Here’s a lovely 1965 Chrysler 300 in that oh-so-perfect ’60s color combination of aqua/aqua. I love it! But as pretty as it is, the non-letter 300s spelled the end of Chrysler’s “banker’s hot rod.”
As you may or may not know, the 300L was the very last of the vaunted 300 “letter series” that began with the banker’s hot rod 1955 C300.
Sales of the pricy coupe (and later convertible) were never super high, and despite the appeal of a halo car in showrooms, a junior non-letter 300 appeared in 1962, replacing the ’61 Saratoga in the Chrysler lineup.
It was an immediate hit, and that hit led to even worse sales for the 300H and its successors. Final non-letter 300s disappeared after ’71, despite their cool hidden headlights and mod fuselage styling.
The “hot car” fad had moved from full-sizers to mid-size cars by 1965, thus relegating the ’65 300L to its swan song that year in your choice of hardtop coupe or convertible. All 300-Ls got a 413 CID V8 with a high-lift cam and your choice of the rugged Torque-Flite or 4-speed manual. Brake horsepower was a mighty 360 hp at 4800 rpm, breathing through a 4 BBL Carter Type AFB 3860S carburetor. It sure was a great way to go out, huh?–especially with that cool, square-rigged Elwood Engel styling!
I initially thought this car was an L, but a comment by Pete Madsen and subsequent brochure investigation led me to believe the aqua hardtop coupe is indeed not a 300-L, since it has the red-accented grille overlay and three rectangular accents on the side molding, as seen on the non-L 300 hardtop sedan above. Still, quite a pretty coupe!
Thanks to Hugo90 for snapping this one!