I found this ’66 300 behind one of the distant buildings at the Powerland Museum in Salem, OR, and it caught my attention more than the cars inside in the modest little car museum. It’s not hard to see why, but it’s a bit painful taking a closer look. This car has spent its life in the great outdoors, and that hasn’t been exactly kind to it.
What a proud tail this Chrysler has. Those rear fender blades and slab sides have to be one of the longest unbroken surfaces ever, on these coupes. Must be one of the longest pressings ever.
This is a non-letter 300 (that ended the previous year), which means its positioned between the Newport and the New Yorker.
The interior is in worse shape than the exterior. It looks like the window might have been open for a decade or so; it reminds me of junk yard interiors. That would take some doing to fix. No wonder it’s sitting back here; somebody probably donated it to the museum, and they can’t justify the expense to restore it. Maybe in another decade or two.
The tilt wheel is pointing skyward, guarding that massive deep-set instrument panel, which reflects its shape.
In relative terms, the back seat is…almost inviting. No fold-down center arm rest?
Under the hood is either the standard 325 hp four-barrel 383, or the new optional 440TNT V8, packing 375 horses. A three-speed manual was standard, but it’s a bit hard to imagine one in reality. Torqueflites were as good as universal. A four speed manual was not on the option list; Chrysler was late to that party, arriving finally in 1967.
From a bit of distance, it still looks ready to roll and rumble.