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Virgil Exner’s “Forward Look” cars rocket upward in a down market
The 300 letter cars will always being big money. It will be interesting to watch the rest of the Forward Look era cars to see if they do the same. In my opinion they are the most stunning of any era from any manufacturer.
Those cars had "lines" and "style" that were designed-in, rather than "tacked on". They exuded "speed of flight", tastefully and elegantly.
As much as those cars had the reputation for poor quality builds, much of that was fixed in the process of restoring them, I suspect. Making them what they should have been to start with, therefore optimizing all they should have been when new, but now decades later.
For comparison of those '57 Chryslers to the competition, the YouTube video "On the Test Track with the 1957 Chryslers". There are about five different videos, but that particular series is Chrysler vs. it GM competition. Check them out.
Parts from many New Yorkers were used to restore the more-desired 300 Letter cars, even into the later '50s.
Interesting how up-beat the Chrysler Corp advertising was back then! All documented via YouTube videos.
Nice article, but other than a sole DeSoto Adventurer auction, individual prices are only noted on Chrysler 300's which are far.... far..... outside the norm for Forward Look cars. Typical for Hagerty. I like having my cars insured through them, but these articles only seem to have investment focus.
I think I’m with you. Cars are not an investment. I specifically sought out a 60 Fury to make sure it gets to another generation and let people see that cars are really fast art.
the forward looks are all amazing but I’ll put my unibody, aero-wheeled, ‘stabilized’, ‘60 at the top of the heap!
None of us rescue these cars for investment. We all know the big cars and especially Chryco C-bodies will never be gold mines. The cost in time/labour and the lack of repro parts required to restore them ensures that we're doing it for love and to try to help these cars survive for another generation. Maybe our grandkids or great-grandkids will see a return on investment (if the cars survive) - but its unlikely. Hagerty's focus is the investors, not the historians!
I am just encouraged that the value of the three letter cars I have that are fully restored (2) or original (1) are not just evaporating dramatically every day that I still want to keep them - that was the only reason for mentioning this. I agree that they are a money pit to restore these days and very difficult due to parts availabilities too and would only be done as a labor of love or the need to punish one's self brutally.
[QUOTE="saforwardlook, I agree that they are a money pit to restore these days and very difficult due to parts availabilities too and would only be done as a labor of love or the need to punish one's self brutally.[/QUOTE]
I'm trying to return to the days of my misspent youth, so I acquired some cars that take me back to those days. Back on 1960-1964, I had a '60 Fury with the SonoRamic Commando mill that I thoroughly abused. In repentance, I was able to find a rancher's Sunday-go-to-meetin' car that was about the same (but blue/white rather than all white and with a few more options) with only 43000 on the clock back in 1999. It didn't take much to make it a show winner as a "survivor." That first '60 I had was ridden hard and put away wet many times by 1964, so I traded it for a '65 Sport Fury (426S/4-speed) which I drove hard and fast, but it still remained a favorite. Again, I was able to find its twin (same 426-S/4-speed, Medium Red Metallic inside and out, no PS, PB, or A/C) in 2016 and the heir of the last owner was closing out the estate and wanted to peddle it. While I could look at the 300C in the dealer's showroom through the windows, I loved the car and was fortunate to steal one from the second owner in 2006.
They may be rather rare as parts for the '60 and '65 are almost impossible to find but the drive trains are fairly tough (and MOPAR stuff is still available for them) so I don't mind flogging them as well as the C (though some repo can be had for it). I even had the two Plymmers on an 1/8 mile strip, but this 77-year-old coot is a product of the flagman days so I had a hard time with the christmas tree. Nonetheless, they are fun cars to drive and are very often an unpleasant surprise to a torqueless "tuner" at a Stop Light Grand Prix.
The non 300’s did well there too. There was a lot of money in the room. I bought the 300C convertible. I have vin 1 from 1955, so whatever I paid for 57 vin 1 only elevated the value of the true #1 from 55. There were 3 bidders to 250k. Down to 1 at 300. The best cars will always draw a big premium. The 57 Desoto is the best in the country. It was also bought by stallupi off the block.