1 of 175: 1968 Chrysler Newport Sportsgrain

In 1968 and 1969, Chrysler offered a Newport convertible and hardtop coupe with vinyl woodgrain sides called the Sportsgrain model. They only made 175 convertibles with this option in 1968. This 1968 Chrysler Newport Sportsgrain convertible can be found here on craigslist in Lunenburg, Massachusetts. The owner is asking what seems like a very enticing price of $4,900 for this rare car. Thanks to Ikey H. for sending in this great tip!

I really like this car! I’m a fan of special edition vehicles of all types and when there were only 175 of them made, I like them even more. And, when they appear to be in pretty nice condition, even better. As a starting point, Hagerty is at $12,000 for a 1968 Newport convertible with a 383 V8 and that’s not counting the Sportsgrain option. I think that this car is an absolute steal at the seller’s asking price. Someone had better jump on this one ASAP or it’ll be gone.

I don’t know if this car has been restored previously or not, but the seller mentions that it was purchased as a project for their family and they’re overwhelmed with projects at the moment. I don’t see a ding on this car or any visible rust? It was purchased from a Mopar collector in Arkansas and they do mention a 3″ spot of rust on the floorboards but other than that, and what looks like some heavy surface rust on the trunk floor, it looks great to me. The seller mentions that the tail lights were an option and they refer to them as New York which I’m assuming means New Yorker?

The interior is original and it appears to be in very nice condition other than a tear in the back seat and they mention that the carpets could be changed. They also mention that this car has just under 38,000 miles on it. I love seeing power windows on a car of this vintage, this really looks like a nice project. Our own Adam Clarke showed us a rugged example here on Barn Finds last December and this car looks like a much easier restoration project to me.

Unfortunately, the engine has been changed to a 1967 383 cubic-inch V8 but the original 383 V8 comes with the sale. This is, in my opinion, a museum-type car and having that original engine is nice. The engine in there now has been rebuilt and it runs well. Other work includes a new alternator, the brakes and fuel system have both been gone through as has the exhaust system. This really looks like a nice project at a great price. Have any of you seen a Newport with the Sportsgrain option?

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Comments

  1. Miguel

    Why is this car listed as a Newport when it has a New Yorker rear end?

    Like 5
    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Miguel, I mentioned that in the third paragraph.

      Like 13
      • Miguel

        I have never seen a car where you could buy the upscale tail lights as an option. The whole rear of the car has to be changed, if you look at the Newport tail lights.

        This is a weird one for sure. 30K original miles, but a replaced engine.

        It was in a car collection, but the hood looks terrible.

        Things don’t add up here.

        Like 6
    • Will Fox

      Because it IS a Newport; not a New Yorker. And the seller is wrong. Those taillamps were never an ‘option’ on Newports; this one’s been cobbled together with parts from another car is all.

      Like 5
      • Miguel

        Will, how would this have been done considering the shape of the Newport tail lights and the shape of the New Yorker lights?

        It looks like a lot of cutting and welding had to have been done.

        Like 2
      • Bill McCoskey

        In about 1980 I had a 1968 Newport Convertible with Sportsgrain, my car was green with green interior, and also had the New Yorker Taillights. I bought it from the original owner, it was 100% original. He told me the NY taillights came on cars with the Sportsgrain option.

        I also vividly remember a bright yellow Newport convertible on the showroom floor of Maryland Motors, a large Chrysler dealer in Rockville, MD. It too had the New Yorker taillights.

        Like 4
      • Miguel

        Bill, you can see by pulling up a Google search that is not true. There are some examples out there with the Newport tail lights.

        We may never know why these cars had New Yorker tail lights, but if they were an option from the factory, it would be the only car in history to have an option like that.

        Like 1
    • C Body

      NO,just added New Yorker tail lights,same car same back panel,just the New Yorker had the tail light panel covered with the plastic light..Done very simple actually..Like swapping out a grille !

      Like 2
      • Miguel

        C Body, it seems unlikely that you could do this.

        If you remove the Newport tail lights, it leave the raised part to the inside of the tail light on each side.

        How does the New Yorker lights cover that?

    • Sea

      The dash is also from a New Yorker. Too many inconsistancies here.

  2. Rube Goldberg Member

    B-52’s,,”well I got me a car, it’s as big as a whale”,,,

    Like 10
    • NotSure

      “and it’s about to set sail” 🎶

      Like 6
    • Mike_B_SVT

      “I got me a Chrysler, it seats about 20″…

      Like 6
    • Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

      “So hurry up and bring your jukebox money”

      Like 6
  3. OhU8one2

    We’re docked over there in slip#68. Seeing that this land barge needs some paint, I’ll bet it takes a week just to get it sprayed, and another week to colorsand and buff.

    Like 2
  4. 71FXSuperGlide

    37K miles? Hmmm…

    Like 1
    • C Body

      137,000 or 237,000 more likely.

      You can read stories of original Muscle Car owners with 1972 models by 1978 having 130,000 miles on them,thats what most did fyi !

      I started selling cars in 1979 and most 10 year old cars had 200,000 miles..Remember you had a 5 digit odometer,no old car showed more than 99,999 ..6 digits in opposite color were for a 1/10th mile readout and never turned into a mile,thus 99,999.9 then 00,000.0 !

      My Grandmother who never worked had 140,000 miles on her 12 year old Mercury it looked like new in 1982 ! People thought it had 40,000 miles..

      My 67 Satellite 383 had 280,000 in 1979 and car was pristine,was my Grandfathers,he sold it to me for $5 lol…Paint looked great too,he always washed/waxed it plus the silver color helped hide chips/dings from the roads back then..383 4bbl high performance,duel snorkle,3.23 sure grip car and chrome magnum 500’s,duel exhaust,h pipe all stock,beautiful car..Restored in 1990 and only 60,000 miles since then..Total 340,000 miles..

      Grannies ’69 Mercury Comet was sold my uncle 351 4v and also a 2 door,guess they owned decent cars at least ,not 4 door 6 shooters,at least cars with some style..

  5. Fred W

    “Previous owner had a hood ornament mounted, so hood should be repaired…”

    I’m guessing a set of steer horns?

    Like 2
  6. Johnny Cuda

    If this is a 1968, where are the side marker lights? If I am correct, Mopar products had the round side marker lights – orange on the fronts and red on the backs. My 68 Barracuda has them. I think I have seen Dodges and Plymouths with the round marker lights. Maybe Chrysler cars had the square ones for 1968? The pictures seem to show square or rectangular side marker lights on the rear fenders, but I do not see any side marker lights up front. Oh wait – I think I see them in the side of the front bumper.

    • Terry

      Side marker lights are in the front bumper and on the rear fender. Not all Mopars used round markers back then, the Chrysler had square marker lights.

      Like 3
  7. ReTired

    I was never a fan of vinyl “wood” in cars. It’s forgivable on a dashboard because it reminds you of furniture. But on the side of the car, it’s just a phony throwback to an authentic construction material. The fact that Chrysler thought to name it “Sportsgrain” is actually kind of amusing.

    Like 1
  8. STEVEN VISEK

    Reminds me of something we would have seen Mike Brady on the Brady Bunch drive!

    Like 3
  9. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac Diva Member

    My question is what’s with the passenger door window? Does it not go down? Minor, I know, but I’ve had cars where one window didn’t work and had a helluva time tracking down the problem.

    Like 1
  10. don

    Back about 1980 my buddy blew up yet another motor in his 66 Charger , he found a black Sportsgrain coupe for $100.00 bucks and we swapped the engine out . We had never seen one of these before ; we figured somebody put the woodgrain on themselves . The only reason I’m not kicking myself about it now is that the torsion bar mount on one side was completely rotted away and it would have been junked anyway

  11. Little_Cars

    The wood appliqué appears not to have faded equally. This and the amount of paint required when you go into it could be rather expensive.

  12. Del

    Seller deleted listing.

    Critics caught up to him 😁😂🤣

    Like 2
  13. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    Here we have a 60’s convertible that can be driven away, so why all the nit picking? For less than 5k a convertible cruiser, I don’t believe you could do much better. If you afford the gas it takes to drive one of these, but at least they did put a 25 gallon tank on them so you can go nearly 250 miles between fill ups.
    God bless America

    Like 5
    • theGasHole

      I was about to say the same thing. It’s a 60’s convertible, with a V8, and in decent shape (especially for the East Coast), and it’s under $5k. Yet almost everyone’s nit picking it. Ridiculous.

      Like 1
  14. Chebby Staff

    “Sportswood” is a much better name for it…..

    Like 6
  15. TimM

    I had a 72 Ford Torino wagon with the fake wood paneling on the side!! I took that car to multiple concerts loaded with 8 people!! To Unadilla motorcross races 4 or 5 times hit trash cans, shopping carts!! Beat it to hell!! My friends called it the Timex cause it took a Licking and kept on ticking!! This is definitely to nice of a car to do that kind of stuff with but I’m sure glad I saw it so I could remember my fake wood panel car!! Good times!!!

  16. C Body

    New Yorker taillights were just an easy swap to the Newport..

    You dont need to change the whole rear end of the car as some mentioned.

    My 70 Chrysler 300 had a NewPort grille,did that mean my car was a 70 Newport,NO !

    Like 1
  17. Steve

    Talk about a car no one else will have at your local meet-up!

  18. Bryan

    Mercury offered a di-noc paneled Park Lane in 1968….hardtop coupe or convertible. Needless to say this accent didn’t start a trend with manufacturers (with the exception of wagons).

    https://www.hemmings.com/blog/2012/02/06/hemmings-find-of-the-day-1968-mercury-park-lane/

    Like 1

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