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1950 Chrysler Town & Country Newport Coupe

Imperial Home Page -> Imperials by Year -> 1950 -> Town & Country Coupe

This beautifully restored Town & Country Newport came up for sale recently. Here's what the owner had to say about it.

Just prior to the start of World War II, Chrysler brought about a new line of automobiles that made other carmakers stand up and take notice. The beautifully crafted Town & Country line's first examples were the 'barrel-back', with more style than just a commercial wagon. During the war, Chrysler envisioned bringing out an entire family of wood-bodied Town & Country models in not only the up-scale New Yorker series, but also the lower priced Windsor. When production started up for 1946, Chrysler, like most of the rest of U.S. car makers, dusted off their 1942 models, added some new trim and touted these prewar editions as new and improved. For the Town & Country though, these were new and while only a four-door sedan and a convertible were to be marketed, they were the cat's meow.

When the 1949 Chryslers hit the market, Town & Country returned, but only in convertible form using the attractive wood framing simply as a decorative item. The following year, this top-line model's styling touch was found on the latest sensation, the pillarless Newport hardtop coupe, which was produced as a showroom traffic builder, a duty it did quite well.

One of the many celebrities who were lucky enough to own a Town & Country was an up and coming future superstar named Jackie Gleason. While his greatest fame was just ahead of him, he had already made a name for himself in a number of Hollywood films and was on his way into the world of television, bringing to the small screen the role of Chester A. Riley in the 'Life of Riley'. Naturally, he wanted to celebrate landing this role with the purchases of a new car, and it is reported that the Town & Country Newport hardtop offered here is that very car.

One of just 698 produced, and considered a part of the New Yorker series, the Town & Country was the perfect automobile for a dashing young actor trying to impress the world with his new found fame and fortune. Fitted with all the extras of the day including deluxe push-button radio, heater-defroster and much more, the real beauty of this car is its outstanding original condition.

Story has it that Mr. Gleason, after a few years of ownership, had this car sent back to the dealership where he purchased it to have a Hemi installed. Today the Newport Coupe retains this engine, which has a single four-barrel carburetor and chrome valve covers featuring the Chrysler Firepower Imperial script. The exact displacement and, accordingly, year of manufacture for the engine remains unknown.

Having been given a sympathetic restoration, today it shows just 82,650 miles from new and is finished in its original white over black, a rather understated conservative look that didn't always fit Mr. Gleason's lifestyle.

We hope the new owner will write in and tell us what they're doing beauty.

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This page was last updated 16 August 2008.  Send us your feedback, and come join the Imperial Mailing List - Online Car Club