- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 30, 2004

If you didn’t load it up with accessories you could buy an 18-foot, 8.8-inch-long 1972 Chrysler Town & Country for a base price of $5,576 or about $100 more than a Corvette Sting Ray.

Standard equipment on the 4,767-pound station wagon included a 400-cubic-inch, 190-horsepower V-8 engine mated to a Torque-Flite automatic transmission. Additionally, the front disc brakes and rear drum brakes are power assisted, as is the steering. There was no charge for the simulated wood applique, fender skirts, full wheel covers or the power tailgate window that is operated from a key switch on the tailgate or a dash-mounted switch. Even the four-speed heater/defroster blower and the two-speed windshield wipers with coordinated washers were there at no extra charge.

But, of course, hardly anyone buys a base model automobile other that fleet purchasers. The super-sized Chrysler featured here came equipped with the following optional equipment:

• Tinted glass.

• Electric clock.

• Air conditioning.

• Power door locks.

• Power front seats.

• Electronic ignition.

• 440-cubic-inch V-8.

• Three-speed wipers.

• AM/FM stereo radio.

• Cologne vinyl 50/50 seat.

• Automatic speed control.

• Roof rack, assist handles.

• Remote left outside mirror.

• Tilt/telescopic steering wheel with rim blow horn.

The extra-cost options total $1,289, which places the total sticker price of the car at $6,865, or about $450 more than a Cadillac DeVille.

Lee Jacoby and her husband, Robert, accompanied by her father, Richard Mousseau, attended the 1998 Tobacco Trail Car Show in Bowie and saw on display the aforementioned 1972 Sherwood Green Metallic Chrysler Town & Country.

Although confirmed Ford folks, the Jacobys are quick to appreciate well-preserved vehicles, especially wagons, of any kind. They talked to the owner, who informed them that the big Chrysler was for sale.

“Being pretty much dedicated Ford people, we didn’t take him seriously, and we didn’t really want a Chrysler,” Mrs. Jacoby says.

Mr. Mousseau, her father, however, knew a good deal for a good car when he saw it and insisted on buying it for his daughter and son-in-law. And that is what he did in August 1998.

“It seems some people are born to Mopar, while others have Mopar thrust upon them,” Mrs. Jacoby says.

The Chrysler was delivered, she says, and the previous owner generously tossed in extra parts, an invaluable shop manual, original sales literature and much more.

A thorough inspection of the 6-foot, 7.4-inch-wide Chrysler revealed, according to Mrs. Jacoby, “a small crease on the front fender, where a previous owner misjudged the entrance to his garage.”

Neat little touches abound throughout the Town & Country. Atop each front fender is a secondary signal indicator reminder light. To sound the horn, all the driver need do is squeeze the perimeter of the two-spoke steering wheel and the rim-blow option takes over.

Each side of the engine hood, up near the windshield where it covers the wipers, features 26 louvers.

As for the absent right-side mirror, Mrs. Jacoby says, “I miss it all the time.”

During the more than six years that the Jacobys have owned and enjoyed the Chrysler, they have attended station wagon club meetings in Nashville, Tenn., and Pittsburgh.

Now, with the odometer about to roll over 110,000 miles, Mrs. Jacoby has only one small complaint about the fuselage-body-styled built-in rooftop air deflector.

“Sometimes,” she says, “at 75 miles per hour it whistles.”

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