Dusty Delight: 1957 Chrysler 300C Two-Door Hardtop Project -SOLD!
February 11, 2022 Update – We confirmed the seller of this “Classifind” deleted their listing, so we’re now able to call this one “SOLD!” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.
As a classic car enthusiast, the saddest ride to come across is an unfinished restoration due to the restorer’s death. Our latest example is this 1957 Chrysler 300C two-door hardtop originally listed in February 2022 on Craigslist in Santa Paula, California (Santa Barbara) is a non-running barn find the seller reports has a reupholstered interior and repainted exterior the previous owner completed “many years ago” before his death. Based upon the pictures provided, this Chrylser letter car appears to be a complete and well-optioned example worthy of completing the restoration.
As a non-running project, the seller currently asks $27,500 for this 1957 Chrysler 300C. Comparing that price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms the private seller has their non-running 300C priced between this guide’s #4 “Fair” (Daily Driver) estimate of $19,100 and its #3 “Good” appraisal of $38,300. As a second data point, the Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask is less than this guide’s #4 “Fair” estimate of $32,200 before factoring in a 15% premium for the desirable power windows and factory air conditioning.
Chrysler famously offered its 300 “letter series” high-performance personal luxury cars from 1955 through 1965 based upon the New Yorker. Following the initial C-300 model launched in 1955, Chrysler stylists labeled successive model years the next letter of the alphabet as a suffix (skipping “i”), reaching the 300L by 1965, after which Chrysler discontinued the model sequence.
Chrysler launched Virgil Exner’s new “Forward Look” design across all of the company’s brands for 1957. The 1957 model year 300C featured a “yawning” wide trapezoid-shaped front grille which was unique to the 300C, “Vista-Dome” windshield, dual headlights, and gradually rising tailfins starting from the doors similar to Chrysler-branded products. Engineers reduced wheel diameter from fifteen- to fourteen inches. With drum brakes installed at all four corners of the car, engineers developed and installed a cooling duct with the air intake located just below the headlights that fed air directly to the front brakes. The exterior color list was expanded to offer Jet Black, Parade Green metallic, Copper Brown Metallic, Gauguin Red, and Cloud White. The standard interior in all 300C models was tan leather, however, buyers could choose different interior options based upon the New Yorker.
Chrysler engineers upgraded the 300C’s V8 by increasing displacement to 392 cubic inches to achieve 375 horsepower. The 392 V8 engine was exclusive to the 300, New Yorker, and Imperials. A dual four-barrel carburetor intake now featuring separate air cleaners for better efficiency became stand on the 300C for 1957. For the first time, 300C buyers had a choice of either a two-door hardtop for $4,929 or a convertible for $5,359. That was big money in 1957, as those prices in today’s dollars are approximately ten times those amounts.
Chrysler stylists introduced the red, white, and blue ‘300C’ circular medallions on the sides, hood, trunk, and interior and was the first model to use the color scheme. Unique among late-fifties car designs was the 300C’s minimal amount of chrome trim. A total of 1,918 coupes and 484 convertibles were built. All Chrysler products introduced a new torsion bar front suspension, called Torsion-Aire, which replaced the previous coil spring front suspension, while a new air-conditioner, a $495 option, became available.
The Vintage Vehicle Show YouTube Channel features a restored black-over-tan 1957 Chrysler 300C that provides a nice comparison of what the car offered on Craigslist can look like once complete:
Restorations are not cheap to complete these days, but this well-equipped 1957 Chrysler 300C two-door hardtop is a candidate that has the potential to bring big money once fully restored back to its original glory. One of the first things we would do is have the undercarriage of this car go through the dry ice cleaning process that is currently all the rage.
Here’s the seller’s description:
“A rare opportunity to own a hard-to-find original 1957 Chrysler 300C two-door hardtop. One of only 1,918 produced!
All original 392-cu.in. Hemi engine, 375hp producing a massive 420- lbs. ft. of torque
This car is in excellent condition and comes complete with the original power windows, power seats, AC air conditioning, radio, and many other original factory options! No major rust. Hard to find these especially in this kind of condition!
The previous owner before passing away had the interior replaced and the exterior repainted, but other than that the car is all original and complete. Some of the trim was not put back on after being painted, but most pieces should be in the trunk…there may be some missing pieces.
This car has been sitting and has not been started in many years. This is a project car ready for final restoration touches
A rare opportunity to own a unique piece of automotive history!
Located in Santa Paula, CA
Call or text for the fastest response“
Restore or restomod: what would you do with this 1957 Chrysler 300C project car? Comment below and let us know!