Affordable Fins: 1961 Chrysler Newport

Early 1960’s styling on Mopars can be described in many ways, but no matter your opinion, their styling was interesting none the less. Featuring cool styling, two doors, two big fins, and a V8, this classic Mopar is a driver looking for a new home. Needing some minor work, this Chrysler has all the unique style, and flair anyone could ask for. With just 2 days remaining, this unique beauty has had no bids for the opening price of $5,500! Take a look at this one here on eBay out of Denver, Colorado.

The 361 cubic inch V8 has been upgraded from a 2 barrel carb to a 4 barrel carb set up. Lacking some details, this car is described as running, so I would assume it runs without issue. The automatic transmission leaks fluid from time to time, and the seller suspects that the seals are dried out requiring a transmission rebuild.

From a far the interior isn’t too shabby, and even up close it’s not too bad either. A major cleaning and detailing job would help tremendously on this largely surviving interior. The carpet is long gone, but that does leave the opportunity to inspect the floors. Surface rust is present, and the passenger side looks a little crispy in one spot where there may be a rotted area. The dash and steering wheel are a bit dingy, and the dash pad is burned up fairly well from sun exposure. This interior could certainly be revived to offer a nicer feel and appearance to this cool classic.

With fins like this for the fraction of the cost of a Cadillac how can you lose? The exterior seems to be wearing factory paint, and thankfully rust appears nonexistent. The passenger side of the car suffered a long scrape where body filler was used to fill the void. The rockers and quarters look rock solid, and the only thing that stands out other than the aforementioned items is the failing paint on the roof. Now there could be some rust hidden in this car as the entire trunk floor has been replaced by the current owner due to its horrid condition. The trunk now is rock solid and beautiful as anyone would hope for. The overall level of completeness and cool styling is really a selling point to me on this surviving ready to drive Mopar. Would you bite on this Newport for the opening bid price?


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  1. Josh_T

    My first automobile when I was 16 was a 1961 New Yorker, Town and Country, 9 passenger station wagon. My friends dubbed it Eco-One and we drove the wheels off of it. I would take the cute neighbor girl to school every day of our sophomore year. The master cylinder was thirsty, rear slaves leaked constantly and I couldn’t get the drums off. One morning, I pushed the R button and was surprised to find I had zero brakes. I slammed it into drive panic style and slammed into the gnarly bumper of my Dads 62 Dodge pickup. It ripped the whole right side of the car up. I literally lost it. Devastated at my inability to repair the brakes and significant body damage, I sold it for $500.
    Over the next several years I picked up (2) 61 Newports, and a 61 New Yorker sedan. Lots of great memories in these old boats!

    • Miguel

      Not being able to fix the brakes is not a reason to sell the car. You still had the fronts.

      I speak from experience.

      I bought my 1963 Fury in 1982 and just this year was able to fix the rear brakes.

      This year is the first time the car will have 4 wheel braking since 1977 when the car was parked before I bought her.

      My issue was pulling the rear drums as well, but with enough elbow grease and a good puller, they do come off.

      I also had a 1962 New Yorker wagon. I am sorry I sold it to be sent to Sweden. I wish I had that one back. Dual A/C and all.

    • Charles G Van De Sampel

      Just like you I started out in my dad’s 1959 Fury, moved to mom’s 1960 Dodge Matador ( the design used for the Darts of the same year with a few changes), then he went out and purchased our first of 3 1961 Newport’s. 2-4 doors and 1-2 door. I feel your frustration of not being able to remove the rear drums. Being a tapered axle with a key way, isn’t that easy the first time around. And then you have the issue of the dual cam adjusters in the back. If they were frozen in place, you could use a torch to break them loose, but then you stood the chance of damaging the backing plate that held them.

      This was the first car that i learned brakes, trans repair and swap (when you could still get a trans from the local boneyard for $75 bucks). Learned how to also rebuild the U-joints and replace the parking brake assy. Also learned how to rebuild the dash mounted turn signal switch. Those three Newport’s taught me quite alot.

      I know for a fact that up until 1975, you were still able to purchase the rear taillight assemblies (brand new and in the box) for an astronomical price of $23 each. Working for the Dodge / Chrysler dealership in the town 10 miles from my airbase on my days off gave me many options to garnish parts for these vehicles and many others in our all Mopar family.

      I still have some trim pieces to one of them in my back shed. If I could get this one past my wife, it would definitely be in my garage. But with upgrades. Like you I too suffered a loss of brakes but due to too much braking and massive heat buildup. So an all around disc setup would be in mind. With parts getting harder to find for the older push-button 727’s, a later model with a B&M or TransGo kit installed would be found even if it meant going to a floor mounted shifter from a Dodge or Plymouth . The rearend would be replaced also.

      Yep. If I had the funds and a place to hide it from the wife, I’d bust my ass to go get her.

  2. Sam Sharp

    Uhhh YEAHHH! I missed a few wagons. Sold too many. There are some high end dealers selling Chizzlers around here that are adamant that they know what they’re talking about. A 1958 Saratoga with a 331 HEMI in it. Yeah right. Wrong cubes and engine. Besides, it was a lousy installation- cut and welded oil pan etc.

    With this car there’s no doubt about her authenticity. However, you could put a 426 Hemi crate in it and sell it for $130,000. Tell ’em it came that way from the factory. Works for some ‘dealers.’

    • Miguel

      I passed on one of these one time because it had a stick on the floor and I wanted the push button auto.

      What a stupid decision that was.

      • Kevin W

        One of these with a floor shift? I don’t think so.

  3. Fred W.

    Someone is missing the “boat” on this one.

    • John D.

      A floor shifter was available on the lower model Chryslers. Remember, they were just perfecting automatics in the Fifties. We had a customer report seeing a 65 Newport standard, we had sold, in Germany in the Eighties.

      • Kevin W

        Chrysler automatics were either push-button or column shift. The only floor shift I’ve ever seen or heard of is the 1960 300F with the ultra rare Italian 4-speed.

        Like 1
  4. stillrunners lawrence Member

    A 1961 hardtop is a rare find in runner condition….maybe a tad high….he might come down.

  5. Rustytech Member

    I like it, but not $5500 worth. I think $3500 to $4000 would be a better buy considering the amount of work needed here.

  6. packrat

    (Along the same lines as removing goldfish babies as soon as they are hatched,) just be sure park it away from any British sports cars. The big Chryslers tend to get Chippy with their bunkmates in confined spaces.

  7. Troy S

    I like the looks of this car, sorta hot rod kinda cop car. I’m sure that 361 does alright with that 4 barrel setup but a boat like this could use a 440.

  8. Pa Tina

    Any thoughts on what the guy to the left of the driver’s side rear fin is doing?

  9. Jim Z Member

    Ummm, well all sorts of red flags here. (IMHO, so no flamers)

    “Swapped carbs from 2bbl to 4bbl”
    Any camshaft, headwork, or exhaust improvements to go with?

    “$2k to weld in a new trunk”. Dude, you got scammed!

    “Wheels and Tires shown don’t go with it, replacing with steel wheels 15”, Ford I think. And roller mismatch tires”. Really?

    “Floor rust at driver’s area, patch panel included for you to install.” Hmmmm, couldn’t get that included for the $2k weld job?

    “Interior needs redone.” $$$$$$$$$

    “Missing the inside roof-rail trim both sides” Good Luck finding those!

    And, “offering a 4-door parts car”. Sigh.

    This is a $1500-$2000 Project Car…Project with a capital “P”.
    Plus costs to transport where-ever

    • Charles G Van De Sampel

      I still have some of the interior and exterior trim pieces from one of our 61’s. And the steel wheels were 14’s.

  10. Charles G Van De Sampel

    I guess you need to ride in one with the 361 properly tuned. 1972, I pulled up to the stop lights and as soon as they turned green, that car just sat and practically lit the tires after brake torqing. Little did I know that my folks had just walked out the front door of a small meat market on that same corner and watched me do it. My dad took the keys from me for two weeks.

  11. Charles G Van De Sampel

    To Kevin W, the 1968 Chrysler 300 could be had with a factory floor mounted shifter for the Torqueflite, or if the salesman was a long , long time Mopar employee, you could also order the car with a 4 speed. Some years back, about 2004, there was a guy in Bismark, North Dakota that advertised a 1968 Newport with a factory installed 4 speed. I never kept track of the car or its sale.

  12. Snotty

    I have a buddy with a factory 4 spd. Chrysler 300. Very cool.

  13. Rick A. Loera Member

    The standard transmission for a Newport was a floor mounted three speed manual transmission. Yes, I’ve seen one. My parents had a 62 Newport with the dash mounted push button speed automatic transmission. The lever for the blinker was under the trans buttons and you would slide it left for a left turn and slide it right for a right turn. I just looked up 1961 Chrysler Newport and found a three speed manual transmission model for sale. Funny thing. This car has power windows and factory air conditioning. That has to be pretty rare.

  14. Ed

    Manual would be 3 spd on floor. No 4 spd. Had 61 G, 62 Polara 500, 68 300 conv’t, 70 300 conv’t. All auto.

  15. Rick A. Loera Member

    That is correct. The only car you could get a 4 speed on was the letter series 300. The choice for Newport was either 3 speed floor mounted manual or dash mounted push button 3 speed automatic transmission.

    Like 1

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