The last great Chrysler 300 letter car…The 1961 300G “The Banker’s Hotrod”
The final Chrysler 300 letter car designed by one of Chrysler’s greatest
designers, Virgil Exner, was the the 1961 300G.
Given the nickname….”The Banker’s Hotrod” these cars were very expensive back
in 1961 and you practically had to own a bank to afford one. The term “Hot Rod”
was justly deserved…here was a big heavy luxurious car (4500 lbs) that topped out at 140 mph!
It was the final design to showcase Exner’s incredible unique tail fins and
Exner left Chrysler in 1961 and the 1962 300H bore no resemblance to the
Letter cars previously designed by Virgil Exner.
It was also the last year for the 413 cid Ram Induction, dual four barrel V-8.
Chrysler won the two way flying mile at Daytona Beach, Florida in 1955, 1956, 1960 and 1961.
In 1961 Chrysler won the flying mile with a two way average on the hard packed sand of Daytona
Beach at 143 MPH. Chrysler would have won 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th place but were disqualified
because a less than 3 ounce piece of trim flew off the other 300 G’s during their timed runs.
The amazing thing is that the other Chrysler’s that were disqualified average a top speed of
almost 10 miles an hour faster than the Chevrolet, Pontiac or Ford cars.
Another unique feature of the Chrysler 300G were 4 leather individual bucket seats with the front
bucket seats mounted on a swivel to insure easy entry and exit from the car.
The dash had a Panelescent (Electro-luminescent) lighting system like no other car. Using
a special power supply that changed the 12 volt system to a 225 VAC/50 cycles and produced
an optical and electrical phenomenon that made the dash lighting appear to be “radioactive”
The three speed automatic transmission featured “push buttons” and was a blast to drive.
Cruising at 65-70mph in high gear around 2750 rpms (3rd gear) if you pushed in the 2nd gear button
and tromped the gas pedal to the floor, you could break the tires loose…I know this for a fact.
During the Summer of 1961 my cousin & I secretly raced his Dad’s 300G in enough “Top End” races to
enable yours truly to purchase a new 1962 Chevy Impala 404/409 SS.