Ritz Limousine’s 1948 Chrysler Windsor limousine was used in the movie “Against the Mob,” and, according to John Sokol, president of Ritz Limousine, “Rumor has it that it was originally owned by the Chicago Archdioceses.”
The Windsor is one of only 1,496 ever built and has only 60,000 miles on its original engine. Although the car had already been completely restored, the company added 1990s luxury upgrades.
The original color of the limousine was midnight blue. However, to make it more marketable for weddings, Sokol had it painted antique while. The company also added air conditioning and a 150 wall sound system. The air conditioning proved to be quite a challenge.
Since the car still had its original flat-head, six-cylinder engine, every mount had to be completely fabricated. This included mounting the compressor, adding another pulley to the flywheel, and moving the radiator to accommodate the new fan-and-pulley system.
The entire process took several months to complete. Now the blower is in the trunk, and the vents are under the front seat and in back by the window. Since the car has a nonpressurized radiator system, an electric Mercedes Benz water pump was installed to circulate the water to the back for the heating system.
With the exception of the lights and gauges, the entire car has been converted from a six-volt system to a 12-volt system. The interior is deep blue with tan trim and includes a bench seat and two jump scats to seat five people comfortably. The door handles have pearl ends and there is plenty of chrome inside and out. The doors are hinged on the back instead of the front, which gives the car an even older feel.
One of the interesting features of the 1948 Chrysler is the fluid clutch. “It was the first attempt at an automatic transmission,” says Sokol. “You use the clutch to get it moving, then the car shifts from second to third automatically by letting up on the gas.”
Sokol says that his Chrysler is just as popular for weddings as the company’s three superstretch limousines. “Not only that, compared to the stretch limousines, it was a heck of a lot cheaper to buy,” says Sokol.