The 1955 Chrysler C-300 was the first of what writer Karl Ludvigsen
called the "Beautiful Brutes," and one of most memorable performance
cars ever made. It was made for NASCAR and firmly established Chrysler as
the King of Performance, especially when it clocked 127.58 mph in the Flying
Mile (7 mph faster than it's nearest non-Chrysler competition). When it
averaged 92 mph at Daytona's Grand National stock race, it's legend status
The "C" in C-300, stands for "Coupe", the
the "300" was for its rated horsepower. The C-300 was a Chrysler
New Yorker Newport body and chassis pumped up on HEMI steroids and fitted
with an Imperial eggcrate grill.
Note: In 1956 the 300B would be introduced, and thereafter,
each model year would receive a sequential letter designation (B, C, D,
E, etc). Although most people know the '55 as simply the "300"
(as no letter was included in the badge), our best available information
states that "C-300" was the official designation. We have received
at least one e-mail disputing the "C" prefix on the '55, so if
anyone has conclusive information on this, please let us know. ~ Webmaster.
Power came from MOPAR's top engine, a 331 cid Hemi V-8 aspirated
by twin four-barrel carbs. It also came with a full-race cam, solid lifters,
special manifolds, large dual exhausts, a modified PowerFlite automatic
transmission, and Blue Streak racing tires. But, unlike later "Muscle
Cars" the C-300 was a luxury sedan that came with all the amenities,
including leather interior. It was used as a showroow "attention getter"
for Chrysler and it did just that. 1,725 were built and fewer than 200 survive
today. New, they sold for $4,100 to $4,500. Today, one in this pristine
condition will run you quite a bit more.
When tested by Motor Trend the C-300 did 0-to-60 mph in 10.0
seconds, and did the quarter mile 17.6 seconds at 82 mph. Not bad for a
car that weighed just over 4,000 lbs.