Car of the Week: 1961 Chrysler 300G

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Car Life called the Chrysler 300G “the best road car on the market.” Chrysler called it “the brand-new 1961 version of Chrysler’s championship breed of rare motorcars. The 300G could do 0-to-60 mph in 8.4 seconds, and 0-to-100 mph in 21.2 seconds. The quarter mile took 16.2 seconds at 87.4 mph. Top speed of the 300G was reported by Car Life to be 131 mph. At Daytona, a 300G running with the optional 2.93:1 axle ratio won the NASCAR Flying Mile Championship with a two-way average of 143.0 mph. A 300G also won the NASCAR Standing Mile Championship with a speed of 90.7 mph.


The 300G was still considered a part of the high-performance market by those who appreciated brute horsepower in a luxury automobile. It was a limited-edition automobile, precision built for the connoisseur of careful craftsmanship and superb engineering.

Its styling mirrored the minor styling changes found in the other 1961 Chryslers. The car’s appearance was altered by the use of an inverted grille shape and the relocation of the tail lights from the fins to above the rear bumper. 1961 was the last year the Letter Car sported the Virgil Exner fins.

The 300G continued to use Chrysler’s 413-cid wedge V-8 with 375 hp at 5000 rpm and 495 lbs.-ft. of torque at 2800 rpm. This engine had 30-inch ram-induction tubes that increased torque up to 10 percent in the mid-engine range. Dual Carter four-barrel carbs were carried over.

As with the 300F, Chrysler offered a 400-hp option for the 300G. This V-8 had solid lifters, “short” induction tubes, slightly larger carburetors and a longer-duration (284- to 268-degree) cam. The short rams reduced maximum torque to 465 lbs.-ft. at 3600 rpm. The 300G’s standard axle ratio was 3.23:1. This change gave the G a slight top speed advantage over the F. The standard transmission for the 300G was a heavy-duty TorqueFlite with increased oil pressure and stronger internal components. With ratios of 2.45, 1.45 and 1.00:1 plus a maximum stall ratio of 2.2:1, this push-button-controlled transmission gave outstanding performance.

Replacing the four-speed Pont-a-Mousson manual transmission as an alternative to TorqueFlite was a heavy-duty three-speed Chrysler-built gearbox. A manual transmission 300G had almost identical acceleration times as the TorqueFlite version.











Model       Body/Style    Body Type    Factory    Shipping    Production

Number    Number         & Seating     Price        Weight       Total
300G — SERIES RC4P — V-8
RC4-P        842               2d HT-5P        $5,411      4,260 lbs.    1,280
RC4-P        845               2d Conv-5P    $5,841       4,315 lbs.    337

ENGINES

BASE “LONG RAM” V-8: Overhead valve. Cast-iron block. Bore and stroke: 4.18 x 3.75 inches. Displacement: 413 cid. Compression ratio: 10.10:1. Brake hp: 375 at 5000 rpm. Taxable hp: 55.90. Torque: 495 at 2800 rpm. Five main bearings. Hydraulic valve lifters. Dual exhaust. Carburetors: Two Carter Type AFB Model 2903S four-barrel. Engine code: R-41.

OPTIONAL “SHORT RAM” V-8: Overhead valve. Cast-iron block. Bore and stroke: 4.18 x 3.75 inches. Displacement: 413 cid. Compression ratio: 10.10:1. Brake hp: 400 at 5000 rpm. Taxable hp: 55.90. Torque: 465 at 3600 rpm. Five main bearings. Solid valve lifters. Dual exhaust. Carburetors: Two Carter Type AFB Model 2903S four-barrel. Engine code: R-41.

DIFFERENTIAL

Standard: Semi-floating hypoid —2-pinionSure-Grip: Semi-floating hypoid 2-pinion Standard ratio 3.23:1

SUSPENSION
Front: Torsíon bar springs, nonparallel control arms
Rear: Longitudinal leaf, semielliptic; dírect acting,
heavy-duty shock absorbers

WHEELS & TIRES
High-performance, nylon tubeless, 8:00×15 tires;
pressed steel disc wheels, 15x6K

BRAKES
Hydraulic, internal-expanding with total contact shoes
Front & rear: 12 in. diameter

BODY & FRAME
Unitized body and frame
Wheelbase 126.0 ins.
Track, front 61.2 ins., rear 60.0 ins.
Overall length 219.8 ins.
Dry weight 4200 lbs. (approx.)

OPTIONS

Power seat ($102). Swivel seat ($87). Heater ($102). Air conditioner, all except station wagons ($510). Air conditioner, in station wagons ($714). Golden Tone radio ($100). Golden Touch Tuner radio ($124). Power antenna ($26). Rear window defogger ($21). Sure Grip differential ($52). Left-hand outside remote mirror ($18). Tinted glass ($43). Closed crankcase vent system ($5).

COLLECTOR VALUES (estimates based on recent auction results)
Convertible:
No. 1 Condition: $124,500
No. 2: $87,150
No. 3: $56,030
No. 4: $24,900
No. 5: $14:940
No. 6: $4,980

Hardtop:
No. 1: $78,000
No. 2: $54,600
No. 3; $35,100
No. 4: $15,600
No. 5: $9,360
No. 6: $3,120

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