It all started in 1953 when Chrysler’s chief engineer, Robert MacGregor Rodger, thought of producing a model that can carry a Hemi engine that can reach 300 horsepower. Pursuing his plans despite the lack in budget, he bolted various parts from Chrysler models Imperial, New Yorker, and Windsor together, giving birth to the Chrysler 300. Since then, the model has taken a bumpy road in the market including a twenty-year pit stop.
1955: Quick beginnings
When Chrysler 300 was released in 1955, it has immediately caught the attention of many as it literally ran miles ahead of the other cars in its generation. Thanks to its Hemi engine, it can be driven at an excellent 300 hp, making it the most powerful production car in the US during the time. However, Chrysler thought that they needed to make a look that can match the performance of the Chrysler 300.
1957-1960: First major changes
1957 marks a milestone in the Chrysler 300 styling as it has underwent an obvious facelift. It featured tailfins which are very popular during the ‘50s and ‘60s. A convertible option was available and the interiors were styled with fine leather materials. The Chrysler 300 exuded glamour and sex appeal, making it a popular purchase for the coming years.
In 1959, it started to use a 423-cubic-inch wedge motor, giving the Hemi engine a long sabbatical. Come 1960, however, it featured a ram-tuned long runner intake manifold that made it reach 400 hp. This obviously excited many consumers as sales reached up to a 75% increase from the previous year.
1967-1971: Prelude to a long break
The Chrysler 300 started to cope with the fast pace of technology in 1967 with upgrades such as power windows, cruise control system, power seats, and electric door lock above all. In 1969, its styling was upgraded into the famous fuselage design. However, sales still dived and the last 300 units in the next 20 years or so were produced in 1971.
1999-2004: The Chrysler 300 comeback
After almost 30 years of ceased production, the Chrysler 300 came back to showrooms in 1999. It made quite a stir because it became a four-door, front-wheel drive sedan which is the exact opposite of the two-door, rear-wheel driven Chrysler 300s of the past. Nonetheless, it retained the leather seating surfaces and power seats the model is known for. It savored the attention and made no notable modifications until 2005.
2005-present: A car to stay
The year 2005 marks the return of the Hemi engine. This time, it has the ability to conserve fuel by shutting half its capacity when the vehicle is under light load. It also boasts of other high-end features including an 8.4-inch Uconnect Touch and a special Beats by Dr. Dre sound system. Indeed, the Chrysler 300 may have left the market for quite some time, but it seems like it does not intend to rest for good.