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Highlander Option Questions


Akstraw
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I would like to buy a forties Chrysler with the Highlander interior option.  Are there any experts out there on these?  Can you tell from the VIN or data plate whether a car was a Highlander from the factory?  I have seen a ‘42 New Yorker Highlander that had Highlander badging on the exterior.  Did all the Highlanders have special badging, or was the Highlander badging only used in certain years/models?

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I have a 1948 New Yorker 4dr. with the Highlander interior. Three pictures below illustrate some things that distinguish mine.

#1) note trim number “23” denoting the Highlander interior 

#2) if you do find a car and it has the Highlander horn option you would be indeed fortunate!

#3) This is the only Highlander badging on my car.

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First year of the Highlander interior option was 1940. Contrary to some sources I do not believe the Highlander was any unique branded series for 1940, but rather just an option. On my New Yorker it was numbered 891 and called "Red Combination Plaid". The car by the way has those 4-tone horns, but that is not mentioned as an option for 1940 in the catalog .. maybe retrofitted by a previous owner.1393674444_40CNY1509dokumentasjonpplakatar(4).JPG.2f05dbcb2f539d5945d55581029396b0.JPG

 

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4 hours ago, c49er said:

One in a hundred million to ever find an original Chrysler with those Highlander horns.

I spotted a Highlander horn on a NY’er coupe for sale last fall.
I actually found one! It is being reconditioned by a friend in Ohio.

This is from an article in Old Cars that was written by John Lee:


“Speaking of Scottish music, the Highlander theme was expanded in 1941 to include an optional set of horns that played the Scottish tune “The Campbells Are Coming, Oho! Oho!” The four-tone Highlander horn assembly, part #863127, was listed in the 1942 MoPar parts catalog as available for all 1941 and ’42 Windsor and New Yorker Highlander models for $15 extra. The Highlander plaid upholstery cost $25.”

 

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I have read about the Sparton motorized  horns...Chrysler's Highlander Four Tone ....

A long detailed article in Old Cars...

They can be difficult to repair.

A very rare accessory.

Other cars used that four trumpet horn too...different songs for different cars too.

 

Edited by c49er (see edit history)
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I have now checked that the tune on my car's horns is indeed "The Campbells are coming". Pity videos cannot be uploaded as I have a drive with horns ablaze on record.. The horns works best with a good battery plus a steady charge from the generator, and some drops of oil in the right spots.

Edited by Narve N (see edit history)
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I would love to hear a Highlander horn in operation……I had no idea that the horn was available only for 1941-42……the one I saw was on a ‘41 NYer coupe.

I have a friend who has the horn I will get, he will restore it for me. He has restored several  Spartons before.

Edited by Jeff Perkins / Mn (see edit history)
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As Jeff knows, I previously owned a '48 Windsor 4-door with the same exterior color (St. Clair blue) and same Highlander interior (plaid and bedford cord) as his New Yorker.  I agree with Jeff that the only Highlander badging on the '46-'48 cars was the script under the radio speaker grill, as shown in his photo.  I'm no expert, but as far as I know, the Highlander option was strictly an interior trim option as opposed to a separate "model," although I believe in '40 and '41 the cars had Highlander script on the exterior, I believe on the side of the hood.  I think some genius in the marketing department figured that they could attract a younger group of buyers with a "smart" interior, and hit on the idea of the name "Highlander" based on the fact that the Chrysler plant was in Highland Park, MI. When it was introduced in 1940, the Highlander option featured totally plaid seats instead of just plaid panels with the bolster and seat front in the contrasting bedford cord or leather.  I really love the ad copy from this 1940 ad -- who knew that "swagger" was an adjective!

 

highlander_ad1.jpg.c02be4079215a65a1731cb8e3af3d388.jpg

 

highlander_ad2.jpg.2e8aa2b048f7c6c83adffffdc5fda4cb.jpg

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I have at least three 1940 Chrysler ads with those small dogs placed in and around the cars, very charming. Here are the nameplates of the hood and dash of my 1940 Chrysler New Yorker Convertible with Highlander option interior and Fluid Drive, as you can see the name "Highlander" is nowhere included. Maybe the 1941 models had it?

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12 hours ago, Narve N said:

I have at least three 1940 Chrysler ads with those small dogs placed in and around the cars, very charming. Here are the nameplates of the hood and dash of my 1940 Chrysler New Yorker Convertible with Highlander option interior and Fluid Drive, as you can see the name "Highlander" is nowhere included. Maybe the 1941 models had it?

Narve, thanks for the correction on the badging question.  Just based on those two detail shots, you car looks to be in tip-top shape!  Do you have any photos of the interior that you could post?  Do you have the plaid top boot as well?  I have only seen advertising photos of the '40 and would love to see some photos of an actual example.

 

I found this article online that has some great photos of different Highlander interiors various years.  It also shows some exterior Highlander script that looks like it's from '49 or '50.  (However, I noticed several errors with the photo captions so I don't know how accurate the article is.)

 

https://www.oldcarsweekly.com/features/scotch-on-a-chrysler

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Here's a pretty spectacular '41 Windsor Coupe that was being offered by Mecum in an auction in January 2021.  If you blow up the first photo to full screen and full size, you can see the Highlander script on the side of the hood near the A pillar.

 

https://www.mecum.com/lots/FL0121-443131/1941-chrysler-new-yorker-highlander/

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On 1/6/2022 at 11:16 PM, neil morse said:

I have only seen advertising photos of the '40 and would love to see some photos of an actual example.

Here are some dealer photos of my car, apparently I have never made any myself focusing on the interior:

1937652742_40CNY13076614233Hyman(6).jpg.ec19c4845f6bd541ba07630eb5cce373.jpg1479857373_40CNY13076614233Hyman(24).jpg.a08a45b3c177644b46d6dfbedf055555.jpg2124152981_40CNY13076614233Hyman(28).jpg.c11a05dedf094c02e97f06a7148dd488.jpg

 

Also, since you are in San Francisco, do you know anything about the Mullen Motor dealership originally selling the car?

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(The Old Car Weekly article repeats the incorrect information of Highlander being a distinctive sub-series in 1940.)

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