Chrysler 300C Convertible

The legendary Chrysler 300C, Motor Trend’s Car of the Year in 1957, was developed from the outset as a completely integrated package. One of the fastest and most powerful American production cars, the 300C was also one of the most expensive. This updated version of the three-year-old model continued the precedent set the previous two years with another bump in horsepower, from 340 to 375. Virgil Exner’s Forward Look styling was continued, although, the front end was wider and louder, as were the enlarged tailfins.

The standard 300C engine, enlarged to 392 cubic inches, was equipped with two 4-barrel carburetors, a nickel block, solid lifter cams, 9.25:1 compression, and delivered 375 horsepower. Exceptional handling resulted from a lowered center of gravity, lower placement of the weighty engine, and the careful location of the rear leaf springs. Ducts located below the headlights cooled the front brakes, and the controversial tailfins were proven to increase stability at speed.

While not campaigned in NASCAR, the 300C swept the Flying Mile competition at Daytona Beach with a speed of 134 miles per hour. Chrysler engineers clocked 145.7 miles per hour at the Chelsea Proving Grounds with a mildly modified model, and in stock form, the 300C could reach 60 miles per hour in less than eight seconds.

375 bhp, 392 cu. in. Hemi OHV V-8 engine, three-speed Torqueflite automatic transmission, coil spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 126 in.

Part of the RM Auctions event for John Staluppi in December, 2012.

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Teddy Pieper

Gallery: Chrysler 300C Convertible