During the early years of automobile production, wood-bodied vehicles were mostly used as 'work' vehicles. Depot Hacks transported passengers from train stations to hotels. Trucks often used wood as their truck-beds. As time progressed, wood-bodied cars became a status symbol and grew in popularity. 'Woodies', as they became known, required a high-level of craftsmanship and as such, were considered a luxury option, or a 'nice-to-have', on a vehicle.
After World War II, the automotive market saw a large increase in the number of manufacturers offering wood-bodied cars. Most were offered on station wagons however it was not uncommon to see them on convertibles, sedans, coupes, brougham, or roadsters. For Chrysler, they introduction the Town & Country line of vehicles adorned in wood. For 1946, Chrysler advertised five different Town & Country models all outfitted with wood bodies. Their goal had been to become the first manufacturer to offer a complete line of 'woodie' bodies to the public. The idea was a concept, and the goal was rather ambitious. In the end, the gamble proved to be well-timed for the Chrysler marque, though, only two of the five body-styles were produced in significant numbers. Only one Brougham was produced but it is unclear if it has survived. The sedan and convertible were the most popular. Though the Roadster and Club Coupe had been advertised, no plans, documentation or models were ever created.
Though Chrysler never produced a Town & Country Roadster, one was produced. It was a project undertake by enthusiasts and began with a donor car, the Chrysler Windsor Sedan. Since there had never been any molds or plans created, extensive amount of time and research was undertaken before the project began to get every possible detail correct. The biggest roadmap for creating the designs was an oil painting. Help was sought from all areas such as documentation, personnel, letters, photos, and more. Experts on the Town & Country were utilized in creating the designs as they would have been.
The project was completed during the late 1990's. It is finished in Sumac red and embodies the spirit of what the Town & Country Roadster may have been if it had been produced and come to fruition in 1946.
The 1946 Chrysler Town & Country Roadster was offered for sale at the 2006 RM Auction in Monterey, CA where it was expected to sell between $125,000-$150,000. At the conclusion of the auction the lot had been sold for $90,750.