The Corpus Christi Old Car Museum Auction

Lot 33
1956 Chrysler New Yorker St. Regis

Selling on Friday

1956 Chrysler  New Yorker St. Regis


• A legendary original Virgil Exner design
• Optional three-tone paint
• Equipped with air-conditioning
• Space-age push-button shifter

354 cid V-8 engine, 280 HP, Powerflite automatic transmission, coil spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, hydraulic drum brakes; wheelbase: 126”

The Chrysler New Yorker is a premium automobile built by the Chrysler Corporation from 1939 to 1996, serving for many years as the brand's flagship model. Until its discontinuation in 1996, the New Yorker made its mark as the longest running American car nameplate. The St. Regis is a 5-star hotel in Manhattan, making the name synonymous with luxury and prestige. In 1956, Chrysler christened this model year "PowerStyle" and it was one of the design works of Virgil Exner.

This lovely New Yorker shows the new-for-1956 mesh grille, leather seats, and slick three-tone paint scheme, which is beautifully applied and looks fresh. The panel gaps are tight, and the body of this car simply looks excellent. The chrome is also in fine shape, with the sleek bullet front bumper and hooded headlamps representing the style of the day. Chrome wheel covers, a lovely hood ornament, and whitewall tires finish off the classic exterior.

Under the hood, the big 354 V-8 fills a stock engine bay and pushes 280 HP through the PowerFlite automatic transmission. The big mill provides a top speed of 130 mph and this car starts readily and runs with authority. The old six-volt electrical system was replaced in 1956 by a more modern 12-volt system, and the automatic transmission did away with a shift lever altogether and moved to a seemingly space-age push-button system. A quadrant of buttons marked N (neutral), D (drive), L (low) and R (reverse), are to the left of the steering column; there is no P (park), so at rest, the car stays in neutral with the parking brake on. This St. Regis two-door hardtop has the optional factory air-conditioning and it also includes a two-tone steering wheel, upgraded interior fabrics, power front seat and full carpeting. Full of chrome and clean instrumentation, the dash is incredible, and the interior is clean and very roomy for six adults.

For 1956, Chrysler only produced 6,686 New Yorker St. Regis coupes. Today, they are considered one of the most reliable, easy driving cars of the 1950s and, today, we’ve got a great one available here in Corpus Christi.

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