440-Equipped: 1969 Chrysler 300 Convertible

When you look at this 1969 Chrysler 300 Convertible, it is hard to believe that a company capable of producing cars of this caliber could find itself on the brink of bankruptcy a decade later. History shows that Lee Iacocca dragged the company back from the brink, but those dramas were in the distant future as this classic rolled off the line. It is tidy and solid but would benefit from some cosmetic TLC. The seller listed it here on eBay in Bee Spring, Kentucky. Spirited bidding has pushed the price to $10,100, although it remains shy of the reserve.

This Chrysler makes a stunning first impression with shining Tuscan Bronze paint, a Tan power top, and no evidence of rust. It’s only when you look more closely that you begin to notice what appear to be a few paint flaws that a meticulous new owner would want to address. The worst is what looks to be a substantial scratch on the driver’s side front fender between the bumper and wheel arch. I initially thought it might be a reflection of some type, but since it remains consistent from different angles, I believe it is a scratch. There are also a few other chips and marks, but no dings or dents. A good paint shop should be able to achieve a decent color match with any repairs, although the new owner could choose to preserve the car untouched. The chrome is in good order, as is the trim. The grille features concealed headlamps, and everything looks fine there. There are no glass issues, and the factory wheels provide a classy finishing touch.

Chrysler developed a reputation for offering some of the industry’s most potent engines within its product range, and the 1969 300 Convertible was no exception. Lifting the hood reveals the original 440ci V8 that sends 350hp to the 8¾” rear end via a three-speed A-727 TorqueFlite transmission. With power steering and brakes, this should be an effortless cruiser that would lope along all day at freeway speeds. However, poke it with a sharp stick, and this 4,365lb beast would romp through the ¼-mile in a respectable 16.1 seconds. Although this classic features its original engine, it does wear a newer Holley carburetor with an electric choke. This should ensure it isn’t cold-blooded, improving the ownership experience. The seller says the Convertible runs and drives well, and they include an embedded video in their listing supporting the claim.

One aspect of this Chrysler that disappoints me is its interior presentation. It isn’t horrendous, because there’s no shredded upholstery or evidence of crumbling plastic. However, the driver’s seatcover is badly stretched, and it looks like the foam beneath is collapsing. If that’s the case, it requires attention, opening a possible can of worms. Replacing the front covers and foam would almost certainly produce a color inconsistency, meaning a meticulous owner would probably replace the same components on the rear seat. That exercise leaves no change from $1,200, but there’s more to consider. The carpet has faded oddly, and its fit in the back is pretty poor. The obvious solution would be to spend $225 on a replacement set, but all these little expenses begin to add up when we consider the car’s potential value. Beyond those flaws, the interior seems to have no further needs.

This 1969 Chrysler 300 Convertible leaves me torn. The new owner could use the car as it stands as an original survivor without feeling shame. However, the opportunity to lift its presentation to a higher level awaits its new owner. That begs the question of whether the expense is justified, and while my heart says it is, my head urges caution. A lot depends on where the seller has set their reserve and the final sale price if bidding passes the reserve. Although Chrysler only produced 1,933 examples of the 300 Convertible that year, that rarity doesn’t translate into a high potential value. A pristine car can sell for $35,000, although figures of around $25,000 for tidy examples are more common. If the bidding nudges $20,000, that won’t leave much money in the pot to address its paint and interior shortcomings before its financial viability becomes questionable. It is worth noting that it has already received twenty-five bids, suggesting people like what they see. Would you be willing to roll the dice, hoping that values climb?

Comments

  1. Connecticut mark

    Single exhaust for a 440?

    Like 8
    • Alfie

      Yes. Chrysler had two engines for every displacement. You could get either an anemic 383 or 440, or a firebreathing 383/440 depending on which what the dealer/buyer ordered. Chrysler HiPo 440s would be called a 440 TNT, which this engine isn’t.

      Like 3
      • MoparMike

        Base non HP 440 cars came factory with single exhaust. Anything that didn’t have the HP exhaust manifolds as this car has were single exhaust.

        Like 3
    • bone

      On a family car, yes. Muscle car, no

      Like 1
    • Jay McCarthy

      Yes that’s how they came 440 4bbl single exhaust

      Like 2
      • Dave

        All 440s got duals. 383 four barrel got duals, but two barrel got single. But this is. Fifty year old car so the exhaust probably isn’t original

    • Burt

      One really big pipe is all you need.

      Like 2
      • Chunk

        This is true. A 4″ single exhaust moves more air than a 2.5″ dual exhaust. I ran a 4″ single on a supercharged LS motor; it worked just fine.

  2. Dave

    A beauty to spend your time and a little money on. I’d say you’re spot on writer, it’s a 25k car. If the new owner holds on to it a while 30 could be had. Yeah, time for a better exhaust, and an afternoon putting new carpet in it.

    Like 9
  3. angliagt angliagt Member

    Clean,nice looking car,but why doesn’t the engine compartment
    look as nice?And would this have really come with Green carpeting
    from the factory?

    Like 9
    • Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

      Faded original saddle or camel dyes used in the composition of the carpet. Surprised the carpet isn’t orange.

      Like 1
  4. Big Bear 🇺🇸

    Well this is first for me. As I remember every time I seen a 300 2dr hardtop or convertible it was dual exhaust since the 300 where performance vehicle. And the seller didn’t show a vin number or fender tag. I have seen back in the day. Chrysler 2dr Newport with 300 nameplates put on by owner removing Newport nameplates. So this one I am on the fence with this. Unless other Mopar person can help me out on this. Thanks..🇺🇸🐻🇺🇸

    Like 2
    • Tony Primo

      Obviously one owner along the way was too cheap to replace the rusted out dual exhaust system with a new one. They probably paid about 60% as much for the single exhaust system. I had a classmate in college do this on his Oldsmobile 442. He got ragged constantly about it too.

      Like 8
      • Big Bear 🇺🇸

        That’s sad to have a nice muscle car and neuter it!!!😂

        Like 7
      • 19sixty5 Member

        So that would have been the elusive Oldsmobile 441?

        Like 26
      • Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac Diva Member

        @ Tony
        I’ve told you all before how cheap my father was. He did the same thing to his 1960 Cadillac, turned the duel exhaust into a single

    • JIM H

      Our one owner 300 has single pipes. I have seen a few with duels but I don’t think that is stock, most in our 300 club have single exhausts.

      Like 2
  5. Terrry

    Wheels are nice, but the wrong ones for this car.

    Like 2
    • bobhess bobhess Member

      The Featherlite open trailer we bought in the early ’80s had these wheels but without the centers or trim rings. They were new and nice looking but found out later they were not totally round. Was able to work around that with creative balancing but assumed they were in Featherlite’s hands because of it. Knew they were Chrysler products but never narrowed down what cars they were from. Anyone out there know?

      Like 1
    • arkie Member

      I don’t know, Terry. My mom (yes, my mom. Dad drove it on Sunday and when we vacationed.)had a 70 Newport with wheels like these. It also had the mighty TNT 440 under the hood. Talk about a Hoss! I get weepy thinking about it.

      Like 1
  6. sYc

    This is the problem when you describe the MAKE of the car and not the CONDITION in your writeup. No mention of significant paint damage, and no close-ups of the damage in the interest disclosure. Just buyer beware with this dealer!

    Like 8
  7. Don G

    Not a bad driver, and nice color combo. Not sure if the paint is original, possibly, given the minor paint scratches as expected for a car that is not a restored trailer queen.

  8. JohnfromSC

    Surprised no one else spotted the completely different color of the engine bay. Mopars were always painted the same color as body in the engine bay.

    Like 7
  9. Lathebiosas

    Big Sexy. Interior and lack of options a bit of a letdown….

  10. fran

    You do a video of an open road and you cannot get into it?????? It did not sound the best, maybe that’s why?

    At first glance, it looked cool, then that video….PASS!

  11. scaryhd scaryhd Member

    Wicked rare car- convertible with a “Vinyl roof”. (as noted in the description)

  12. Huntley Hennessy

    I might add, be prepared for 13mpg all day long. Heavy car, big motor. I had a lot of this vintage Mopars and they all got terrible fuel mileage with the big motors. Lots of power though.

    Like 2
  13. burt

    I think at the time Chrysler was trying to compete with GM and Ford by giving you the most value on a $ per pound basis. Left them struggling as gas prices spiked.

  14. MaxVitesse

    Looks great – from 50ft away – but bucket seats look knackered, carpet – yuk! Boot floor cover I wouldn’t let my dog sit on . . . plus checkout the rust and mud under the hood pic on owner’s web – beyond disgusting!

  15. Dale

    More red flags with the interior. The original ad states that the interior color is black. The front bucket seats should also have a highback, or at least have headrests…not the case here.

    • Dave

      Head rests were mid ’69

      • Dale

        I Googled it, and was shocked that headrest weren’t Federally mandated for all vehicles sold (manufactured?) until after January 1st, 1969. Most manufacturers complied to this ruling at the start of their 1969 model year. Who new?

        Like 1
      • Dale

        I Googled it, and was shocked that headrest weren’t Federally mandated for all vehicles sold (manufactured?) until after January 1st, 1969. Most manufacturers complied to this ruling at the start of their 1969 model year. Who knew?

    • Kyle Sanders

      Not true, these seats are identical to those in our 69. It was our mother’s car and bought new, and she never changed anything on it.

  16. charles goldman

    I’m actually surprised that nobody mentioned the size of this car. My father in law had one and I drove it all the time. It was tremendous! People used to say you could play football in the trunk! It was also bullet proof. My father in law’s car had 165,000 miles on it when it was stolen! Never much maintenance outside of expected replacements. I still miss that ocean liner!!

    Like 1
  17. Thomas

    Like the year and model, but never have seen a 440 ci with a single exhaust, also it appears on the lower 1/4 panels have had some body work done and not very well done.

    • MoparMike

      Base non HP 440s came from the factory with single exhaust.

      Like 1
  18. Keith D.

    Nice car, man those Chrysler’s were so Huuuge back in the day. My father owned a 73 Plymouth Fury III Huuuuge! This would look nicer with some 4-6 inch white striped tires and a console shift in my opinion. I would love to test that 440.

  19. Dale

    My dad bought an Anniversary model (50th?) Chrysler Newport Custom sedan in 1974. It was a two tone copper/white vinyl top number with a matching vinyl/cloth interior. The copper color was close to the one that’s for sale now. He said it got quite a few thumbs up when it was new. I was surprised because it was so big.

  20. jack

    Engine appears to be a 383 or 400.

    • MoparMike

      It’s a 440, you can see the square in front of the valley pan.

      Like 1

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