Overall, 2015 was a big year for collector car auctions even as the market started…
FOUR limited edition fuselage muscle cars hit the auction block
The 1970 Chrysler 300 Hurst was a mystery of sorts from the moment of its conception. It wasn’t built the way they planned it, it wasn’t promoted the way anyone expected, and it didn’t make it into the brochures. There isn’t even a solid consensus on how many were built; some sources say that 485 examples were made, others say 500. At least we know how many convertibles were produced: exactly one, for promotional use.
The rest of the run came out in near-identical fashion: Spinnaker White coupes with Satin Tan accents, applied post-production by Hurst. The famed manufacturer of shifters would also install a fiberglass hood with recessed twist locks and a rear decklid with integrated spoiler and vacuum-operated remote release. The interiors were tan and mostly sourced from the Imperial, which made sense because the base price of nearly six thousand dollars meant you couldn’t spend any more on a Chrysler without getting the Imperial badge.
Mechanically, the cars were bone-stock 375-horse 440 big-blocks with mandatory three-speed TorqueFlite. You could get a console shifter as an option. Neither the console nor column shifter were made by Hurst. Suspension and braking were the stiffest and strongest available.
The high price, modest specification, and late production announcement meant that the 300 Hurst wouldn’t set any sales records. Nor would it earn the automatic affection of Mopar aficionados, not all of whom consider it to be a true “letter car”. As a full-sized way to make an impression on the road in 2019, however, the 300 Hurst packs a considerable punch—and that’s made it reasonably attractive to a select group of collectors over the years.
No doubt those folks are looking long and hard at the property list for this weekend’s Gulf Coast Classic auction, because there are four—count ‘em, four—examples of the 300 Hurst for sale. All four look to be in reasonable cosmetic shape, although they are slightly different, with varying levels of prep and restoration listed on each car’s summary page. Mileage figures are shown as
- 38,599 (column shifter)
- 49,368 (console shifter)
- 79,837 (column shifter, AC visible beneath passenger dash)
- 97,115 (column shifter)
Three of the cars are described as numbers matching.
What will they bring? Currently, the 1970 Chrysler 300H Hurst Hardtop Coupe condition #1 (Concours) value is $50,400, #2 (Excellent) is $39,800, #3 (Good) is $26,700, and #4 (Fair) is $19,600.
The Hurst edition is worth approximately 2.5 times the 300 Hardtop Coupe base model with the same 440 cubic-inch/375-hp 4-bbl Hi-Perf engine.
Values for the Hurst edition have been mostly flat the past several years in the price guide but dipped an average of nine percent in September 2019.
At Mecum’s Kissimmee auction in 2018, one sold for a record $66,000.
As a visual upgrade of a standard-equipment luxury coupe, the 300 Hurst had no direct market competition in 1970; nowadays, a buyer might also be considering the intermediate-sized Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS 454, which has less luxury, less weight, and more pace for an average price premium of 15 percent or so. If it’s Mopar or no car for you, you could also look at a 1956 Chrysler 300B, which will cost you about twice as much.
Mystery car or no, these 300 Hurst Editions would turn heads anywhere they went. For the maximum effect, buy all four and form a posse with three full-size-friendly co-drivers. Look at it this way: The Hunt brothers never owned one percent of all the silver made, and they were believed to have cornered the market. Would the Federal Government step in if you cornered the market on fast fuselage Mopars?