Full-Size Hot Rod: 1963 Chrysler Newport

The Newport was Chrysler’s entry-level full-size automobile between 1961 and 1981. Its appearance in the line-up at first was to attract buyers that previously went for the recently discontinued DeSoto brand. Under the skin, the Newport was the same as other Chrysler models, just with fewer stock amenities. That move may have backfired on Chrysler in the long run as the marque was not thought of as an inexpensive car. This 1963 edition of the Newport in 2-door hardtop form is something of a big scale hot rod with some upgrades having been made to carburetion, exhaust, tires, and wheels. The car is based in Scottsdale, Arizona, and available here on eBay for the Buy It Now price of $9,500.

The seller refers to this automobile as a “barn find,” which has become an overworked term to describe an old car that’s been off the road awhile. We don’t know if this Chrysler was ever in a barn, but that doesn’t matter now as it runs great and looks good, if patina is your thing. Chrysler produced about 9,800 Newport 2-door hardtops in 1963 and this one has survived the passage of time. Other than a few little paint bubbles, the body looks solid. If you were inclined to only fix those things, you could put some clearcoat over the rest of the car and call it a day. Or spring for a new paint job. However, there is a potential red flag: the headlight treatments look like a ’64 Chrysler, not a ’63, so has a swap been made for some reason? The taillights are correct for the year. And the color of the driver’s side door is off from the rest of that side of the car.

The oversize wheels and tires, which are relatively new additions, give the car a bolder stance than these Chryslers would normally have. The babymoon hub caps somehow look right on the car, despite its size. The Newport has been treated to an Edelbrock intake manifold and 4-barrel carb at some point, replacing the smaller carb that should have been there before. The motor is a 361 cubic inch V8 paired with a 3-speed, pushbutton TorqueFlite automatic. We don’t know if either is original to the car as the displayed mileage of 35,000 is said not to be accurate. To finish off the upgrades, dual exhaust pipes were added that produce a Flowmaster-style sound.

Taking a tour around the car produces mostly parking lot dings in the chrome trim. The trunk seems to only have surface rust on the floor and some of the original cardboard finish panels are still present. The jack is there, but you’ll have to find a new spare tire and rim. The interior looks nice, although rather plain for a Chrysler (again, that image thing). The seller tells us it’s a really smooth car to drive with power steering and brakes to help navigate the universe. The brakes, we’re told, will need some attention as they’re hard when you push down on the pedal (master cylinder?).

Hagerty pegs the average resale value on one of these ’63 land yachts to be around $9,000 and this car is that good or better. So, if you have the room in your garage for a full-size hot rod of sorts, this could be a good way to procure a pleasure craft for Cars & Coffee that won’t break the bank. Chances are, you’ll be the only one at the show with one like it.

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Comments

  1. alphasud Member

    I think the buyer is referring to the lack of power assist on the brakes. Booster has probably seen better days. Good looking Mopar I would think you could get it for a little less to give you some room for mechanical work needed.

    Like 5
  2. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    Looks like a nice, solid car. New paint would be in order, especially to address the issues with the rockers. The interior looks pretty good though the carpet and dash pad should be replaced and the steering wheel is pretty rough. Apart from a paint job, most of the issues could be addressed in your garage if you’re handy. You don’t hardly see these cars up here in the Northeast, they were serious rusters. The price seems fair for what it is, a cool Mopar that has a lot of potential.

    Like 4
  3. Pat

    Bad link

  4. Johnny Gibson

    The front on this reminds me of my ex police S series Valiant I had in my youth. It only had about 40’000km/25’000 miles on it and was mint. I was single at the time and seemed to be having trouble picking up the girls. Turns out they thought the car was as ugly as I was, so I had no chance. Traded it on a ex police CM Valiant (also mint) with 33’000 km on it and things improved slightly. I like this Chrysler it looks cool, if I was single I would probably be able to afford it.

    Like 3
  5. PatrickM

    Most off this car seems to be just “okay” IMHO. I don’t see $9,500.00 for it, though. You mentioned “clear coat” over the patina. I don’t think so. I’ve always heard that to put clear coat over the patina invites the rust worm to accelerate in the main metal. Repaint is in the offing, for me. The items mentioned would really have to be addressed immediately. Good one year project for quite a bit less $$$$.

    Like 1
  6. mike stack

    My dad brought home a 63 Newport 4 door for my mother. She was a little peanut of a thing 5′ 4″ tall so she could barely see over the wheel. It had the 361 V-8, FACTORY three speed on the floor, no power steering, and no power brakes. It was fun watching her parallel park it in town.

  7. Gransedan

    The headlight surrounds, hood edge trim, grill and front bumper are all ’64 items. It is a nice car, nonetheless. All very familiar to me. I owned a ’64 300 4 door hardtop for many years.

    Like 1

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