Real Wheels: 1961 Chrysler 300G Convertible is car collector’s dream


By Merri Hanjora - [email protected]



When a car comes along like this stunning 1961 Chrysler 300G Convertible, you buy it.

When a car comes along like this stunning 1961 Chrysler 300G Convertible, you buy it.


Dave Kriegel, of Lima, heard about this car from Hemming’s and purchased it in Auburn Hills, Michigan, this summer.

Dave Kriegel, of Lima, heard about this car from Hemming’s and purchased it in Auburn Hills, Michigan, this summer.


It is powered by the 413 V8 Wedge Engine with two four barrels and cross ram intake manifold. Power is delivered through Chrysler’s three-speed, push button, automatic transmission.


The car won the 2016 Concours D’Elegance award in Plymouth, Michigan.


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LIMA — When a car comes along like this stunning 1961 Chrysler 300G Convertible, you buy it. Dave Kriegel, of Lima, heard about this car from Hemming’s and purchased it in Auburn Hills, Michigan, this summer.

This 1961 Chrysler 300G convertible is one of 337 built, which makes this a rare classic. It is powered by the 413 V8 Wedge Engine with two four barrels and cross ram intake manifold. Power is delivered through Chrysler’s three-speed, push button, automatic transmission. It measures 20 feet in length from bumper to bumper.

The car won the 2016 Concours D’Elegance award in Plymouth, Michigan.

“I’ve driven it, it’s like a dream boat,” said Kriegel.

In 1955, Chrysler produced the 300 in what would become the first in a series of Chrysler 300 letter cars. For the 1961 300G model, Chrysler made some styling changes over the 300F model which included reshaping the grille and lowering the taillights’ position on the fin.

This beauty was originally owned by Virgil Exner, the design engineer at Chrysler Corporation in Auburn Hills, Michigan. When Exner joined Chrysler, the cars were designed by engineers instead of designers. Some people thought that was why cars were boxy. Exner fought to change this structuring and won control over the design process. He is known for the “Forward Look” he created for Chrysler from 1955 through the early ‘60s.

Exner had an affection for tailfins on cars for both aesthetics and aerodynamics. He so believed in the aerodynamic benefit of tailfins that he used a wind tunnel testing at the University of Michigan to prove his theory, and he was right. He also just liked the looks of tailfins. He felt the lowered roofline made cars appear sleeker, smoother and more aggressive. His point was well taken even after tailfins were a thing of the past. In 1970, Porsche had racing automobiles that had fins on them. He was known as Chrysler’s “Wing Man” since he designed all of those big fin cars in the 1950s and ’60s.

Exner bought the car off the production line and drove it to and from work every day. In the late 1960s, Exner retired from Chrysler working directly under President Walter Chrysler Jr., as their Chief Design Engineer. The Chrysler Company took the car back to the shop and completely rebuilt the car, one nut and bolt at a time. They brought the car back to perfection at a cost of $230,000, and re-dedicated it to Virgil “Ex” as they called him. Luckily, the restoration costs were picked up by Chrysler as a retirement gift since Exner did so much for Chrysler.

The Exner family wanted the car to go to a qualified car collector and after the family checked Kriegel out, he was lucky enough to be able to acquire the car.

“I paid nowhere near the $230,000 restoration cost,” said Kriegel.

While Kriegel is happy to have been approved by the family, he’s just as happy to have this car added to his collection.

“I am just lucky to have her in my stall of car collections,” said Kriegel.

When a car comes along like this stunning 1961 Chrysler 300G Convertible, you buy it.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2021/12/web1_61Convertible-flip.jpgWhen a car comes along like this stunning 1961 Chrysler 300G Convertible, you buy it.
Dave Kriegel, of Lima, heard about this car from Hemming’s and purchased it in Auburn Hills, Michigan, this summer.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2021/12/web1_Convertible_flip1.jpgDave Kriegel, of Lima, heard about this car from Hemming’s and purchased it in Auburn Hills, Michigan, this summer.
It is powered by the 413 V8 Wedge Engine with two four barrels and cross ram intake manifold. Power is delivered through Chrysler’s three-speed, push button, automatic transmission.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2021/12/web1_ConvertibleEngine.jpgIt is powered by the 413 V8 Wedge Engine with two four barrels and cross ram intake manifold. Power is delivered through Chrysler’s three-speed, push button, automatic transmission.
The car won the 2016 Concours D’Elegance award in Plymouth, Michigan.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2021/12/web1_convertible_flip3.jpgThe car won the 2016 Concours D’Elegance award in Plymouth, Michigan.

By Merri Hanjora

[email protected]

ONLY ON LIMAOHIO.COM

See more profiles of Real Wheels cars at LimaOhio.com/tag/realwheels.

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