Any household with Chryslers from both the 1940s and 1960s, with an additional late model Town and Country as a daily driver, must qualify as a family of Chrysler fanatics. Each of these three examples features a significant Chrysler engineering achievement: a 1946-48 Windsor, with Fluid Drive; a 1961 Newport with pushbutton Torqueflite and Astrodome electroluminescent instruments; and a 2005-07 Town and Country with Stow’n Go seating, at least on the long wheelbase models. The Windsor and Newport are each quite faded and rusty, but their registrations are up to date and their seats and dashboards are clean and show signs of recent work, indicating that they are usable cars that the owner is interested in keeping comfortable and ready to drive. Either would be a characterful occasional driver for the lucky family that owns them.
CC Outtake: Six Decades Of Mopar Or No Car
– Posted on May 18, 2014
You’re teasing us with only the one picture?! I want that 61! 🙂
+1 the finest of fins
The best of the bunch is the least visible 🙁
Au contraire. 🙂
The 1961 Chryslers indeed had great fins, but this Newport’s were not really presentable! The car’s rear, including the fins, was so rusty that it put me off of photographing the cars from that angle. I could go back and take the shot if people really want it. 🙂
The real highlight of this 1961 Newport was the interior. Although the exterior was rough, the interior had been reupholstered and the Astrodome and dashboard metal bits looked like-new. The owner wanted it to be pleasant from the driver’s seat first even with the exterior left rough, at least for now. So it’s definitely a driver, in a rat rod sort of way, but perhaps with an eye to future body work when the owner’s time and budget allow.
What a great photo and the only way it could be improved would be rearranging the last two vehicles.
My family has owned a 37 Dodge, a 70 Dart, a 95 Voyager, as well as an 03 Caravan. Overall we have had good luck with our Chryslers and I would say they are some of the most dependable as well as cheap vehicles the family has ever owned. Though I did wish my 03 Caravan had several features the Voyager had.
Chrysler was struggling a bit in the 1990s even before Mercedes Benz bought them, but I have no idea why Diamler Chrysler ****** up sooo badly. All of Dodge’s vehicles should have become Plymouths and all of the trucks as well as SUVs should have become Dodges.
I really hope Chrysler keeps making Minivans since vehicles like the Saturn Outlook are not everyone’s cup of tea, the Japanese Minivans have too many electric features, and the Ford Flex is not as roomy.
Chrysler struggling in the 90s? Things were good at the time. They had the new pickups, Durango, LH sedans, Neon, minivans all selling well. They were flush with cash. However, an investor named Kirk Kirkorian tried a hostile takeover which would’ve taken the company private. CEO Bob Eaton panicked and agreed to “merge” with MB.
The 96-00 Chrysler Minivans had an electrical issue with the dashboard that would later require resoldering. There was also not rust proofing in the rear shock towers resulting in premature and fatal rusting. The Neon and 2nd gen Intrepid also had issues. Even the Ram and the Ram Van had issues. All these little things would have caught up and screwed Chrysler over, they were just festering under the surface.
Thanks for the info.
That is true. They were cutting corners on quality, and that would come back to bite them. In addition to what you said, Neons became well known for head gasket failures, and I think they still hadn’t sorted out the transmission in the minivans. At the time however, those issues had not yet come to a head.
Love the old Windsor a wrecking yard I worked in had one we used it for towing things with mudgrip tyres on the back it was quite impressive for that, Havent seen one here in decades, it got replaced by a 61 Fairlane wagon that had been rearended upon death.
Looks like our driveway! Except ours are more modern. 1975 Chrysler Cordoba, 1997 Dodge Intrepid, and a 2014 Dodge Charger.
IIRC Richie’s dad in Happy Days owned the DeSoto version of that early-postwar LWB sedan.
Late here, but I believe so – from memory there was an episode where it got crashed into the house? Pretty sure I remember the front end poking through the wall into the lounge. Pretty sure I also remember an episode where Howard was wanting a new car and was bitterly disappointed that they didn’t still make De Sotos.
How could anyone not love a Mopar? Chrysler is the “Rudy” of car makers and everyone loves the underdog! And I really like the direction Marchionne is taking the company today, I think they are building some the best cars in the industry now. (yes, really)
The old adage is true, with Chryslers, when you get a good one, you get a really good one. When you get a bad one, you get a steaming pile of rust and sludge. I have a couple of Mopars in the garage; a 69 Charger, 71 Road Runner, 71 Satellite sedan, 96 and 04 Ram pickups, 2010 Challenger R/T and a 2009 Charger Pursuit cruiser for work. Luckily they have all been good vehicles or I wouldn’t have gone back to the Pentastar.
I only wish I could retrofit an old Chrysler starter into the late models.
Normal people would ask to see your muscle cars, but this being CC, I’m interested in the Satellite sedan! 🙂 I think it would be fun to make one of those into a kind of retro-300C, with a healthy 360 EFI and a tuned suspension.
(I hear JPC laughing at me…)
Not laughing, just a sad, sad sigh. 🙂
Imp, Ive had visions of late model Hemi power for some time now but theres something special about a well-tuned 318. Its a bit of an oddball (as if being a 1971 Plymouth Satellite that’s still alive in 2014 isn’t oddball enough!) It came from the factory with a 727 Torqueflite, an 8 3/4 Sure-Grip rear with 3.23 gears, and 11″ drum brakes, all of which are parts normally reserved for a Road Runner or a trailer-package car, which my Satellite is not. Its a late build sales bank car so I think the factory threw a bunch of leftover parts at it.
Interesting, thanks. Maybe it was a program car for some bureaucracy that didn’t quite rate a police package, like a housing authority or gas company.
That Windsor would make a sweet ride!
Want the Windsor. Flatheads and Fluid Drive Rule!
There is a far better local daily driver 1948 Chrysler that I may feature soon. You will really want that one!
Hmm. Is that upper Northwest? Seems I’ve seen that 61 before. I grew up in Arlington & Falls Church.
That’s some great patina on the Windsor. I’ve always liked these immediate postwar Chryslers–when else has there been a sedan with a 9-passenger option? Plus perhaps the best styling of the period, which is slightly ironic considering the redesigned ’49 models lagged behind both Ford and GM in the looks department (at least in my opinion).
Love the Newport too. Can’t beat the fins for ’61–they certainly went out with a bang! There’s a ’61 New Yorker that I pass by occasionally that sits on four flat tires but looks reasonably solid; just ripe for someone to take on as a restoration project!