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1948 Chrysler Windsor Highlander - new to me!


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Hi all, 

I'm a new forum member from the UK with a new toy - the 1948 WIndsor Highlander pictured.

I've only had it a couple of weeks, and not touched it at all - it's been sitting at the front of the house with windows open, as a colony of rats was made homeless when it was pulled from a field. I once encountered a road-kill skunk in Wyoming, and thought I'd never smell anything that horrible... well now I have! Anyway, I can almost breathe in there now, and the workshop manual is on the way, so hopefully I'll get some things done this summer. It's currently a non-runner, so lots to do.  

Having lived in England all my life, I've no real sense of where the Windsor Highlander would have fitted into the automotive culture of its day. Was it considered a relatively upmarket model or trim, or something more mainstream? Part of what sold the car to me was pictures of how fabulous the Highlander trim looks in good condition - as you can see the my car's glamour has somewhat faded. 

If anyone has any thoughts on what driving a new '48 Highlander would have said about you, I'd be grateful. (And maybe what it says about a person now - haha!)
 

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Beautiful car! The Highlander interior was available on all Chrysler cars in the 40’s and early 50’s. You’re in the right place for any help. Lots of knowledge here. 

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Wow that is awesome!  Welcome to the forums, and keep us updated on your progress please.  We love lots of pics 😊

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Welcome to the Forum!  That is a nice find, looks to be complete.  The Chrysler models were/are the top-of-the-line cars for MoPar.  "Highlander", as noted, was an interior trim option.  If you were a brand loyalist and would only buy Chrysler Corp. cars, the idea was that your entry level into car ownership was Plymouth, then you moved up to Dodge, then DeSoto, and finally when you "made it" and were "somebody", you got your Chrysler.  Of course, just where you entered the line-up was up to the buyer.  Lots of thought went into the advertising to appeal to the various needs and means of the buyers.  In the U.S., most of the brands went the same path, with "entry level" up through the finest model.  Of course there's more to it than that, that's just the short story.  

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I own a Plymouth and a Chrysler. I suppose one is an entry level car, and the other a high end premium car.

 

I imagine a shoe salesman heading work each day  in the Plymouth. Suit and tie on. Very proud. Taking his family out for a picnic on Sunday.  He’ll get good reliable miles on the car. Enjoying ownership for a fairly long time. 
 

In the Chrysler, laden with chrome and comfort I imagine a bank manager driving to work each day. Or maybe he has an Imperial and bought the Chrysler for his wife. She doesn’t work outside the home. The automatic makes it simple for her to go to the grocery store. Or take the kids to a birthday party. On Sundays their teenage son and daughter have tennis lessons at the Sports Club. With plenty of room in the car for a hat and stretching your legs, the Chrysler owner is proud too. Every 2-3 years he upgrades to a new model. 

Edited by keithb7
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My Dad, a mechanical draftsman/designer by vocation, was a firm believer in the superiority of Chrysler Corp engineering.  My first car ride home from the hospital was in Dad's two year old '52 Belvedere hardtop that he bought new - quite a snazzy car for the time.  In '56 Dad traded the Plymouth in on a '54 Chrysler Windsor - years later when I asked him why he traded a Plymouth he bought new on a used Chrysler,  Dad responded that owning a Chrysler was something he had long aspired too, and buying even a used one was to him a symbol he "made it".   He admitted to being a little ticked off when a neighbor bought a used '55 New Yorker a short time later, feeling a bit of oneupmanship was afoot.

 

Dad eventually traded the Windsor on a new '60 Valiant, being enamored by all the engineering "firsts"; I guess he wasn't much of a social climber after all!  (our daughter now drives Dad's last car - a PT Cruiser).

 

Chris R. - great find in the '48;  I bet it will clean up surprisingly well.  Keep us posted and welcome to the forum!

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In the US...Hub caps are not too hard to find for 1946-48 Chrysler six cylinder cars.

Inside diameter to look for...

7-1/4"

Trim rings...factory stainless in real nice condition...just about impossible to find.☹

Edited by Dodgeb4ya
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Here in Oz, we got mostly Plymouth based Plymouth/Dodge & DeSoto cars, genuine Chryslers were very rare, apparently a dozen or so 1948 Chrysler Windsor 4dr sedans were imported for government use, all black Windsors with the Highlander upholstery and I had one for a couple of years around 1975.......no interior pics just these two, whilst it was not registered it was quite driveable and I drove it 30kms when sold to its new owner.............was a neat car..........yours will be great too.......welcome aboard from Oz.............andyd  

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One detail I like about my 48 DeSoto is that the radio grille mimics the radiator grille with the chromed louvers.  The 48 Chrysler does the same thing with the radio grille mimicing the radiator grille, only in plastic.  The Windsor had the larger 251 cid engine and had a full-flow oil filter.  Only Chrysler had the full-flow filter in 1948.  

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Hi chris ,welcome from a fellow owner in England ,Im in Colchester Essex ,where are you? Ive had my 48 new yorker for 13 years and my 41 Windsor convertible for 5 . 

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Thanks for all the welcoming messages - it's great to know there's a lot of knowledge and experience around to tap into, especially here in the UK. I'm based near Bognor Regis in West Sussex if anyone is local-ish.

Great to hear the ownership insights too. The now deceased Rover brand in the UK was often considered the bank manager's car, I think, but perhaps English bank managers were a little more repressed - here's a Rover P3 from 1948  https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36225128

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Welcome to the forum. I have a 49 1st series Chrysler Windsor, carry over from 48. I am quite familiar with rodent issues and smells. Check all your wiring as they like to chew on it.

Dads car 3a.jpg

Dads car 4.jpg

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