CC Capsule: 1979 Chrysler 300 – Red, White And Brougham

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While we have already done the first-gen Cordoba story here on CC, both the original and the facelifted ’78, today I want to tell you a little bit about a rare ‘Doba from 1979. Perhaps you’ve heard of it: the 300. In the middle of Chrysler’s 1978-79 meltdown, somehow, they managed to get this special edition out the door.

1979 Chrysler Cordoba 300-01

While the all-show-no-go “performance” packages were all the rage in the mid- to late-’70s, the 300 went beyond mere tape decals. Offered only in Spinnaker White, 300s came with a special cross-hair grille, 300 emblems on the grille, wheel centers, taillights and door panels. In addition, a 300 logo was etched into the opera window.

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Rounding out the exterior changes were special alloy wheels, RWL Goodyear tires, color-keyed bumper rub strips, fake fender vents (not a recent affectation, apparently), sport mirrors and red, white and blue pinstriping. All in all it was a rather attractive package–not half as gaudy as your usual Herb Tarlek Edition Cordoba.

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All 300s received a 195-horse version of the 360 CID V8, powered by Mopar’s storied Torqueflite, natch. Just a bit more than 3,800 were built, and though a similar treatment was offered on the redesigned, downsized 1980 Cordoba, it was not called a 300 but instead a Cordoba LS.

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Interestingly, this primo 300 shot by our own Richard Bennett has the landau roof, despite the brochure stating that no vinyl roofs were available with the 300 package. Did someone strong-arm their C-P dealer, or did this car originally belong to a Chrysler Corp. big shot? It was found in Michigan…

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No column shifts were allowed–all 3,811 300s got bucket seats with a passenger recliner and console-mounted shifter. The sport wheel looks much more appropriate here than the usual two-spoke Cordoba wheel.

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This one seems to have been customized a bit, judging from its non-stock hood ornament (original cars had no hood ornament, only a “300” grille medallion) and a rear deck spoiler. Yes, a spoiler. I understand that this was the sporty version of the Cordoba, but a spoiler may be a bridge too far!

Anyway, this one is currently for sale, so if you have a jones for a sporty Corinthian-leather upholstered personal luxury coupe, look no further; but better hurry!

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