$122k Already Spent: 1955 Chrysler C-300

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I’m sure that almost every Barn Finds reader knows of an enthusiast who has spent considerably more than a car’s potential market value in their pursuit of perfection. That is the story behind this 1955 Chrysler C-300. Mere words don’t do it justice because its presentation is superb. Its engine bay houses a Hemi, producing plenty of power, and the interior is a visual feast. The seller spent an eye-watering $122,000 on the build, but you could become the new owner for considerably less than half that figure. It deserves a closer look, and I must say a big thank you to Barn Finder T.J. for spotting this fantastic classic.

While most enthusiasts consider the Pontiac GTO the first muscle car, some argue that the 1955 Chrysler C-300 is the rightful holder of the title. It represents the first of the company’s iconic “Letter Series” vehicles, although it didn’t carry the “C” designation upon release. The company produced a mere 1,725 examples, but it is unclear how many remain. The history of this stunning vehicle is unclear, but we know it has received an incredible level of TLC. The Cream paint cloaking its exterior is flawless, with even the close-up shots of the prone front sheetmetal showing no evidence of chips or marks. The panels are laser-straight, and the tightness and consistency of the gaps suggest the builder focused on fine details during the assembly process. There is no evidence or mention of rust, and with no signs of developing surface corrosion in the supplied images, it is safe to assume this Chrysler is rust-free. The chrome and tinted glass are in as-new condition, while the wire wheels and wide whitewalls are the ideal finishing touch to the exterior that needs nothing.

Lifting this Chrysler’s hood reveals why many people consider the C-300 as the first muscle car. Its engine bay houses a 331ci Hemi, and with the engine inhaling deeply through a Dual-Quad setup, it delivers the 300hp that gave this car its model designation. Power feeds to the road via a two-speed PowerFlite transmission, with power assistance for the steering and brakes guaranteeing the driver won’t raise a sweat behind the wheel. It is worth noting that this classic isn’t totally original, featuring sensible and tasteful mechanical upgrades. The brakes feature a modern booster and a dual-circuit master cylinder, while the seller indicates the Hemi wears aluminum cylinder heads. Chrysler viewed the C-300 as a homologation special for NASCAR competition, and its belief in the product was well-founded as it greeted the checkered flag eighteen times in 1955. The seller supplies no information about how this car runs or drives, but the visual indications are that the news should be positive.

This Chrysler’s interior is jaw-dopping, presenting as beautifully as the exterior and engine bay. It features Cream custom trim, bucket seats, and a console. Finding anything worth criticizing is virtually impossible, although I would probably ditch the column-mounted tachometer. Otherwise, there is no visible wear or signs of abuse or neglect. The wheel is immaculate, as are the painted surfaces. It doesn’t feature touches like air conditioning or power windows, but the new owner receives a factory radio and a working clock.

The seller spent over $122,000 transforming this 1955 Chrysler C-300 into a stunning classic. That is considerably more than its market value and far more than its new owner will pay to take it home. The seller has listed the Chrysler here on Craigslist in Beach Lake, Pennsylvania. You could drive away in this amazing car by handing them $49,900, slipping behind the wheel of a vehicle that will draw crowds like moths to a flame wherever it goes. Are you tempted? I will understand if you are.

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  1. Nevada1/2rack Nevada1/2rackMember

    Heartbreaker, in all sense of the word. Beautiful, no doubt expensively redone, and when it drives away a significant amount of focus in years spent in its company will be all that’s left.
    The current owner will do better than most though at receiving a little less half the money spent in return-seen too many go completely and doubly upside down when sold.

    Like 10
  2. Todd J. Todd J.Member

    My price guide pegs this car in #2 condition as being worth just under $90K, in #3 condition as just under $58K, so the asking price seems very reasonable.

    Like 15
    • Steve Mehl

      Hard to tell from pictures, but it might be a number 1 car.
      Regardless, it’ sensational and a fair price indeed. Will end up in someone’s private museum.
      I can see why Tim Flock dropped the Hudson Hornet and joined the first racing team in NASCAR which featured a fleet of Chrysler 300s in 1955. With all that HP, I wonder how Chevy with the new V8 was able to win some races against Chryslers?

      Like 0
      • stillrunners stillrunnersMember

        Short tracks……

        Like 2
  3. Mike76

    I’m usually not crazy about customized interiors but I must admit that it works well on this 300. Very tasteful and it compliments the subdued exterior color. A proverbial cream-puff. Very, very, nice looking car at what appears to be a very reasonable price.

    Like 13
  4. frank g orzechowski

    Why is the shifter on the floor it should be dash mounted if I am right.

    Like 9
  5. CCFisher

    I can’t tell if the pale yellow paint is a choice made by the seller or a mistake made by the painter, but it’s not a stock color for the C300. I’m not sure it matters, given the other modifications (why install modern seats and skip the headrests??)

    Lovely car, and the money spent is obvious. The sad part is, I wouldn’t expect this car to get a very warm reception at a Chrysler show.

    Like 5
  6. PaulG

    However to spend the (obvious) time and money and forgo A/C is a pretty big mistake
    I hope the owner got a lot of enjoyment from the experience

    Like 10
  7. Ricardo Ventura

    Very beautiful and tasteful car.
    It’s difficult to criticize, but I understand that because it’s automatic, the gearshift lever could be integrated into the console or even next to the steering wheel.
    It will sell easily.

    Like 2
    • frank g orzechowski

      They changed the gearshift to the floor it did not come this way.

      Like 1
  8. frank g orzechowski

    If this person spent that much money, they spent it in the wrong place, this car should have been kept original and had A/C added.

    Like 7
    • Cimmarron

      A lot of questions about judgement here. I hope the guy can afford the loss. Too many people get all caught up in the speculation, get in too late, then get burned.

      Like 3
  9. Beyfon

    Okay. It’s modified by someone who built it into their own liking and it appears to have been done quite well. The rats’ nest of wires by the battery is giving me some pause but otherwise it looks good.
    If someone doesn’t like it there’s no one forcing you to buy it and the seller appears realistic in understanding that it won’t have the value of an original car. To me it looks like a good deal for someone who can appreciate it for what it is.

    Like 6
  10. steve

    Maybe some hop-head will want it, but as a restomod, it won’t find many interested buyers. Dumped the money down a black hole …

    Like 5
  11. Jim Simpson

    The car deserved its recognition from ITALY as several Chrysler 300’s through the years were remodeled as the totally customized Dual Ghia in honor of the American V8 and an international design recognition handshake between Chrysler and Italian designer Ghia. These nearly one-off cars currently garner over $375,000.00.
    Yes, not a Dual Ghia, yet similar attention to detail. The association of customization given this Chrysler’s details should be considered as an honor to original design by world recognition when it first appeared and was flattered by the Italian designer’s ohmage.

    Like 1
  12. matthew grant

    we had one when I was little kid. step father was a Chrysler dealer, we always had interesting cars. I love this, except for the fact that it’s virtually a restomod, for this kind of money I would think it would have been more wise to keep it authentic. this is another stunning example of why one should NOT restore, but buy restored.

    Like 4
  13. Nelson C

    Very handsome car despite all its preceved faults.

    Like 1

    Aluminum cylinder heads for a 331 Hemi?!

    Like 2
    • stillrunners stillrunnersMember

      yep…saw that….not really sure this isn’t a scam at the price….

      Like 0
  15. Gary

    As a Chrysler fan I have to admit that at first blush I was interested, assuming that the first photo I saw was the result of poor white balance from the seller’s digital camera making white paint appear cream. But as I dug through the article and saw the interior my heart sank.

    This will sell but not to a Chrysler enthusiast. Which is ok for the seller because there are not that many of us. Someone will get themselves a cool daily driver for a very reasonable price.

    Like 5
  16. rbig18

    Super nice care and seems well done. That said, there is not enough left to really call it a 55 300 but not custom enough to call it a restomod. Sort if just out there in the middle. Still I wouldn’t driving around in it.

    Like 1
  17. Bill West

    I’ve only done one off-frame and while I didn’t keep it bone stock or completely original, I got out for under $30k in 96. I did lose money however as I was forced to sell it in a divorce. It breaks my heart when I see situations like this as I’m sure this was a labor of love, regardless if it wasn’t kept original.

    Like 1
  18. jwaltb

    I can’t believe he had it decked and probably nosed.
    Wanted a $122,000 sleeper?!

    Like 1
  19. CarbobMember

    The person who redid the car had a certain vision in mind and to me it works. Yes many Chrysler people (I’m one too)would have preferred to keep it stock. But really the only standout deviation is the interior which is gorgeous. This car seems like one that Custom Garage on Motor Trend would do. They create some really nice cars. Asking price is quite reasonable considering what you’re getting. GLWTS.

    Like 1
    • frank g orzechowski

      You spend all of that money and you don’t put A/C in it ????? and a floor shift ???

      Like 3
  20. Pete Phillips

    I’m trying to remember if you could even get factory A/C in a 1955 Chrysler 300. Yes, Chrysler had it in 1955, but I’m thinking the engine compartment in the 300 had no room for it, so it wasn’t offered in those cars. With today’s smaller compressors it could probably be added.

    Like 2
  21. John Boehler

    A/C for the ’55 Chrysler line was in the trunk. Air for the A/C came in through inlets (scoops) at the top of the quarter panels and out through see-through plastic ducts rising out of the shelf panel terminating near the headliner.

    Like 2
  22. Dave

    Very nice car and my favorite Chrysler year. In PA there are many times you can tolerate driving without A/C. Even on hot days, early morning or evening drives would be okay. What I miss more on my older cars or trucks is cruise control. As I am older my leg gets cramps on long drives without cruise. I have no indoor parking for this one, plus my wife would not approve, but dreaming is fine.

    Like 0
  23. Jim Simpson

    Check out the Italian version Dual Ghia Chrysler 300
    Hyman Ltd.
    Yes, it WAS customized a bit. HA!

    Like 0
  24. George Mattar

    I live near Beach Lake, PA. You don’t need AC up here if you’re a man. We don’t have it in our house and have barely opened the windows at night and it’s June 13. I just sold a Corvette I dumped thousands into. The new owner got a great car and he knew it the minute he saw mine. He forked over $1,000 down payment and brought the rest a week later. The truth is very FEW cars are an investment and will see a profit. I’ve restored 2 Corvettes and lost money on both, but I DRIVE my cars and got to enjoy them. But I am pushing 70 and have grown tired of terrible drivers tailgating me, and we have far too much wildlife up here running across the roads, so I am done. This Chrysler is beautiful, but likely too nice to drive.

    Like 0
  25. theGasHole

    Come on now, we all know the first muscle car was the 1950 Oldsmobile.

    Like 0

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