The John Staluppi Collection

1 December 2012

Lot 256

1958 Chrysler 300D Convertible

To be auctioned on Saturday, December 1, 2012

Sold for $198,000

  • Chassis no. LC41312


One of only 55 known to exist

Model LC-3-S. 380 bhp, 392.0 cu. in. Hemi OHV V-8 engine, three-speed Torqueflite automatic transmission, coil spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 126 in.

For much of its history, Chrysler was a frontrunner in building some of the most interesting and exciting high-performance cars Detroit had to offer. Foremost among them are the formidable early Hemi-powered Chrysler 300 “letter cars” of the 1950s, which, by virtue of their cost and long list of standard and optional features, were reserved for the wealthiest and most discerning buyers. Cloaked in handsome Virgil Exner-designed bodies and carefully engineered, the 300 series offered the ultimate in American luxury and performance. The year 1957 had been a banner year for all of the automakers, but in 1958, things changed quickly.

The staggering economy, coupled with an industry-wide strike, served to significantly reduce the number of 1958 models built by all manufacturers, and the Chrysler 300D production was no exception. Just 191 Chrysler 300D convertibles were delivered in 1958. Interestingly, Chrysler decided to offer Bendix's electronic fuel injection system as an option. Unfortunately, electronic fuel injection wasn't a great idea in an era when vacuum tubes still ruled the electronics world; hence, the relative handful of cars equipped with the Bendix system were recalled and retrofitted with carburetors. The single engine that remained was a 392-cubic inch Hemi wearing dual Carter four-barrel carbs and made 380 horsepower. That year was also notable as a 300D was driven to 156.387 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats.

Due to low production and high cost, 1958 was also the last year that the company offered its Hemi in a full-size Chrysler; for 1959, it was discontinued with the 300E, which only came equipped with the less expensive 413-cubic inch wedge head V-8 engine. This example is painted white with a tan canvas top. It has excellent body contours and gaps with few, if any, detectable paint flaws, except for some scratches near the top of the driver’s side door, which otherwise fits and shuts very well. The lightly worn tan seats are in good condition, as is the black dash pad. The odometer shows 55,239 miles, which are believable original. Other interior finishes include the excellent black carpeting and the tan top boot with optional power steering, power brakes, windshield washers, a power seat, power windows, and an AM radio.

A previous body-off restoration, the engine bay displays very nicely with little wear of note and, like all of the examples in the Letter Car Series of the Staluppi Collection, utilizes correct materials and finishes. A look underneath shows that the body was removed for restoration, there is no undercoating, and the black chassis was obviously painted separately from the body-color floor pans. This Chrysler is a remarkably rare and beautiful example that awaits its next owner’s enthusiastic ownership, and notably, there were only 191 examples of the 300D convertible produced, and the Chrysler 300 Club International has tracked only 55 surviving examples. Almost four times rarer than a Model J Duesenberg, this nicely restored example warrants special consideration.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alain Squindo


Detroit, Michigan

Alain Squindo joined RM Auctions in 2007, after graduating from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., with a degree in History. R... read more

Alex Classick

aclassick@rmauctions.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Alex Classick joined RM Europe in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Nottingham University with a degree in Business Mana... read more

Alexander Weaver

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+1 310 559 4575
California, USA

Alexander Weaver joined RM Auctions in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born into ... read more

Annette Abaci

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+49 (0) 40 441 95 737
Germany

With post-secondary degrees in Economic Science and Mechanical Engineering, Annette Abaci initially worked part-time at Mercedes-Benz ... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmauctions.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a senior car specialist, after more than a decade in the collector car hobby... read more

Dan Warrener

dwarrener@rmauctions.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Possessing a degree in Economics from Brandon University, Dan Warrener spent the initial stages of his career working around the globe... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmauctions.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don Rose joined RM Auctions in 2006, after many years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputatio... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmauctions.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, USA

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord joined RM Auctions in 1998, initially responsible for the transportation and logistics of the company’s auction and restora... read more

Ian Kelleher

ikelleher@rmauctions.com

+1 212 894 1301
New York, United States

Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College, with a B.A. in Political Science. ... read more

Jack Boxstrom

jboxstrom@rmauctions.com

+1 818 703 2816
Ontario, Canada

Jack Boxstrom joined RM Auctions in late-1996 to assist with the recently acquired, and subsequently record-breaking, auction in Monte... read more

Max Girardo

mgirardo@rmauctions.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Max Girardo started his career in the vintage automobile industry in 1998, joining Brooks Auctioneers (now Bonhams) as a car specialis... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmauctions.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Auctions, Mike Fairbairn has a longstanding interest in the classic car industry. Graduati... read more

Peter Wallman

pwallman@rmauctions.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007, following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, read more

Peter Giddings

pgiddings@rmauctions.com

+1 925 831 2048
California, United States

A life-long car enthusiast, Peter joined RM’s California office with over half a century of experience in the automotive and rac... read more

Peter Blond

pblond@rmauctions.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Peter Blond joined the RM Europe team in 2013 after being immersed in the collector car industry for more than 60 years. An... read more

Rob Myers

rmyers@rmauctions.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As chairman and founder of the RM Group of Companies, Rob Myers’s entire career has been devoted to the classic car industry. Ro... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmauctions.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, USA

Shelby Myers literally grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to w... read more

Vinnie Mandzak

vmandzak@rmauctions.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, USA

Vinnie Mandzak joined RM Auctions’ California office in 2012 as a car specialist, following more than 30 years’ experience... read more

Jeff Whiteside

jwhiteside@rmauctions.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Jeff Whiteside joined RM Auctions as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer following almost three decades in a diverse r... read more