Estate Find: 1957 Chrysler 300C Convertible

Some classic cars bring with them a fascinating history, and this 1957 Chrysler 300C Convertible is no exception. It has spent decades in storage, with its current owner purchasing it to settle the original owner’s estate. They elected to revive the car rather than go the whole hog with a restoration, leaving the buyer with choices to make. It presents reasonably and could spring surprises if thoroughly cleaned. The seller has listed it here on eBay in Lee, New Hampshire. They have set a BIN of $79,000, although they will entertain offers. I must thank Barn Finder T.J. for using a well-developed radar to spot this beauty for us.

This Chrysler’s original owner was a doctor located in New York State. He relocated to New Hampshire, and the Convertible went along for the journey. Once he was established in his new home, he placed the 300C into dry storage. It remained there until he recently passed away when his daughter sold the car to settle his estate. It isn’t clear how old the lady is, but the fact she had never seen this classic in action provides some idea of the hibernation period. The seller revived the car but chose not to undertake a restoration. They indicate that the Cloud White paint is original and shows its age. It has areas of minor surface corrosion and a matte appearance. The buyer faces the choice between restoration and preservation. Since the seller has not buffed or detailed the Chrysler, that could represent an excellent starting point. The results may surprise, motivating the new owner to retain the car as a genuine survivor. The panels have a few smaller dings but no signs of prior accident repairs or rust. The underside shots show visible surface corrosion, but the dreaded tin worm hasn’t sunk its teeth into this classic. While wishing to leave the car in essentially “as found” condition, the seller replaced the black power top and its mechanism. It operates correctly, and the new top provides a striking contrast against the aged paint. The 300C is slightly unusual because, while it carries the styling cues consistent with Virgil Exner’s “forward look” philosophy, the company didn’t drape the exterior in acres of chrome trim. Compared to some competitors, the trim is relatively restrained. It is another aspect of the exterior begging for polish, and the results should be worth the effort.

When I saw the interior shots in the listing, I admit my fingers began to itch. I would love nothing more than to spend a weekend in my workshop with this Chrysler and some high-quality cleaning products. The seller’s approach to the car’s interior matches the exterior, where it remains in “as found” condition. The leather seat upholstery is pretty dirty, but some concentrated work with a cleaner/conditioner could make an enormous difference. That approach won’t fix the seam separations and other defects, but it could allow a leather specialist to determine whether these could be repaired without resorting to a retrim. The dash looks good, and the carpet should stretch into proper alignment with little effort. While the car doesn’t score air conditioning, it has plenty of creature comforts appropriate in a vehicle of this caliber. The buyer receives power windows, power seats, and a “Seek and Search” radio with a power antenna.

Lifting this Convertible’s hood reveals the 393ci Hemi V8 that produces 375hp. Given its luxury leanings, the inclusion of a three-speed TorqueFlite transmission, power steering, and power brakes is no surprise. At 4,390lbs, the 300C Convertible is a big and heavy car. However, the Hemi allows it to storm the ¼ mile in 16.1 seconds. When the seller located the Chrysler, it had been sitting for many decades. They worked through reviving it, replacing only what was necessary so that it remained largely original. The effort produced results because it now sees regular local use. It runs and drives well, ready to provide a new owner with some top-down motoring enjoyment.

Exclusivity will generally come at a price, and with only 484 examples rolling off showroom floors in 1957, the 300C Convertible was the most expensive offering in Chrysler’s model range. It is unknown how many survive because a percentage may have succumbed to the rust that plagued many of the company’s models from that era. Pristine examples rarely come onto the classic market, but they can command six-figure values. Our feature car isn’t perfect and will leave the buyer with choices to make. It should represent a straightforward restoration, although thorough detailing could leave it in an acceptable state as an original survivor. It’s a tough call, but which path would you choose?

Comments

  1. Moparman Member

    In addition to the the TLC/cleaning/buffing/etc., a proper set of whitewall tires would make a great improvement in the appearance of this car. GLWTA!! :-)

    Like 11
  2. RoughDiamond Member

    What a beauty and one just has to appreciate, like it or not, the design cues that used to go under the hoods of these Chryslers pertaining to the motors. This is obviously a rare find, but I think it’s a premium price to pay in its current condition. On the other hand, it seems that if someone started a restoration they would quickly be under water considering the size of this vehicle, the cost of paint and all of that sheetmetal to spray. Then there’s the interior, motor work, possibly rechroming costs and who knows what else. I’m guessing the Seller chose not to start any restoration knowing full well it was best not to stir up a hornets’ nest.

    Like 10
    • The Walrus

      Interesting the auction site in the first post lists the realized price at $34,900. According to the June 2022 Old Cars Price Guide, a #4 car is valued at $32,000 and a #3 is $72,000. $34,900 seems like the right value. Looks like someone bought it right, but thought they got a bargain.

      Like 2
    • sg

      Ha! I thought I’d seen this car before. Nice find.

      Like 1
  3. The Walrus

    Love these, and these can bring great money. But only ‘Fine’ (#1) and ‘Excellent’ (#2) cars push to 6 figures. In this condition it would be considered ‘driver’ or ‘good’ condition which is a #4. The asking price is in line with a ‘very good’ which is a #3 car. The #2’s and #1’s bring great money, but I would never pay a Condition 3 price for a Condition 4 car.

    Like 6
  4. Big Bear 🇺🇸

    I saw this listing before.. He was asking $99,000.00. Took it down. Now repost for less. Yes it a nice barn find to be clean up and having a 392 HEMI to boot!! Well good luck this time with the seller and future person to buy it.. HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!!! 🎆🇺🇸🐻🇺🇸

    Like 7
  5. Fred W

    Almost everyone thinks their car is one or two points higher than the condition chart suggests. This one looks like it will clean up nicely, not to show condition, but nice driver shape.

    Like 4
    • The Walrus

      Exactly. Most people don’t realize the majority of the ‘nice’ cars at a car show are really #3’s.

      Like 4
  6. Squigly

    Sunger Richard Carpenter has one like this that he had restored for him like 40 years ago. I bet the cost plus a top line resto costs a lot less than the ask of this today. Go to his web site to see it and a lot of other cars too.

    https://www.richardandkarencarpenter.com/Auto-00_Auto%20Collection.htm

    Like 2
  7. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Yep….a relisted price…..maybe the flipper will get the hint…..

    Like 2
  8. Will Fox

    Regardless of being flipped or not, this is a sold investment for any buyer. Fully stored these are $150K all day. Not all that many out of 484 convertibles built remain. GLWTA!!

    Like 1
  9. Bunky

    The “flipper” has provided a valuable service in bringing this car back to runner/driver condition. I applaud his decision to just do what needed to be done – leaving the new owner to choose what path to take. I vote for continuing along the “survivor” path. This is a notable automobile, an amazing time capsule to use a trite identifier. The seller has invested time, effort, and money; and has let the market dictate the price. That used to be what this nation was all about. Happy Independence Day- such as it is.

    Like 3
  10. John Payzant

    That’s a really nice find. It’s top of the line. It was very expensive to make it. Very powerful engine. That’s a really great find. Not too many of these were made because it’s so deluxe.

    Like 1
  11. John Payzant

    Very powerful motor is almost as powerful as the size.

    Like 1
  12. Ronald Stephenson

    Just an old car, but to some, it has great value. It will cost a small fortune to restore this car, and when finished, it is still an old car with a history or a time when we had the horsepower wars and it was a winner.

    Like 1
  13. John Payzant

    True

  14. John Payzant

    I like old cars

    Like 1
  15. Bobdog

    Here’s a restored 58 that sold for 2 grand more that the asking for this 57.

    https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1958-chrysler-300d-convertible/

  16. fastglasslp

    $35k max! I love it, but …..ahhhh….

    Like 1

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