413/4-Speed: 1963 Chrysler 300J

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Some cars are uncompromising, whether they be luxury models or performance offerings. However, classics like this 1963 Chrysler 300J provide the best of both worlds, adding a dash of rarity to the mix. It presents well for its age but would need work to achieve perfection. If the new owner wished to retain it as a survivor, that is a seemingly valid approach. The 300J is listed here on eBay in Woodinville, Washington. Bidding sits below the reserve at $16,100, but time remains for those wishing to stake their claim on this classic.

The seller indicates a previous owner parked this Chrysler in a shed in the 1970s, but it is unclear when it emerged and was revived. The process didn’t include a cosmetic refresh, with the car still wearing its original Formal Black paint. It shines well for its age, suggesting the storage environment must have been close to ideal. The panels and paint have no visible flaws, but considering its age, an in-person inspection will undoubtedly unearth some imperfections. It won’t reveal rust issues, with this 300J as solid as it was the day it rolled off the line. When you add the overall condition of the trim and glass to the equation, it would be fair to class the car’s condition as an above-average survivor. If the winning bidder chooses to preserve this classic, it would still turn heads and attract positive comments wherever it goes.

It is hard to assess cars from the 1950s and 1960s without being attracted to their interiors. Manufacturers strived to provide stunning trim, with even the most basic models transforming every journey into a memorable experience. That impression was heightened when a buyer climbed the ladder to more exclusive models. Such is the case with the 300J. Its seats feature Red leather, with the remaining upholstered surfaces covered in matching vinyl. A wide console houses a practical storage bin, with lashings of bright trim to dazzle the eyes. It is worth noting that while the interior is serviceable, it has flaws and defects a perfectionist may wish to address. The leather on the driver’s seat shows deterioration and splits, and it is probably at a point where replacement would be the best option. The same appears true of the door trims, while there are also dash imperfections. The killer punch with these issues could be the cost because exclusivity almost invariably comes at a price. A pair of front seat covers retail for approximately $1,700, and the new owner would need to outlay a similar figure for a rear cover to endure a uniform appearance. The buyer may be able to reduce the cost with secondhand parts, but the relative rarity of these classics means it is unlikely. The seller indicates everything inside this beauty works as it should. That includes the lights, gauges, power front seats, power windows, AM/FM radio, and power antenna.

If it weren’t for the fact that it tips the scales at 4,170 lbs, the 1963 Chrysler 300J could have been one of the genuinely great muscle cars. Its 413ci V8 engine justifies that tag, churning out 390hp and 495 ft/lbs of torque. Chrysler offered buyers a three-speed manual or TorqueFlite transmission option, although this car now sports a four-speed manual. The extra cog should improve performance, meaning a ¼-mile ET of 14.7 seconds might be within reach. Power steering, 11″ power brakes, heavy-duty suspension, and a 3.23 Sure Grip rear end add to the performance and comfort. The seller indicates the car has a genuine 68,000 miles on the clock, although they don’t mention supporting documentation. They say a previous owner parked the vehicle in the 1970s, and as part of the recent revival, they rebuilt that incredible V8. The transmission received similar attention while they rounded out the process by bolting in a new clutch. This Chrysler is a turnkey classic ready to provide immediate enjoyment to the winning bidder. The seller says it has heaps of power and is fun to drive, two claims I find easily believable.

It has long been debated whether there is such a thing as automotive perfection and, if so, what form it would take. Rarity would be one possible consideration, while performance and luxury could be others. Beauty will weigh heavily on the minds of some, but that is where subjective opinion muddies the water. A car that may appeal to one person’s sense of style and taste could leave others feeling cold and unmoved. This 1963 Chrysler 300J exemplifies the challenges facing those defining perfection. With a production total of 400 cars, it is unquestionably rare. The drivetrain combination offers impressive performance, while the interior provides a comfortable and luxurious motoring experience. But is it beautiful? Does it stir emotions deep within your soul? Some will say yes, while others won’t. With twenty-two bids submitted, some people apparently find it hard to resist. Do you?

Auctions Ending Soon

Comments

  1. alphasudMember

    I have said before I don’t consider myself a Mopar guy but there are a few models that turn my crank and this is one. Totally favorite color combo with a cross ram 413 and a 4-speed! BarnFinds you are killing me here!

    Like 33
  2. Dan

    The 413 and 4 speed really make me want to row this boat… amazing specimen even if the trans is not original.

    Like 18
  3. Harry Bee

    A buyer should confirm that it’s an American 4-speed, since there were some earlier cars with a Pont-à-Mousson unit made in France, which might be impossible to find parts for.

    They came behind a flathead Ford in Matford trucks there.

    Like 11
    • Kim in Lanark

      Might not be that big of a problem. IIRC the hot Pontiacs of the era used the Pont a Mousson four speeds.

      Like 6
    • CASEY MARDEN

      63 used the Borg Warner T10…

      Like 1
  4. Big Bear 🇺🇸

    This is a super rare Mopar. It’s not short ram intake.. it’s a LONG ram intake. Made for top end speed. This mother will fly on the freeway. The problem with the long ram is vapor lock can happen on the carbs. They did make heat protection under the carbs. This motor is putting out over 400 HP. I wish this Mopar was close by. I would jump over to check it out. It’s amazing this is still together after all these years. This will win trophies at car shows.. after it’s all cleaned up. Because nobody else will have a car like this. Go Mopar!!! 🇺🇸🐻

    Like 26
    • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskeyMember

      Big Bear,

      Yes, this is the high performance cross ram manifolds, but they are short rams. There are 2 types of Short Ram manifolds. This one appears to be the correct 300J Short Rams, not the original long rams, and certainly not the early series short rams.

      From what I remember, the early versions were only available in conjunction with the 1960 Pont-a-mousson 4 speed, and only around 8 were made for Daytona and “Flying Mile” race cars. 4 are known to exist. These rare short rams can be identified by a cast-in groove on top of the runners that runs all the way down the runners, side to side.

      The later short versions were used on the 1963 300J as standard, optional on the 300K for ’64. They can be identified by the “flat” runners from the carb bases to midway over the engine [central grooves only on the last half of the runners], as on this car.

      The 300 club writes that it’s almost impossible to tell long from short based versions, in photographs of a complete & running engine, because the later production short ram manifolds are basically identical on the outside. To create the shorter version, a special set of sand casting plugs were used to cast shorter INTERNAL air passageways.

      For identifying ram induction manifolds I suggest visiting the 300 Club section on Ram Induction Manifolds; http://www.chrysler300club.com/uniq/allaboutrams/allaboutrams.html

      Like 5
      • Big Bear 🇺🇸

        Bill.. Thank you for the information. I when I was a teenager I work in the parts department for a Chrysler dealership. We had parts books from the 1960 and up. ( I wish I took them home). But the strict parts manager through them out in the garbage. 🤦 I remember pictures and part numbers on these intakes. The book called them Long Ram intakes. That’s why I talk about them in my comments. I am 64 and my mind get a little fuzzy. 😂

        Like 2
      • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskeyMember

        Big Bear,

        Until retiring in 2000, I ran a restoration/repair shop that specialized in the rarer Mopars including Imperials and 300s. It wasn’t until the 300 club published the definitive description on the different types of manifolds that even a shop like mine was finally able to know if the cars we were working on had the correct parts!

        As for parts, service, and sales managers, I can’t even remember how many of those guys would insist on throwing out manuals, brochures, even parts, that they no longer wanted. Starting in the late 1960s, I began making regular “dumpster diving” visits to dealerships to find stuff.

        Hi-lites of my diving efforts included a huge haul when the local Cadillac dealership moved to larger quarters in about 1980, and they tossed out obsolete parts & service manuals, showroom pieces of all descriptions, even full cases of old promotional models, stuff going back into the mid 1930s. I filled my Dodge B-200 van TWICE to the roof with Cadillac stuff I pulled out of the dumpster that night!

        Then again I have to thank all the managers & owners who saved everything. In 1973 I was driving my 1955 Packard 400 hardtop when I pulled into an ESSO station in Mt. Holly, NJ. As I waited while the tank filled, the station owner came out to chat. Turned out he was the former owner of the local Packard dealership.

        Of course I asked him if he still had anything pertaining to Packard, and he said yes. When the place closed about 15 years earlier he had ALL the remaining parts, showroom items, sales & service records, signs, etc., moved to his home. Small parts & paper items were put in the dry basement of their Victorian mansion, and the larger items were stuck out back in the carriage house. The house was only a block away, so I treated him to a short ride in my Packard.

        As we went down the stairs into the basement, he said to wait as he tugged on all the strings to turn on the light bulbs. Slowly, as each bulb came on, I began to realize the place was filled with all the original parts shelves, now filled to the brim with Packard stuff. Even some of the aisles were filled with boxes of Packard parts.

        I asked him how much he wanted for all of it, as I was mentally trying to figure out how I was going to pay for it all. His reply was a welcome relief; “I won’t take anything less than $125.” I wrote him a check before I even went exploring everything there.

        I filled the big trunk with lots of rare chrome pieces and accessories, then filled the back seat before filling the right front seat & footwell. It’s a good thing the car was a ‘Torsion-Level” suspension vehicle, because I had probably a 1/4 ton of goodies as I headed south, stopping at a friend’s home in Baltimore, where I sold him about $500 in parts!

        Like 5
    • CASEY MARDEN

      I feel for ya, There was a non letter series here in Ocala Florida not long ago, 413 4 speed without the long rams and it was killing me I didn’t have a place to put it lol, Black with the tan interior and no console just the jump seat, 4 speed with the console is the rarest of the rare..

      Like 2
    • Robert Murphy

      It is in fact the short Ram intake as evidenced by the smooth top of the runners. The long Rams were used on the 60-61 models. The J and K of 64 came with these short Ram intakes (not to be confused with the “Cross Ram” intakes used on the Dodge and Plymouth Max Wedge engines of 62-64

      Like 3
  5. Jack M.

    I had to go to the eBay listing to see the shifter. I can’t believe that it came from the factory beside the console!

    Like 14
    • ImpalaSS

      I can’t believe that’s a factory installation either. Looks like somebodys half ass attempt at installing a 4-speed in the laziest way possible. A full console and the shifter sits to the left of it mounted on the floor directly in the way of the drivers leg. Please don’t tell me this was an original Chrysler design.

      Like 13
      • CASEY MARDEN

        Yes that is factory, not the first one I’ve seen, Chrysler didn’t have the 4 speed in the Console until 65 when they shared the same style console as the mid size B body and its really no closer to the leg than any other 4 speed I’ve had Mopar or GM without a console…

        Like 3
  6. Big Bear 🇺🇸

    I forgot to add the exhaust system was unique. Some had factory dump openings. They had a cover with 4 bolts I believe. I know the Max Wedge 2 426 had the elephant ears. Big exhaust manifolds and those opening. 413 was a bad a** motor in its own right. Again I wish it was close to me. So darn rare! 😄

    Like 9
  7. Karl

    Any 300 experts out there???
    I believe the manual transmission cars were do rare they didn’t have a special console for them.

    Like 4
    • Patrick Monaghan

      I would refer this to The International Chrysler 300 Club. There collocative knowledge is definitive in matter like this.

      Like 5
    • CASEY MARDEN

      You are correct, the 1960 300s had to have the factory console modified, they didn’t have a 4 speed console until 65..

      Like 2
  8. Kenneth Carney

    This car has me written all over it! I
    think the tranny is original to the car.
    Could be a pont a musson or a 4-speed borrowed from the Dodge truck line. That would be a logical
    assumption if Chrysler was wanting to offer a 4-speed tranny made in house. And yes, you could get that
    engine in a Dodge truck mated to a
    Such a gearbox. If it’s the truck box,
    it’ll be tough enough to take what the
    413 can dish out and be more reliable
    than a European unit would be. I had
    a teacher in highschool that had a K
    model and man was it nice! Rode with her to a JA expo in Peoria in ’71.
    That car really flew! Got there in less
    than half an hour. She and her husband bought a 300V concept car
    off a used car and we’re trying to restore it. Haven’t seen her or the car
    in 50 years. Makes me wonder if they
    did restore it.

    Like 2
    • tiger66

      Doubtful the tranny is original to the car. Chrysler didn’t offer the 4 speed on the ’63s. It was either the standard TorqueFlite automatic or an optional 3-speed manual. The 4-speed manual was offered on the ’64s as an option. The French 4-speed manual was only on the ’60 300Fs and then only on the Gran Turismo race cars of which 8 were built. Chrysler 300 Club info says only 7 ’63s were built with the 3-speed manual and does not list a 4 speed as an option.

      Like 5
      • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskeyMember

        tiger66,

        I don’t have any info on how many other Chrysler products were equipped with the French transmission, but I did find [and buy] a 1960 New Yorker wagon with the 4-speed, white with blue leather interior. That car was equipped with literally every possible option including the 413 [single 4 bbl carb], dual A/C, SWIVEL bucket seats — on a 1960 no less! And it had the Pont-a-mousson floor shift gearbox. The car had a class III tow hitch welded and bolted onto the rear frame horns.

        I tried to buy the car for several years, and was only able to by it from the son of the original owner on the old man’s demise. The son said his dad used the wagon to tow a large boat to/from his home, about 50 miles to the Chesapeake bay.

        It wasn’t until after I parted the car out years later [due to severe rust], that I began to wonder how the guy managed to order the car with those strange options. Never did find out. I had planned on using the 4-speed and related mechanical pieces to convert my 1961 Facel-Vega Excellence [#101] from Torqueflite, but I sold that car, and ended up selling the “conversion kit” as well to a different buyer, from an ad I put in HMN. I suspect the buyer probably did a stickshift conversion to a 300F.

        Like 3
    • CASEY MARDEN

      63 Used the Borg warner T10 like the Max wedge cars in 63..

      Like 1
  9. That Guy

    1963 was the lowest production year for the 300 letter cars by a significant margin, and about a tenth of the similar 1964 model. This is a rare car. I can’t comment on the originality or otherwise of the 4-speed but even if it’s a later addition this is a seriously desirable machine.

    Like 4
  10. Patrick Monaghan

    I would refer this to The International Chrysler 300 Club. Their collocative knowledge is definitive in matter like this.

    Like 3
  11. John R. Kraut

    Omg! What a find! Would love to row that shifter! Torque monster. Plus leather seats! Love this old Mopar.

    Like 5
  12. Ctheman

    I love this car, especially what resides under the hood! That being said, there is something off on the interior; the dash seems to have the automatic transmission push buttons and the console has what appears to be an automatic shift console top plate none of which matches a side tunnel 4 speed set up sitting next to a full console? I absolutely love the ‘63-64 body style!

    Like 5
  13. Karl

    The buttons are for the heater.
    That empty space on the left is where the auto trans buttons would be if so equiped.

    Like 5
  14. Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskeyMember

    I did some research and was quite surprised to discover this car’s shifter is in the correct position, NEXT to the console! Here’s a photo of a ’64 300K showing the same shifter & location with a black interior. It wasn’t until the 1965’s wider console allowed the shifter mechanism to be re-located.

    Like 16
    • Grant

      Look closer at the dash. Looks a lot like a push button automatic. Some added a pedal and a shifter in my opinion.

      Like 2
      • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskeyMember

        Grant,

        Check out the photos on the original ad, a close-up view of the left side dash panels shows the blanking panel where the Torqueflite buttons would have been located.

        Like 6
    • Grant

      No, then again, maybe you are correct. An auto should usually be to the left of the steering wheel for a push button auto. Maybe that is part of the ventilating system to the right of it in your picture.

      Like 2
      • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskeyMember

        Grant, Right you are! That’s the heating system control panel.

        Like 5
  15. LandYacht

    Stunning!!, If I had both the money and garage space, more so the money, I’ll make the room, this would be mine. 4 speed, power windows, seat, jet black, long ram so bad a$$. I absolutely love cars you will not see at every car show and this is certainly one of them. Good luck new owner, I’m jealous.

    Like 4
  16. Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskeyMember

    I’ve owned and worked on many Chrysler 300 cars including letter series versions, but all were automatics. So I started digging into the facts, and what I’ve discovered was very interesting and unexpected.

    As mentioned above, the 4-speed Pont-a-mousson gearbox was available only on the ’60 300F cars, and damn few were made.

    For all the other Chrysler cars with the 413 or 426 engines, including the 300 letter series THROUGH 1963, there were 2 manual gearbox options; the standard 3 speed, or the heavy duty 3 speed. The Borg-Warner T-10 was available only on the smaller engines. Every reputable source I’ve checked indicates NO 413 or 426 engines could be ordered with a 4-speed until the introduction of the Chrysler [New Process Gear] A833 4-speed for the 1964 model year.

    The Pont-a-mousson gearbox requires a large shifter box that intrudes into the driver’s foot area. This car doesn’t have that carpeted “bump out”. So I suspect, assuming this car has a MoPaR 4-speed transmission, it’s a 1964 or newer A833 gearbox that replaced a 3-speed manual.

    However there is something else to consider on this car; The main dashboard panels from the glove box door across to the main instrument panel are a darker red color compared to the “non push-button transmission” plain panel on the left side of the instruments. This suggests that panel came out of a different car and the red painted section has faded.

    Based on those 2 situations, it is my opinion as a court-certified forensic mechanic and the owner of a restoration shop specializing in older Chryslers until I retired, this car likely came from the factory with a Torqueflite 3-speed automatic, and has been retrofitted with a 1964 A833 transmission, using the correct parts.

    Not that the results are wrong, I think the conversion was very well done, and I would love to own it if I wasn’t too old and sick.

    Like 13
  17. Maggy

    I’ve never heard of that French 4 speed nor seen a floor mounted trans shifter like this to the left of the console from the factory. I learned something today and I’ve been around old cars my whole life.I was always a 65-70 Chevy b body and chevelle collanade guy but this car is freaking awesome.I’d love to test drive this puppy! REALLY cool car. Glwts.

    Like 6
  18. Mike in Georgia

    There’s something missing in the engine bay. No AC compressor! It’s still a beautiful car. I’m currently working on my 64 New Yorker. I just picked up the front bumper from a chrome shop in Atlanta, GA. It has 132K original miles and a 413 that purrs when idling. Someone is really going to enjoy this 300.

    Like 2
  19. David Zornig

    Brochure for ’63 shows 3 speed manual.
    The 4 speed manual began in ’64.
    Not to say changed weren’t made before production.

    Like 4
    • CASEY MARDEN

      Yes I’ve seen a lot of combinations that supposedly weren’t offered by the factory especially in Mopar’s but apparently could be special ordered if you had the right connections! There are few 4 door Hemi cars that have popped up and 1966 426 street wedge cars that have surfaced..

      Like 2
  20. Nevada1/2rack NevadahalfrackMember

    SOLD-42 bidders, one of them bought it for $35,000-that lucky dog…

    Like 1
  21. Marc Miller

    I have a 63 300 convertible. Red with same red interior. 383 ci V8 with push button auto trans.
    Also has a square steering wheel.
    How rare is it and is it considered a letter car?
    Marc Miller. Spokane Wn.

    Like 1
  22. Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskeyMember

    Marc,

    There were 7 different types of Chrysler 300 cars built in the 1963 model year: No 300J convertibles were built.

    Body: Production numbers:
    300J [Letter series] 2-door hardtop. 400
    300 2-door Hardtop. 9023
    300 Convertible. 1535
    300 Pacesetter Convertible 1861
    300 Pacesetter hardtop. 306
    300 4-door sedan. 1625
    300 4-door hardtop. 9915

    Assuming your car was not painted blue from the factory [and doesn’t have the Indy 500 pacesetter markings], you have the standard 300 convertible. I had one too, back in the 1980s, White with red interior. They made 1535 convertibles, so yes, they’ve always been hard to find when compared to Ford, GM and lesser MoPaR brands.

    Above figures courtesy of: https://www.automobile-catalog.com/production/chrysler/full-size_chrysler_4gen.html#gsc.tab=0

    Like 1

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