Chrysler is down to just one traditional car now, but at one time they had a reasonably full lineup, from the Windsor up to the 300 letter-car. The Windsor was introduced back in 1939, to be one level up from the base Royal model; it started roughly where the top DeSoto left off, while the letter cars would challenge the world’s best.
You don’t see too many of the old Windsors or Royals knocking about any more. Still, after the Royal was consigned to the pages of history books, the Windsor quickly rose to the spotlight to become Chrysler’s best-selling car, by a huge margin (in 1955, the base sedan alone had nearly 64,000 sales, more than the New Yorker and C-300 combined).
The 1955 Windsor was a very special car because it was the first Chrysler of the era to go all-out in styling; it debuted Virgil Exner’s “$100 Million Look,” and sales shot up dramatically over the less-stylish 1954s.
As with most cars of the 1950s, the Windsor was available in either short or long-wheelbase version, as a sedan, coupe, or convertible; and you could even option out an 8-seater package with the sedan.
This car is powered by the original upgraded 331 cid Mopar V8 engine, which push out 225 gross horsepower (guestimated at 175 net) to the rear wheels, through the two-speed PowerFlite automatic transmission. There’s no telling how many ponies have escaped over the decades with 97,000 miles on the clock, though the seller does advertise that underneath the faded paintwork this 55 Windsor still runs as sweet as a nut.
Speaking of the paintwork, this Windsor features a fairly bright color that works surprisingly well with the whitewall tires and all the shiny chrome bits around this classic V8. It isn’t exactly in showroom condition, and there are a fair few rust spots and paint chips all around the exterior. This probably isn’t something that will buff out, and a complete respray may be the way to go to get it back to show-car status, unless it is carefully preserved as an unrestored original.
The color scheme continues into the interior with the same color adorning nearly every piece of trim. Sure, it looks like it’s seen better days, and the seats do feature some prominent staining, but it’s nothing a couple of hours, and some elbow grease won’t be able to knock out… we hope.
The seller describes it as the perfect restoration project, though it has not been completely neglected over the years. Its braking system has recently had a complete overhaul with brand new brake lines, brake booster, and brake cylinders all around. Priced at a pretty reasonable $5,800, this Chrysler Windsor is the perfect way to transport yourself back to an era where the sound of that classic American V8 burble echoed throughout the streets.
Hassaan Ahmed is a writer for the Daily Times of Pakistan and an automobile enthusiast.