Restored Canadian Ragtop: 1963 Chrysler Windsor

By Steve Boelhouwer

For those not looking to get too greasy but still enjoy a classic ride, this clean green Mopar machine is located in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada (north of Montana) and is listed here on eBay with a current bid of US $1,025 and reserve not met.  

It’s been a very long time since Detroit (or Windsor in this case) produced a really big convertible like this one, and for us baby boomers they bring back pleasant memories of long summer cruises with the family and friends. And speaking of Windsor, it’s true that the nameplate was dropped in the USA market after 1961, but these big bruisers continued to be sold under the Windsor name in Canada through 1966 (in the US, this would have been called a Newport). Definitely not a resto project, the seller describes the car as “a father-son cruiser and family treasure for the past 15 years and has been well loved and cared for. Always garage stored and kept shiny [sic] clean, waxed, maintained and always ready for a Sunday drive or car show.”

Canadian Mopars often had notable differences from their American counterparts, but I’ve never seen one where the engine compartment was painted black. The seller states the car was repainted approximately 20 years ago, so it’s likely the firewall and inner fenders acquired their matte black patina at that time. It’s also hard to tell from the supplied photos if the fender tag survived the repaint. And speaking of color, this big block 361 mill would have been turquoise in a US car of this year, but as a Canadian-built car, the engine is red.

The cabin appears similarly in good shape, although the seat covers look slightly ratty. By 1963 the famous Astradome instrument cluster was gone, replaced by a handsome (but more conventional) instrument array in a curved dashboard.  The seller reports the radio recently stopped working.

Chrysler unibody cars were a rigid and sturdy design, and the convertibles were less susceptible to twist and flex than other makes. Of course, they were far from immune to rust (and from hotrodders looking for cheap big block donors), therefore relatively few of this generation survive today. The seller provides some numbers from a well-known Canadian Chrysler authority that states only 289 convertibles were built in 1963, and undoubtedly only a fraction of those were sprayed with Canadian-only HH code green paint. Despite the rarity, this big ragtop will likely never approach the values of later Mopar muscle — but that’s also an opportunity for someone looking for a mostly-finished car to start enjoying the car right away.  The seller (who appears to be some sort of dealer) indicates they will work with US buyers to get the car across the border.  Would you set sail in this ragtop?

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Comments

  1. Tempo Ray

    What a cool cruiser. I’m always fascinated by what design engineers were coming up with both interior and exterior during this era. Most notably, the steering wheel in this case. Something slightly sdifferent and unique. The custodians of this particular car, definitely maintained her respectfully.

    10
  2. ben

    Beautiful car, only drawback is the square steering wheel. It makes parking and maneuvering with a car this big a bit exciting.

    4
    • Ross W. Lovell

      Greetings All,

      Not sure n that steering wheel being hard. They had a ridiculous amount of power steering, to the point of it being 1 finger control.

      My Father had one of these, along with something called cross ram. It had two carb, with the an aircleaner over each wheel.

      4
  3. Tempo Ray

    Hey ben, good point, that’s where a suicide knob comes in handy😄😎

    1
    • Dick Johnson

      YEAAAHH!!! Put one knob on all four corners. The weird MoPar steering wheels were an anti-theft device; can’t drive ’em with handcuffs attached.

      3
  4. Mountainwoodie

    I wish people wouldnt hang dice from the rear view mirror………..

    16
  5. half cab

    This just jumps out ay cha😎

    5
  6. Bob C.

    Nice, nice, nice. These were much cleaner than the plucked chickens the prior year.

    6
  7. chad

    boy, the co had that push button auto for ever, no?
    I like the ‘square’ for parkin:
    As U look back U know where the wheel is at all times, tires too…

    2
  8. Will Fox

    Interesting that Canadian Chrysler Windsors used the “300” crosshair grille vs. standard issue of US variety. Otherwise, not a bad ride. Not my cup of tea, but a MoPar nut wanting something different might like this. After the `61’s, the only full-size Chryslers I cared for were the `65s but hey–that’s just me.

    2
    • Kevin McCabe

      A Canadian built Windsor used a Newport/Windsor style grille, not this 300 piece. This would have been used in Canada on a model called the Saratoga/300. The convertible Saratoga/300 used 300 style exterior trim along with a Windsor style interior. While all of these cars are low volume, a Saratoga/300 convertible is truly RARE.

      2
      • AlanB

        Nice to see electric windows in a Windsor – not that common.

        1
  9. Larry

    Didn’t Miss Jane drive one of these on the Beverly Hillbillies?

    1
  10. Kevin McCabe

    Canadian fender tags are not like the US variety. On this particular car, the body tag is mounted at the extreme left (driver side) end of the cowl, just below the hood line in the body colour paint. It contains the car’s model code, paint code and trim code. No other information is included. From the look of the interior panels in this car, they have been reskinned in plain vinyl. The original panels had far more detail than these do.

    2
  11. Pete Kaczmarski

    I will take my plucked chicken over this car someone experimented with an unlimited roll of vinyl at the technical college upholstery class.

    1
  12. David Rhodes

    what a nice car — eh ?

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