In the 1950s, the pinnacle of performance in the Chrysler Line was the Chrysler 300 model. They were made in 2-door hardtops and convertibles and were the sportiest, most powerful cars Chrysler had to offer.
By the late ’50s, these road warriors were equipped with disc brakes, performance suspension, and high-performance 392 cubic inch dual-quad Hemi engines. Known as the letter series 300s, these great performance cars were built from 1955 through 1965 and have become sought after by classic car enthusiasts.
When the Chrysler 300 was first developed for the 1955 model year, the idea of a luxury performance car resonated with the American public, although pricing kept the car fairly low in production which only added to the car’s mystique. Originally the “300” name was selected to denote the huge horsepower the car had for its time. However, by 1956, the power was boosted to 355Hp, making it the most powerful car in America and cementing the 300s a position as a performance leader.
The 1950s Chrysler Corporation cars in general were characterized by the introduction of aggressive styling known by automotive designer Virgil Exner as the “Forward Look.” Exner’s philosophy was to build a modern car that looked like it was in motion even when it was standing still.
Best personified with the introduction of the 1957 lineup with tall tailfins and sweeping lines, the public simply couldn’t get enough of these great cars. This unfortunately led to some production issues with the ’57 models as demand outpaced production, which fueled a drop in production in 1958.
1958 marked the last year for the legendary Chrysler FirePower 392 dual-quad Hemi engine and the last year a Hemi engine was available in a 300 letter series car. While visiting a local Mopar car show we spotted Larry Casey’s pristine 1958 Chrysler 300D, and couldn’t resist learning a little more about this great ride from a guy that loves and drives one.
Adding to the luxury of Larry’s ride is a factory original Highway HiFi record player that was only available from 1956 through 1958 and played special 16-2/3 rpm records available only from Chrysler dealers.
Casey’s 1958 Chrysler 300D also features leather interior, Town and Country radio, dual sport antennas, factory disc brakes, push-button Torqueflite transmission, and much more. If you see Larry’s great car at a car show, take the time to give it a closer look—you’ll be glad you did!