1 of 135? 1962 Chrysler 300 Convertible

The Chrysler 300 “Letter Series” began in 1955 and would continue for 12 consecutive years. They offered a level of full-size automotive performance that usually equated to limited production numbers. The seller presents a 1962 Chrysler 300G convertible for sale that has been off the road for many years. However, that may not be what it actually is. More on that in a moment. Located on a dealer’s lot in Champaign, Illinois, this drop-top is available here on eBay where the opening bid of $3,000 has yet to be cast. There is also a reserve. Thanks to our Barn Finder, Larry D, for another interesting tip!

The first 300 Letter Series car was the C-300, and then the sequential lettering began in 1956 with the 300B (don’t know what happened to “A”). The 1962 Chrysler, even though it retained the slanted headlights from the year before, got an update and the tailfins were gone, chopped at the fender level. The seller’s car is a bit confusing as it’s listed as a 1962 300G, but the “G” was a 1961 model. “H” would have been for 1962, but there is no obvious badging on the car that I can see (there should be a 300H on the trunk lid, driver’s side, but it only says “300”). 1962 would bring about the addition of the 300 Sport Series which mimicked the Letter Series in almost every detail – except it was only offered as a 4-door hardtop. The VIN has a separate number for the 300 vs. 300H and the “2” in the seller’s stands for just 300.

If we give the seller the benefit of the doubt, we’ll assume he made a mistake listing the car and it’s a 300H. That would make it a very rare car in that out of only 570 Letter Series cars built that year, just 135 were convertibles. The car has a 413 cubic inch V8 under the hood, which was standard with the 300H while the 300 Sport Series cars used a 383.

Although the Chrysler is pictured outdoors with a clear cover over part of the car, we’re thinking it was stored in a garage for the past few years. The reasoning here is its lack of rust in an area of the country where the car should have rusted away had it been outside. Both the right front fender and the right rear quarter panel have big dents in them which don’t look like they came from a traffic accident. It looks as though a couple of heavy tree limbs clobbered the car at one time, though neither hit should have disabled the vehicle.

The red interior may be in decent condition, but we really can’t tell from the photos. The convertible is worn out or gone, so that will have to be replaced once this car is ready to venture on the road again. The odometer reading is just under 44,000 miles and could be accurate although 144,000 is more believable. The cars lost a little weight in 1962 because the 300 moved to the shorter wheelbase platform of the Newport line. That gave it the best power-to-weight ratio of any Letter Series car up to that point.

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Comments

  1. Ralph

    “Hello? Mr. Cleaver? We found your car. There was a young boy driving it, he said it was ok by you.”
    “His name? Haskell, Eddie Haskell.”
    “You should know the car is gonna need a little work to get it back on the road again.”

    Like 8
  2. tiger66

    “If we give the seller the benefit of the doubt, we’ll assume he made a mistake listing the car and it’s a 300H. ”

    @Russ Dixon: Clearly not a 300H. No 300H badging, no 300H engine (the H had 2 inline-mounted 4-barrel carbs with individual air cleaners as standard equipment or the optional short-ram dual-carb intake. The single 4-barrel 413 reportedly in this car was not available on the H but was an option on the non-letter 300) and no 300H interior (the H had four bucket seats in tan-only leather and a full-length console standard. This car has two red buckets and no console). This a non-letter “Sports Series” 300 vert, 1,848 built.

    Like 24
    • Will Fox

      Thank you–you said it for me. Mind you, it’s still an unusual `62, but no letter series.

      Like 2
  3. David Zornig

    It is not a 300 letter car, and obviously not a 300G.
    It is a 300 Sport Series convertible, 1 of 1,848 built.
    A simple vin decoder check shows what it is.
    The second digit in the vin would be a 4 if it were a 300H.
    The 300H also had 4 individual seats, and was only available in 4 colors, of which turquoise was not one of them.
    300H convertible production was 123, plus 435 300H coupes.
    300 Sport Series non letter hardtop coupes production was 11,341.

    Like 19
  4. Peter Scherer

    In addition to all the other evidence, the speedometer is only 120mph, while the 300H would have a 150mph. The fact checking performed here by the 4 comments took only brief internet research.

    Like 8
  5. Rex Kahrs Member

    Hey Dave Zornig, can you provide a link to the Chrysler VIN decoder you use? Many thanks.

  6. Mike

    Can’t take the plastic off? You’re selling the car. Lift a finger!

    Like 18
  7. A.G.

    I don’t have much material on Chryslers but once source reports in 1962 :

    – quote –
    Chrysler issues a non-letter 300 series, as well as the hot 300-H with 380 or 405 horse.
    – end quote –

    Like 1
  8. Hoss

    There is a HUGE difference in the value between if it’s

    a 300 or 300H. That H adds a ton more value.

  9. Pete Kaczmarski

    “I wish that I could find how many were made” is a common comment but my ’62 300 Sport Convertible goes further. It has the 413 option, leather interior, and sure-grip axle. But the most important is the three-speed manual on the floor. transmission. The car has no P.B. or P.B. or exterior side-view mirrors. I did get some info from Chrysler historical services who confirmed all of the above comments.

    Like 2
    • Bill McCoskey

      Pete K,

      I may have an answer as to why your car was equipped the way it was. Back before governments began requiring dealerships to be accurate in advertising cars, your car might have been featured in the newspaper ads like this:

      “We have the new Chrysler 300 convertible in stock for delivery today, equipped with the big 413 V8, stick shift on the floor, beautiful leather interior. All that for only $2,699,95!” Acme Chrysler-Plymouth, Suckeraminute Drive, Big City.

      That price is just an educated guess on my part, to show how dealers in major metropolitan areas used to battle each other using specially ordered cars that could be advertised for a low price, to get buyers to come in.

      A serious buyer might have already read all about the big 413 engine with the cross-ram manifolds & dual carbs, 4-speed gearbox with console, 4 bucket seats.

      Wow what a car! And the local Chrysler dealer has a car like this at a price I can afford! It’s a great day, bright and sunny, let’s go visit Acme Chrysler Plymouth for a test drive!

      And you could expect the salesman would bring out a loaded 300G for the test drive, with the windows lowered and the top down. This meant you didn’t see the window sticker on that car!

      Can you say “Bait and switch”?

      Oh, you wanted that one? Sorry, it sold this morning. The car we test drove is too expensive? Let’s take a look at a nice brand new Chrysler Newport Convertible, or perhaps a new Plymouth Fury Convertible that might be in your price range.

      That cheap 300 Convertible probably brought multiple buyers into the dealership, where they could be “upsold” to the 300G, or even a New Yorker convertible. Maybe the buyer was stuck at the price, so the salesman would “downsell” the buyer to a Chrysler Newport convertible or a Plymouth convertible. At the end of the year, that regular 300 would be sold off. It had done it’s job.

      Like 8
  10. Ben T. Spanner

    My Father ordered a 1962 Dodge (660?) convtible in blue paint, blue interior and blue top. This was a 1962 Chrysler with a Dodge nose. The car came in with a black interior and top.
    Sales material said blue top and interior were available. Dodge factory said no, all blue convertibles get black; probably because that’s all they had. Dealer also sold Chrsler and offered featured car for same money. Factory rep said it would have black interior and top.
    My Father refused the car and orderd a Pontac Catalina convertible. Buckskin beige with tan/brown interior and top. Came in exactly as ordered. No more Dodges.

    Like 3
  11. Vance

    Had an elderly lady come on the lot, and she said she wanted a Mustang GT. Trying to fact find, I asked her who would the car be for. She politely responded, its for me, not my children or grandchildren, its for myself, and I want a dark green one. I had plenty of GT’s, so a guided her to an automatic. She smiles again and politely said, no, I want a 5 spd. Again, I was suprised , and I went and got the key and plate.Well, when we switched places, she told me she had grown up in England, and had grown up driving a stick. She had married a Yank and then moved here. Well the next thing I know, she is ripping through the gears, downshifting into sharp curves, and accelerating hard coming out of them. She was at least, close to 80, and an excellent driver She paid full sticker, and didn’t care, She said this is for me. Going back to her house, she said she had a car to show. Well in the garage was a 1963 Chrysler 300 Indy Pace car, perfect interior, in need of a roof, neat engine bay, and one dent in the rear fender that was an easy fix.And it had the medallion to show its authenticity .She said 4k and it’s yours, you have been a delightful young man, and I would like you to have it. She gave me a big hug and said she enjoyed the experience tremendously. The 4k didn’t fly with the girlfriend no matter how much I explained the upside. The customer’s name was Beryl Todd, I hope she enjoyed that Mustang for many years.

    Like 19
    • Bill McCoskey

      Vance,

      Do you still have the girlfriend? If the answer is yes, you made the right decision. If the answer is no, do you miss having the Chrysler in your garage?

      Like 2
    • Bill McCoskey

      Vance,

      About 15 years ago, in a northwest Baltimore area, I bought a white 1963 Chrysler 300 pace car convertible from an elderly lady’s estate. I don’t remember her name. Did Mrs. Todd live in [or move to] Maryland? This lady was 85 when she died.

      • chuck dickinson

        ALL Pace Car converts were turquoise w/off-white interiors.

      • Bill McCoskey

        Chuck,

        Yes, the 300 pace car I bought had been the correct color, painted white many years later.

    • Valentine

      This story reminded me of another older woman with a need for speed… in 1998 I was working for one of the heavy hitters in restoration parts, and got a call from a delightful woman inquiring about her still-backordered Mopar Rallye wheels. I asked her what kind of car she had, and she said a 440 Six Barrel ’71 ‘Cuda convertible (it was a legit BS27V1). I asked if it was a 4-speed, and she said, “No! That’s why I want to drive it! I’m tired of shifting my ‘Vette in traffic!” Her daily was a six-speed ’96 Grand Sport Corvette.
      She was an absolute hoot to talk to, probably my favorite customer in 35 years of such work. I told her I’d call the vendor, Dennis Kirban (no idea why he had Mopar Rallyes). I spoke to him personally, and told him “You’ve gotta call this lady yourself. She’s hilarious. I can’t ruin her day… you do it.” I guess he couldn’t do it either–she called me back and said the nice man she spoke to somehow managed to scare up four wheels and was shipping them to post haste. Her name was Dolores Yeager.
      “Based on your automotive choices, I’ve gotta ask: Are you related to Chuck?!”
      She was not, but it made her laugh aloud.

      Like 1
  12. Roger

    The parallel dents and flattened too bows suggests a roof structure fell on it. The horizontal gouge on the front fender suggests someone dragged it out of the collapse.

    Like 2
    • brewmenn

      That makes me wonder about the condition of the windshield frame, which remains hidden under the plastic and that tire.

      • Bill McCoskey

        Roger and brewmenn,

        I believe you are on the right track, but I suspect a large tree fell on the car. On the ebay photos, if you enlarge the photos it’s easy to see most of the folding convertible top assembly is broken. The header bar looks like it is over a foot away from the windshield frame. I fear this car will need a total convertible top frame replacement.

  13. Charles Sawka

    Bottom line. It’s gonna cost x$ in parts and x$ in labor. That’s gonna be pretty close no matter what letter it has. Is there gonna be a return on the investment or just a labor of love?

    Like 1
  14. Vance

    I have many regrets in my life, but not marrying that girlfriend, is probably my biggest. Mrs. Todd was a wonderful lady, who I had the pleasure of helping. She was sharp as a tack, and we both enjoyed the entire day. That’s what car sales used to be, you really cared about the customer, their family, and if the vehicle was indeed the right fit for their budget and their needs. Don’t get me wrong, a nice paycheck was the fruit of hard labor. But I had people hug and kiss me, slip $100 bill in my pocket, or give me vegetables from their garden or gift cards to a restaurant. Mrs. Todd was from Tucson, Arizona and I believe it was 1999. I don’t regret not getting the car, but being offered it was payment enough. I was very proud of being a car salesman, and those acts of kindness made it all worthwhile.

    Like 9
    • Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

      Back in the day my experience with salesmen always involved a test drive to our house from wherever the dealership was. Usually less than ten miles or so. A good salesman would ask plenty of questions to make it seem like they really wanted to know you. Sometimes the salesman would allow for an overnight stay in our driveway! Never forget the 1973 RS Camaro that came home with Dad and we all got our pictures taken with it. In the end, dad bought a stripped down dark green standard model. Not many places doing that sort of “touch” with the buyer anymore. Not sure what’s happened since the 1970s even though the paperwork just to test drive has gotten more extensive. Oh, and what a great 80-year-old woman’s name…Beryl. They don’t name girls that any more.

    • Bill McCoskey

      Vance,

      I’ve always had similar thoughts on the proper method of selling, be it a $1 part or an expensive car like a Rolls-Royce. That’s why I’ve had customers and clients who have invited me to join them in personal things like visiting them for dinner at their home, [too many times to remember how many], taking my girlfriend and me out to dinner at expensive restaurants, or even in one case, visiting their $10 million estate in Barbados, numerous times, 1 to 2 weeks at a time.

      After my shop sufered a huge loss from a lightning-induced fire, one of my customers called the local NAPA auto parts store I used, and anonymously paid off my outstanding bill 100%! To this day I still don’t know for sure who it was!

      Several times I used one of my vintage limousines to serve as a wedding limo for my customers children when they got married, at no charge. Most of the time I did this as a surprise for the bride & groom.

      I’ve even had a client half-way around the world who loved how much I worked to take care of his needs, that he paid all my expenses for regular visits to his country & the car collection. He once told me one of the reasons he treated me well was because even when I could have padded my expenses or charged outrageous additional charges for hard to find parts, I never did so. That’s not to say I didn’t have a healthy profit, but even knowing of his immense wealth, I refused to abuse our relationship in that manner. I am told that because I treated him in that manner, the value of the gifts I received from him was often tenfold compared with what he doled out to other people. One time an embassy staffer from his country remarked “Oh, he gave you the platinum version of the watch, he really must like you!”

      Like 2
  15. CCFisher

    Everybody is talking about whether or not it’s a 300H. Meanwhile, it’s half-crushed, and nobody seems to notice.

    Like 6
    • Solosolo Member

      I am in total agreement with you CCF. The rh side of the windshield looks a lot lower than the rh side and the tyre is put there in order to camoflage the fact. If I were a buyer I wouldn’t touch this car without doing a visual inspection.

  16. 370zpp 370zpp Member

    Back in the 60’s, The Chrysler salesman (also from my town and my best friend’s grandfather) whom my father dealt with, would bring him Imperials to try out for a day or two, on more than one occasion. And more often than not, we ended up with a new car.

  17. Vance

    Bill McCoskey, thank you the feedback on my stories, you sound like a very kind and caring person. I would like to end this with a touchiing finish. I was let go by this Ford dealership while having the best 4 months I had ever had. I also was a big reason the dealership get 3 consecutive President’s Awards by being interviewed by J.D. Powers for 2 hours on our procedures My customer service scores were always in the 90th percentile. Before I left Tucson, I was saying goodbye to some close friends, and I had a manager pull me aside and tell me the following. After I was fired, hundreds of people called and went to the dealership, and told the GM, they would never buy a car from this association again, ever. This was totally unbeknownst to me, but it did make me appreciate their dedication and heart. Losing that job nearly killed me, but the people were wonderful.

    Like 2
    • Bill McCoskey

      Vance,
      Based on the snippets we have briefly shared here, I would venture to say we would get along very well, as we have had similar situations that helped shape us today. I have a similar story that I will share with you;

      After closing my restoration shop, I needed to go back to work in order to maintain medical insurance for my family. I had been restoring an 1850 Amish style farmhouse, and was an almost constant visitor to a home store I will call “Big Blue”. I got to know one of the store’s zone managers who offered me a job in the Millwork department, and I accepted his offer.

      A couple of years later, I fielded a call from the general manager of the Pella Window company’s vinyl window factory in Gettysburg, PA. He wanted to invite the entire sales crew in the millwork department to a factory tour, with lunch afterwards.

      Our store manager refused to allow all the sales people to take most of the day off, with pay, and also pay for those not scheduled to work that day, to attend as well. So I called the Pella manager back, thanked him for the offer, but said we would not be able to attend. Apparently he called someone high up at Big Blue, and the tour was back on the schedule, with Big Blue sending sales people over from other stores to cover for us.

      Our group of about 8 people had a great tour of what was a state-of-the-art vinyl window factory, where they made both standard size windows, and a manufacturing line for custom sizes and shapes. We all learned a lot, and I took photos for everyone and for Big Blue.

      After the tour we entered a large room used for lunch and conferences. Pella had set out an impressive selection of Pizzas and other Italian delights that made a nice, yet simple, buffet. I asked how many Big Blue millwork groups they invite on this tour and lunch. I was told that we were the only ones they were inviting. Not the first group mind you, the ONLY group.

      As we dined on a great lunch, the Pella management began asking questions about why we were so successful at selling Pella vinyl windows, especially custom examples, as they were always much more expensive and more profitable. They were very interested in what our group had to say, one Pella guy writing down everything while the event was also videotaped by another Pella employee.

      As the event ended, the Pella manager said there was one more thing to do. He began calling us by name and handing out printed awards to each of us. The individual awards were in our names [one name per award]. These awards were in recognition of our store selling more Pella Vinyl windows than any of the other 1,158 Big Blue stores in North America!

      Yes, we were the top selling Big Blue store. This was the first time we learned of this accomplishment! We also discovered the Pella factory only made vinyl windows for Big Blue stores.

      On returning to the store, I went directly to the photo copier in the department, and made several copies of my award. I then showed a copy to the man who had hired me, and he asked to keep the copy, because he had no knowledge of this sales achievement and was determined to find out who DID KNOW. Turned out no one in the store knew, and when contacted, not even the district manager knew.

      I was informed later that the Big Blue executives kept the sales achievement info from us because they thought we would demand raises. This situation really upset a few sales people, and within a year, 3 of the top 4 millwork sales people left for better paying jobs. That 4th salesman stuck around, only long enough to get his 20 years retirement a few years later.

      The 2 biggest mistakes, for large companies who employ a sales force, is not paying your sales people what they are worth, and failure to provide deserved recognition. And not always in that order.

      I vowed never again to work for a huge corporation. I’ve also come to the conclusion that for the majority of big companies, the more they advertise how well they work with employees [whooops, I mean “associates”], the less likely that will be an accurate statement. Having had several girlfriends who worked in retail sales, with companies that advertised “a flexible work schedule”, that statement usually meant the company wanted you to be flexible and work when they needed you.

      Hope you all enjoyed the above story, it’s all true.

      Like 3
      • CVPanther Member

        I did enjoy the story, Bill, as I do all your stories. It even brought back some good old memories for me also.
        Thanks for your contributions to this site, it does make a difference for me.

  18. Vance

    Thank you sir, if you are ever in Southeast Mi, look me up, it would be nice to meet you. Cheers.

    Like 1
  19. Bill McCoskey

    Same back atcha! We are currently living about a half block from a private beach, near the Chesapeake Bay Bridge [can’t see it from the beach!]. The Chesapeake Bay area, called “The land of pleasant living”.

    Like 1

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