Chrysler has used the name Town & Country on a broad variety of vehicles. It currently adorns the slightly fancier version of the corporate minivan. The original was introduced just before World War II as a station wagon with a steel roof and a “woodie” body. GM contracted the building of its woodies to Ionia Manufacturing in Ionia, Michigan. Ionia also had a role in Ford’s woodies (and in the first Corvettes, and in some Shelby Mustangs too). Chrysler’s woodies, though, were in-house affairs, with beautifully finished finger jointed ash framing and mahogany panels. Last year the Packard Proving Grounds’ Cars R Stars show featured woodies as a judged class. Even among all those other classic woodies, including some Packard, the Town & Countrys stood out, the woodwork is that impressive.
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After WWII, Chrysler President David A. Wallace decided to expand the T&C brand and hoped to build a full line of Town & Countrys for 1946: a hardtop, two-door brougham, roadster, four-door sedan, and convertible but only the sedan and convertible were produced, though prototype of the others exist. Postwar Town & Countrys were luxury cars when new and today they can bring six figures at auction. In the middle of the 1947 model year, the mahogany was replaced by DiNoc, a vinyl fake wood. This ’47, which participated in the 2012 Great Race has real wood panels so it’s earlier in production. It also has a rare wooden luggage rack up on top.