1947 Chrysler Town Country

Chrysler sold more non-wagon woodies than anyone in 1946-48, most being convertibles, with the most famous of its lineup the 1947 Town & Country. Granted, there wasn't much competition: just the Ford/Mercury Sportsman convertibles and Nash's surprising Suburban sedan. But Chrysler's ragtop Town & Country led the parade not only in sales but in combining sporty elegance with vault-like solidity, smooth-riding luxury, and loads of glitter.

Classic Convertibles Image Gallery

1947 Chrysler Town & Country
The 1947 Town & Country established Chrysler as the leader in "woody" style convertibles.
See more pictures of classic convertibles.

The T&C was also sold as a four-door sedan through mid-1948. Most used the six-cylinder Windsor platform, whereas all convertibles rode the longer New Yorker chassis with its 135-horsepower 323-cubic-inch straight eight. Chrysler had planned a whole line of T&Cs, including a roadster and what could have been America's first hardtop coupe, but only a handful of these were built as prototypes. The four-door attracted 4050 buyers, making the T&C convertible, with production of 8380, one of the few cases in modern automotive history where an open model outsold its closed counterpart.

Chryslers hardly changed between 1946 and '48, all being distinguished by a dazzling "harmonica" grille and bulbous lines. Still, the droptop T&C was a real "looker" with its structural ash wood framing on bodysides and rear deck. Inserts were genuine mahogany through mid-'47, then realistic Di-Noc decals. Interiors were impressively furnished with wood paneling and leather/Bedford cord upholstery. Alas, the price for such opulence was high: $2743 in '46, $3420 by '48, figures that placed them squarely in Cadillac territory.

1947 Chrysler Town & Country, Interior
While nothing to write home about, the Chrysler Town & Country's
interior was stylish and comfortable.

The T&C convertible returned in Chrysler's all-new '49 lineup, but was far less special. After a 1950 hardtop, Town & Countrys were again strictly wagons. Since then the name has graced a steady stream of Chryslers -- many wearing elaborate pseudo-wood decoration -- but none match the majesty of the glorious 1946-48 originals.

The Town & Country convertible added much-needed glamour to a staid group of early postwar Chryslers. For impact and sales alike, it was king of Detroit's non-wagon woodies.

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