1969 Chrysler 300 Convertible

Nothing beats a big American convertible from those days when Detroit ruled and big actually meant something.

After dabbling in all manner of furrin cars including Jags and Astons, it was time for a dose of good ole American iron. The fall 2007 RM auction at Hershey featured the perfect antidote with just the right color combo of bronze metallic with matching saddle interior and original black vinyl top. Add the 375 HP 440 TNT engine option and what better way to shuttle kids than firmly planted under six seat belts and the sky above?

While the catalog description peaked my interest, I really wasn’t in a buying mode until the night before the sale over dinner at the Hotel Hershey with a bunch of gear heads and a new member of the clan who turned out to be the very car’s consignor! Many of you know Dave Kinney as the auction reporter for a number of publications including AutoWeek and the guy-in-charge at the Cars That Matter price guide. After a few drinks and tall tales, Dave’s gently persuasive manner had me hooked and I wound up being the high bidder (probably the only bidder) at the next evening’s auction.

At 18 feet and with a hood suitable for landing a helicopter, these “fuselage” Mopars saw the light of day around the time Jimi Hendrix was wowing the rain drenched-crowd at Woodstock. They lacked much of the chrome and excessive trim of the prior year’s models but made up for it in their own form of excess: a commanding road presence. The actual manufacturing date of the pebble grain convertible top was August 18, 1969 making mine one of the earliest in the production run. She came with the original build sheet and dealer invoice and I wound up adding more literature to the archives during my year-plus ownership. And a new paint job, mufflers, some engine work, and detailing here and there.

Hershey 2008 was approaching, and after several glorious summer months of top-down rumbling and the specter of college tuition bills looming, it came time to sell. What I didn’t count on was that week in October proving to be “the worst possible time to sell an asset” as described by a car buddy at the time. So, three days planted in the Hershey Car Corral and with nothing to show for it other than accolades and a sunburn. At least the weather was nice and the nine-hour drive each way a real joy.

After a few online postings an enthusiastic Mopar seeker on the left coast bought the Chrysler and my 300  is now enjoying it 7×24 sunshine. I lost money on the deal, but the buyer is a swell guy and, well, the market is what it is.

If you believe size matters, and like the idea of hauling a bunch of people with room to spare, then check out the fuselage Mopars. Get the 440, head out on the highway, and see for yourself what “annihilating great distances” truly means.

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There Are 2 Responses So Far. »

  1. hi sir im 16 and im very interested in your car how much is it going for

  2. Sold!

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