FEBRUARY 2023: 1964 CHRYSLER NEW YORKER—THE DEFINITION OF A SURVIVOR

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The term survivor car gets thrown around more than promises from politicians.

Most so-called survivor cars are basket cases–or they’ve been upgraded to the point where a survivor label is an outright lie—but this ’64 Chrysler is the exception to the rule.

Jerry Sutherland

Ted Trowsse and his son Michael are the caretakers of this 1964 New Yorker 4-door hardtop—they are  also the second owners of this big Mopar. Ted has a connection with a guy who cleans out estates and this New Yorker was on his radar after he found out it was available.

The biggest attraction for Ted was simple—it wasn’t a Mustang or a Vette. He wanted something that you never see at a car show, so the New Yorker fit the bill in a big way. 

Ted knew the complete history of the car—it was purchased at Turnbull Motors in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and it was never subjected to the ravages of winter. The car spent its whole life in a garage, and it had 84,000 original miles on the clock when Ted and Michael took over.

Cars that sit for any period of time have built-in problems, but Ted was happy to report, “It took fresh gas, a good battery and it fired right up!”. The next step was to replace the dry-rotted tires with new radials, so the car was fit for the road.

Ted had to fix the brakes too, but after that the New Yorker was ready for the road. This is a 413 cubic inch V-8, so it definitely has a passing gear on the highway.

Michael has his own reasons for driving the Chrysler. He loves taking his kids for runs in the New Yorker—he said they, “drive it all over the place—cruise around—the kids think it’s cool”. There’s a car seat in the back to handle the extra load. The only problem happened when his son pumped the gas on a hot day, so the car was badly flooded. 

Ted is also highly impressed with the performance of the New Yorker. He said it easily runs at 80 miles per hour on the freeway because it was built during an era when freeways were built every day.  It doesn’t run hot, and it only needs a little bit of attention every year to keep the Chrysler running like a watch.

The biggest thing—in Ted’s words is, “It hasn’t been messed with”. In other words, nobody has tinkered with the wiring or the mechanical side of the car. The next biggest thing is the absolute originality of the car. The odd thing is the original owner ordered a radio delete car—you don’t see that in too many New Yorkers from that era.The interior looks like it was installed yesterday, and the paint is completely original with only a few battle scars.

That original paint is what really sold Ted on the car because it’s nice original paint—not 20,000-dollar aftermarket paint. He’s happy he never has to worry about a pristine paint job and he and Michael are driving a piece of history.

If you’re looking for the true definition of a survivor, you just read about one.

Jerry Sutherland

By: Jerry Sutherland

Jerry Sutherland is a veteran automotive writer with a primary focus on the collector car hobby. His work has been published in many outlets and publications, including the National Post, Calgary Herald, Edmonton Journal, Ottawa Citizen, Montreal Gazette, Saskatoon StarPhoenix, Regina Leader-Post,  Vancouver Sun and The Truth About Cars. He is also a regular contributor to Auto Roundup Publications.

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