Cohort Capsule: 1965 Chrysler 300 – A Perfect Aquamarine Yacht


(first posted 6/7/2014)     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.”

1955 Chrysler Ad-01

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.

1962 Chrysler Prestige-12-13

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.

1971 Chrysler-Plymouth Brochure-22-23

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.

1965 Chrysler-14-15

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!