S. Berliner, III's sbiii.com 1949 Highlander 8 Club Coupé Page keywords = chrysler highlander new yorker 8 straight eight club coupe coupé 1949 '49 C-46

Updated:   12 Sep 2018 ; 13:10 ET
[Page created 16 Apr 2007; converted 11 May 2007
    original AT&T Worldnet Website begun 30 May 1996.]

URL:  http://sbiii.com/49hilndr.html
[was at "home.att.net/~Berliner-Ultrasonics/49hilndr.html"]

S. Berliner, III
Consultant in Ultrasonic Processing
"changing materials with high-intensity sound"

[consultation is on a fee basis]

Technical and Historical Writer, Oral Historian
Popularizer of Science and Technology
Rail, Auto, Air, Ordnance, and Model Enthusiast
Light-weight Linguist, Lay Minister, and Putative Philosopher

note - The vast bulk of my massive Web presence (over 485 pages) had been hosted by AT&T's WorldNet service since 30 May 1996; they dropped WorldNet effective 31 Mar 2010 and I have been scrambling to transfer everything.  Everything's saved but all the links have to be changed, mostly by hand.  See my sbiii.com Transfer Page for any updates on this tedious process.

S. Berliner, III's


1949 Highlander 8 Club Coupé Page


This page is basically unindexed - scroll away - except for:
    VOLARÉ - departure of the '49 Highlander for Georgia.
    '49 Highlander (New Yorker) C-46 Straight 8 Club Coupé Dénouement - last news
        (moved here from Chrysler Page 8 on 04 Mar 2017).



[28 Apr 2007 on eBay Motors, as Item No. 190105554231 -
page updated 11 May 2007 in past tense and departure photos added;
page reformatted 03 Mar 2017]




This car was the third '49 Chrysler 8 I've enjoyed, the first being my father's 1949 C-46 Chrysler New Yorker 8 4-door sedan, bought new for mucho diñero, and the second my own, bought in 1954 for $750 (quite the car for a junior BMOC!).  Advancing age rendered me unable to do the heavy mechanical work needed or to get under the dash; to top that, I lost the garage space where the car was protected from the elements for many years.  So, most regretfully, it was time to part with my baby.

To the best of my knowledge and belief, this is the only surviving 1949 C-46 Highlander 8 club coupé (which is basically a 2-door sedan, since those two giant bank-vault doors and side trim, ¾ windows, and folding split front seat backs are the only difference between the this car and a 4-door sedan.  An AACA 1st Place winning '49 Highlander convertible exists but is valued at FAR more money (over ${?}0K)!  It has a very low production (VIN) number - 7723 - and the odometer only read 67,121 miles.

The HIGHLANDER badging is the only external difference between a Highlander 8 and a New Yorker 8 and the leather trim and tartan upholstery is then only internal difference.  Note how conveniently the badging fits the same holes in the front fenders above the spears:


SBIII 1949 Chrysler 'Highlander' badge  NewYorker
[Left - '49 Highlander photo 19 Apr 07 and © 2007 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved]
(Left - thumbnailed image - click on picture for larger image.) rev (01 Oct 2017)

Last registered in 1999 and not requiring titling in New York State (the registration read "TRANSFERABLE"), the car needed some mechanical work to run again.  All major items were on hand, ready to install, and were included in the sale.

This auto is a fast, powerful car, fully capable of running all day at legal highway, even Interstate, speeds.  It has vacuum-assisted power brakes, a fluid coupling, and a semi-automatic transmission.  An original 1949 Chrysler owner's manual (now reproduced in full) on my AT&T WorldNet site was included, as were the original aluminum keys on a period key ring with a Chrysler emblem on a red leather fob (below).

The postwar 1946-47-48 Chryslers (right) were basically the same as the 1942 (left):

42 NYer Limo 48 New Yorker 8

but they pushed the balloon concept to it's limit, out-grinning even Buick; along came Chrysler's 25th anniversary and the lean 1949 Silver Anniversary* car was born with many silver spoons in its mouth (I happen to like it) and a double-curved bumper that could move mountains (my car had it's hood ajar, so here's another):

49 Highlander 8 49 Chrysler Coupe

Look how funny that short 6-cylinder '49 hood looks in comparison!

Here's a grab shot of my own C-46 Highlander 8, poor beast, with all the yellow Rustoleum vainly trying to cover where the paint deteriorated when the car was left outdoors for two years even though I had arranged for it to be in indoor storage:

SBIII 1949 Chrysler Highlander
(17 Oct 2000 photo by and © S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

This was taken on an overcast day (17 Oct 00) after rain had weighted down the supposedly-water-resisteant car mitt and streaked the side.

LONG, isn't it?

Now, here are four views shot by my daughter for me with a cell phone camera on 02 Apr 2007:

SBIII 1949 Chrysler Highlander RF SBIII 1949 Chrysler Highlander LF

SBIII 1949 Chrysler Highlander RR SBIII 1949 Chrysler Highlander LR
['49 Highlander photos 02 Apr 2007 by E. B. McKinnon and © 2007 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved]
(Thumbnailed images - click on pictures for larger images.)

Because these shots also show the hood ajar for the 115V power cord to the charger, I took another just to prove that the hood will close properly:

SBIII 1949 Chrysler Highlander grille
['49 Highlander photo 19 Apr 07 and © 2007 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved]
(Thumbnailed image - click on picture for larger image.)



Engine- the engine, a 323½ cu. in., 135HP, straight eight had only a few hundred miles on it since a complete valve job (new valves, seats, and guides) and the fuel pump had been bypassed with an electric pump.  However, the fuel pump is a dual-function device which also draws a vacuum is retained to supply vacuum to operate the power brakes - two new or rebuilt pumps were also on hand.  The water pump bearing let go and the pump had to be replaced (the fan belt was old and should also have been replaced at the same time); both a rebuilt pump and a belt were on hand, but a brand-new belt would have been preferable.

Clutch - the power from the engine is transmitted first through a fluid coupling, the "GYRÒL Fluid Drive" (like a non-multiplying Torque Convertor with a 1:1 ratio) and only then to the clutch.  The Fluid Drive worked well but the extant clutch, although serviceable, was on its last legs; a replacement clutch, pilot bushing, and throw-out bearing were on hand.

Transmission - the fluid coupling and clutch allow the transmission to operate in semi-automatic fashion.  There are two forward speed ranges with two speeds in each, plus reverse.  The clutch is used to engage either range or reverse.  A tip-toe sensor on the accelerator pedal operates a hydraulic actuator that engages eitrher the higher or lower gear in each range.  Thus, to shift from 1st to 2nd in Low Range or from 3rd to 4th in High Range, you simply lift your foot off the pedal for a moment, hear a satisfying "clunk", and you've shifted.  The system downshifts automatically for you as the car slows.  To downshift on demand, simply floor the pedal and you drop a gear (and fly!).

[Whereas 1939 through 1948 cars had a vacuum-operated transmission (Vacamatic), this car has an M-6 "PrestoMatic" hydraulically-operated transmission.]

Brakes - vacuum-boosted and with all new linings and seals and legal when last run.

Tires - the tires seemed quite good, if old, with only a few hundred miles on them; they were NYLON belted and so took a set when left sitting for a long time, which worked out as they warmed up (unfortunately, the tow operator opined that they were dry rotting).

The past winter (2006-7) was rough on the battery; to start the car required fresh gas and starter fluid and a fresh 6-volt battery or power booster or 6-volt jumper.  Once the engine is started up again, it is quite an easy-starting car.  A fuel system flush would have been advisable first.  To drive this car away would have required, in addition, besides dealer's or transporter's plates, replacing the water pump and fan belt and getting underneath with a can of WD-40 to free up the hand-brake cable*.  Just to drive it onto a trailer or flat bed, one could have run it under its own power briefly, but strictly at the buyer's own risk; I didn't recommend it.  The car should really have been trailered (which it was) or flat-bedded with a winch (which it wasn't, as you shall see).

* - I should have highlighted teh problem of the frozen handbrake cable Body - overall, the car was quite solid with only some sill rot; the worst area was on either side of the trunk lid at the sill where, like all Chryslers of the era, the metal was simply gone.  There was some weakness at the belt line on either side (taped).  The previous owner, a college student, was driving the car home to Long Island (New York) from the Upper Mid-West (Wisconsin?) at some 90MPH when he slid and kissed a guard rail, curling the right rear fender skirt under and creasing the right front fender skirts.  I installed a new (perhaps the last one around) roll bar (anti-sway bar) and a new exhaust system as soon as I got the car (ca. 1992).

Paint - after years of outdoor storage and then being under a "space-age" mitt that simply didn't work as advertised, the finish was basically gone; it was a blue-gray color:

SBIII 1949 Chrysler Highlander trunk
['49 Highlander photo 19 Apr 2007 and © 2007 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved]
(Thumbnailed image - click on picture for larger image.)

Glass - all glass was good except for cracked vent panes, the driver's pane still carried the decal for the former "Armor-All" protective paint finish, and so was retained but that no longer applied:

SBIII 1949 Chrysler Highlander vent pane
['49 Highlander photo 19 Apr 2007 and © 2007 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved]
(Thumbnailed image - click on picture for larger image.)

Exterior Trim - the wheel covers are stainless steel and perfect.  Most chrome work was fair to good except the grille, right front bottom piece, and the over-riders, which needede redoing.&  The fiber air duct from the grille to the heater needed to be replaced or refabricated.  The rear bumper sported a tow hitch ball (suitable only for light duty).  The cowl vent gasket was bad but a brand-new one was on hand, waiting for the paint job (as was a really weird one that appeared to have been made on a bank of the Orinoco by the simple expedient of pouring colored latex into a groove scratched in the sand by indigenous people).

SBIII 1949 Chrysler Highlander whl cvr
['49 Highlander photo 19 Apr 2007 and © 2007 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved]

Electrical - the car has a 6-volt system with a generator - all wiring worked but a new harness would have been a good idea.  The electric clock worked.  The signature faux-fin tail light lenses were intact (one was new):

SBIII 1949 Chrysler 'Highlander' badge
['49 Highlander photo 19 Apr 2007 and © 2007 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved]

Interior - The car was 99% complete, missing only the acrylic cigarette lighter knob, a miniature of the shift knob.  The steering wheel plastic had separated in a few spots but was quite servicable.  The upholstery, dash padding, and carpeting was quite bad; the headliner was sound but pulled loose at the front window crease (and then separated just behind that spot).  The driver's door window crank handle and it's pendant ("tassle") had separated, so it sat on the passenger side and the pendant WAs in the glove compartment, awaiting re-attachment.  There was a bumper jack but the trunk carpet was gone.

Here are the driver's door and the dash/stering wheel:

SBIII 1949 Chrysler Highlander door SBIII 1949 Chrysler Highlander' dash
['49 Highlander photos 19 Apr 2007 and © 2007 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved]

- - - * - - -

Just for comparison, Jim VanSickle's beautiful '48 Highlander 8 sedan shows how the '49 interior once looked and should look again when it's restored:

Jim VanSickle's 1948 Chrysler Highlander 8 dash
(Jim VanSickle's 1948 Chrysler Highlander 8 Dash)

That beautiful steering wheel and dashboard!

Jim VanSickle's 1948 Chrysler Highlander 8 door panel
(Jim VanSickle's 1948 Chrysler Highlander 8 door panel)

This is what makes a Highlander different!
Replacement Highlander mohair was $350 a square yard back in 1970 or so!

['48 photos above by and courtesy of J. VanSickle - all rights reserved]


The offer included the my original key ring for an earlier car; it has a leather fob with the classic Chrysler medallion (reinstated recently) on it; here are my old fob and key ring (ca. 1950, sans chrome) with the original alumin(i)um '49 keys and the head of one of the keys (ignition) with the DPCD (DeSoto/Plymouth/Chrysler/Dodge) logo:

ca. 1950 Chrysler Keychain Fob with 1949 Keys     1949 Ignition Key Head

How many of you even knew of that key image, and the head shapes
(octagonal for ignition, round for glovebox, diamond for trunk),
let alone remembered these details?

1949 Key Heads
[Photos by and © 2001 - S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved]


Model Designation:  C-46 Highlander (New Yorker) 8

Wheelbase:  131½"; (overall length approx. 17½')

Valve Location:  in-block ("L"-head, side cam)

Bore and Stroke:  3¼" x 47/8"

Piston Displacement:  323.5 cubic inches

Compression ratio:  7.25:1

Maximum Brake Horsepower:  135 @ 3,200 RPM

Maximum Torque:  270 Lbs.Ft. @ 1,600 RPM

Terms and Conditions of Sale

This car was offered on eBay as item number 190105554231, as is and where is; a gentleman from Georgia won the bidding and plans to restore the car in time to drive it out west next year.

* - Silver Anniversary Car - the advertising jingle back then in 1949 ran:

In your beautiful Chrysler
The Silver Anniversary car; it is new
In your beautiful Chrysler
It's so thrilling to sit at the wheel

It is longer and higher and - - - {etc.}
In your beautiful Chrysler
It's so thrilling to sit at the wheel

- or some such - who remembers the full lyrics?

To some this car may be a "rust bucket", a "junker", but to those who appreciate the Chrysler in-line eight, this is a deferred dream whose time to fly is hopefully again at hand.

VOLARÉ (to fly) - pix of the departure of the '49 Highlander 8 from Long Island for Georgia (02 May 2007)

The buyer arranged for a car carrier (18-wheeler auto rack) to be diverted from Connecticut to Long Island on its way to Florida; unfortunately, the concept that the car was NOT running and had no wheel brakes didn't seem to have percolated down.  What turned up on the nearest main drag was a 53' trailer that couldn't possibly fit into my former residential street and had no winch!  The resourceful driver, Mr. Miles of Miles Auto Trans. & Towing of Pembroke Pines, Florida (954-658-0491), prevailed on my local tow operator, Ray's Towing Service of Glendwood Landing, New York (who'd brought the car back there previously) to send a hydraulic wrecker that could snag the rear end, hoist it, and push it onto the trailer.

The tractor-trailer was blocking the main drag (Sea Cliff Avenue in Glen Cove), so it was pulled into the nearest side street (McGrady Street) where it blocked three driveways just by sitting there, even without the tow truck and car; the neighbors turned out to see this wild apparition and no one objected TOO much.

By backing up to the trailer, Kenny of Ray's was able to push the car's front wheels up on the rearmost ramp, push them onto the next ramp, and then position the rear wheels over the rear ramp.  Using the trailer's integral hysdraulics, Miles then hoisted the car up to the upper level and, by jockeying the ramps and using built-in come-alongs, plus having his associate, Eddie, steer the beast, used the force of gravity to ease the car forward to the front of the trailer, over a Lexus SUV destined to be dropped off in New Jersey.  Once the Highlander was safely stowed, a Ford F250 pickup going further was driven aboard, at which point I had to sign off on the car and (most reluctantly) leave.

Here, then, are my photos of this wild operation:

49HiBye1 49HiBye2
['49 Highlander photos 02 May 2007 and © 2007 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved]
53' Car Carrier on Sea Cliff Avenue (with my '99 Neon behind it /
Kenny of Ray's Towing prepping the '49

49HiBye3 49HiBye4
Rear end hoisted / Off my old driveway

49HiBye5 49HiBye6
Off down the street - bye, bye, baby! / Pushing the '49 up onto the trailer on McGrady

49HiBye7 49HiBye8
Raising the rear / Rear wheels on the carrier

49HiBye9 49HiBye10
Hoisted to upper level / Underside looking fo'ard

49HiBye11 49HiBye12
Miles cranking the car across / Eddie up topside (see below)

49HiBye13 49HiBye14
Eddie silhouetted topside / Rolling forward

49HiBye15 49HiBye16
Rear end up again / Rolling across again

49HiBye17 49HiBye18
In place above the Lexus / Driving the F250 up the ramp

['49 Highlander photos 02 May 07 and © 2007 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved]
All loaded and ready to roll - just as the light faded

One rather weird thing ancillary to the move was that I took these pix with an old pocket 35mm film camera and had the images copied to a CD-ROM; the processor screwed up quite badly, scrambling all the images from two rolls and inverting all on the CD!  Whil(e)(st) messing up so badly, the processor also managed to smear the prints and CD images on two frames with this amazing/amusing result; my foot (a film-loading frame NOT intended for printing), two half-frames, the nose of the '49, the hood, and Eddie silhouetted up topside:

49HiOopsX1 49HiOopsX2 49HiOopsX3 49HiOopsX4 49HiOopsX5
['49 Highlander photos 02 May 07 and © 2007 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved]

How 'bout that?

- - - * - - -

So much for the saga of the departure of "my" baby; she's got a new home with a room of her own and an enthusiastic owner who should have her up and running again remarkably soon (one hopes).

[Well, that didn't happen - see below (ff) for the latest.]   rev (01 Oct 2017)

'49 Highlander (New Yorker) C-46 Straight 8 Club Coupé - Dénouement (moved here from Chrysler Page 8 on 04 Mar 2017).

I was kinda hopin' to show you progress on the 1949 Highlander (New Yorker) C-46 Straight 8 Club Coupé I sold off to the South but hadn't heard a peep from the buyer; that sure didn't bode well. (25 Oct 2011)   rev (01 Oct 2017)

Well, for whatever reason, it did NOT get finished; these "For Sale" photos cropped up on the Net ca. 27 May 2015 from North Carolina and there's not much question which car it might be (20 Jul 2015):

49HiCoupe0 49HiCoupe1 49HiCoupe2
(click on thumbnailed pictures for larger images)

The sad shape of the front chrome and bumper over-riders and the front seat squab establish this as my old car beyond any question.  The body work was done (although the door-fender fit isn't that good) and painted but, apparently, not much else.  Pity; she was a sweet runner.  She was listed at only $3,950, so she must still have been pretty ratty.


  What happens to all this when I DIE or (heaven forfend!) lose interest?  See LEGACY.


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