Unibody Builder: 1961 Chrysler Town & Country Wagon

Head to an FCA…err…Chrysler showroom today looking for a Town & Country and you will find a big monster sized minivan with MSRP starting at $29,995 that offers adequate safety and convenience for hauling around a large family, but the excitement and sex appeal of a bag of dead squid.  If you want to guarantee that you won’t get a call (or text or e-mail?) from a potential mate, just drive one of those on your first date; it is as good a mood killer as bringing along your mother.  There was, however, a time when the Town and Country name wasn’t a total buzzkill and was used on a wicked looking station wagon from Detroit.  Find this 1961 Chrysler Town & Country Wagon here on eBay bidding for $12,200 reserve-not-met with 5 days to go, located in Old Bethpage, NY.

The third generation Town & Country was sold from 1960 through 1964 and was at the time one of the largest automobiles ever constructed on a unibody chassis.  Styling was still stuck in the Virgil Exner tailfins and wonky headlamps world of the 1950s, but the 6-pillar hardtop design is really a feast for the eyes.  Don’t expect to maneuver this 18 foot long beast into a tight urban apartment complex garage — you will need to rent space in a hangar at your local airport.

Power comes from a 361 cubic inch Golden Lion V8 mated to a push button shifted slushbox.  The 305 horsepower won’t be much match for the 4400 lb curb weight, but with a long enough runway you should be able to seriously overwhelm the stock brakes and handling capability. 

The “space age” instrument cluster/binnacle is a wonderful thing to experience and this one looks in great shape, which is good because I wouldn’t expect to find any replacement parts for anything on the inside of this old gal. 

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