30k Original Miles: 1965 Chrysler Newport Convertible

It isn’t clear why this 1965 Chrysler Newport Convertible was parked, but it appears that it has been sitting idle for at least 15-years. It doesn’t appear that this was a car that had seen a lot of use during its life. The odometer is showing 30,000 miles, and the owner does state that this mileage is genuine. It will require a full restoration, but it appears that it possesses strong bones. It is also virtually complete and comes with a stash of additional parts. The Newport is located in Northampton, Massachusetts, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has reached a mere $2,075 in what is a No Reserve auction.

The Chrysler’s Black paint is looking tired after all of these years, and it also isn’t original. The tag indicates that this is a car that started its life wearing Regal Gold, so it has undergone a color change at some point. Below that paint, the news appears to be quite promising. The owner describes the floors as being crispy, but that they are intact. The photos that he supplies would seem to verify this, and I believe that the buyer won’t be facing any major metalwork with the floors or frame. The panels themselves look quite good, although there are a few rust spots visible in the lower region. The rockers are said to require work, while it appears that the same is true of the lower rear quarter panel on the driver’s side. That seems to be the full extent of the rust, although several external chrome items are showing some visible corrosion. The rest of the trim appears to be okay, while there are no apparent problems with the glass. The frame for the power top is present, although the top itself is pretty shredded. That will need to be replaced, but sourcing these is pretty easy. Prices generally start at around $350, and they will rise according to the type of material and rear window that the buyer wants.

Under the hood of the Newport is a 383ci V8, backed by a 3-speed TorqueFlite transmission. The vehicle also features power steering and power brakes. This is the entry-level 383, which means that in its prime, there would have been 270hp at the driver’s disposal. The first thing that I noticed when I saw this photo was the vast expanses of red paint. That isn’t original, and the workmanship is pretty average. The owner states that the Chrysler ran when it was parked, but that this was at least 15-years-ago. The engine does turn freely, but no attempt has been made to coax it back to life. This probably isn’t a bad thing, because it will require a thorough check before risking hitting the starter. Also, the fuel is almost certainly going to be well past its best. That means that the system will require a full flush before things progress too far. These are a robust old engine, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it coughed into life with little effort and that fresh fuel. Looking around the engine bay does reveal the single item that is missing from the Chrysler. The radiator is gone, but otherwise, this car is complete. The owner states that there is a pile of additional parts sitting in the trunk that will be included in the sale. Frustratingly, he doesn’t tell us what these parts are.

The owner of the Newport is pretty candid about the fact that the interior of the vehicle will need to be refurbished. The photos that he supplies aren’t the greatest, but they seem to support this claim. If the Chrysler has been sitting in a barn for 15-years, it would appear that it has done so without the benefit of a top protecting the interior. That means that there has been nothing to stop dust and dirt from entering the vehicle or preventing vermin from calling this car home. The original Black and Gold seat upholstery looks tired, as does the dash pad. We get brief glimpses of some items such as the rear seat trims and door trims, and they show some promise. Before I got too carried away ordering parts, I would be inclined to give everything a thorough clean first. I suspect that there might be some parts that could be salvaged. I would also be undertaking a careful inspection for any signs of rodent damage. If the car is going to be dismantled for restoration, that is an excellent opportunity to check to make sure that Stuart Little and his friends haven’t been munching on the wiring. Since an interior restoration is going to almost certainly require the replacement of the seat covers, seat foam, and the carpet, rodent damage in these areas shouldn’t be a problem.

In his listing, the owner of this 1965 Newport Convertible quotes the NADA valuations as a guide, and it seems that this is one time when NADA isn’t far off the mark. It is possible to find some very respectable examples of the ’65 Convertible for around $15,000, but it takes an exceptional car to push beyond the $20,000 mark. That means that these are not what you would call a “big ticket” classic. It also means that a bit of thought and careful planning would need to go into the vehicle’s restoration. It would be very easy to get carried away with this project and then discover once it is complete that the cost of the restoration has been far higher than the car’s potential value. I have seen quite a few people over-capitalize on a restoration, and they don’t feel the real pain of this mistake until they choose to sell their pride and joy. However, this does appear to be a sound classic that could potentially be restored in a home workshop. Labor costs can be a killer in any restoration because they can accumulate pretty quickly and quietly. If those can be minimized, then that is a huge bonus. That means that as a DIY project in a home workshop, this might be worth serious consideration.

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  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Don’t see a lot of these running around. There isn’t anything “average” about that red paint job. Give me a while and I’ll think of a word for it.

    Like 12
    • Poppy

      If by “average” he means “hideous,” then I am in full agreement with Adam.

      Like 6
  2. Rex Kahrs Member

    Having re-commissioned one of these last year, a ’67 hardtop, I can tell you that this car is a fright pig.

  3. Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

    This Chrysler is not only as big as a whale, it’s the same color as the whale.

    Like 5
  4. Will Fox

    Whoever is serious about buying this `65 had better check it out close. I think the 30K “claimed” miles are actually 130K. You don’t repaint a low-mile car in some off-color like that. Why repaint it at all? Also, notice we don’t see the interior; just a so-so shot of the dash. I bet if we saw the vinyl seats they may be a bit more tell-tale. Coveat Emptor folks…..

    Like 12
    • Rick

      I thought it was Corinthian Leather.

      Like 1
      • Zapp

        That was introduced on the ’74 Imperial LeBaron.

        Like 1
      • DMcG

        You are thinking Ricardo Montabon and the 75 Cordoba

  5. Dave

    If you have the time, increments of cash, and space to work on this one, A diy’er could not go wrong. Tow it home, and have a blast.

    Like 6
  6. Arby

    Only things missing are an outboard and a rudder.

    Like 3
  7. Royal

    Tear it all down and rebuild it as an EV. Then it would be a head Turner and one of a kind. Since they messed up the color scheme, I’d redo it all in a shade of blue with gray interior.

    Like 3
  8. Kenneth Carney

    My Uncle had a ’66 hardtop version of
    this car and boy did I love it! It was
    either bronze or copper with a black vinyl
    roof and interior. It too had a 383 and
    a Torqueflight tranny. Though his, I think, was more powerful at 325 HP.
    Unc’ was a semi pro bowler who needed
    a large comfortable car as he would need to travel a lot to be in all those big
    bowling tournaments that you saw on TV back then. He racked up 140K+miles
    before he traded it for a god awful Mazda RX2 wagon that spent more time
    in the shop than it did in his driveway. I
    tried my best to buy his Newport from
    him but to no avail. Guess that’s why I
    want this car so much. But I don’t think
    the management of our complex would
    like it.

    Like 1
  9. Ben T.Spanner

    Why would a car with 30.000 miles have the engine bay slathered in cheap red paint and no prep? Nasty nasty nasty

    Like 6
  10. Maestro1 Member

    I don’t believe the cars description in relation to its miles. But it’s in Northampton Mass, so it’s possible that this kind of attrition would occur
    if the car is not stored properly. I have 2 mid 60s Chryslers, I always thought they were one of the best things the Company ever did. Someone buy this and fix it over time. You won’t be disappointed.

    Like 4
  11. George Mattar

    30,000 hard miles. I agree with the comments here. 130,000 miles. And what idiot ran amok with red Krylon. Stupid. Pass.

    Like 3
  12. Kenn

    You got it right Dave. Glad to see someone else on this site feels it isn’t always necessary to buy simply for the sake of flipping. And a big surprise: No one mentioned “numbers matching”!!! Mileage was of course doubted, and rightfully so. I’ve put over 200,000 miles on a few cars and never repainted them nor needed to. And I’ve lived in both Michigan and Florida.

    Like 2
  13. Don

    I worked on same car with same engine at my shop in 1970 .
    Old lady drove it only had 17k miles.
    Top was never down.
    I took it out to blow out the carbon on x-way… After 80mph engine quit lol
    Towed to shop. Engine spun over with no compression lol…waited 6 hrs it started right up… Lol
    Airated the oil colapsed the lifters.
    Few hours rest it was fine.
    Thought i had to buy a engine for customer..
    Land yaht….old memories never die.

    Like 5
    • That Guy

      Aerated the oil? That’s a new one on me. How the heck does that even happen?

      Like 1
      • Don

        High rpm with certain engines without windage trays in the oil pan.
        Will airate the oil in some cases.. Like putting oxygen into fish tank water…same principal..usually happens with a light weight engine oil..high rev.. No load on engine

      • MICHAEL

        What Don said. The 383’s in standard form had no windage trays in the crankcase so oil frothed up like it was in a blender. I had a 1968 Roadrunner and it had a windage tray. Never had that problem even when drag racing.


    Love me some land yachts.
    The whole Mopar “fuselage” design aesthetic was just spot on for the era.
    Totally worth a restomod effort.

    Like 2
  15. ken tilly UK

    That’s a good looking convertible that deserves a resto.

    Like 2
  16. That Guy

    Someone really went overboard with the red paint. The closeups of the instrument panel show red paint apparently brushed onto the steering column, with some getting on the chrome.

    I think this car is a good candidate for restomodding.

    Like 1
    • fred nelson

      yep, a hemi crate engine, new trans, update the suspension, brakes – keep the exterior smooth – won’t win drag races, but sure will motivate itself down the highway – at better than stock MPG. Plenty of trunk space for the trophies !

  17. Don

    High rpm with certain engines without windage trays in the oil pan.
    A non high perf. engine.

    Will airate the oil in some cases.. Like putting oxygen into fish tank water…same principal..
    Easy to collapse a hydraulic lifter.
    usually happens with a light weight engine oil..high rev.. No load on engine

  18. Bill McCoskey

    Looking at the photo showing the top well area, it appears the top cover remains are red, and the interior was also red, but the rear side panels, door panels, and back seat are now painted black. It’s likely the front seat was also painted black. Once the vinyl interior parts have been painted, it will never look right, and will require a total interior replacement.

    When new, this was a very attractive car; light gold exterior with red interior.

  19. DMcG

    Really tugs my heartstrings, since my Dad bought a 65 Newport when I was six. Beautiful car. But that is no 30,000 mile creampuff right there. It’s rolled over at least once, and there is a ton of work awaiting the buyer to get it back anywhere close to stock. If the goal is just a fun cruiser, that might be different, but undoing all that red underhood will be a task and a half.

    Like 1
  20. TimM

    Did the red rattle can explode under the hood or what??? That just looks ridiculous but it made me laugh!!!

    Like 1

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