A Show-Winning, Beautifully Restored Luxury Convertible w/ Amazing Documentation
Meadow Green with Tan Power Top & Green/Tan Interior
Chrysler Spitfire 6 Cylinder Engine w/ Fluid-Drive Semi-Automatic Transmission
DETAILS—THIS PARTICULAR 1948 CHRYSLER WINDSOR CONVERTIBLE COUPE
This luxury convertible is a fine example of a bygone era when each marque had a true personality and was readily recognizable, even from a distance. This solid, restored Chrysler has been beautifully and lovingly restored in a body-on fashion. It shows and drives beautifully but is a true driver, not a trailer queen. It is ready for a new owner to proudly cruise and show.
The car bears VIN 70687196, properly attached to the driver’s side door jamb. The current odometer reading is 31,700 miles. It must be judged “total miles unknown” due to its 67 year age but, based on all appearances, the car does appear to be a low mileage example. One thing is very apparent, the car has been incredibly well maintained by its limited owners.
HISTORY OF THIS PARTICULAR CAR
The extensive records indicate that this car has had only 4 owners. It was sold new on October 8, 1948, by the dealer Hannum & Waite in Swarthmore, PA for a total of $2,824.01. This rather high price for 1948 is indicative of the luxury status of this model. The car remained in Pennsylvania with this original owner for 40 years. In 1988, it was sold to the second owner in Northern California where a body-on restoration was finished in 1991 as evidenced by the receipt file. It was later sold to a gentleman in Oregon who freshened the restoration in 2007 with new paint and a new top and boot. The car was finally purchased by the current Washington State owner in 2007. The current owner has lovingly maintained and shown the car for the past 8 years and, of course, the car has been used as a fair weather car for virtually all of its protected life. Receipts show that he has cared for the car in a “cost is no object” manner during this period, including recent new brakes, new tires and a new battery.
The car was judged “Best of Show” in the 2009 Camas, WA show and was also shown at the Columbia River Concours d’Elegance and the Forest Grove, OR Concours d’Elegance in 2010.
The extensive documentation provided with this car is amazing. This includes the following:
- Original Bill of Sale from 10-08-48
- Original Owner’s Service Policy dated 10-07-48
- Insurance certificate dated 1950
- Original booklet “Facts About Your New Chrysler”
- 1941-1948 Chrysler Shop Manual, Code C-38
- Mopar Body and Sheet Metal 1949
- Chrysler Passenger Car Parts List, Revised Dec 1947
- Motor’s Auto Repair Manual 1936-1949
- Petersen’s “Basic Ignition and Electrical Systems”
- Andy Bernbaum Auto Parts 1930-1962 Chrysler
- Five issues of 1948 Life Magazines
- Many useful “How-To” articles on the ’48 Chrysler
- Extensive history article on the ’48 Chrysler including many color photos
- Many maintenance/restoration receipts from the past 2 owners
The current owner completed considerable maintenance on the car in 2011 and 2012 as follows:
- New Coker Classic wide white wall radial tires
- New 6 volt Exide battery
- Re-chroming of various parts
- Repair of an exhaust leak
- New brake cylinders, new linings, new drums, new master cylinder, new rear grease seals, bleed brakes
- Convertible top repair (Hydraulics)
- Replace fuel gauge sensor, repair fuel tank
- Minor rust removal and spot and repainting
Receipts are also provided from previous owners, with the first significant restoration being completed in 1991. It was freshened in 2007 with a full repaint in the proper color, a new convertible top and boot.
- L-head Spitfire 251 I6 engine, 114 hp/204 lb-ft torque
- Stock single barrel carburetor
- Chrysler semi-automatic M-5 Fluid Drive transmission, 4 gears
- Brand new Coker Classic 235/75-15 radial wide white wall tires
- Exide 6 volt battery dated April 2015
- Beautiful, proper Meadow Green paint, 2007
- New tan power top and boot in 2007
- Excellent front bumper w/ 3 guards
- Excellent rear bumper
- Chrome exhaust tip
- Excellent stainless trim at beltline, hood center and rocker panels
- Stainless beading between rear fenders and body
- Excellent chrome tail light housings
- Chrome gas cap
- Good stainless headlight rings
- Two outside rear view mirrors
- Factory radio antenna on left front cowl
- Center cowl air intake
- Excellent glass all around
- Both doors, hood and trunk open/close easily
- All 4 side windows crank easily; the 2 wind wings open nicely
- Beautiful, proper Polo Green leather and tan fabric seat covers
- Matching green seat belts in front
- Beautiful tan fabric/green leather/green carpet door panels (from top to bottom); properly installed with no screws showing
- New wind lacing
- New black rubber door sills
- Beautiful two-tone green dash
- Excellent green carpeting
- Nice green sun visors
- Nice, crack-free steering wheel
- Working factory heater under right side of dash
- Working parking brake w/ warning light
- Working vacuum windshield wipers
- Speedometer and all gauges work
- Functional clock
- Working radio
- Nice wide whitewall spare tire w/ original jack in trunk
- Period wicker picnic basket and two tan leather suitcases in trunk
- Very solid trunk w/ gray mats
- New weather-strip on trunk lid
The car is an extremely nice, albeit not a 100 point Concourse level show car restoration. The Meadow Green paint is excellent with no significant flaws. The body is very straight. The tan power top shows like new, including the glass rear window. The matching tan boot fits very nicely when the top is down and all snaps work. Both bumpers are excellent, free of dents with fine chrome. All stainless trim is very nice. There is a very small dent in the right rear beltline trim. The wide white walls are brand new and the Chrysler chrome hubcaps and beauty rings are excellent. All glass is excellent.
The interior is properly restored and very attractive in tan and several shades of green. The leather seating surfaces and fabric seats show virtually no wear. The carpet is excellent and coordinates well with the other interior colors. The lower right corner of the windshield trim has a flawed paint area. The windshield rubber is original and is showing some signs of age. The chrome horn ring has some pitting but is very presentable as an original component.
The engine compartment is very nicely detailed with a silver engine, green firewall and black inner fenders. The hood lacing is good. All appears just as it should have in 1948, resisting the temptation to modernize anything. As nice as it runs, why should it be modernized?
The trunk is solid and properly fitted with bottom mats and side trim. The wide whitewall spare has a shiny Chrysler hubcap installed. The period luggage and picnic basket add a nice touch.
The car starts easily and immediately and runs better than any example of a late 40’s / early 50’s vehicle that we have had in recent memory. The car retains its 6 volt system that is fully operational and in excellent condition. The idle is quiet and smooth. The semi-automatic transmission operates smoothly and quietly and shifts without “fuss” unlike previous Fluid Drive cars that we have had / driven. The ride represents true luxury car comfortable from another (some would argue better!) time and the car is free from annoying rattles or other body noises. To say it is solid would be a dramatic understatement. The exhaust is quiet as it should be and there is no smoking. The steering has little play and the brakes, which are all relatively new, work well. There is some brake squeak early-on after startup that goes away after a few applications of the brakes. The engine operates at a cool temperature (in the 160 degree range even on a recent drive in 100+ California temperatures) and the oil pressure is very high, in the 75 lb. range when the car is warm. The power top raises and lowers nicely, but needs a bit of hand help when being raised (not uncommon for the large tops on these cars).
The underside of the car received a detailing when it was restored and shows very well. It is extremely solid overall with some patina from use but the underside does not have significant rust-through and is clean. The undercarriage is surprisingly free from accumulation of oil and other fluids.