The 1961 Chrysler 300G is a rare car, so it’s only natural that Jay Leno has one. They only built about 1280 of them, mostly because it was an opulent luxury car with an equally opulent price tag.
For your hard earned dollars, Chrysler gave you air conditioning, swing-out seats at the front and individual buckets at the rear, an Astrodome instrument cluster from the future, stiffer torsion bars and leaf springs, plus a 413cu.-in. engine, which did not come with hemispherical combustion chamber thanks to the bean counters, but still produced a whopping 375 horsepower and 495 lb.-ft., sending all of it to the rear wheels through an advanced automatic transmission.
All this technology was wrapped in a body designed by Virgil Exner, who finished off the company’s “Forward Look” phase with this knockout behemoth before switching to the ungainly 1962 models—which Exner himself derisively referred to as looking like “plucked chickens“.
As Leno points out, despite being a 229-inch-long, 4200-lb. beast, thanks to a lack of modern safety equipment, this car is still lighter than a current Dodge Challenger Hellcat. And you won’t need to take off your hat before getting inside.