12 September 2018
Best of Show's 1962 Chrysler 300H convertible has impressive shelf appeal
Striking is a good word to describe this model. The styling is a great example of early 1960s American car design and the colour really suits the whole package.
Chrysler's letter series cars started in 1955 with the C300. The range were designed as high performance personal luxury cars - there is an an argument that these were the anscestors of the muscle cars, they were fast cars for their day. The '300' referenced the bhp figure of the V8 engine fitted to the original model. This engine was 331cu in (5.4-litre) FirePower "Hemi" V8, this was fed by twin four barrel carburettors and breathed through a performance exhaust system.
By the time the 300H came along in 1962, the V8 engine had gained even more horses thanks to it growing to 413cu in (6.8 litre) in size, but also thanks to the unusual cross ram manifold system fitted from 1960 onward.
Inside, the car was packed with luxury touches, such as power windows, swivelling front seats to aid entry and leather trim. There was also a radio - some even had onboard record players!
All the 300H models were fitted with a three-speed automatic gearbox - even though earlier cars had previously had the option of a manual gearbox.
The body styling was dramatic. The twin front headlamps were stacked in a similar manner to some Buicks and even the Mulliner Rolls-Royces. This had been introduced on the previous year's car but the big styling difference on the 300H was the lack of rear fins. There was still a large amount of chrome and side detailing, including that huge Chrysler badge on the leading edge of the front wing.
However, the 300H wasn't the success of earlier models. Less than 600 found homes during 1962.
Best of Show's model of this hard to find Chrysler depicts it in a lovely dark metallic blue, which contrasts nicely with the tan interior.
The chrome trim down the side is very well applied, and the trim around the rear lights is very delicately done. The badges are replicated, inclding the '300' badge on the boot.
The interior doesn't disappoint either, which is as well as the convertible roof is depicted in the down postition, meaning all of it is on show. Even the electric window switches are replicated.
Where this model excels, though, is in its sheer shelf presence. Its a dramatic, eye catching model - which is exactly what the original designers had in mind for the 300H. In that regard, this model really succeeds.