Parked Since ’78: 1968 Chrysler 300 Convertible

There are some cars that just fit the bill of a barn find, no questions asked. This beautiful boat is a 1968 Chrysler 300 convertible, found in a somewhat unexpected place: Queens, New York. The 300 has clearly been sitting in the garage for ages, which the seller confirms as being from 1978. That’s pretty incredible, but hopefully, it means it stopped being driven in the northeast road salt and slop around that time. The body looks straight and true but there’s no telling what’s underneath. It has a 383 with just 52,000 original miles on the clock. It seems like a potentially worthwhile project, and you can check the full listing out here on craigslist with an asking price of $9,000.

These were big cars, weighing in at over 4,300 pounds. You could have breakfast on the hood and dinner on the trunk, and room for some friends, too. The 300 lineup was clearly a family of cruisers, but 440 power was available as an option to buyers of this generation. The 383 this car is equipped with is essentially the base engine, but the malaise era hadn’t taken hold yet so output was still healthy. The car here has clearly been parked long enough for its tires to collapse into themselves, but it looks like the hubcaps are still secure. If we were going to spot rust in an obvious location, the fender skirts or lower sills would be a good place to start, but I don’t see any here.

The seller claims he doesn’t see any major rust, and that’s good news – but I’d still recommend an in-person inspection. The interior features black upholstery that corresponds with the black convertible top; no word on whether it’s original. The seating surfaces present well with no obvious flaws, and the top actually looks pretty good, too. The seller notes this is a non-A/C car, so you’ll want to make sure the top goes down as well as it stays up to ensure your passengers are comfortable during the warmer months. The seller says that the 52,000 miles on the clock are original, which helps explain the nicely preserved cabin.

The engine bay isn’t pretty but it doesn’t appear to be torn apart, either. The seller has not made any attempt to start it and I doubt he will, as this listing feels like more of a quick flip than any deep, emotional connection to the car in question. The photos show what looks like a car cover thrown over the Imperial, so someone didn’t intend on coming back for a while if it was both garage-stored and covered up. It’s incredible to think it was parked in ’78 with plenty of life left, only to sit there for the next few decades and never turn a wheel until just recently (hell, it may still be exactly where it was pictured.) With that in mind, is the asking price reasonable for a garage find 300 of this generation?

WANT ADS

WANTED 1972 Ford Ranchero GT Ready to go 4 speed, no restoration project, preferably white in Midwest Contact

WANTED 1964-1990 Ford Any Looking for antique red tractor. Non working condition. Used for display only Contact

WANTED 66 or 67 Chevrolet chevelle would like a strong big block and 4 speed Contact

WANTED 1934 Ford 3 Window Coupe ORIGINAL Steel Body Style .The body should have a rusty texture rather than a clean state. Contact

WANTED 67-69 Chevrolet Camaro Looking for an affordable Camaro in need of resto. Something with a solid frame and cowl. Thanks. Contact

Submit Your Want Ad

Comments

  1. Rex Kahrs Member

    Surprisingly, Hagerty shows the value of a “fair” example at around 10K. But I think 9K for this car is kinda strong. Hagerty also shows only the 440 as the engine in the ’68 300.

    Like 7
    • David Zornig

      Correct, 440 was standard with the 440 TNT as optional.

      Like 10
      • Hp440Lisa

        Kind of hard to see but it looks like the pad that would have the 440 stamp on it isn’t there. The pad is towards the drivers side in front of the intake.
        383’s had the stamp located on a pad below the distributor.

    • Bill McCoskey

      Rex,

      NADA also says the low retail is just over $10k. But in both guides, that is for a running and driving car not requiring major repairs.

      I owned a large restoration shop for 30 years, and I’ve owned multiple Chrysler and Imperial cars from this timeframe. Parts are available, but trim pieces are getting very expensive, fast.

      This car is non running and sat for 40 That’s FOURTY years with no pre-prep for the drive train storage. No way you will turn that crank by hand, even if it’s been running recently. It’s pretty certain to need an engine overhaul, The rings will have stuck to the pistons and cylinders, the valve seals will have stuck to the valve stems, and because the front & rear main seals will have adhered to the crank, they will quickly fall apart under use. Yes, it might be possible to “unstick the engine”, but this is a high compression motor, not a 1940s car.

      The trans needs all new seals, this includes the torque converter seals too. While they too might not leak at first, they will after a few thousand miles, because, like the engine seals, the trans seals are neoprene, not leather, and they bond to the shafts after sitting that long.

      Once running, it will quickly need a water pump for the same reason above, and to make it run you will need at least a carb rebuild & a new fuel pump, if only because the diaphram can’t handle today’s fuel. If it had fuel in the tank, that will need cleaning as well. I’m sure with the lack of service for 40+ years the radiator is empty, and we all know what happens to exposed copper over 40 years.

      Now the owner should know what motor is in the car, so if it IS a 383, then there are 2 possibilities; First, the engine has been replaced. Second, the car was special ordered with the 383, making it a really rare [but not worth more money] vehicle. For those not familiar with Chrysler products, cars sent overseas often had smaller engines due to fuel costs and quality. I had a 1956 Inperial with the 354 Hemi, but because it was delivered in central Europe, it had 6 head gaskets to lower the compression!

      Figure a complete brake overhaul, and if it’s got those early 4-puck Chrysler disc brakes, that’s gonna get even more expensive. Gonna need a complete dual exhaust system thrown into the parts pile too.

      And we haven’t even addressed any Body or paint needs. Probably will need carpet sets, and repairs to the power windows that won’t work because the grease has dried up. And I almost forgot, that original convertible top will need replacing, as will all the hydraulic top operating system.

      If you are paying someone for all the above work, you can easily exceed wha the car is worth when finished. [$20k to $30k]. Even doing it yourself it’s likely to cost over $10k, and that’s not including all the little stuff that crops up and needs repair/replacement.

      So what’s the car really worth? Realistically a couple of grand, and that’s assuming the engine didn’t lockup from a crank bearing failure. And no, I’m not trying to buy it, but if I was, that would be my offer.

      Like 15
      • Rex Kahrs Member

        Sounds like you caught my drift, Bill.

        Like 2
      • Frank

        Poor way to show a vehicle for sale.

        Like 1
  2. Steve Clinton

    Does the car include those dirty sheets?

    Like 4
  3. Terrry

    Maybe I’m griping, but come on! You’re trying to sell a car for $9k, is it asking too much to pull off the tarp, give the car a bath or at least a cursory cleaning and then take really good pictures? This ad says “lazy guy who discovers car is trying to make a killing”.

    Like 31
    • Mike

      Once the tarp come off the car, it will be IMPOSSIBLE to put it back on. I’m surprised they are temping fate by rolling it back that far.

      Like 4
  4. Barry Skog

    I had a 68 300 in silver with the 440 TNT engine. It would go like a bat out of hell! Anytime you stepped down on the accelerator, it blew out the resonator. They used Carter Carbs in those days and they were junk! However, it was a beautiful car and when it was running properly, it was a dream to drive! B

    Like 8
    • scottymac

      I’m a Ford guy, blue through and through, but a red ’68 300 hardtop could park in my garage any time. Can’t remember another car with such exquisite sculpting, and the hide away headlamp die cast grille, and the Magnum 500s do it for me.

      https://www.flickr.com/photos/37573576@N06/5913504491/

      Like 7
    • MOPAR Joe

      I believe they used a Holley carb on the 440 base engine.

      • Barry R. Skog

        They used Carter Carbs on the 440! The car was beautiful, but junk from the start! I accumulated 87 Warranty Receipts over the first two years of ownership! The odometer broke at 18,244 miles and the radio fell out of the dash. That was when I sold the car!

        Like 2
  5. Stephen Miklos

    Chrysler Newport came with 383 but all 300’s of that era that I know of came with a 440. Early ones before the 440 had a 413. It’s a shame it was not washed before the photo shoot. And to get it started to drop the top. Good luck to the next owner.🐻🇺🇸

    Like 6
  6. fordor

    Queens, N.Y>! wonder how many bodies in the trunk!

    Like 8
  7. Ralph

    440 was the only choice for that year 300,with a high performance version as well as the standard, and a numbers matching car in number 1 condition I believe is right around $21k so this model would be about right priced at $9k, providing the motor turns freely. Mine sat for 25 years and cost me 12k to get it roadworthy. That included a new radiator, water pump , gas tank, brakes and partial engine rebuild , all by North Coast Auto Restorations. The car is definitely a land yacht but it rides quiet and smooth!

  8. S

    This is so cool – but you don’t know what you’re going to find with this. Parked for 43 years? Half the US population was born after 1978. (Actually I don’t know if that’s true!) But you’ll have to redo everything – go through the whole fuel system, whole cooling system, brake system, and obviously tires, as well as all the fluids and belts at the very least. Carb rebuild and tune up are in order. They don’t say if the engine turns over by hand. Hope it’s not seized. It still has the battery in it and it’s hooked up! Just funny to think – this car has sat there while other cars since then that were brand new have now long been junked.

    Like 6
  9. scottymac

    I’m a Ford guy, blue through and through, but a red ’68 300 hardtop could park in my garage any time. Can’t remember another car with such exquisite sculpting, and the hide away headlamp die cast grille, and the Magnum 500s do it for me.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/37573576@N06/5913504491/

    • Barry R. Skog

      Yes, with the 440 TNT Package, it was a great car! I uned to eat Fords for lunch!

  10. skody54 Member

    I took my driver’s test in my father’s. His was green with the 440 TNT it was like a power boat on the road. Lol

    Like 1
  11. Tim Loving

    Well, I like this beauty. Was ready to match his offer to sell. Cleaned up, spend
    5-7 K it could be a jewel to make it a driver. Conservatively.
    I just showed it to my wife, she said no way. I am not driving around in that airplane. I said it is not an airplane it is a boat. We could be the mafia in the little small town in Texas that we live.

    Like 4
  12. Barry R. Skog

    As it sits, the car is worth maybe 5K tops!

  13. Johnny

    Made in America. When they made good cars. Style, power and metal trim. Like to see it restored. Someone was really lazy to not clean it up and trying to make a fortune on this car. Because it is old and has style.

    Like 2
  14. Barry R. Skog

    These were NOT good cars! Mopars were pretty much junk in those days! The 727 Trans was good, but the rest of the car? You could not keep carbs and exhaust systems together with the 440. They rattled, creaked and leaked too! But they WERE sharp looking!

  15. Rex Kahrs Member

    I likes my two C-body Chryslers JUST FINE. Shut up why don’t ya.

    Like 2
  16. Barry Skog

    I likes????? hehehehehe Perhaps you were lucky and got a good one! I’m certain they built a few!

    • Bill McCoskey

      Barry,

      I ran an “old car” shop and one of our specialties was Chryslers and Imperials thru 1968. I had many customers who were still driving their 1968 and earlier Chryslers on a regular basis, and my experiences with those cars was quite good. They were some of the best tow cars if I was towing a trailer with a big car on it, or a big travel trailer.

      The only consistent problem was ignition resistors, early electronic voltage regulators, and starter motors. But I found when I kept a set of those 3 parts in the trunk, I never needed them!

      Now prehaps you were mistaking the 1969 “Fuselage styling” Chryslers, because in less than one year, Chrysler’s quality build evaporated!

  17. Barry R. Skog

    Not at all! Mine was a 68 and never had an issue with what you mentioned! Mine were carb, exhaust, rattles and squeaks, build quality, etc. I did pull a 26 foot travel trailer with it and it was great with that. Got 8 mpg!

Leave a Reply to Ralph Cancel reply

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.

*

Keep me in the conversation via email. Or subscribe without commenting.