1968 and 1984 Revivals of the Town & Country Concept
The 1968 and 1984 revivals of the Town & Country concept stirred up excitement. During model year 1968 the original Town & Country concept, in spirit at least, made a temporary return.
In time for the mid-year selling season there arrived a new option called "Sportsgrain." It was available for convertibles and two-door hardtops in the Newport series, then Chrysler's bread-and-butter line, priced in the competitive $3,300-$4,500 range and available in six body styles including two Town & Country wagons.
To avoid confusion, cars so equipped did not wear the Town & Country badge, and some enthusiasts were undoubtedly thankful for that. Indeed, the Sportsgrain Newport can be accurately summed up as the standard car with $126 worth of simulated-wood paneling plastered to the bodysides as on the wagon.
It didn't look bad, but it didn't knock your eyes out either. And as a successor to the real Town & Country it was a non-starter. Sales were 965 hardtops and 175 convertibles -- which explains why Sportsgrain disappeared for good after this one year.
Then in 1984, the Town & Country came back, this time for real. It arrived in the LeBaron series, another long-standing Chrysler nameplate that originated in the coachbuilding days of Ray Dietrich and Tom Hibbard.
LeBaron and Town & Country were a plush combination. Though there was no real tree wood in it, this newest T&C was nevertheless a first-rate reincarnation of the spirit and style of the original.
Actually, there were two LeBaron T&Cs, a five-door wagon and a convertible. The ragtop naturally received the most attention from both the press and buyers. And why not? It was not only one of the few domestic convertibles you could buy new in those days, but it was also one of the best.
And, as the first open-air Town & Country in almost two generations, it was the model that most strongly evokes memories of the great late-1940s classics.
To learn more about the 1984 LeBaron Town & Country convertible, check out our final section.