Amelia Island

8 March 2014

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Lot 115

1941 Chrysler Town and Country Nine-Passenger "Barrelback" Station Wagon

  • Chassis no. 7700759

$275,000 - $350,000


Model C-28. 108 bhp, 241.5 cu. in. L-head inline six-cylinder engine, four-speed Vacamatic semi-automatic Fluid Drive suspension, coil-spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 121.5 in.

  • One of the finest original, unrestored Barrelbacks in existence
  • Owned for decades by Glenn Gould, of the Wells Auto Museum
  • Recent mechanical sorting by Steve Babinsky
  • Only 56,000 actual miles


The Chrysler Town and Country of 1941 and 1942 holds a special place among wood-bodied automobiles. It was a deluxe, expensive automobile that was built on the Windsor chassis, and it was beautifully trimmed in leather and hand-finished to the highest of standards. Rather than being a car for the servants to take on grocery trips, it was considered a palatial “limousine for the country,” and it had a place of honor in the carriage houses of grand estates up and down the Eastern Seaboard. As a result, these models, known as “Barrelbacks,” for their curved, cabinet-like rear decks, are treasured by “woodie” enthusiasts.

This particular Town and Country, a nine-passenger model with jump seats, was owned for over 50 years by Glenn Gould, an early enthusiast from Wells, Maine. Mr. Gould built a fine collection of Brass Era and Classic automobiles, which was housed for many years in the “hidden treasure” collection of the Wells Auto Museum. The Town and Country, however, was not always a collectible. It was kept at the Gould family’s summer home in Vermont, and for most of its time with the family, it was driven during their visits there. In 1972, the last year that it was registered in Vermont, it was removed and sent to Wells, where it remained in the family’s museum until recently.

This vehicle is an amazing survivor, as it has been preserved indoors for so many years. The original leather interior, beautifully worn by age but not use, is soft, shiny, and without splits. The chrome still shines, and most impressively, the original wood is solid, intact, and delightfully honest, without the heavily varnished, glistening sheen of so many re-wooded cars. There is no rot or rust to be found anywhere in the body, which is not surprising, as this car has probably never spent a night outdoors in its entire life.

In its current ownership, the Town and Country was fully sorted mechanically by renowned restorer Steve Babinsky, who is well known for his sympathetic work of preserving and maintaining unrestored cars. With the hydraulic brakes now looked after, the consignor reports that the Chrysler runs and drives as good as new. It handles well, starts instantly, and behaves as only a well-maintained original car can. It will be welcomed into the Preservation Class of most concours, and it would make an ideal car for the AACA’s Historic Preservation of Original Features display. As it is now a CCCA Full Classic, it is also eligible for showing at Grand Classics all over the country.

That this Town and Country became a collector’s item is kismet. It was owned and treasured for decades by one of the beloved pioneers of the hobby, who preserved it very much as it was built. Today, it is presented as an honest, beautifully preserved, and wonderfully original car. It is destined to be as appreciated by its new owner as it was by Glenn Gould and his family for half a century, whether in town or country.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 9... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. He is a life-long automobile enthusiast and ... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Ian Kelleher

ikelleher@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College with a Bachelor of Arts in Politica... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Jonathan Sierakowski

jonathan@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Jonathan Sierakowski developed a passion for classic cars while working at a Connecticut restoration shop as a teenager. He graduated with a... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. He att... read more

Peter Wallman

pwallman@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007 following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, where he was based out ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more