NEARLY EXTINCT 1961 CHRYSLER 300 G CONVERTIBLE IS RARE TREAT
The Chrysler 300 nameplate was resurrected in the mid-2000s and was a quickly adopted by the hip-hop community, largely in part to the accessibility and ease of aftermarket upgrades for the new sedan. However, long before the Chrysler 300 became a household name there was another Chrysler 300, but this one rang far superior the 1961 Chrysler 300 G convertible. One of the last of famed car designer Virgil Exner’s “Forward Look” campaign, this 1961 represents the seventh iteration of the Chrysler 300.
The 1961 300G saw another restyle. The grille, formerly wider at the bottom than the top, was inverted; the quad headlights, formerly side-by-side, were arranged in angled fashion, inward at the bottom, in a manner reminiscent of 1958-1960 Lincolns, 1959 Buicks and the 1963-1966 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud Mulliner Park Ward coupe. Small parking lamps below the headlights were likewise slanted and V-shaped, and the front bumper was canted up at each end, scoop-like. At the rear, the taillights were moved from the fins to the tail below them, and the fins were made sharper-pointed. Power windows were standard.
Mechanically, the cross-ram “short ram” and “long ram” engines remained the same, although the expensive French manual transmission was dropped, and replaced by a more reliable and still expensive Chrysler racing manual transmission (referred to as ‘option code 281’). There are currently only five cars with this transmission. Code 281 cars may have been built for the 1961 Daytona Flying Mile, although like the 1960 F Specials, no specific records were kept by Chrysler. Unlike the 300F Specials (which were randomly pulled from the line and upgraded for the Flying Mile), the 300Gs had a specific build code (281).
Limited to just 337 of the convertibles it is believed that only 124 have survived to this day. This beautiful representation of Chrysler’s “Letter Car” convertibles is finished in period correct Mardi Gras Red and features rare factory-correct air conditioning.
Having been a part of two major collections and taken home the Antique Automobile Club of America’s (AACA) Senior First Prize this Chrysler has certainly proven its worth. However, it also stands alone as a testament to the engineering of the time. As its auction house RM Sotheby’s noted, “the 375-bhp, 413-cu. in. wedge-head V-8 (6.8 L) offered ample performance with its tuned dual cross ram intake, propelling the 4,200-lb. 300 G from rest to 60 mph in just over eight seconds.” The 1961 Chrysler 300 G convertible will go to auction with no reserve in Hershey, PA in early October.
check out the gallery for more photos of this beatifull and stunnig car or look at the cool video on NEXT PAGE from “Jay Leno’s Garage” where Jay along with Model G Expert Bob Jasinski, gives us an in-depth look at Chrysler’s first true gentlemen’s sportscar.
*UPDATE: The car was sold for $148,500
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