By on December 16, 2009

It wants its butt back

I knew I’d seen it before. Recognize it? Full (wood)body expose after the jump:1941 T&C

There actually are some advantages to being old the new thirty-six. Not that I was around when this 1941 Chrysler Town and Country first saw the light of day. But would anyone under the age of fifty pick up a 1974 edition of “Chrysler and Imperial” at the used bookseller? The Crosstour’s arse has been nagging at me for some time, but when I got to the T&C section of my latest bed-time reading, I knew that someone at Honda shared my interest in old vintage Chryslers. Agreed; or am I staying up too late?

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23 Comments on “Honda Crosstour Design Inspiration Discovered...”

  • avatar

    Chrysler Crossfire.

  • avatar

    So slap some wood on the Crosstour and you have a looker?

  • avatar

    I saw one of these at the Chrysler Museum in Auburn Hills last summer.  Cool car!

  • avatar

    There a some differences: For one, this ’41 Chrysler is super cool – the Honda Crosstour isn’t.

  • avatar

    That is one of the most beautiful cars I have ever laid eyes on.

  • avatar

    I would love to have a car with woodwork like that but I know I’d just gripe about the upkeep on the planks.  It’s like taking care of an old yacht.  “Sorry Baby, we won’t be making it to the car show, the wagon caught termites.”

    • 0 avatar
      Paul Niedermeyer

      Chrysler warned T&C buyers that maintenance was even more demanding than a yacht, due to the typical conditions cars are exposed to. An annual strip and refinish was mandatory, at the minimum.

    • 0 avatar

      Not only is the upkeep atrocious…in their day, woodies were horribly expensive, and that was when relatively inexpensive labor was available. At today’s labor rates and cost of materials, one of those babies would cost a small fortune.

      Those lovely ash-and-mahogany bodies were crafted by Pekin Wood Products in the Arkansas delta town of Helena. The father of an acquaintance of mine worked at Pekin in the 1940s and 1950s; unfortunately, I didn’t have the pleasure of ever meeting the older gentleman. I’m sure he had some interesting stories to tell, from the days when automobile bodies were truly hand-crafted by artisans.

    • 0 avatar

      I was watching School Ties last night with my girl.  She saw the coach pick David Green up at the bus station in the old woodie wagon and said, “Oh there’s one of Dan’s dream cars.”  I laughed and explained the upkeep issue on something like that.  Later she asked me about why the manufactures did that and I explained at first it was a wartime “shortage of steel” issue and then a style issue but that the upkeep and expense ultimately killed it, cept for the fake vinyl wood that soldiered on. 

  • avatar

    I love that car, but I have seen attempts to make a PT Cruiser look like a woodie, and they have looked cheap, not custom.  I am way too lazy to ever do the maintenance one of those would require.

  • avatar
    Brian Tiemann

    Ah, the Barrel Back T&C. One of these just went at auction for near-as-hell to half a million:

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    I was thinking of some of GM’s late 70s early 80s abominations.

  • avatar

    I tried to show these in the earlier Minivan discussions.

    Come on, don’t you REALLY love this earlier art and design????

    And I will bet this beauty gives more rear view than the Honda WhatchaMaCallIt…Crosstour!

  • avatar

    Of course, of course that was the inspiration for the crosstour! Though probably not. Very few cars were made in the US in 1941 because the companies were being drafted for the war effort.
    Nonetheless, this thing is effing beautiful.

    • 0 avatar

      Hi David, Don’t you mean ‘very few cars were made in the US after 1941 because…’ ?  Indeed, not looking a the production figures, I would say that 1941 was pretty much a full production year, and coming off the economic turbulance of the 30’s may have been a good one at that. 

  • avatar

    @dmrdano:  the PT is a lousy piece of styling–good in concept, but C- in execution, IMO, so no surprise it would look cheap as a woodie
    TrailerTrash, thanks for the link. Those Pakistani trucks are amazing!

  • avatar

    The T&C is definitely a much better looking vehicle than the Crosstour.  Why didn’t
    Honda simply build an Accord Wagon?

    • 0 avatar

      Because Honda probably is classifying the Crosstour as a “truck,” and using its relatively high fuel economy numbers to offset those of the Ridgeline and Pilot, thus avoiding the gas guzzler tax. It would be difficult to do that with an Accord wagon unless the ride height were raised (sort of like Subaru did with the Outback wagon a few years ago to get around CAFE).

      Yet another reason why CAFE must die.

  • avatar

    My Dad was an automotive aficionado. He had several Chrysler “woody wagons”…but one of his most impressive wagons was a 1953 Buick Roadmaster Estate limited edition (much like this one: of which I believe he boasted only 500 copies were made. He bought the car new and kept it 12 years. It was dark metallic green (his favorite color) with dark green leather interior and had sporty wire wheels. I don’t believe he ever had the wood refinished, although the car was always garaged. The wagon looked new when he sold it.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    Hank: Yup. There was a Caddy that drove around looking like it had dowager’s hump.

  • avatar

    well i saw this car /wagon when i purchased my first civic and i must say i was smitten. i love the ride height and adore the styling. ok maybe the subaru is a little less expensive but i think this vehicle is a work of art. also if it has the accords durability and trade in value which is still to be determined it will sell well to honda owmers who like to trade up. no accounting for taste but i love the styling no matter how impractical.

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