AJ’s Car of the Day: 1961 Chrysler 300G Hardtop Coupe

AJ’s Car of the Day: 1961 Chrysler 300G Hardtop Coupe

Car: Chrysler 300G Hardtop Coupe

Year: 1961

What makes it special: Chrysler’s 300 “Letter Series” were high-performance personal luxury cars that were built from 1955 to 1965. After the initial year, which was named C-300, the 1956 cars were designated 300B. Successive model years were given the next letter of the alphabet as a suffix ( and skipping “I”), reaching the 300L by 1965, after which the model was dropped.

What made it famous: The 1961 300G saw another restyle. The grille, formerly wider at the bottom than the top, was inverted; the quad headlights, formerly side-by-side, were arranged in angled fashion, inward at the bottom, in a manner reminiscent of 1958-1960 Lincolns, 1959 Buicks and the 1963-1966 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud Mulliner Park Ward coupe. Small parking lamps below the headlights were likewise slanted and V-shaped, and the front bumper was canted up at each end, scoop-like. At the rear, the taillights were moved from the fins to the tail below them, and the fins were made sharper-pointed. Power windows were standard.  Mechanically, the cross-ram “Short Ram” and “Long Ram” engines remained the same, although the expensive French manual transmission was dropped, and replaced by a more reliable and still expensive Chrysler racing manual transmission, referred to as ‘Option code 281’. Unlike the 300F Specials, the 300G’s had a specific build code #281.

Why I would want one: Love the style and fins of the 1961. And the Cross Ram V8’s are the stuff of legend.

Fun fact: The 300 “Letter Series” cars were among the vehicles that focused on performance built by domestic U.S. manufacturers after World War II, and thus can be considered one of the muscle car’s ancestors, though full-sized and more expensive.
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