Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach: A Trio Of MOPAR Land Yachts For Your Enjoyment


As this olelongrooffan pointed out on Wagon Wednesday, the Barrett-Jackson boys brought out a little bit of everything for their Palm Beach festivities. After longroofs, probably some of my favorite cars are the “D-bodies” offered by Chrysler in the late 1950’s and very early 1960’s. It appears that Chrysler didn’t designate their chassis with a letter (other than the letter 300’s of the day) until 1964 but later references date them back to 1957. But who really cares? This body style two door offering just really trips my trigger. I mean, what’s not to like about this ivory white drop top from way back in the year this olelongrooffan was just entering this world? Nothing as far as I am concerned.


I certainly believe this “Golden Lion” series of drop tops was one of the best the Chrysler marque had to offer during 1959 and this 1 of 961 certainly represents its heritage well.  I am confident that $3,600.00 price tag was a fortune, especially during the “Eisenhower’s Great Recession” of the late 50’s, sadly a time when a whole dang bunch of automobile manufacturers were finally realizing their demise was imminent. 


But for the gavel price of $61,600.00 (including buyer’s fees), this gorgeous drop top offered a bunch of fun stuff, at least to me, including a dash mounted interior rear view mirror, of course, a push button transmission, a padded dash and seating for six. All with a 383 under the hood. Can a vintage big ole MOPAR get any better than this?


Well actually my fellow Hoons, it does. Drop back a couple years and check out this DeSoto Fireflite droptop with the Adventurer package. This thing is just drop dead gorgeous. Many years ago, this olelongrooffan spotted one of these with a matching year motorboat at one of the MOPAR gatherings down at Don Garlit’s Museum in Belleview, Florida. This one is equally as nice and well equipped.


And I have continued with my new found habit of capturing the info sheet just so this olelongrooffan doesn’t neglect to include some of the pertinent information about a specific vehicle. According to the above imaged info sheet on this one, the Adventurer trim was added at a later date, along with the Kelsey-Hayes wire wheels.


But that is okay. During this era specific option sheets weren’t kept on these cars so, nowadays, pretty much anything goes. Just ask any Tri 5 Chevy owner about all of that. It really doesn’t seem to matter to the Judges of certain car shows as this DeSoto seems to have gathered a whole of trophies to display in its back seat for the Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach experience.


And, while not quite the DeSoto explorer’s helmet clad head that appeared on the previous generation’s forward look, there was, at least, some homage paid to that badging.


And, in typical Chrysler fashion, the push button transmission, padded dash and dash mounted rear view mirror began long before the ’59 Windsor shown above. Not really sure if the speckles in the carpet are my image taker or actually a part of this vehicle’s heritage.


I watched this car cross the block and the bidding was spirited and the gavel dropped at $148,000 (plus buyer’s fees). It seemed to be a popular vehicle that day. And I will say this about that. Seeing those two rare droptops adjacent to each other in the Showcase Exhibition there at Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach is something this olelongrooffan will long remember.


But nearly as cool was this Dodge Royal Lancer and Chrysler Sportsman I saw just a row or two over. That Royal Lancer to the right included those dual rear antennas showed the huge difference in styling between the ’56 and earlier styling and the ’57 and forward styling from the same designers.


Just check out the styling cues that were introduced in ’57 and carried on through my birth year on this tudor hardtop. To me, the detail around those taillights is somehow garish and beautiful at the same time. The mini fins along the top of each rear quarter pay homage to the jet age styling that defined automobile design in the late 1950’s.


As this olelongrooffan was checking out this sweet old hardtop, there was a youngish couple looking through the passenger’s side windows. The female member of that duo asked her guy what those things were in the seatbacks of the front seat. He mentioned he was unsure. Of course this olelongrooffan had to pipe up that they were ashtrays. “Go check out that Lincoln convertible a couple rows over. Each of the arm rests has its own ashtray and cigarette lighter,” I had to pipe in. “Seriously?” was the response. “Yep,” and they headed off to take in just that sight. Rookies.


Now interestingly enough, this pristine brought in $55,000.00 (including buyer’s fees) and I thought it was well sold. The market for these old MOPAR hardtops is stronger that I had initially believed.

And what this world needs is more bench seating for six, push button transmissions, dash mounted rear view mirrors and ashtrays in seat backs.

Image Copyright Hooniverse 2013/longrooffan

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4 responses to “Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach: A Trio Of MOPAR Land Yachts For Your Enjoyment”

  1. wisc47 Avatar

    That DeSoto is the only thing I would feel comfortable driving in to Vegas, nothing else would ever do.

  2. MVEilenstein Avatar

    That Royal Lancer is nice. Very nice.

  3. C³-Cool Cadillac Cat Avatar
    C³-Cool Cadillac Cat

    Mmmm, mmmm, mmmm! I think that first Chrysler was particularly well-purchased. Mopars of the era had rust forming before they left the factory.
    Re: ashtrays & lighters.
    My '73 Coupe deVille had four ashtrays and four lighters.
    The '89 W126 sedan had three of each.
    This was great for multiple 12V charging locations.

  4. Stu_Rock Avatar

    My 2005 Buick Park Avenue has an ashtray and lighter in both of the rear armrests as well. There's only one for the front seat occupants. In many ways, that car is a throwback to a different era, while in other ways, it's a fairly modern car. I love that duality about it.