WOOD & STEEL
1947 Chrysler Windsor When you can’t find a Woody, build one
Some say that imitation is the highest form of flattery, but the fusion of wood and metal that you see on these pages was crafted by Alfred Perez, owner of Alfred Motor Works, with a different intention in mind. Purveyors of classic American full-size cars will be able to tell that the wood panels and the roof rack on this 1947 Chrysler Windsor weren’t standard on the model; instead, they were found on the Town and Country (not to be confused with Chrysler’s more recent minivan of the same name), which shared a chassis with the Windsor.
The wood paneling was affixed to add some variety to Alfred’s fleet of bridal cars, all previously plain white. His Windsor’s conversion to a Town and Country was relatively simple and accurate, given that the only difference the two cars had was the wood panels and the roof rack. Alfred and his crew simply attached the wood trim on top of the existing body panels, which may have added some heft, but with a car like this, weight reduction is the least of your concerns. The car does lose some points for historical accuracy however, when you consider that the wood used wasn’t of American origin. Instead, the panels were cut from locally sourced wood and fabricated by local craftsmen, winning the car points for supporting Filipino industries and for the seamless marriage of Americana and Filipiniana.
Aside from being white, Alfred’s the cars in the bridal fleet have another thing in common: lots of space. This is easily seen in the Windsor: Its interior is big enough to pass for a small living room, and there’s a ridiculously soft sofa serving as the backseat. We imagine that family road trips back in the day must have been quite a bit more stylish and comfortable than the ones we have to day—which are typically plagued by endless queries of “Are we there yet?” and a complete disregard for valuable personal space.
The interior accoutrements don’t stop
there, either. The car also has jump seats that unfold for when you feel the need to throw a small party in the back, then tuck away and out of sight when not in use. There’s a retractable window in between the front and rear sections of the cabin, in case you’re in need of some privacy from your chauffeur. There are even leather straps you can hold on to when exiting through the suicide doors. Yes, this car has sui- cide doors, which open toward the back instead of the front. The air-conditioning is exceptionally fresh for a vehicle that is 70 years old, and all those shiny instruments on the dashboard still work.
The exterior, too, is as fresh as can be, with chrome hubcaps, white sidewalls, high-quality varnished wood, and a trunk that almost looks like a treasure chest thanks to the wood paneling. As you may have noticed, the front windshield is made up of two flat panels of glass, instead of the single curved piece found on today’s vehicles. This is because the car was manufactured back before the technology to make curved glass windshields was commonplace. Neat fact, huh?
This beautiful lovechild of the Windsor and the Town and Country continues to withstand the test of time. It’s another one of Alfred’s gifts to the car-loving world—a dashing American classic given new life by Filipino skill and creativity.
‘It has seats that unfold for when you want to party at the back’
A solid name that continues to live on in modern times
As is the norm with this shop’s work, all is functioning
We are scared to ask how much this beauty even weighs!