1. Totally 80's

    Totally 80's New Member

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    Hi all,

    My father passed away recently and I was given our family’s ‘77 Town & Country. It hasn’t been driven since 1984 but isn’t too bad, all things considered. It has a really interesting story.

    Dad was President of the W.P.C. (Chrysler) Club for over a decade in the ‘70’s and 80’s. Through his connections at Chrysler Corporation, he was invited into the Highland Park headquarters on numerous occasions. One day in ‘75 or ‘76, he was shown the new-for ‘78 downsized LeBaron Town & Country. He asked and was told that the days of the full sized wagons would be over at the end of the ‘77 model year.

    That bit of information started a couple years of communication to see if he could get the last of the full sized wagons. Even better than being the last big T&C built, it was the last ‘77 Chrysler C-body built. There were no cars on the assembly line after this one.

    The car was finished on 7-7-77 and was signed by the assembly line workers in nooks and crannies all over the car. The car was loaded with every available option. It’s a 9 passenger, has the 440, trailer tow package, AM/FM 8-track, power seats on both sides, power door locks, air temp, etc.

    My earliest memory of it was when I was 9 years old. Though the car was built in July, they prepped it and stored it for him in Detroit. Dad flew there, picked up the new car, and drove it to Pennsylvania during the first week of October for the Hershey AACA swap meet. I saw it for the first time after dad picked me up at the Harrisburg airport. It was raining, and the car was parked directly under a street light, gleaming like only a new car could.

    Back in California, the T&C was pressed into duty as the family car. It has worn the “LST TNC” (Last T&C) license plates all these years. After 65,000 miles, the car was parked in 1984. It has been off the road since then.

    Aside from needing tires, a tune up, the brake, fuel, and cooling systems gone through, and fixing the dent in the rear quarter, it’s really in great shape.

    The Di-Noc “wood” is the only thing that makes the car look really bad... but dad’s friends took care of him when the car was new. There are enough rolls of NOS wood to redo the car 3 times!

    Throughout the years, he also bought NOS parts for it... so with a little effort, the last, full sized Town & Country will be back on the road and looking almost as good as it did in 1977.

    Aaron

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  2. Wile E Coyote

    Wile E Coyote Super Genius

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    Awesome story, awesome car! Can't way to see it refreshed!! Thank you for sharing.
     
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  3. 71NewYorkMan

    71NewYorkMan Member

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  4. rkrochen

    rkrochen Well-Known Member

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    Great story!!! Both yourself and your family must have a lot of fantastic memories and a tremendous attachment to it. It would be great to see it fixed up and on the road again.
    Keep us posted of the progress.
     
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  5. Totally 80's

    Totally 80's New Member

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    Thanks! It’ll be fun to work on. Most of my cars have been A-bodies, B-bodies and Forwardlook MoPars. It’ll be nice to have something I can tow with.

    These two guys signed the bottom of the airfoil at the back of the roof before it was installed. Signatures like these are everywhere.

    Aaron

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  6. commando1

    commando1 Old Man With a Hat on the Porch FCBO Gold Member

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    :wideyed:
     
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  7. rapidtrans

    rapidtrans Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

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    Awesome story.:welcome:
    Look forward to seeing more pictures as you go forward.
    Were the wagons assembled at Jefferson or Lynch Rd.?
    Dad worked at Highland Park in Body Design and Styling for 26 yrs. He took a buy out a year after your car was built. My car was one of his projects.
    How ‘bout some pics of that Valiant peeking out of the garage in the mean time.:rolleyes:
     
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  8. 75LandYacht

    75LandYacht Yank Tank FCBO Gold Member

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    Wow that’s an amazing story. My condolences on he loss of the Dad, my Dad passed last February.. I miss him dearly. Hang on to that Wagon!! I have dad’s truck, drive it often.. I feel him with me all the time. Anyway! Your in the right place for info on the Wagon. Dig into some of the forums we have, great info and details.. keep us posted with your progress and keep the pictures coming.. thx
     
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  9. mrfury68

    mrfury68 Senior Member

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    That is a great story and very cool car. Thank you for sharing and welcome aboard! Keep us posted on your project.
     
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  10. Totally 80's

    Totally 80's New Member

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    Rapid Trans,

    This is my 65 Valiant V-8 convertible. I bought it as my first car in 1983. It had 16,000 miles at the time. Now it has about 45,000 miles on it. Lots of cars have come and gone throughout the years, but the Valiant has always been my favorite. The T&C will be an easy project and a part of the family.

    Aaron

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  11. LocuMob

    LocuMob Fluid Technician with a hat FCBO Gold Member

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    Cool story and cars!
     
  12. garyh

    garyh Well-Known Member

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    Very Nice Story !
     
  13. 1978 NYB

    1978 NYB Warfighter FCBO Gold Member

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    Very cool!

    Can you provide a picture of your fender tag(s) and the MDH sticker on the driver's door.

    Thanks
     
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  14. Mr C

    Mr C Senior Member

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    Formal Wagons were all made at Belvedere plant, I believe.
     
  15. marko

    marko Active Member FCBO Gold Member

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    cool, great history
    how good or bad is the interior ?
     
  16. live4theking

    live4theking Old Man with a Hat

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    Very cool. It's a good thing it went to CA after it's brief visit to PA. If it hadn't there wouldn't be much left of it, but rust.
     
  17. Totally 80's

    Totally 80's New Member

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    Thanks for the interest! To answer the questions:

    It was built at the Belvidere plant. The interior is surprisingly good. The dash pad is still soft, the carpets are a little worn and faded only on the back of the front seat, but nothing else is discolored. The rear panels are not sun damaged or chalky. The only issues I can see are the cracked steering wheel and a split in one of the seams in the driver’s seat cushion. Even the door rubber is still soft. The car was only on the road for 7 years. The sun destroyed the wood almost immediately. After that, the car was covered, put away, and generally forgotten

    I decoded the vin and two fender tags.

    The highlights: standard 440, ESA with cat (California emissions), HD torqueflite, heavy duty suspension, HD shocks, auto height control, trailer tow package, load distributing hitch, HD wiring harness, dual battery charge unit, tilt/telescope wheel, auto speed control,vent windows, light package, Air Temp A/C, cornering lamps, dual remote mirrors, fender mounted turn signals, power windows, protection group (floor mats/door edge guards), auto lock tailgate, luggage rack, tinted glass, rear window defroster, easy order package, and it was a sold car.

    Pics are attached. I’ll post as I get the work done.

    Aaron

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    Last edited: Sep 25, 2019
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  18. thrashingcows

    thrashingcows Senior Member

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    Sorry for your loss but great that you have a cool car, with an amazing history and story to remember your Dad. I look forward to seeing the rejuvenation of this cool old long roof!!
     
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  19. Mr C

    Mr C Senior Member

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    Restoring these can be challenging. You' re rust free, so you have it easy in many ways. Here's mine... Date of Manufacture 4-77.

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    Last edited: Sep 26, 2019
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  20. Stern70

    Stern70 Active Member

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    KIMG1259.JPG Nice ride! I have a 76. It's a work in progress too.

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