Look Back 1:24: Danbury Mint 1948 Chrysler Town & Country

Feb 05, 2012 4 Comments by

In certain cultures, it is believed that wood is capable of absorbing and storing the essence of human contact, like some instant-on organic recorder. Perhaps it’s that mystical connection that makes old wood-bodied cars so attractive to car buffs… and makes the material so welcomed for use in a model.

Danbury Mint’s 1948 Chrysler Town & Country wears thin lumber on its sides, and another organic material – leather – on its seats. And while we can’t attest to any psychic emanations from the aging (circa 1994) model, we can say that the car is acquiring a mellow, soft-edged patina as the years go by.

It was a great release then, and it’s still a knockout. On display, the heavy sculpt wears a great deep “Regal” maroon, and the wood cladding is held in place by neatly tooled, cast, and painted “wooden” bracing made to look like the ash that the real T&C wore. A neat feature is the real pin hinges at the trunk – and the crisply cast, beautifully flashed chrome all around.

The opening doors, hood, and trunk all fit the shell on great shut lines, in spite of  the added planking and decking. Under the hood, the “Spitfire” eight is only moderately wired and plumbed, but it wears authentic colors and a tampo’d-on instruction deco on its oil-bath air filter; follow the detail below and you’ll find a metal-intensive, nicely turned out chassis and drivetrain. Creak those deck hinges open for a look at the stowed spare affixed to the carpeted floor in the trunk.

The aforementioned leather in the interior is thin-sheet stuff – a good thing, as the material was stretched over the pleat-patterned seat forms to look (and feel) like one of the very few options offered on this top-of-the-line Chrysler. Above the carpeted floor there’s a great dash; below that is a pair of eye-scrunchingly complete heater blowers.

It’s long been retired, but not hard to find; new-in-box examples are still occasionally trading, and decently treated ones (like this auction-bought sample) going for a fraction of the original asking price of around $120.00, if minus the packaging or provenance. We’re considering adding another variant – Danbury’s 1942 Town & Country sedan, also with wood sides – to keep this one company. Call it, “once more, with feeling”.  

danburymint.com

 

Gallery > Danbury Town and Country

 

1:24, Featured News

About the author

I was always crazy about toy cars and car-themed play sets, but I got hooked on car models when my cousin sent me a pair of built-up AMT kits - a '61 Continental and a '57 Thunderbird. I was six or seven years old when another cousin - Carl - showed me how to build and paint, and by the time I was nine, I had a pretty good collection and a great "spares box" on hand. The original Auto World catalogs were my dream books; my allowance was spent before it was ever earned, and I knew every hobby store and model retailer on Long Island. Then came slot cars, Cox .049-engined Baja Buggies and airplanes, and, ultimately, the real things. I still have some of those old models, and when time allows, I still build or detail scale cars. But it's the ready-to-display replicas and scale racing models that have really had me jazzed for the past fifteen years or so. The "mint" diecasts and the 1:18 American Muscle cars that I cut my serious collecting (and writing) teeth on back then led straight to the current crop of offerings from high-end makers and models in every scale. I also love scale model photography, and shooting, scoring, and producing videos of the models I love. I'm a proud member of the DiecastSpace Diecast Hall of Fame, as well as the Diecast Car Collectors' Club Diecast Scale Model Hall of Fame. I'm also proud to be a part of the Die Cast X Team, and as Editor-in-Chief, I'm looking forward to years of growing the publication and showing new collectors how much fun this hobby can be. And, yeah - I still have that spares box.

4 Responses to “Look Back 1:24: Danbury Mint 1948 Chrysler Town & Country”

  1. Jim Timmerman says:

    I have a “few” Danbury models and they are indeed nice with good construction and fit of doors, hood and trunk. I just purchased a 1948 Chrysler from a private collector for $45.00 which I am waiting to receive. I’m hoping that it is as nice as your review indicates. My collection keeps growing as I now have over 1900. I enjoy reading your reviews.

    • Joe Kelly Jr. says:

      Hello, Jim – Thanks for the kind words. The ’48 Chrysler is a keeper – I’be had it for a long time now, and it’ll never leave the premises, LOL! Good luck with that new purchase – let us know how you fare when it arrives – and thanks for reading DCX!

  2. Jim Timmerman says:

    Hello Joe
    I have the 1942 Chrysler Town & Country station wagon that I purchased for $60.00 from a private collector in Florida in 2008. It is in perfect shape and as usual, it is a very detailed model with a roof rack and 3 piece rear door opening. If you don’t have one, you should be looking for one. It’s a real show piece. My 1948 Chrysler should be here tomorrow as my daughter is bringing it back after her vacation in Florida.

  3. Jim Timmerman says:

    I got my 48 Chrysler and it is in great shape with paperwork and the original invoice for $135.00 + $8.10 for shipping. I think the trunk support to hold the trunk open is quite an innovation. This model is indeed a keeper. Keep going with your reviews, I’ll be happy to comment on the models that I have.

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