SEPTEMBER 2017 COASTERS 50: A 1966 CHRYSLER NEW YORKER PROVES TO BE LESS OF A GAMBLE

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Kem and Sheila Jones are no strangers to calamity on a road trip.

 

They intended to participate in the 2010 Coast to Coast 4700 mile (about 6600 km) tour that began in Canada’s Maritimes and ended on Canada’s West Coast a few months later that year.

Unfortunately their 1977 Lincoln Town Car was not up to the task and, despite the assurances about its roadworthiness by the previous owner, the Lincoln was done before the trip was even in full swing.

 

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In fact, a fuel pump issue side-tracked the car before it left Nova Scotia and the Joneses were not confident about the Lincoln’s ability to handle the long haul of a cross-country adventure while towing a trailer.

 

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Kem and Sheila ditched both the car and the Coast to Coast concept before it got a great deal worse for them. An unproven car with early signs of neglect was no way to start their road trip, so they began to plan for the 2017 Coast to Coast tour.

 

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The Joneses still wanted to tow a trailer and needed both a big car (for Kem) and a suitable trailer (for Sheila) to handle the job. They bought a rare 1947 Cabin Car trailer that was built largely out of wood and bore the distinctive tear drop trailer style that was a source of pride for its former aviation manufacturer.

 

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The Cabin Car trailers were not well-received by the buying public and became an interesting footnote in holiday trailer transportation over the ensuing 60 years. In fact, the trailer owned by Kem and Sheila is likely one of the few still on the road and found outside of a museum.

 

The second part of the equation was the tow vehicle. Kem wanted a car that could handle the load and chose a 1966 Chrysler New Yorker that he purchased out of Arkansas. The factory 440 TNT engine in the big Mopar is more than able to handle the load and Kem’s frantic 250 to 300 mile pace on the way to BC from eastern Canada “damned near killed me”, in Sheila’s words.

 

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The ‘66 New Yorker is fairly close to stock, with a few mods. Kem installed a transmission cooler and a dual master cylinder so the big C-Body Chrysler can handle the extra stress of the trailer on back of it. Kem asserts that he doesn’t “even know it’s (the trailer) there” when the 900 lb. (approximately) trailer is being tugged down the road by the big Mope. 

 

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The 1966 Chrysler was a large- and-in-charge luxury road machine that was equipped with two-way power seats and also has aftermarket AC that has been added by Kem for the long road trip. He is impressed with the New Yorker’s storage capacity and is amazed at its “3 body trunk”, in Kem’s words.

 

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The 1966 Chrysler New Yorker had about 57,000 miles (about 98,000 km.) on its odometer when Kem and Sheila bought it a few years ago.

 

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MSCC is confident their car will have a lot more miles on it when it goes on the road with them over the next few years.

 

BY: Jim Sutherland

Jim Sutherland is a veteran automotive writer whose work has been published by many major print and online publications. The list includes Calgary Herald, The Truth About Cars, Red Deer Advocate, RPM Magazine, Edmonton Journal, Montreal Gazette, Windsor Star, Vancouver Province, and Post Media Wheels Section.  

 

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