Real Wheels: The 1961 Chrysler 300G Cabriolet is a Car Collector’s Dream


LIMA – When a car arrives like this wonderful 1961 Chrysler 300G Cabriolet, you buy it. Dave Kriegel of Lima heard about the car from Hemming and bought it in Auburn Hills, Michigan this summer.

This 1961 Chrysler 300G convertible is one of 337 units built, making it a rare classic. It is powered by the 413 V8 Wedge engine with two four barrels and a cross cylinder intake manifold. Power is supplied by Chrysler’s three-speed push-button automatic transmission. It measures 20 feet in length from bumper to bumper.

The car won the 2016 Concours d’Elegance award in Plymouth, Michigan.

“I drove it, it’s like a dream boat,” said Kriegel.

In 1955, Chrysler produced the 300 in what would become the first in a series of Chrysler 300 letter cars. For the 1961 300G model, Chrysler made a few styling changes compared to the 300F model, including redesigning the grille and lowering the position of the tail lights on the spoiler.

This beauty originally belonged to Virgil Exner, a design engineer at Chrysler Corporation in Auburn Hills, Michigan. When Exner joined Chrysler, cars were designed by engineers instead of designers. Some people thought that was the reason the cars were square. Exner fought to change this structuring and took control of the design process. He is known for the “Forward Look” he created for Chrysler from 1955 to the early 1960s.

Exner had an affection for the fins of cars for both aesthetics and aerodynamics. He believed in the aerodynamic benefits of ailerons so much that he used a wind tunnel test at the University of Michigan to prove his theory, and he was right. He also liked the look of the fins. He felt that the lowered roofline made the cars look sleeker, smoother and more aggressive. His point was well taken even after tail fins were a thing of the past. In 1970, Porsche had racing cars with fins. He was known as Chrysler’s “Wing Man” ever since he designed all those big winged cars in the 1950s and 1960s.

Exner bought the car off the production line and drove it to work every day. In the late 1960s, Exner retired from Chrysler working directly under President Walter Chrysler Jr. as chief design engineer. The Chrysler company brought the car back to the shop and completely rebuilt it, one nut and one bolt at a time. They brought the car back to perfection at a cost of $ 230,000 and dedicated it to Virgil “Ex” as they called him. Fortunately, the restoration costs were borne by Chrysler as a retirement gift, as Exner has done so much for Chrysler.

The Exner family wanted the car to go to a qualified car collector and after the family checked out Kriegel he was lucky enough to be able to acquire the car.

“I paid a far cry from the $ 230,000 in restoration cost,” Kriegel said.

While Kriegel is happy to have been approved by the family, he is just as happy to have this car added to his collection.

“I’m just lucky to have it in my car collections booth,” Kriegel said.

When a car comes along like this gorgeous 1961 Chrysler 300G Cabriolet, you buy it.

Dave Kriegel of Lima heard about the car from Hemming and bought it in Auburn Hills, Michigan this summer.

It is powered by the 413 V8 Wedge engine with two four barrels and a cross cylinder intake manifold. Power is supplied by Chrysler’s three-speed push-button automatic transmission.

The car won the 2016 Concours d’Elegance award in Plymouth, Michigan.