JULY 2023: 1959 CHRYSLER WINDSOR TWO-DOOR HARDTOP—WHO’S CHRISTINE?

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Every red and white Mopar fin car gets the same nickname—Christine.

This happens whether the car is a ’58 Belvedere two-door hardtop (Christine) or any other version of an Exner (Virgil Exner Forward Look design) era Mopar fin car.

Every Mopar fin car gets this Christine label whether it’s a ’58 Plymouth or–in this case—a ’59 Chrysler Windsor two-door hardtop.

Jerry Sutherland

Rob Davidson is the current owner of this red and white beauty and he was quick to point out he had nothing to do with the restoration of the car. The former owner was an elderly gentleman who learned  he couldn’t continue to drive the car with manual steering, so it was listed for sale.

Rob found the advertisement for the Chrysler in a fairly obscure advertising venue, so he went to look at the car. He found out the car was sold as a trade-in at a local Chrysler dealer in the 1970s, so it was probably in rough shape.

The former owner did all the work on the Chrysler, and he brought it back to pristine condition. He was so detailed he had the leather grain on the front of the driver’s seat match the original grain on the back of the seat. This was a full-on restoration and Rob wanted to give full credit to the previous owner because he did all the heavy lifting.

The big block 413 runs so smoothly it’s barely noticeable at idle. Rob said he promised to never sell it and to drive the wheels off it. He’s delivered on both counts because within two days of ownership, he had an offer that was significantly higher than what he paid for the car. He turned it down because that would be the biggest insult to the former owner.

Rob also won a plaque for best of category for the Chrysler at a show and he didn’t keep it—he delivered it to the former owner out of respect for what the man had done to the car. He appreciated what it took to get the car to that point, and he wanted the award to go to the right guy.

Rob runs this big Mopar at freeway speeds or better because this car was built for the then-new freeway system of the late 1950s. The big block is loafing at 75 miles per hour because at that speed—it’s barely working.

There’s only been one issue with the car since Rob took ownership. The dash-mounted mirror mount wore out, so Rob found a parts car to fix it. He also has a trunk full of tech manuals for the Chrysler because information is king for cars that fall into the less trodden path category.

Rob was mystified when everyone who saw the car called it Christine. He’d never read the Stephen King book about the possessed and murderous ’58 Plymouth, so after he learned about the movie/book, he understood the connection—but he never picked up the nickname for the Windsor.

Someone had the DVD for the movie so he gave it to Rob and now he knows Christine’s story—the key for Rob is that everyone knows his car’s story.        

Jerry Sutherland

By: Jerry Sutherland

Jerry Sutherland is a veteran automotive writer with a primary focus on the collector car hobby. His work has been published in many outlets and publications, including the National Post, Calgary Herald, Edmonton Journal, Ottawa Citizen, Montreal Gazette, Saskatoon StarPhoenix, Regina Leader-Post,  Vancouver Sun and The Truth About Cars. He is also a regular contributor to Auto Roundup Publications.

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