Owned by Marriott International, the St. Regis chain of luxury hotels first started in 1904 in New York City. One amenity that set the brand apart from other properties was a telephone installed in every guest room. During that era, having a phone in each room was a very big deal. Similarly, the St. Regis name was applied to upscale vehicles in Chrysler’s lineup that conveyed the ultimate in luxury.
“This St. Regis hardtop coupe was purchased from an estate sale in California where it only accumulated 14,000 miles and was last registered in 1979 until its 2021 body-on restoration,” the listing states. The seller doesn’t specify where the car spent over four decades, but the restoration work was reportedly detail-oriented and applied the proper color schemes both inside and out.
The New Yorker model was first brought to life as Chrysler’s flagship in 1940 and was the brand’s contender in the upscale segment, targeting competition from Buick and Mercury. The St. Regis name was used exclusively for hardtops with two-tone paint, and there were nine available paint schemes.
The listing talks about an automobile designer named Virgil Exner. Exner’s first design work was for General Motors, where he worked on Pontiac styling before the age of 30. By the late 1940s, he had transitioned to Chrysler and became known for his love of tailfins as a key element in “Forward Look” design language. Aside from aerodynamic benefits, Exner used fins as visual elements. The futuristic styling led to some late-1950s Chryslers being marketed under the tagline “Suddenly, it’s 1960!”
This New Yorker clearly benefits from Exner’s artistic touch to the rear end where it has very prominent vertical taillamps capped by chrome accents. At the other end of the car, the hood houses a 331cid Hemi FirePower V8 connected to a PowerFlite automatic transmission. The car is said to “drive effortlessly” according to the seller, and it stops via power-assisted four-wheel drum brakes.
“Amazing attention to detail throughout the restoration to include period-correct cloth-braided wiring. You will not find a better example,” the seller says.
As for Exner, he passed away 49 years ago at age 64 from heart failure, but his legacy lives on in the form of well-preserved Chryslers like this from the peak chrome and tailfin era.
The seller is asking $42,500 or best offer for this classy low-mileage New Yorker. It will look right at home in the valet parking lot at any St. Regis hotel.