I knew that Chrysler was the last premium brand to offer a three-passenger coupe in 1948, but I rather thought it was just more like a business coupe. That modest designation hardly applies to this extravagantly-trimmed Highlander Three Passenger Coupe. What a gorgeous interior, with plaid and leather in either red or green.
I’m not sure whether this special interior was available on all the model lines (six cylinder Royal and Windsor; eight cylinder Saratoga and New Yorker), but the three-passenger coupe body was available in all of them. No Crown Imperial, sadly. That would have been something, a three-passenger coupe on a 145″ wheelbase.
I believe the Highlander interior was available only on Windsor and New Yorker models (the higher series 6 and 8 cylinder models). And of course, the Town & Countrys were also available with it. I love these three passenger coupes, particularly with the Highlander interior!
As I recall, those Highlander interiors were a thing at Chrysler for quite a few years, even into the very early 50s. I am pretty sure they were available on multiple models.
And even available later, on special order. My dad displayed a white ’58 New Yorker convertible with a red highlander interior titled to the windows in our showroom.
My mother’s favorite car remains my grandfather’s blue ’48 Windsor with a blue/blue & green plaid Highlander interior. That also lasted until 1958, when the front connecting bar fell off, in part because the dealership never really inspected it – they just slapped a new sticker on when he dropped it off each year…
Chrysler did briefly bring back the Highlander plaid option in the mid 70’s on Newports, and Churchville Fabrics, the Philadelphia company that made the fabric is still in business, now part of SMS auto interiors. Time for a Highlander Ram?
Interesting! It’s always good to hear from real insiders who know what really happened.
I remember some neighbors of ours back then had an Aspen/Volare wagon in dark red with a red & white plaid interior.
I don’t know if it was sold as “Highlander”, but certainly the aesthetic is the same – plaid insets in the seats and door panel uppers.
I rode in that car once or twice and I remember it being very plaid!
Found a pic of one in the same colors:
The Highlander plaid interior option was available only on the Windsor and New Yorker series, $20.00 more than the standard interior. The option was available through the 1949 model year. To go with the color choice, Chrysler trimmed their dash and door friezes with an early plastic in a marble pattern. (see photos of this original 1941 for sale recently)
Also for 1941-’42. there was an optional Navajo-blanket pattern with a stylized thunderbird motif. I’ve yet to see a single car with that rare option.
There’s an interesting post here about the Navajo and Thunderbird interior options. No known survivors, sadly. I think they’re awesome, as the kids say.
This whole topic is interesting and that autopuzzles article is great. Thanks.
The geometric pattern was used in 1941, the Thunderbird in 1942. There was also a “saran” option in 1942, using leatherette bolsters and woven plastic inserts – a similar material was used on postwar Chrysler Town & Country sedans.
Thanks for the link, interesting article about a rare interior option.
Here’s the dash:
Fascinating. Just like a laminex kitchen table. Always wanted to see a picture of one.
Truman era bling.
I would take the green one, all day long! Might have to play some Bay City Rollers while driving, even though not age appropriate.
My cousin John has a 1949 Windsor Highlander Convertible in Maroon with matching interior. Beautiful car. Ran like a slug with the 114 HP six. Great with the top down, of course.
In 1970 I found a 1950 Town & Country hardtop woodie with Highlander and leather interior. It had sat in a long farm implement shed for decades, and while it had done only about 15,000 miles, it had termites, and many of the wooden body pieces were reduced to dust. [Oh the horror!]
Next to it was a 1951 Packard Convertible, next to that was a 1953 Packard Convertible, and next to that was a 1955 Buick Roadmaster sedan with factory A/C. Both convertible tops were long gone, and the roof on the Buick was caved in from kids jumping on it.
I bought all 4 cars for $100 because the lady who owned the farm took a liking to me, and I promised the cars would be used to keep other cars on the road, and not simply junked. She had bought all 4 as new cars, parking each one in the shed when the new one arrived. Junking them was what her son wanted to do to the cars, and as soon as she passed he sold the farm for a housing development.
Sold the Chrysler to a Portuguese diplomat’s son who took it back to Portugal, where they could do the woodwork very cheap! Sold both Packards, the 1953 went to Tom Mix, Jr. in Boston. I pulled the A/C from the Buick and put it in a 1955 Cadillac I owned, as the only difference was the compressor bracket.
These interiors are great! Does anyone offer anything even remotely like this these days? I wonder what the take rate would be if a company did? I would think it would have to be in something trendy like a Jeep, Mini, or Fiat.
My thought is the Chrysler 300 with a Highlander interior in 3 or 4 colors. It might breath some new life into an old platform. The Navajo/Thunderbird patterns would look good too. In a world of black interiors these would really pop.
Possibly, although the Navaho/Thunderbird upholstery would have been seen as a tribute back then, it would be seen more as cultural appropriation today. It would never be approved.
God I wish this blog had an editing function.
“That would have been something, a three-passenger coupe on a 145″ wheelbase.”
So a RCLB F-150?
They even put a thistle, the national flower of Scotland, in the ad.
Cadillac offered plaid on Deville and Eldorado in the 70’s. Practical for cloth as it didn’t show spots as a solid color would.
Too bad one door isn’t just a little shorter, to allow for a golf door. That would have been something!
_VERY_ nice coupe ! .
I remember the various Highlander versions as being pushed as bottom price cheapo models, this ’41 looks fantastic to me, not cheap looking in any way .
Sidenote: The latest issue of Collectible Auto shows a 1974 Plymouth “spring special” called Sundance, which was pure Highlander. Fairly attractive by ’70s standards.