1947 Town & Country Convertible
Our 1947 Chrysler Town & Country Convertible was the first wooden bodied car we restored. It caught our eye in the very beginning, even though no one else was paying any attention to it. It was in rough condition when we bought it September of 2004, but it's style, design and quality were evident even then. We jumped right on this restoration. Denny had it completely torn down in the first week, and had begun devising his plan. We truly had this car finished (to Concours quality) in less than 9 months.
The wooden body is constructed of White Ash and Honduran Mahogany and the sheet metal finished in Newport Blue. The interior was finished in blue leather and tan Bedford Cord. It was a joy to drive with its super quiet, powerful in-line eight cylinder engine and unique Fluid Drive transmission.
More fun to be had is at car shows. It's always fun watching people's responses to these cars and the work we've done. We love talking with folks and sharing car history and our experiences with them. This automobile garnered accolades at all the major Concours events we attended, such as Meadow Brook Concours d' Elegance, Glenmoor Gathering. It was awarded the Senior Grand National from the AACA. We sold this beauty in September 2009 for a World Record price at Worldwide Auctions, Auburn, Indiana.
1942 Town & Country Barrelback
We were asked, "What will your next car be?", when we finished our 1947 T&C convertible. Well, a Barrelback, of course, to make a nice set.
This exceptional 1942 Chrysler Town & Country 9 Passenger Wagon, fondly known as a "Barrelback", is also presented in Newport Blue and restored to Concours Show Quality Excellence. The rotisserie restoration took about 3 years to complete. All aspects of this car were researched to assure authenticity. Every piece of this car was taken apart, rebuilt, or replaced.
Special attention was given to every fine detail. From cadmium plating the original fasteners, re-engraving original logos and letterings, new cloisenne' in the emblems, to the knots used to create a new cargo net, every attempt was made to bring this car back to it's original state.
This car debuted at Meadow Brook Concours d' Elegance 2009, and won the "Most Significant Chrysler" award. It received top honors at shows all that summer, and was then sold in September 2009 for a World Record price at Worldwide Auctions, Auburn, Indiana.
We are very proud of our accomplishments with this car. It was as close to destruction as it could be when it was found in a Texas field. The front suspension was buried in the dirt, and there was no more than a paint bucket of splintery, rotted wood remaining. Parts had been salvaged from it's carcass, and were used for other restorations. It's because of this car that we got our feet wet in fabricating rare parts. The end results of this restoration were incredibly satisfying. This car is definitely one to see in person if you ever have the chance.
1941 Chrysler Town & Country Barrelback
The 1941 model was the first to carry the name "Town and Country", which was coined by Paul Hafer of the Boyertown Body Company, as he described the front of the car as "Town", while the rear reminded him of the "Country".
The highly styled station wagons were built in 6 and 9 passenger models, each having clamshell-shaped back doors, giving the car it's popular nickname "Barrelback". These models were powered by the Chrysler 6 cylinder engine, coupled to the semi-automatic "Vacamatic" transmission.
The white ash body framework was complimented by Honduran mahogany panels. Total production for this model was 996 cars, and only 21 survive.
We are very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to restore one of these rare automobiles.
May, 2012 - 1941 Chrysler Town & Country Wagon (Barrelback)
As you can see in these updated photos, this project continues to move forward. The woodbuild is finished and on the body. The next step will be the final sanding and then clear coating. We're looking forward to a beautiful end result. This gorgeous Barrelback is Newport Blue and will have a deep red leather interior with original red mottled plastic trim.
March, 2013 - 1941 T&C Barrelback
The woodwork is now complete, sanded and finished in clear coat. The deep shine enhances the detail of the beautiful wood grain. The Newport Blue is a stunning combination with the White Ash and Honduran Mahogany woods. The engine and components have been rebuilt, installed, and ready to run. It's always an exciting day when we get to hear the fresh engine idle smoothly & accelerate. Once satisfied the new engine runs well, we'll install the front clip (fenders, hood, inner panels & grille assembly and chrome). That will bring the project to a new level, as it it begins to resemble a car again! The original seats are being prepped for new leather upholstery.
December, 2013 - 1941 T&C Barrelback
The front clip is on the car, including all new chrome and brightwork. The new wiring harness is completely installed and all electrical is in working order. The original red mottled plastic, including a beautiful steering wheel, is stunning against the Newport Blue dash. The interior mahogany door panels and white ash trim are fit, finished and installed. The car is ready and will go to the upholstery shop in January 2014.
November, 2014 - 1941 T&C Barrelback
The roomy interior has leather seat upholstery of a rich, deep red color that blends beautifully with the red mottled plastic. The chrome work that enhances the dash, and the supports for seating is bright and enhances the functional, yet elegant look along with the shiny wood side panels, restored cloisonné emblems, headliner, complete with shiny wood bows, and brown hogs hair carpet.
This restoration is nearly complete. It will soon be delivered to its owner where it may be shown at concours d' elegance events or driven for personal pleasure.
This has been a challenging and rewarding restoration experience. It has been a privilege to have the opportunity to restore this fine car.
January, 2015 - Final Photos of the 1941 T&C Barrelback
Stay tuned for more details, but in the meantime, enjoy these final photos of a beautiful car.
1947 Chrysler Town & Country Convertible
We had the pleasure to do a few finishing touches to this beautiful red Town & Country convertible. It had been in the restoration process for many years before it's owner reached out to us for help. He was fun to talk with, and he eventually convinced Denny to take it on. It now glides down the road like a breeze. It was ready for a recent car show in our area, and won Best of Class! We are happy it is now back home and ready for a full season of touring and showing off!
1942 Chrysler Town & Country Barrelback
This 1942 Chrysler Town & Country 9 Passenger Wagon was delivered from California in 2011. Every car has a story to tell, and this one does as well. Supposedly, this car was taken to Mexico some years ago to have the wooden body replaced. During that time all the interior parts; including the windows, door and interior hardware, and seats were stolen or lost out of the car. The new oak body resembled a 1942 Barrelback, but all the fine detail was lost, and the wood materials were incorrect.
January, 2011 - We are in the beginnings of this restoration. To start out, our shop has had fabricated exact duplicates of all the missing parts. Many thanks to the help of a close friend, who allowed us to use his original car for patterns. The chassis has been restored and the engine is waiting to be rebuilt. The body and associated sheet metal parts have been stripped, repaired, and are ready for paint. Once the paint work is done, the car will be delivered to our woodworker, where another wooden masterpiece will be created.
May, 2012 - 1942 Chrysler Town & Country Wagon (Barrelback)
The chassis is ready for the painted black, metal body shell to be lowered in place. Then, it will be delivered to the woodworker in June 2012. It will remain there for the next year, having a complete body made of white ash with Honduran mahogany inserts and interior. Check back in for updates and pictures. Take a peak in the PARTS segment of this site for more fabrication details.
March, 2013 - 1942 T&C Barrelback
The sheet metal has been straightened, repaired, prepped and is in final black paint. You will see the rear fenders are in primer. The black will be applied after the new wood has been fit and completed in those areas.
The wooden body build was started in November 2012, and is already showing good progress. In the mean time, we're rebuilding the engine, accessories and transmission.
December, 2013 - 1942 T & C Barrelback
The wooden body is nearly complete at the woodworker's. We will transport it back to our shop in January 2014, and begin the wood, hand sanding process in preparation for final finish applications. The engine has been rebuilt and we will next install it along with the transmission and drivetrain. Most all paint work is complete. We will install pieces as the restoration progresses.
November, 2014 - 1942 T&C Barrelback
The woodwork is now complete, sanded and finished in clear coat. The deep shine enhances the detail of the beautiful wood grain. The black finish is a stunning combination with the white ash and Honduran mahogany woods, and with the outstanding mottled red interior plastic trim. The engine and accessories have all been rebuilt and installed. The engine has been started and runs great. Since the engine runs well, we've installed the front clip (fenders, hood, and inner panels). The original red mottled plastic, including the steering wheel, are installed along with new gauges, rebuilt radio, & chromed bright work. The template patterns are ready for the glass to be cut. The car begins to take shape of a real car at this point, especially when the windows get installed.
January, 2016 - 1942 T&C Barrelback
This car has been completed. Take a look at some of the photos we've taken to celebrate this event.
1949 Chrysler Town & Country Convertible
The 1949 Town & Country debuted a completely new body style, and was offered only as a Convertible Coupe. The earliest cars featured Di-Noc simulated mahogany veneer panels, which were soon replaced by painted panels, matching the body color. All T&C's were powered by the 8 cylinder Chrysler L-head engine, driving a "Fluid Drive" transmission through a fluid coupling. The total production from June, 1949 to October 21, 1949, was 1001 cars, and approximately 150 survive.
May, 2012 - 1949 Chrysler Town & Country Convertible
You have to see this one in person to fully appreciate its beauty. The body is mostly in place, and the wood is complete with a magnificent clear coat providing a bit of sparkle. We still have plenty to do before this one is ready for the road, but when you look at this car in its present state, you can catch a glimpse of what a beautiful machine it's going to become.
March, 2013 - 1949 T&C Convertible
This car is stunning! The brightwork shines beautifully next to the Navaho Brown body color and shiny wood finish. The engine runs great. It is nearly ready for the road. We'd take it for a test drive, but the seats are not in it yet.
We have moved this car to Past Projects section because we've taken our part of the restoration as far as the owner wishes. He desires to have a hand in the final restoration process. He will send the car to his upholstery shop for the convertible top fabric and interior, and he'll affix the few remaining trim pieces.