Spitfire in St. Helens – 1953 Chrysler Windsor Deluxe

Mt. St. Helens is famous for spitting fire (and a lot more) back in 1980, and the Chrysler Windsor was not quite so famous for having a Spitfire six-cylinder engine as its base specification in the early 1950s. The Windsor was a rather conservatively styled entry model of the luxury Chrysler lineup, and it’s hard to imagine the change that would come in the next 10-15 years at Chrysler – outrageous fins, ornate styling, and then slab sided minimalism. Sheet metal and a one-piece windshield were new for 1953, and while the Hemi 331 V8 was the more desirable engine with its 180hp, the 265 L-head six put out a respectable 119hp and was known for being smooth and durable. So let’s take a look at a car that, based solely on its location, *may* have survived the explosion of Mt. St. Helens – check out this 1953 Chrysler Windsor Deluxe for sale for $3300 in St. Helens, WA.

1953 Chrysler Windsor Deluxe right front

Okay, enough of the tenuous volcanic references – the seller refers to the car as a driver/project, just the kind of thing you can use and improve at the same time. It’s said to run and drive well, and to look good, with no smoke or engine noise (well, hopefully more than a Tesla), and new radial tires, radiator, water pump, and heater core. Most of the brake system is said to be new, but needs bleeding – perhaps the seller ran out of steam, or forgot to bench bleed the components, but it seems odd that this wouldn’t be finished before the sale. The transmission is also said to shift properly – this is likely the semi-automatic Fluid-Matic transmission.

1953 Chrysler Windsor Deluxe left rear

The mid-range Deluxe included features like turn indicators (as opposed to what? semaphores? nothing?), two-speed electric wipers, a luggage compartment courtesy light and full wheel covers. The exterior finish is said to look nice but have many small imperfections, while there is a small amount of rust penetration on the driver’s floor and rocker panels. Fortunately, trim appears to be complete and in good shape. That tailpipe looks a little out-of-place, but maybe lets the Spitfire snarl a bit, while no mention is made of the reason for the car wearing Oregon plates.

1953 Chrysler Windsor Deluxe interior

The interior looks decent, but note the army blanket on the seat base, and with 63 years of use, it’s quite likely the material on the other seating surfaces is not original. The headliner is rough at best, but everything else seems to be present. The original rotten door panels are included, but not installed, so find your nearest swap meet and put on a sandwich-board sign to let people know what you want. Other spare items include all interior window winders and door handles, a spotlight, extra windshield, shop manual, and more.

1953 Chrysler Windsor Deluxe engine

Here’s the six. Giving credence to the seller’s claims, the upper radiator hose and heater hoses look brand new, and the radiator appears to be an aluminum unit, suggesting past cooling problems (or perhaps aluminum was just cheaper in this case). With the Spitfire script, the engine would probably look cool all cleaned up – right now it’s rather crusty. As the seller suggests, this looks like it would be a fun driver project – would you try a 1950s car?


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One Response to “Spitfire in St. Helens – 1953 Chrysler Windsor Deluxe”

  1. Tirefriar Says:

    This is a really cool looking car. Would be interested to look at it if it was closer. I’m basically back on the market for anew ride as I’m putting my 2001 E39 Touring up for sale.

    I dig the color and that the sits low enough to make it cool yet driveable. Not sure about the transmission though…would have preferred the ole faithful three on the tree

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