OK this shot just achieved something I thought was impossible: I finally see beauty in a fuselage coupe! I still think the trunk is too long, and the car clearly wasn’t designed for a smooth integration of the vinyl top, but otherwise the clean, flowing lines are very handsome. Plus the too-small greenhouse almost feels in line with today’s styling trends!
I think in this case the lack of integration of the vinyl roof ADDs to the convertible effect of the hardtop concept.(and vinyl is part of the “fake convertible” too) The smallish greenhouse does give a hint of today. As a 70’s full size, in your face coupe, I like it…a lot!
Spot on, GN. I’m sure without a vinyl roof, this car would assume a much more elegant profile, thereby offsetting the “too-small” greenhouse somewhat. Given that this is such a huge car, the long deck look is odd, but look at the position of the windshield, and the degree of wraparound… this is almost a cab-forward design. Who knew they were 20+ years ahead of themselves!
I know these fuselage Chryslers have a dedicated following but I think they are underappreciated in general. They were big, luxurious highway cruisers with acres of room inside, plenty of power and a unique style, inside and out. I would think the Three-Hundred is especially desirable due to its low production numbers.
Remove that damned vinyl roof and that car would be quite attractive. Too damned big, but still quite attractive.
I used to enjoy washing and waxing cars back in the 70’s but jeez, I’d probably “throw in the towel” half way through.
Well at least you wouldn’t need a stepladder to do the top like the S/CUV/Trucks in the background.
And minivans too, though a stepladder still might not be enough for a factory Monster Truck.
You don’t need a ladder to wash the roof of a pickup. You stand in the bed. Easy peasy.
But you need one to get into the bed to wash the roof especially if it 4WD.
I’ve never had to on my F150 4×4 I only have a 32″ inseam. 😀
I can hop into the bed of our Chevy K2500HD just using the step bumper and I have a 30″ inseam.
We had very large cars like this around back in the day. My dad actually used a stepladder to get to the center of the roof. These cars were not very tall, but they sure were wide!
I’m just tall enough that I could reach the middle of the top. One had a vinyl roof, and that was a chore to maintain. A deep scrub with a mild soap followed by a vinyl top dressing was needed to keep it looking good – usually twice a year.
It did take noticeably more time to clean these big cars if you had something small around to contrast it with. My sister had a Mustang II parked alongside my Dad’s ’76 LTD. The LTD was probably almost exactly double the work.
What, nobody just opened the door and stood on the rocker panel sill to reach the middle of the roof?
IKR? I thought everyone did!
You’d need wax by the skid load to properly wax this thing!
All humour aside, I’m with GN……normally I don’t look at these cars and like them, but this is a great example, and goes to show that with the right colour and exterior options/ styling, that a car can still be enjoyed. Can’t stand the mid 70’s ones, though and I’m not sure that any colour combination could save those ones for me (ditto for mid 70’s Impalas).
Washing cars and ’71 Chryslers really brings back memories for me. When I was very little, like around five, I started a “car washing business.” It consisted of me getting on my bathing suit, spraying the car with a hose and maybe sloshing a few wet rags over parts of it. Great entertainment for a car crazy little kid, and my parent’s cars were the usual victims. But when relatives came to visit, I naturally extended the offer to them. So, when my Great Aunt came down from Memphis in her huge brown ’71 Chrysler New Yorker, she’d take the bait and let me wash her car too. And a step ladder was involved as well: my parents would let me bring over a step ladder and then climb up onto the hood, trunk and even the roof of the cars to “wash” them. Good thing I was light and the old American sheet metal was thick! Of course, in today’s safety-obsessed times, I’m sure this activity would be considered a shocking example of child endangerment, but there I was on top of a giant wet Chrysler, parked on a concrete driveway, having a ball, while the adults stayed comfortable inside the air conditioned house. IIRC, I even made 25 cents a wash!
Too bad you don’t have any photos to cherish .
I really wish the rear marker light was symmetrical with the front marker/floodlight assembly. That’s the only fault I can find in this, love the B5 blue.
Everything looks good in B5 blue. one of Chrysler’s best colors ever
This car has the optional cornering lamps. The standard marker lamp is symmetrical with the one in the rear.
This is a beautiful, well equipped example of a car I have always loved. I’ve owned one (’69 Newport) and dealt with many back in the day when I was in the used car business. I have always been a full sized car man, and these rate near the top of my all time favorite list. They weren’t too bad to drive, as you could see all four corners from the driver’s seat. Although I will admit, since it has been over 35 years since I drove one, I probably would think they are too big today.
So luv the Fuselage look. My best friend’s mom drove a 1969 Chrysler Newport Sedan just like below. Could fit 6 kids in the back with room to spare. Can’t say that about today’s fastback styled sedans.
Great web site devoted to this classic style: http://www.fuselage.de
Now that is a nice looking car. The featured 2-dr, not so much. Something wrong with the proportions of the roofline, and the vinyl roof doesn’t help.
Nothing says old-school Chrysler like a loop-bumper fuselage. Truly the last hurrah and the end of an era before things began spiraling out of control (the Cordoba and Omnirizon’s brief success notwithstanding).
On a smartphone screen, I thought it was a convertible ……. and wasn’t that the original idea of the pillarless hardtop, back in the ’50’s.
Yes, Many “hardtop” designs fail to pull of the convertible look, and that WAS the whole idea originally!
That’s nearly exactly what a fuselage 300 convert looks like.
Great pic, too bad it’s polluted by the late model crap cans in the background….
Fantastic photo! I’ve long had a soft spot for these final ’70s vintage 300s. Great color on this car.
While the 300 sat in that mid price / mid trim segment that rarely sold well in any brand, I always wondered if the manufacturers approached the packaging on these cars the wrong way.
In base form, the 300 was not much more than the Newport Custom with slight trim variations and probably a larger standard engine. I would have made buckets, console, tilt wheel, road wheels, dual rearview mirrors, disc brakes (if they weren’t already) standard features. That would have given the car a truly different feel in the showroom, and given buyers of loaded up 300s the feeling that everyone knew they bought a relatively high end Chrysler.
By the time they figured out that formula, it was way too late.
According to my 1971 Automobile Almanac, the 300s had standard 440s and 727s, while the Newport and Newport Customer came standard with 383s and 3-speed manuals. I suspect that virtually none of the Newports actually lacked automatics, but they did have smaller engines standard. All except the New Yorkers had standard front drum brakes.
I had a ’69 Newport with the standard 3 speed on the column back in the day. In fact, the only option it had was power steering. No radio, manual brakes no a/c (not an issue since I lived in Alaska at the time), standard full wheel covers, 383 with a two barrel, 2 door hardtop white with a blue interior. It was a great road car, and fairly economical as well (18 mpg on the road). Ah, the good old days…
Well, the legendary (but pricey) letter-series had run its course. Chrysler was playing the prestige card, hoping people would pay extra for a few bits of trim and 300 badges on what was essentially a Newport. While purists decry the process, considering the alternative would be to just drop the line, it was a sound business decision which, in the long run, probably saved a good model name which lives on today.
The first couple of years, the 300 non letter series simply traded on the name. After that, it usually had a unique exterior appearance with features like bumpers, fenders, or hidden lights, in addition to upgraded interior trim.
Chrysler sold plenty of 300 non letters with buckets, but full size cars with buckets and consoles were dead in the market by 1970.
In the muscle era, two door Mopars with premium interior trim often had buckets with buyer’s choice of console and floor shift or a buddy seat and column shift.
Very pretty car. But the four door hardtop just has better proportions than the two door and looks even better,
+2 four doors/wagons look better on the fusey.
The ever-silent Mr Perry knows exactly what he’s doing with this shot. The long lens flattens this shape out, minimising the awkward proportions of the two door that can sometimes make it look like a pickup. He has placed it in a shard of sunlight on an otherwise unsunny stretch of car park. Magic.
I agree with the “fuselage” body as being on my list of cars that look better as a sedan than a coupe, but I’d still take this 300!
I love me some fuselage Chrysler;. one of these is near the top of my Powerball list. I know that these are really not good cars, the build quality was hit or miss (to say the least), they are awkward to drive and park, and you need your own personal oil well to keep them in gasoline. Don’t care; I have always loved the looks of these cars, the only thing that would make it better would for the car to be an Imperial. To me there are few things better, at least automotively speaking, than to roll into the torque from that 440 and watching the speedometer climb towards the big numbers.
I must be one of the few that likes the big Fuselage in 2 door form, there is something about such an obviously big & powerful car with such a small looking passenger compartment that really appeals to me.
Sort of like the big roadster’s & coupes of the 30s that could only seat 2 or 3 people.
Love the 4 door Hardtops as well though.
It really does look like a modern business or “3-window” coupe, and yet, looking at this car and the 4dr hardtops, the rear of the C-pillar seems to land in the same place, but with sharper angles both fore and aft. The forward edge of the C-pillar may land forward of the 4 door’s, too – hard to tell, b/c true side shots of the 4 door are an internet unicorn.
Will you ever see such a long rear fender ever again on a new Car?
Back in the day I ridiculed the size and bulk of such behemoths. But now that everyone drives barns on wheels, it almost looks svelte.
I know that 1971 was the last year for the 300 in RWD form (until 2004-5). In 1972, the Chrysler lineup consisted of Newport Royal, Newport Custom, New Yorker along with the New Yorker Brougham (new addition for 72).
About 1981, I found a 70 Newport 2 door on a used car lot. 56K miles and priced at $800. Air conditioned, even. Great shape, metallic gold in and out with a black vinyl roof. I did not have the money and let it go. I have carried a torch for that one ever since. And now you all have to go and dredge it up again. 🙂
I agree that this is a stunning shot.
Headed over to the Gilmore for a pre WWII show a week ago, and discovered they were also hosting a meet of a 300 owner’s club.
The fuselage era was represented, tho, to me, they lack the flamboyance of the earlier models.
This 69 showed up at the Gilmore’s Mopar show last year.
Great photo indeed!
When I ordered my ’72 Polara, I opted for the painted roof vs. vinyl…liked the look much better. One of my favorite cars.
I have had 4 of these over the years. I always thought the proportions were better on the 4 doors, but there was something about the 2 doors that always pulled me back in.
The 70 Hurst had some of the most comfortable seats, but my 71 300 with a sunroof was an unbelievable cruiser. You felt like you were on top of the word riding on the highway in that car.
The 70 300 and 71 300 on a corner.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Notify me of follow-up comments by email.
Notify me of new posts by email.
Enter your email address to subscribe to CC and receive notifications of new posts by email.
About Arras WordPress Theme
Copyright 2011 - 2016 Curbside Classics. All Rights Reserved.