Pick of the Day: 1968 Chrysler 300 Convertible

Detroit has a grand tradition of cannibalizing model names. Take the Chrysler 300 letter-series as an example – it was America’s most desirable performance car, only for Chrysler to introduce a “regular” 300 that bore no relation to the performance model even though they looked the same. One of those poseurs is our Pick of the Day, a 440-powered 1968 Chrysler 300 convertible. It is listed for sale on ClassicCars.com by a dealership in Saint-Leonard, Quebec, Canada. (Click the link to view the listing)

Looking back, both Chrysler and Buick competed in the same price class, but they also diverged in what they offered. On Buick’s end, the Flint company offered a small Buick (something Chrysler said it would never do till, ahem, the LeBaron), with the 1961-63 Special moving up to a mid-size vehicle in 1964. However, they both took sporty ideas and exploited them to the content of bean counters. Buick had offered the Invicta-based 1962 Wildcat two-door hardtop, only to introduce a full line of Wildcats for 1963, including a four-door sedan and hardtop. Despite the availability of “more-doors,” Wildcats came off sportier than the LeSabre, but nothing as stuffy as an Electra.

Yet, Chrysler had taken a similar path the year before with the 300. Of course, the 300 letter-series was America’s most powerful car in its time, but it started to be eclipsed by less prestigious cousins with race engines, such as Plymouth and Dodge models with the 413 “Max Wedge.” At the time, the mid-line Chrysler was the Saratoga, but Chrysler decided to replace that with a new model. Why not call it 300 and confuse everyone? While that doesn’t seem to be Chrysler’s modus operandi, it sure appeared that way. The 1962 300 looked almost identical to the 1962 300-H that was available at the time, but its mechanical and interior specs were nowhere near the same. However, the 300 had more sporty pretensions despite the availability of a four-door hardtop and, like the Wildcat, the 300 was not as ritzy as the New Yorker.

For 1968, the Chrysler lineup was in the second year of its styling cycle. The 300 was available as a two-door “fasttop” hardtop, four-door hardtop, and convertible. The front styling was similar to 1967’s, but now featured hidden headlights, something that would become 300 signature through 1971 when the model was discontinued. Out back, the sloping rear end treatment restyled and now featured horizontal taillights with big round back-up lights inboard.

Standard power included a 350-horsepower 440 with single exhaust (quite a step up from previous years), with a 375-horsepower 440 TNT available as an option. Convertibles received a standard power top and glass rear window. All featured all-vinyl contoured bucket seats with center cushion and armrest, though buckets were also available in cloth and vinyl (hardtops only), or leather. Add a console if you desired, or go with the vinyl or cloth and vinyl bench with center armrest for hardtops.

This 1968 Chrysler 300 convertible is painted in Antique Ivory (code H) with black vinyl bucket seats (M6X) surrounding the optional center console. Power comes from the standard 440 with owner-upgraded dual exhausts (don’t be distracted by the TNT decal on the air cleaner – this car has a K in the VIN) backed by standard TorqueFlite automatic. Options include vintage AM/FM radio with CD upgrade, power windows, Road Wheels, fender-mounted turn signals, and remote driver’s side mirror plus manual passenger-side mirror.

The Chrysler 300 convertible is a classic American boat in the all the best ways: styling, power, and comfort. This thing eats highway miles like a, um, wildcat and, for more smiles, just lower the top. Give the seller $37,500 and you will own a classic American flyer.

Click here for this ClassicCars.com Pick of the Day.