1955 Chrysler C300: Restored The Right Way


It’s not often you find cars on eBay with the words “patina” in the ad and have it not mean some sort of rat rod special. This 1955 Chrysler C300 here on eBay has 6 bids with the reserve unmet and appears to have been in the hands of a sensible owner. The interior has been restored to as-new condition and multiple components have been rebuilt – from the engine and transmission down to the speedometer and the radio. The seller kept the paint intact because of the car’s overall originality, and because repainting might have covered up or otherwise eliminated factory stampings that still appear throughout the car. The rust is limited to the surface only and no other corrosion is said to exist. The way this seller has updated this car rubs me the right way, as I’m an advocate of making the interior an enjoyable place to be before worrying about any tattiness on the outside. Plus, original paint is nice to see and is sure to start a conversation wherever it goes. Where should the bidding end up for such an original car?


  1. Bobsmyuncle

    I have been admiring these for a while now and poured over a couple at the Chrysler Employee Motor Association show two weekends ago.

    This really does hit all the sweet spots, very desirable!

  2. charles hefner

    “full jeweled”

  3. SoCal Car Guy

    i’m gonna piss off a few people, but…that would be a gorgeous car with a fresh paint job. I just don’t appreciate rust as a finish on an otherwise nice car. If a person is so enamored of a right out of the shed look, then don’t clean the windows, don’t vacuum out the mouse droppings and spiderwebs. I like “patina” as well as anyone, but to me “patina” is a well-kept, maybe slightly worn soft glow, not paint baked away to bare and/or rusted metal. That’s just neglect.

    I’ve owned and loved a couple of well-maintained “virgins,” 30-plus year old cars with original interiors, paint, just about everything. If one of those cars’ finish had reached the point where primer or bare metal was showing I would care enough for the car and maintaining it to give it a fresh paint job, with as-close-as-possible-to-original materials, applied with era-correct equipment.

    • Oldstuff 1941

      I guess I’m another one who would make a few cringe too SoCal Car Guy…. Like you, my version of ‘Patina’ is a well worn and faded original paint,…even with some well blended touch up,… not rust and primer….I would opt for the New paint in an original type or as close as possible, with preserving all areas of original markings and such. This car deserves that much.

    • Barry T

      I agree with you about the rust. I fail to see what is attractive about it. Patina is just a fancy word for rust. Remember rust never sleeps.

    • Ed P

      I agree!! Rust is rust, get rid of it before it eats the car. 300’s were top of the line executive hot rods and were beautiful cars. A new paint job would make this car look new again and that is how I like them.

  4. packrat

    This one would look nice with a fresh paint job, because of the trim. I have an old Plymouth that I would keep in this original condition, but only because the chrome/aluminum trim is all rusted/sun frosted. That is the biggest economic barrier to full restoration because of the high cost of complying with EPA regs. I bet there are anodizers and chrome platers right across the Mexico border making a nice living for that very reason–but how would you know which one would do the most professional job? This one, OTOH, looks nice enough to do the full monty on.

  5. Diamond Jim

    Notice he states 32,443 miles in the auction listing but the service sticker shows service to the automatic transmission and universal joints at 50,000 next to a battery DATE OF 5/59.

    No way there are only 32K miles on it.

    But is IS still a 300!

  6. RayT Member

    I’m with SoCal Car Guy! To me, “elegant,” “rust” and “primer” do not belong in the same sentence. Since the 300 is definitely an elegant piece, you have to omit the other two words….

    Originality is wonderful, but in my mind this is the kind of design that really perks up when shined up. If the factory chalk marks and remains of stickers are important — I’m undecided about that — then keep the spray gun away from the engine bay and door jambs.

    Finally, a minor pet peeve: what’s all this about “California black plates?” On a car built when those plates were new (’63, I believe, though I could be off a year or two), they’d have value. For a ’55, though, the plates neither add nor detract. Yeah, I’m old. I expect to soon see “CA blue plates” as a feature!

  7. DENIS

    I have loved those cars since the first time I laid eyes on ’em,,,,even had several models of these beauties. I’m not a MOPAR fan but this is IT. Patina does not apply here, just gleaming black finish(these also look amazing in white). I would own one-Price is a bit chesty but I’ve seen fine examples bring lotsa $$. Don’t mention to my friends that I admired a Chrysler-I have an image to protect.

  8. ClassicCarFan

    no, sorry….I’ve got to throw my vote in with SoCal Car Guy here. I do see the unique value in a true survivor car – one which has never been restored and has original paint, but once that original paint is clearly deteriorated to the point of substantial surface rust then it is time to re-paint it.

    it would almost make more sense if the whole car was being driven around in scruffy “just about enough to get it safely usable” state. I do kind of get the whole “rat rod” concept – but with the owner having gone to the trouble of restoring interiror, and all mechanicals, leaving just the outside so shabby seems plain daft to me? but hey, it’s a free country.

    As for the car itself…. I think these old Chrysler 300s are cool. Crazy power for the time – in a pretty classy looking body. A real genetlman’s muscle car. I generally do not like the rather over-wrought stying of most mid 50s Detroit cars (much prefer the cleaner lines of the 1960s) but these cars have a really tidy look to them. You can easily understand why these series of cars are such desirable and collectible classics today. …shame they are a bit out of my price range now as a hobby car.

  9. Chris

    Add me to the list of new paint for her. This classy lady deserves to shine not rust.

  10. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Mopar guy here and yes it’s been for sale before – nice car but a #4 car is how much? Building a clone 56 300 since the real deals are getting out of reach – to join my real deal 56 D500 Dodge and 56 Fury….see a pattern….?

  11. grant

    I’ll say again, it isn’t “patina” its “rust.” The word patina makes me roll my eyes as much as “pet parent” does. It’s “only” surface rust FOR NOW, UNTIL IT RUSTS THROUGH…. RUST DOESN’T STOP. Please, someone buy this and finish the nice resto work the prior owner started.

  12. John C Cargill

    Screw that patina crap. Paint it!

  13. Ed P

    Paint it before we discover how long it will take to rust thru.

  14. John H

    I would also view this car with caution. Virtually all work was “dress up” . I grew up with a ’55 New Yorker Deluxe St Regis and learned to drive on that car. The 331 hemi’s are great but suffer from poor intake manifold design which causes the two cylinders closest to the firewall to run leaner than the rest. Abovet 70K miles they often burn a hole through a piston. Check spark plugs and compression very carefully before you get excited on this one.

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