A LOOK BACK AT THE LEGENDARY CHYRSLER 300 LETTER CARS
The Chrysler 300 has been one of America’s favorite cars since it’s release in 1955. It has been a main stay vehicle throughout its illustrious history which makes this writer sad to say that the 2023 model year will be the last internal combustion engine the now named Stellantis will produce.
The Chrysler 300 has survived the good times at Chrysler corporation and the bad times as it transitioned through the Daimler Chrysler days, the front drive V6 engine powered days, then through FCA under the leadership of Sergio Marchione and finally through the take over by PSA known as Stellantis.
Through it all the 300s have been a shining example of luxury, comfort, muscle car-like performance and styling that always kept it selling well and also made it popular with the racing group. The combination of V8 Hemi power, good looks and bells and whistles kept it going for 68 years.
Beginning in 1955, the Chrysler C300 was introduced as a hardtop 300 horse powered Hemi V8 with solid lifters and dual four-barrel carburetors.
The 1957 model year introduced the 300C and the onset of rear fins and a 392 cubic inch 375 HP Hemi.
Frequent updates and redesigns between 1955 and 1965 helped Chrysler perfect the 300 models. The models released during this 10-year span were referred to as the letter series because each new model was followed by a letter — Chrysler 300B, Chrysler 300C, Chrysler 300D, and so on. By 1965, they concluded the letter series with the Chrysler 300L.
The next significant change came in 1967 and also included visual updates. The 1967 Chrysler 300 had a brand-new roof and pointed grille design that made it stand out from the letter series. Chrysler also removed the four-door option from the lineup. More importantly, this sixth-generation redesign also came with a larger, 7.2-liter V-8 engine with 350 horsepower. Drivers could also upgrade to the available TNT model, which gave them 375 horsepower.
Some consider the tenth generation of the Chrysler 300 to be its rebirth. Chrysler made updates and redesigns to pretty much every aspect of the Chrysler 300 before releasing the new generation in 2005. It had a unique uni-body forward cab design structure with a rear drivetrain powered by a 5.7 Liter 345 HP engine and a suspension system that borrowed its design from the popular Mercedes-Benz E Class.
The 2014 Chrysler 300C SRT stormed in with a thundering 6.6 Liter Hemi engine with 470 HP and 470 pound feet of torque, a real ground pounder.
2023 marks the last year of production for the 300C and it will not go quietly as it’s equipped with a 6.4 Liter 485 HP engine. The last 10 years has found the Chrysler 300s accolades touted by celebrities of all types from politicians to the hip hop crowd, Hollywod stars and by you. Will the 300 ever return, who knows, maybe as an electric version. In the meantime, as the sun sets on the Chrysler 300, enjoy the rumble when one drives by, 2023 could be the last time you hear that.