Chrysler New Yorker

Originally introduced as Chrysler New York Special model was a sub-series of Chrysler Imperial production line. It was available in 1938 as a 4-door sedan with great amount of comfort and space for the passengers.

In 1939, the "New Yorker" name was expanded over two more coupe and two-door sedan options. Chrysler New Yorker introduced in the 1940 a fluid coupling between the engine and the clutch called fluid drive, which was a true innovation at the time.

The car was equipped with basic three speed manual transmission. Chrysler civilian cars production was halted at the beginning of February, 1942 when America entered World War II.

During the war Chrysler production was focused on experimenting with engines for tanks and aircraft. After the war, the New Yorker became a separate line of production. Unlike the majority of car manufacturers, Chrysler didn't dramatically change the basic model from 1946 until 1948.

As a result all Chrysler New Yorkers had similar basic appearance with harmonica grille, with only minor changes in tires, trim and instrument panel. During that era the competition was strong and frequent design changes were considered standard part of development process. The postwar 1949 New Yorker body styles were club coupe, 4-door sedan and convertible.

Model kept the performance high with the engine 323.5-cid straight eight coupled to fluid drive and the prestomatic four-speed semi-automatic transmission. For more luxurious appearance wheelbase was increased to 131.5 in.

The following year brought new deluxe improvements such as cloth upholstery available in several colors. From the mechanical standpoint 135 hp Spitfire straight-eight engine and the Prestomatic fluid drive transmission brought Chrysler attention from many car lovers in America.

Transmission had two forward ranges, each with two speeds. During normal driving high range was engaged using the clutch, giving the possibility to drive the car without using the clutch. Should the driver release the accelerator at any speed above 13 mph, the transmission would shift into the higher gear of the range. Naturally when the car stopped, the lower gear was engaged yet again.

To improve safety a foam rubber padding on the dashboard was added on the model. The New Yorker line positioned the Chrysler brand as a maker of upscale models above competitive manufacturers such as Ford, Chevrolet and Plymouth.

The car was a testament to the conservative company policy, which left strong mark on the industry as the longest running American car in production. The model was discontinued in 1996, but it still remains one of the most popular oldtimer models.

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