Image credits: © Chrysler.
1957 Chrysler 300CT
he 300 series 'Letter Cars' from Chrysler was first introduced in 1955 and initially developed to allow the 300 to compete in the brand new NASCAR racing series, which they did with great success. The 1957 300C Convertible was introduced at Daytona, running the famed Flying Mile at Daytona Beach, which would eventually morph into the Daytona 500. The 300 C was long, low, and sleek, and the fastest production vehicle available that year with a top speed of 150 mph. Initially displacing 331.1 cubic-inches in 1955, the hemispherical engine had grown to a 392 cubic-inch displacement by 1957, and was backed by a three-speed Torqueflite automatic and dual quads. The overhead-valve engine had five main bearings, a 9.25:1 compression ratio, and two Carter four-barrel carburetors helping to develop 375 horsepower at 5,200 rpm and 420 ft-lbs of torque. An optional version of the engine had a 10.0:1 compression ratio, a 2.5-inch low back-pressure exhaust system, four-bolt cast-iron exhaust headers, and solid valve lifters developing 390 horsepower at 5,400 RPM. This modified engine was intended for stock racing and acceleration trials. The Chrysler 300C had a new dual-arm torsion bar front suspension that gave it superior handling with far less body roll than any coil spring design. Power-assisted drum brakes provided the stopping power for the 126-inch wheelbase vehicle. To aid in cooling the brakes, a rectangular opening below the headlamps directed air via a duct to the front brakes.
The period advertisement stated, 'Suddenly, It's 1960!' Introduced on October 30th of 1956, the company would sell 1.2 million vehicles that year, one of the best years in its history. Virgil Exner described the new 300C lineup of Chrysler as 'the new shape of motion.' The 300C had been fully redesigned with a lower, sleeker profile noted as 'flight-swept' styling, with sculpted body lines and respectable rear fins, that Chrysler described as 'stabilizers.' Period wind tunnel tests confirmed that the fins stabilized the 300 at high speeds. They bodysides devoid of external trim, except for the single spear-like moldings on the lower rear quarter panels, resulting in a smooth, clean, and tastefully designed car. In the front was a new grille that was unlike any seen on previous Chrysler vehicles. Nameplate medallions were located on the side spears, one on each hubcap, on the decklid, at the top center of the grille, glovebox, and within the steering wheel center hub. The medallion on the spears included both numbers and letters, while the others had only the '300' designation. Unlike other 1957 Chrysler models, the 300C did not have the narrow vertical bumper guards. Colors were monotone and used exclusively on the 300.
The 300C continued to be the highest price vehicles within the Chrysler lineup, with the two-door hardtop having a factory list price of $4,930 and the convertible at $5,360. Production remained extremely exclusive with 1,918 of the hardtop and 484 of the convertible.
The Chrysler 300C was classified in the New Yorker line but had very little in common with Chrysler's other cars. It contained all of the amenities of the New Yorker with a plush interior that's upholstered in fine tan leather. The dashboard had a unique look with gauges set on three protruding pods, while Chrysler's pushbutton-operated TorqueFlite automatic transmission is set to the left.
Beginning the with first 300 Letter Car of 1955, it would earn Chrysler championship titles in both the NASCAR Grand National (now Sprint Cup) and AAA stock car racing series. These race-bred achievements found their way into road-going Chryslers and paved the way for future America performance cars.by Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2020
Related Reading : Chrysler 300 History
In 1955, Chrysler introduced the C300. The C stood for coupe and the 300 was the horsepower rating of the original Hemi engine equipped with , two four barrel carbs, solid lifters, special manifolds, and enlarged dual exhausts. This vehicle gave the Chrysler Corporation a performance and sporty image, a much needed persona in this post World War II era. Many European manufacturers, such as Jaguar....Continue Reading >>
Related Reading : Chrysler 300 History
In 2005, the wave of retro design that is still shaping American cars first washed over Detroit. American companies, with their stale product offerings, began looking towards their rich pasts to inspire new models with the design and flair of long-gone icons. It was in 2005 that Chrysler launched a modern iteration of the famed 300. The 300 name had actually been revived by Chrysler several years....Continue Reading >>
The 1957 Chrysler 300C represents the pinnacle of the first generation of Chrysler Hemi engines. This Virgil Exner design features what many automobile aficionados consider to be the best use of fins - a clean, well-proportioned design.....[continue reading]
Chrysler's fifties high performance, big luxury car was the 300 'Letter Series.' Starting in 1955 with the 'A' suffix, the series lasted through 1965 with 'L' ('I' was omitted) and was labeled as a precursor of the muscle car. The 300C (1957) is cons....[continue reading]
This car is S/N 1 of the 1957 Chrysler 300's --- the first Chrysler 300 convertible ever built.
It is one of only 484 produced in the Chrysler factory in 1957. The Hemi engine is rated at 392 CID, 375 HP or a 390 HP optional version. In 1957 the c....[continue reading]
This 300C 2-Door Coupe is nearly a 100-percent correct, non-restored, original car. It was built on August 2nd of 1957 and delivered in San Francisco, CA. With just an exterior finish, it is still powered by the original 392 cubic-inch Hemi engine wi....[continue reading]
It was rare and desirable from day one. Just 484 examples of the legendary 1957 Chrysler 300C convertible were produced. This was the third year for the famous Chrysler letter series (hence the 'C' designation), and the first year for the convertible....[continue reading]