The Town and Country car was introduced by the Chrysler Corporation in 1941, as a highly styled "station wagon", designed to attract the wealthy. This first incarnation featured "barrel back", or "clam shell" rear doors, opening to a storage area behind the rear passenger seats. The rearmost seats could be stowed in a forward position, to enlarge the storage area, or in a rear position, to enhance passenger leg room. Two models were offered, a 6-passenger and a 9-passenger. The larger car had limo type folding seats, located between the standard front and rear seats.
The 1942 model was a striking re-styling of the original car. The entire front was wrapped in stainless steel bars, that ran from wheel opening to wheel opening, across the entire grille. This theme was carried to the rear fenders, for quite a stylish "art deco" treatment. Production was shortened by the war.
The postwar cars were greatly changed. The station wagon design was dropped, in favor of a full line of bodystyles, including a voluptuous 8-cylinder convertible coupe, the world's first hardtop coupe, a beautiful and luxurious 6-cylinder 4-door sedan, a 2-door brougham, and a 6-cylinder roadster. Alas, only the convertible and sedan reached production, while 6 hardtops, one brougham and 102 8-cylinder sedan prototype specials were built. The roadster was nothing more than an oil painting ad.
1949 brought a total redesign, across the entire Chrysler lineup. The Town and Country was produced for the public, only as a convertible coupe, although a single hardtop prototype was built. The Chrysler Royal "woodie" station wagon appeared this year, as a high line version of the standard style family carrier. Similar bodies were offered in the Dodge, DeSoto and Plymouth lines.
In 1950, the Town and Country was offered only as a hardtop, as both the Town and Country wooden cars and the Royal woodie wagons shared their last hurrahs.
The Town and Country name was used for many years, to describe the best wagons offered by Chrysler. Then, in 1983, the name was applied to a K-car derivative convertible, which was offered with the highest trim and luxury options available. Trim was plastic, designed to look like wood, with vinyl insert panels. Evolutionary changes and minor facelifts were made, as the line was offered through 1986.
TOWN AND COUNTRY PRODUCTION FIGURES