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Chrysler Town & Country Barrel Back Station Wagon

The use of wooden panels instead of sheet metal became fashionable in the 1930s, especially in America.

The door panels of this Chrysler are framed in white ash while the panels themselves are mahogany. Needless to say, these ‘woodies’, as they were called, needed the same degree of maintenance as a boat.

It is therefore remarkable that this 1942 Chrysler Station Wagon is still in this beautiful, original state. The car is a ‘barrel back’, thus named for the shape of its back end. The nine-seat (!) car was bought by Sidney Ehrman of San Francisco to shuttle his family and guests on their Pine Lodge estate on Lake Tahoe, one of the largest estates in the area.

The car has never been restored, still bears the original factory paint and has always been well maintained. It was acquired by the Louwman Museum from its first owner.

The Town & Country was designed by Chrysler president David Wallace. The stainless steel strips, which continue on the mudguards, give a sense of speed. By 1942 approximately 2,000 Town & Countries had been built, of which 849 were nine-seaters such as this. The war brought an end to production.

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