CC Outtake: 1969 Chrysler 300 Convertible – Tokyo Leviathan


(first posted 8/13/2016)   Walking though our suburban Tokyo neighborhood always offers the chance of running across some exquisite, rare JDM classic – so when I spotted this on a recent Sunday, I couldn’t have been more surprised.  No JDM model here, this in all its splendor is a 1969 Chrysler 300 convertible, with period correct aftermarket Crager SS wheels – some real heavy Detroit iron from the Swinging ‘60s…


I’ve walked by this car before but it always had a car cover on it – so while I could see it was something fairly large, I couldn’t make out any identifying details.  I thought maybe it was an older Toyota Century or Nissan President.


As I’m sure readers of CC know, this is an example of Chrysler’s “Fuselage” styling, seen on the company’s large models built from 1969-’73.


I can remember when these were introduced – the new fuselage design theme was somewhat controversial.  While some thought it was sleek, others criticized it as unnecessarily large and “bloated” looking, especially in the rear, with too much overhang aft of the rear axle.


1970 Chrysler 300 Hurst Edition

I was a fan of these cars, but I did think the roof and “C” pillar were a bit out of sync with the rest of the design, and caused it to look somewhat awkward –  the convertible didn’t have this C pillar design and in my view was the best looking.


The grill marks it as a ’69 – the ’70 and ’71 did away with the “gun-sight” in favor of variations of the remaining horizontal chrome band.


If only the hood was open…inside is either the stock RB 440 good for 350 hp.and 460 ft lbs of torque or the “TNT” version with a mighty 375/480.


With either engine, I can understand why the owner isn’t using it as a daily driver – gas here in Tokyo is about $5.00 per gallon (as in 2016, in 2022 it’s about $6.05), so with a 24 gallon tank, each fill-up will set you back $120 bucks ($145 in 2022).  But what a great weekend cruiser – just keep it on the main thoroughfares and out of Tokyo’s notorious smaller streets – don’t want any scrapes on that beautiful fuselage body…

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