A 1960 Chrysler 300F convertible set to appear at the 2017 Milwaukee Concours d’Elegance has tailfins so high it looks as though it could fly as easily as cruise down the brand-new interstate highways of its day.
But going from being the last of its kind off the assembly line to a contender for major awards was a winding journey that included a 40-year rest stop in a collector’s barn.
According to the current owner, Randy Guyer of Minnetonka, Minnesota, “No one knew for sure if the collection was still there because it had been decades since anyone had seen the cars.”
After a thorough restoration that took eight years to complete, the 248th—and final—300F convertible ever made will make its show debut at Veteran’s Park in Milwaukee on Aug. 6.
Guyer said he fell in love with the cars of the space age when, as a kid, he got his first glimpse of a 1960 Chevrolet Impala: “With that chrome jet going down the side, I thought it was the most striking thing I’d ever seen.”
All 10 cars in his collection were made between 1957 and ’60. He got the 300F when a restorer asked him if he had a car that needed work.
“I said no, but I told him I’d seen a 300F and wanted one in all black that had all the options,” Guyer recalled. “He laughed and said, ‘That should be easy, since they made so many of them.”
The car the restorer found in Boston had every option Chrysler offered on its elite line of so-called “letter cars” that year—including an “AstraDome” gauge cluster that uses electro-luminescence instead of bulbs to produce “a beautiful glow that reduces eyestrain and glare during night driving.”
It also came with air conditioning, a power antenna, a remote control outside mirror, tinted glass and vacuum door locks. The console extended all the way through the cabin, giving each of the four leather bucket seats an armrest, and the power front seats swiveled so that “ladies could get in and out with dignity.”
Guyer’s car has a 413 cubic inch Xram wedge-design engine with long rams and dual quads that puts out 375 horsepower. Paired with a pushbutton three-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission, the 300F tops out at 150 mph.
Restored, it has the original body, engine and transmission, and all of the interior and exterior colors are authentic.
“It was very futuristic,” said Guyer, who is founder and chairman of Minnetonka’s 10,000 Lakes Concours d’Elegance. “It was the highest, most premium car Chrysler made that year, intended to compete with Cadillacs and Thunderbirds. A true ‘sport luxury’ car.”
The two-day Milwaukee Concours d’Elegance is scheduled for the first weekend in August, opening with the open Show & Glow by the Lake car show, a motor tour and the annual Style & Speed Social on Saturday, Aug. 5.
The Milwaukee Concours d’Elegance is hosted by The Masterpiece Ltd. The Masterpiece Ltd. is organized and operated exclusively to support other public charities including but not limited to those operating in southeastern Wisconsin which provide medical and social service care and relief to underprivileged children and families through various motor vehicle-related fundraising events. Learn more at masterpieceltd.org.
Contact: Carrol Jensen
Title: Sunday Concours Event Committee
Company: The Masterpiece Ltd.
Contact Phone Number: 414-526-2244
Contact E-Mail: Carrol Jensen
Website URL: masterpieceltd.org