1958 Chrysler 300D ConvertibleSOLD

RM Auction - Vintage Motor Cars at Amelia Island - March 10, 2007

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ESTIMATE: $175,000 - $225,000

$140,250 Sold

375bhp, 392 cu. in. hemispherical cylinder head V8 engine, pushbutton three-speed Torqueflite automatic transmission, front independent torsion bar and rear semi-elliptic leaf spring suspension, four-wheel power assisted drum brakes. Wheelbase: 126"

Chrysler has long been regarded as having produced some of the most interesting and exciting performance cars of the 1950s. Foremost among them are the formidable Hemi-powered Chrysler 300 ‘ letter cars, ’ which, by virtue of their cost and rarity, were reserved for the most discerning and demanding buyers. The 300 series offered the ultimate in American performance and luxury, always enhanced by the most advanced engineering and features devised by the Chrysler Corporation.

1957 had been a banner year for all of the automakers, with record numbers of buyers lining up to buy big American iron. The economy was good, the baby boom was in full swing and automakers were churning out as many cars as they could build. 1957 was also the year that Chrysler introduced its 375bhp, 392 cubic inch engine featuring Hemispherical cylinder heads - the Hemi upon which the legend would be built.

However, in 1958 things quickly changed. The economy, which seemed unstoppable just a year earlier, would begin to stagger. Coupled with an industry-wide strike, this served to significantly reduce the number of 1958 models built by all manufacturers, and Chrysler 300D production proved to be no exception, despite the setting of the World Land Speed Record (Class E) by a 300D Hemi at Bonneville with 156.387mph.

Subject to this general downturn, a mere 190 Chrysler 300D convertibles were delivered in 1958, with only an estimated 53 known to exist on the road today. Due to low production and high cost, 1958 was also to be the last year that the company offered its Hemi in a full size Chrysler; for 1959 it was discontinued with the 300E, which only came equipped with the less expensive 413 cubic inch wedge head V8 engine.

As such, the 300D of 1958 is not only one of the rarest, but arguably the most desirable of the letter cars. One attribute not subject to debate, however, is the unmatched, scintillating performance offered by this, the penultimate Chrysler 300.

The stunning and elegant 1958 Chrysler 300D Convertible pictured here is offered for the first time in nearly 25 years due to the failing health of its long term owner. It comes equipped with the original, matching numbers 392 cubic inch Hemi V8 engine and ‘ bulletproof ’ cast iron Torque Flight transmission. The 300D has an electric top and many other luxury appointments including power seats, power windows, an upgraded radio with a foot tuner, and is set off with period correct Kelsey Hayes wire wheels. The Chrysler was the subject of a nut and bolt restoration approximately 15 years ago and was subsequently judged highly by the 300 Club International.

The car was then completely freshened during the summer of 2006 by the talented specialists at Charles Griffin Automotive of Marshville, South Carolina. The work included substantial paint touch-up, major mechanical servicing of the drivetrain, refurbishing the top motor and various other electrical components, and to finish it off, a complete detailing of the engine bay and underside.

The 300D comes with documentation including authentication from the Chrysler Letter Club International verifying the provenance of this rare and exciting automobile.

Considering the steady appreciation in the value of these cars over just the last few years, it should be clear to any observer or enthusiast that the Hemi letter cars, particularly in convertible form, have become among the most desirable of all the postwar Chrysler cars.

Reference Number 7265

as of 2/19/2007

Car 1958 Chrysler 300D Convertible
VIN LC4 1635 
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