Image credits: © Chrysler.

2014 Chrysler 300

2014 Chrysler 300 Lineup Delivers World-class Craftsmanship, Technology And Value Wrapped in ‘Imported From Detroit' Style

•• Best-in-class fuel economy: 3.6-liter aluminum Pentastar V-6 engine wîth state-of-the-art ZF eight-speed automatic transmission delivers 31 mpg highway on Chrysler 300 rear-wheel drive models and 18 mpg city and 27 mpg highway on all-wheel-drive models
•Working hand-in-hand, John Varvatos' signature fashion style combined wîth Chrysler designers styling expertise forged two 300 sedan models that embody the soul of 'Imported from Detroit'
•Chrysler's intelligent AWD system features a §egmènt-exclusive active transfer case and front-axle disconnect for maximum fuel efficiency and even more all-season capability
•As the most innovative sedan in its class, the Chrysler 300 offers technologies like the award-winning Úconnect 8.4N wîth easy-to-use Garmin navigation, voice commands, 3-D map and route guidance graphics, and real-time SiriusXM Traffic
•Available Beats Audio premium sound system provides Chrysler 300 models wîth the studio-quality sound experience the way the artist intended
•Chrysler 300 remains the most luxurious vehicle in its class and provides best-in-class rear-seat volume for the comfort and roominess expected in a world-class flagship sedan

September 1, 2013 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Through lifestyle driven models, the 2014 Chrysler 300 continues to show the numerous personalities that are capable from its iconic and elegant design executed wîth world-class performance, efficiency and quality. Beginning wîth the return of the ultimate in style – Chrysler 300C John Varvatos Limited Edition, the ultimate in luxury – Chrysler 300C John Varvatos Luxury Edition, the ultimate audiophile – Chrysler 300S wîth Beats by Dr. Dre and its unique 'blacked out' appearance, and the ultimate combination of luxury and value – Chrysler 300; the 2014 brand's flagship sedan continues to exude a distinct attitude that could only be 'Imported From Detroit.'

Últimate in style: Chrysler 300C John Varvatos Limited Edition returns
With its unique Phantom Black tri-coat exterior paint and discrete metallic finishes inside and out, the limited-production Chrysler 300C John Varvatos Limited Edition returns in 2014, exuding a Detroit-tough attitude.
Styled after the black wîth Titanium-finished John Varvatos' cologne bottle, a Titanium-finished grille surround, Titanium Chrome Chrysler 'wing' badge and Black Chrome grille blades mimic the foundries that made Motor City flourish. For a more striking look, an aggressively styled front fascia integrates larger air inlets and features Black Chrome grille blades and Titanium-finished accents. Matching the cologne bottle finish are new 20-inch cast-aluminum wheels, day light opening surrounds and mirror caps finished in Titanium. At the rear, LED taillamps wîth blackened detail give a more masculine look, while dual-exhaust tips in titanium, and John Varvatos and Chrysler wing deck-lid badges finished in Titanium Chrome complete the look.

Delivering John Varvatos' signature style through a unique combination of dark colors and exotic materials, the Chrysler 300C John Varvatos Limited Edition surrounds its passengers wîth craftsmanship and an industrious style that could only be 'Imported from Detroit.' Inside, John Varvatos' logos are proudly debossed on unique Pewter Metallic leather seats and are tailored wîth unique Diesel Gray and black pattern Varvatos stitching – for a look that is straight out of his fitted-jacket collection. Translated from John Varvatos' latest watch design are a specially designed gauge cluster and clock wîth Pearlescent White face and Charcoal Black Metallic bezels. Extensive use of exotic Poltrona Frau® black leather wîth Diesel Gray accent stitching surrounds the bespoke environment, while a hand-stitched heated §teering wheel is finished wîth Diesel Gray thread and Titanium Chrome accents for added detail. Completing the Chrysler 300C Varvatos Limited Edition's interior are Titanium, unique Charcoal Hydrographic Wood and Gloss Black finished interior accents.

The limited-production 2014 Chrysler 300C John Varvatos Limited Edition will return later in the 2014 model year.

Vital Stats
Engine : 3.6 L., 6-cylinder
Power: 292 hp
Torque: 260 ft-lbs

Engine : 5.7 L., 8-cylinder
Power: 363 hp
Torque: 394 ft-lbs

8-speed Automatic, 5-speed Automatic
Últimate in luxury: Chrysler 300C John Varvatos Luxury Edition
Delivering distinct Detroit styling wîth the refinement and confidence worthy of Fifth Avenue, the 2014 Chrysler 300C John Varvatos Luxury Edition sedan is designed to be the most luxurious and fuel-efficient Chrysler flagship sedan ever. In collaboration wîth John Varvatos, this 300 sedan combines ultra-premium leather and hand-sanded wood – once limited to some of the most exotic Italian luxury cars – wîth world-class refinement and handling, state-of-the-art safety and connectivity features.

Exclusive interior features found on the Chrysler 300C John Varvatos Luxury Edition sedan include the choice of monotone black or exclusive Dark Mocha wîth black Poltrona Frau 'Foligno' leather. Black or Dark Mocha seats are wrapped exclusively in supple Nappa leather and proudly feature the John Varvatos debossed logo. Both driver and front-passenger seats are 12-way power-adjustable wîth two-mode ventilation and heat. A black or Dark Mocha wîth black leather-wrapped §teering wheel includes die-cast paddle shifters and a unique chrome accent ring to highlight the §egmènt-exclusive 360-degree heated rim. Completing the interior environment is specially selected and hand-sanded Natural Pore Mocha finished in matte to enhance the beauty of the real wood.

Outside, large 20-inch polished face 19-inch wîth all-wheel drive (AWD) and painted pocket aluminum wheels, provide the Chrysler 300C John Varvatos Luxury Edition sedan wîth a planted and road-holding look. Platinum chrome accents provide an even more upscale look, while a platinum-chrome mesh grille and John Varvatos deck-lid badge ensure a truly distinctive appearance.

Últimate audiophile: Chrysler 300S
With its 'blacked out' appearance, world-class ride and handling, discrete exterior styling elements, contemporary interior materials, Beats Audio system and state-of-the-art technology features – the 2014 Chrysler 300S exudes street credibility wîth even more performance.

Únique to the Chrysler 300S model is the award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine wîth a cold-air induction system and sport-tuned exhaust system – which enables the aluminum mill to produce 300 horsepower (+8 horsepower), 264 ft.-lb. of torque (+4 ft.-lb) compared to the rest of the six-cylinder flagship models. The §egmènt-exclusive eight-speed automatic transmission wîth §teering-wheel mounted paddle shifters and sport mode help to deliver added precision and performance to the pavement. In addition, 20-inch polished-face aluminum wheels wîth black painted pockets, all-season performance tires, touring-tuned suspension wîth 25 percent quicker §teering and 20 percent heavier on-center feel than the entry-level 300 model provide the 300S driver wîth a visceral driving experience.

For customers who seek more performance, the Chrysler 300S is available wîth the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine wîth four-cylinder mode Fuel Saver Technology and 370 horsepower, along wîth a firmer performance-tuned suspension and larger performance-disc brake system.

Últimate combination of luxury and value: Chrysler 300
Because luxury should not be limited to the wealthy and privileged few, the 2014 Chrysler 300 model remains the most appointed entry-level Chrysler flagship sedan ever. With its standard heated-leather front seats, the innovative Úconnect 8.4 wîth voice commands, fuel-saving 3.6-liter aluminum Pentastar V-6 engine wîth state-of-the-art eight-speed automatic transmission for a best-in-class 31 mpg highway – the Chrysler 300 provides its passengers wîth the comfort, convenience and technology features of cars costing twice as much.

For those that demand even more all-season capability, the Chrysler 300 is available wîth the §egmènt's most advanced AWD system. With its intelligent AWD system, the Chrysler 300 AWD features a §egmènt-exclusive active transfer case and front-axle disconnect for maximum fuel economy or traction depending on conditions.

Other key standard equipment includes front-row reactive head restraints, advanced multi-stage air bags, full-length side-curtain air bags, seat-mounted side-thorax air bags, driver's knee bag, rear head restraints in all positions, electronic stability control (ESC), Hill-start Assist (HSA), Rain Brake Support (RBS), Ready Alert Braking (RAB), tire-pressure monitoring (TPM), ÚSB port wîth iPod control, SiriusXM Radio, SD-card reader, auxiliary audio input jack, §teering-wheel mounted audio controls, six-speaker audio, Keyless Enter-N-Go, dual-zone automatic climate control wîth humidity sensor, cabin air filtration, acoustic windshield and front-door glass, 12-way power driver's seats including 4-way power lumbar, cruise control, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, leather-wrapped Chrysler brand §teering wheel wîth manual tilt/telescoping §teering column, leather-wrapped shift knob, luxury floor mats, 140-mph LED-illuminated instrument cluster wîth full color and driver-selectable Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC), satin chrome interior door handles, LED-illuminated assist handles and front map lights, LED-illuminated front cup holders, rear-passenger reading lamps, LED-illuminated front and rear door handles, LED-illuminated center-stack storage bin, glove box lamp, illuminated vanity mirrors and two 12-volt power outlets.

On the exterior, the Chrysler 300 model features 17-inch painted aluminum wheels, P215/65R17 all-season touring tires, comfort-tuned suspension, touring brake package, liquid-chrome grille bars wîth chromed surround, bi-halogen projector headlamps wîth chromed bezels, automatic headlamps, chromed daylight opening, chromed front and rear fascia accents, LED-illuminated 'C' shaped daytime-running lamps (DRL), body-color exterior mirrors and door handles, LED-illuminated taillamps wîth LED-illuminated light pipe, dual-chromed exhaust tips wîth rolled-edges, cap-less fuel-filler door wîth power release, 17-inch compact spare tire and chromed '300' deck-lid badge.

As the most innovative sedan in its class, Chrysler 300 offers the award-winning Úconnect 8.4N wîth the §egmènt's largest touchscreen and easy-to-use Garmin navigation
The 2014 Chrysler 300 sedan's Úconnect 8.4N system integrates award-winning Garmin navigation, voice recognition and SiriusXM Traffic wîth an intuitive user interface to make operating simple. With natural voice commands, the Úconnect 8.4N enables passengers to input street addresses and navigate to points of interest. And wîth the integrated SiriusXM Traffic, real-time traffic monitoring notifies the driver or enables the Garmin navigation to reroute due to congested throughways.

In addition to 3D buildings and terrain views, Úconnect 8.4N wîth integrated Garmin navigation features road signs and lane guidance that covers over 60,000 intersections across the Únited States. Information is very realistic and intuitive enabling drivers to keep their hands on the wheel and focus on the road.

For the Chrysler brand, keeping drivers focused on the road is a priority and the Úconnect 8.4N (and 8.4 model) includes handsfree texting, to keep passengers even more connected through voice commands. With a compatible Bluetooth phone, Úconnect enables text-to-speech for incoming text messages, and provides the driver wîth a list of popular responses for outgoing messages.

World-class eight-speed automatic transmission
Once limited to premium import vehicles costing twice as much, the new §egmènt-exclusive ZF 8HP45 eight-speed automatic transmission expands the world-class power and fuel efficiency of the 2014 Chrysler 300, 300S, 300C and 300C John Varvatos Luxury and Limited Edition models and offers class-leading fuel efficiency wîth respect to: •Best-in-class highway fuel economy (31 mpg highway)
•Best-in-class V-6 all-wheel-drive (AWD) fuel economy (18 mpg city and 27 mpg highway)
•Best-in-class combined fuel economy (23 mpg wîth RWD, 21 wîth AWD)
•Únsurpassed city fuel economy (19 mpg RWD, 18 mpg AWD)
•Overall unsurpassed fuel economy in its class (19 mpg city and 31 mpg highway wîth RWD)
The addition of three more gear ratios in the proven ZF eight-speed automatic transmission design help to reduce the gaps normally associated wîth upshifting and downshifting. Combined wîth the award-winning 292 horsepower – or new 300 horsepower – 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine, passengers will experience world-class levels of refinement due to small, evenly spaced ratios that provide quicker acceleration and smoother shifts.

Quicker shifts are possible on the Chrysler 300S and 300C John Varvatos Luxury and Limited Edition models as a result of a 'Sport' shift mode that requires simple driver input. When the driver chooses to let the transmission shift in 'Sport' mode, gear changes are quicker and revs are held higher for even more performance-oriented acceleration and higher shift dynamics. For even more control, the driver can also use a pair of die-cast, §teering-wheel mounted paddle controls and view gear selection through an all-new full-color EVIC centered in the instrument cluster.

The §egmènt's most advanced AWD system
From winding through twisty stretches of coastal road, to escaping away to a snow-covered ski resort, the 2014 Chrysler 300 AWD models have a commanding design presence and the power and all-weather capability to carve through some of the worst precipitation Mother Nature can dish out.

With the aluminum 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine delivering best-in-class city and highway fuel economy (19/27 mpg), or legendary 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 engine wîth 370 horsepower wîth four-cylinder mode Fuel Saver Technology – the Chrysler 300 wîth intelligent AWD features a §egmènt-exclusive active transfer case and front-axle-disconnect system to improve real-world fuel economy. No other major automotive manufacturer offers the combination of these two independent technologies.

Chrysler 300's AWD system seamlessly transitions between rear-wheel drive and AWD wîth no driver intervention. When AWD is not required, the system automatically disconnects the front axle to maximize fuel economy while still providing the outstanding fun-to-drive performance and handling inherent in rear-wheel-drive vehicles.

Chrysler and Beats by Dr. Dre premium audio experience
The partnership between Chrysler and Beats By Dr. Dre brings music-studio sound to consumers in cars not just by adding speakers, but working wîth the music makers themselves to reproduce sound the way that it's made in the studio. Instead of the traditional approach to automotive sound, entrusting lab coat-adorned engineers as the arbiters of musical taste, Beats by Dr. Dre founders Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine worked side-by-side wîth the engineering team at Chrysler Group to design and tune the 10-speaker audio system.

Standard on 2014 Chrysler 300S, and available on Chrysler 300, 300C and 300C John Varvatos Luxury and Limited Edition models, the Beats by Dr. Dre audio system includes a powerful 12-channel amplifier that integrates the heart of the Beats proprietary equalizer algorithm, creating the high-definition sound required in professional recording studios.

Delivering the mid- to high-range needed for studio-quality sound are three 3.5-inch speakers located in the instrument panel and two 3.5-inch speakers located in the rear doors. Two 6 x 9-inch front-door woofers provide bass, while two 6 x 9-inch speakers and a center-mounted 8-inch speaker located in the rear-shelf area provide full-range audio. Maximizing how music genres from hip hop to Motown should sound and feel, an 8-inch Beats Audio trunk-mounted dual-voice coil subwoofer wîth sealed enclosure delivers tight, powerful, punchy bass.

Chrysler 300 named 'Top Safety Pick' by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
The new Chrysler 300 was named a 'Top Safety Pick' by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), achieving their highest rating.

IIHS recognizes vehicles wîth outstanding crashworthiness in front, side, rollover and rear crashes. The new Chrysler flagship received 'good' ratings, the highest achievable, in all four categories.

To be considered, vehicles must have available electronic stability control (ESC) systems that significantly reduce crash risks. Chrysler 300 has standard ESC. Other standard safety features include, full-length side-curtain airbags, seat-mounted side thorax air bags, driver's knee bag, front-row reactive head restraints, Hill-start Assist, Rain Brake Support and Ready Alert Braking.

Source - Chrysler
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 and MG, had introduced high powered, small, responsive sports cars. American manufacturers countered with the Chevrolet Corvette and the Ford Thunderbird. The Chrysler 300 was a performance car with a contemporary 'Forward Look' designed by ex-Studebaker stylist Virgil Exner. The design was void of the popular chrome sides which was prevalent during this era. It was simple but aggressive gentleman's car.

The Chrysler 300 was outfitted with a hemispherical (Hemi) combustion chamber 5.4 litre V-8 that produced 300 horsepower and matted to a performance modified two-speed 'PowerFlite' automatic gearbox. The body came from the New Yorker; rear quarter moldings were compliments of the Windsor. The two piece grille came from the Imperial. An improved suspension was implemented to provided sporty and responsive handling. The base price was $4,055.

Sales of the C300 were fueled by its success on the stock car circuit. The C300 dominated the sands of Daytona Beach, Florida where it won the stock production class and took home the Tom McCahill trophy. From 1955 through 1957 it was the fastest American car.

In 1959, a 300D driven at Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats by Norm Thatcher set a new Class E speed record of 156.387 mph. During the same year, Brewster Shaw achieved a quarter-mile time of 16 seconds with a trap speed of 94 mph at Daytona Beach, Florida.

For 1956, Chrysler increased the displacement of its Hemi engine to 5.8 liters and changed the name to 300B. With 355 horsepower, the V8 engine had one horsepower per cubic inch, an achievement that very few manufacturers were able to claim.

The letters continued to climb the alphabet annually until the 300L of 1965 (the letter I was skipped). They became known as the 'letter cars'. In 1959, the 392 hemi was replaced with the 413 cubic-inch Golden Lion wedge-head design engine. In 1962, the 300 Sport series became available along side the 300H. The 300, without a letter designation was continued until 1971. In 1970, the 300 Hurst was produced, built by Chrysler and modified by the Hurst Company. The modifications included two-tone paint, special striping, spoiler on the deck lid, and wheels. The 300 name was again revived in 1979 as the 300 Special Edition, but endured a short life span. It was based on the Cordoba platform and available only in white with red leather interior.

Even with eleven years of production, less than 17,000 were produced. The bodystyle's available were either a two door hardtop or convertible. The convertible was not available during 1955, 1956, and 1963.

In the early 2000's, Chrysler revived the model name with the 300M. For most 300 enthusiasts, it is a good attempt, but far from the original 300's. The original 300's, as argued by some MOPAR enthusiast, is considered to be the first muscle cars. Although they were fast, they were also large and luxurious, qualities that muscle cars did not typically process. The 300 did get American moving on the fast track to the horsepower and performance revolution, and looked good while doing it.
By Daniel Vaughan | Jul 2009
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 before the 2005 300's introduction as a car called the 300M, but that model was dated even when brand new and didn't evoke nostalgic memories in the same way its replacement would. The 2005 300 was a total departure from the Chrysler models immediately preceding it. The sleek, low slung, 'cab-forward' design language of the 300M and others was replaced by the new 300's brash and blocky look. The 2005 Chrysler 300 was not merely an updated version of a bygone classic, but rather a revival of Chrysler's attitude during the company's most exciting times.

The new 300 went back to a rear wheel drive platform and reintroduced the muscular proportions of America's former bad-boy sedans. Available V8 power rounded out the package and a large, upright chrome grille stood proud in grand American fashion. The 2005 Chrysler 300 was met with great fanfare and positive press. For as exciting a car as the '05 300 was, though, it could barely capture the style and spirit of the car that inspired it. The original 300 was one of the most thrilling Chryslers ever released. It was a car whose inspirational design and performance will be lauded forever and whose legend will continue to be respected by Chrysler workers, owners and admirers, as well as by the flashy new car that shares its name.

Produced without interruption from 1955 through 1971, the Chrysler 300 in its earliest form was one of the very first muscle cars. Though production extended into the early 1970's, the best-known (and best-loved) 300s were the 'letter series' cars of 1955-1965. All 300s were part of this letter series until 1962, when both letter and non-letter variants were offered through 1965. Models made from 1966 on were not part of the letter series. Each Chrysler in the letter series used the 300 designation followed by a single letter. That letter ascended alphabetically once every year, making it up to 'L.' Confusingly, the first of the series was not called the 300A but the C-300. In that one instance, the letter 'C' simply stood for coupe. Revisions on the C-300 theme created the 300B for 1956, then 300C for 1957, 300D for 1958, and so on. The only other snag in the letter series system was the use of the letter 'J' for the 1963 300, instead of the 'I' for which the car was due. Chrysler likely used the 'J' nomenclature to prevent confusion between the letter 'I' and the Roman numeral I.

The letter series 300 introduced potent performance and a fresh design to Chrysler, whose other models had grown stale. In that sense, the original 300 arrived for the same reasons as 2005's remake. The name was chosen for bragging rights. Chrysler, with its aptly named C-300, had become the first American manufacturer to develop 300hp in a production car. That power led the 1955 Chrysler to become the fastest production car in the world, reaching 127.58mph at Daytona Beach. The C-300's engine was a 331ci Chrysler V8 with hemispherical combustion chambers and two 4-barrel carburetors. The aforementioned 300hp was achieved at 5,200rpm.

There was much more to the C-300 than formidable speed. The car was large, luxurious, and packed with comfortable features. At 220 inches in length, the C-300 was huge for a two-door. A weight of 4,300lbs gave it the bulk of a personal limousine. Its two speed automatic transmission required no effort on the driver's part. The car was rolling evidence that speed and luxury were not mutually exclusive traits. The C-300 was the fastest car on the road, and it may very well have been the most comfortable.

A superb combination of performance and comfort alone would have made the Chrysler C-300 a classic. But the car's quality didn't stop there. Designed by the talented and innovative Virgil Exner, the C-300 was a triple threat of sumptuous luxury, speed and, and style.

Before moving to Chrysler, Exner had worked for GM under the guidance of Harley Earl and for Raymond Loewy's own design firm. His experience led him to be a daring designer, but the 1955 C-300 was a subdued design. It was handsome and understated, free of the garish detailing the plagued so many of its contemporaries. With its regal proportions and proud stance, the C-300 separated itself from lowlier cars that used glitz and glam as their only stylistic values. A split egg crate grille, in chrome, dominated the frontal aspect of the C-300 and had a tastefully minimal chrome bumper running beneath it. The subtle fins picked up just aft of the doors and beneath the beltline. At the rear, the vestigial fins flowed into vertical taillights. With a base price above $4,000, buyers paid dearly for a fine congregation of elegant design, comfort, and rapidity.

Even more power was made available for the 1956 300B. A 354ci V8, at first making 340hp, was available with 355hp by the middle of its run—making it the first American engine to produce 1 horsepower per cubic inch. Three transmissions were offered: PowerFlite and TorqueFlite two-speed autos, and a three-speed manual.

Performance improvements in the 1956 300B were complemented by the availability of an even more comfortable interior. Air conditioning was offered as well as a clock in the steering wheel for the particularly punctual. And, of course, if the clock wasn't distracting enough, a record player could also be ordered.

The styling of the 300B featured a revised rear treatment, but the car was largely the same as 1955's C-300. For the 1957 300C, though, Exner thoroughly revamped the 300's shape. The new design was more brash but still tasteful and clean. It featured more pronounced fins and a quad headlight face with a large, one-piece egg crate grille. From the side, the 300C looked particularly good. Its long and low proportions were readily revealed from that angle. Also easily noticeable from the side, the 300C had a forward tilt to its front end that was mirrored by a rearward tilt to its fins. The balanced look was an Exner hallmark that worked wonderfully on the 300C. A convertible version was offered whose absence of a roofline emphasized the trapezoidal side profile of the 300C's body. A top speed of 150mph could be reached by the 300C.

For 1958, a 300D was introduced. It looked very similar to the 300C, but big improvements were still made. Fuel injection became an available option and power brakes were standard. With 380hp, the 300D could be propelled to 156mph. The 300E of 1959 offered similar styling but with a very different engine. The hemi-head V8 was replaced by a 413ci wedge-head V8.

The 300F brought major styling changes for 1960. While other companies toned down their use of fins for the 1960's, Chrysler gave its 300F a wild, one-year-only rear treatment with razor sharp fins. Ralph Nader, in his book Unsafe at and Speed that most famously criticized the Chevrolet Corvair's poor handling, called the 300F's fins 'potentially lethal.' Automotive writer Quentin Willson offered good reason for Nader's concern in his own work titled The Ultimate Classic Car Book, pointing to a 1963 traffic accident in which an unfortunate motorcyclist became impaled by one of the fins of a 300F.

With a front end that looked slightly awkward compared to the noses of its predecessors and a heavily criticized faux spare tire cover incorporated into the rear deck lid, the 300F's overall look lacked the thoroughly clean appearance of earlier models. But from the side at least the 300F still looked good, and performance and comfort were as impressive as ever. Up to 400hp could be had from the 413ci engine. A beautifully finished interior continued a tradition of comfortable motoring. The interior was so inviting that the seats literally offered themselves to driver and front passenger, automatically swiveling to allow easy access whenever a door was opened.

The 300G was brought out for 1961 and was the last finned 300. The front end retained four headlights, but they were now stacked two per side in tilted columns. Standard power windows and cruise control further enhanced an already excellent list of convenience features, and performance options remained similar to those of the 300F. The 300H used the following year was similar in most respects to the 300G, but had a fresh tail design with a smooth, tapering deck where once stood fins. Production of the 300H was unusually low even for the exclusive letter series, but sales were bolstered by the introduction of a more affordable non-letter series variant, named simply the '300.'

For 1963, the letter 'I' was skipped and the 300J was introduced alongside a revamped standard 300. The 1963 models were plainer, with square styling that belied their still capable performance. The 1964 300K and 1965 300L were the last two models of the letter series. By 1965, the plain styling of the 300L and the narrow performance gap between it and the base 300 had created an uninspired package. After 1965, the letter series was discontinued.

The garden variety 300 soldiered on until 1971, losing sales and substance as it went along. Chrysler couldn't have picked a better time to pull the plug on the aging model, as allowing it to last any longer would have exposed it to stringent emissions regulations that instantly would have robbed the car of the only virtue it really had left—power. Even the very last 300 had a 440ci V8 that had a tremendous output compared to any American offering of the mid-1970's.

History has ignored any shortcomings of the largely average 300 produced from 1966-1971, focusing on the raw power and suave personality of the early letter series. Few American cars before or since have been able to offer so much speed and luxury wrapped in a shell of aesthetic excellence. From 1955 through 1959, the 300s were the uncompromised rulers of the American automotive kingdom—even the 1960-1965 models were superbly executed. Inspiring the successful 2005 Chrysler 300, the early letter series cars have shown that sometimes history is worth repeating.


'History of the Chrysler Three Hundred Series.' The Chrysler 300 Site Web.28 Jul 2009.

Nerad, Jack. 'Great Classic Cars: Chrysler C-300.' Web.28 Jul 2009.

Willson, Quentin. The Ultimate Classic Car Book. First. New York: Dorling Kindersley, 1995. Print.

By Evan Acuña
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