong prices. Those models that have crossed the auction block have sold in the six figure range with some in the $200,000 to $300,000 area. You’ll also see some that have sold under $100,000. The originality and degree and age of restoration will influence final sale price.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)