The 300M styling makes it look smaller especially here in small car land Europe, but I was dumbfounded when I saw one up close and realized it was probably bigger than a Volvo S80!
That said, it was a nice last salvo for the LH cars. Comparing it with the LX successor makes me wonder how could a company replace a car with one that’s the complete opposite except in size. Anyways, I like both (am I the only one?)
I like them both too. The 300M was the only LH sedan that didn’t have odd looking proportions. My favorite though was the generation between those two, the 05-10 300C.
My favourite 300C too. I even had a scale model of a Hemi version.
BTW, Brendan, the title made me grin a bit because it can serve as a pun for the 300M, said to be the stillborn Gen2 Eagle Vision… Or maybe I’m just being too creative.
I specifically put “Vision” in the title for that reason. Glad you caught me wittiness 🙂
Since that Renault-Chrysler-AMC pun thread happened a month ago, I became Premier in detecting puns 🙂
Good for you,
You deserve a Medallion. lol
Im partial to the first 300C also. One thing Ill never understand is why the 300 and charger both lost their single pane quarter windows after ’11. Its much cleaner looking than the broken up window they have now, and Ive seen the rear door handles shaved on 1st gen chargers and 300s…VERY tough to tell they aren’t coupes at that point, and that’s how Ma Mopar should have done them from day 1.
Maybe so the window glass can wind all the way down? Remember, we HATE windows that don’t wind down! 😉
Hey, stop picking on my G body GMs.
I miss my 84 Olds Cutlass Supreme Brougham. 😛
The Concorde was even bigger, they’re like twice as long as my ’91 Civic sedan.
Sad thing is that the 300M has aged better than the 300C in the styling department. I mean, I love the idea of a big rear-drive American sedan and I’m happy FCA’s offering us one. Still, I think they’d do well to throw a few bucks at some new sheetmetal.
Actually, if I’m being honest, I think the 300M was about the best thing to come out of DaimlerChrysler. They were pretty decent inside (although I haven’t lived with one, so maybe it just looks good at a distance), and the styling was a few years ahead of its time but still really sharp. I would’ve loved to drive one when they were new.
I purchased my 2002 Chrysler Concorde Limited (bascially a 300M with a larger trunk) in 2004 with 35K miles and still drive it today. It has been one of my favorite vehicles…IMHO, the styling is timeless, interior is elegant (I especially like the electroluminescent gauges) and comfortable, and it has always driven and handled perfectly well for me. It now has 107K and has given me no major repair issues (other than those caused by Chrysler dealers, but that is another story) other than routine maintenance – I have no plans to sell it any time soon!
Arguably it looks more futuristic than the later generations. I always loved that design.
That concord nose I always liked, and still do. It actually looks more like a natural evolution into the first gen 300C nose treatment than the 300M nose did. Most got marred by a front license plate unfortunately.
I purchased an 99 LHS new and it was one of the nicest cars I’ve owned – brought me back to the US big three after 13 years with Toyotas and Nissans. They still look great today – wish I could find a low mileage example somewhere.
My other favorite DaimlerChrysler. Funny, I liked the Concorde better than the 300M when they were new-I found the 300M’s angles a bit harsh at the time (but then, everything was bubbles at that point!). These days, I think the 300M’s styling held up better, though I still love that version of the Concorde. I wonder what would have happened if Chrysler could have kept refining the 300M and Concorde instead of being victimized by Daimler and dumped in the woods for another predator to get ’em.
My friend owns a black Concorde of this generation, other than a starter and brakes, it has given him no trouble.
It’s his daily driver.
Great, now I want a Chrysler LH variant.
Put the 300M body on the 300C mechanicals and you have a winner!
I liked the original 300C style that came between these two better than the current design with it’s anonymous wraparound headlights, and now I’m finding that decade old shape quite dated, very much like the final Town Cars or Crown Vic’s. The 300M was really actually nice looking and pretty fast in it’s day, and it’s low profile is a breath of fresh air with today’s tall design sensibilities.
Too bad the 300M is still wrong wheel drive.
I drove a 300M loaner for a week when my Challenger was being fixed after a fender bender. I don’t understand why anyone would have bought or kept an LH car after driving any of the three LX cars. Even in the winter, when I had it, the LH wasn’t as good as my car was in plain old snow. I never liked the looks of the LH cars anyway, but they were far from the ugliest of many ugly cars made back then. Mopar did the right things when they went to the LX cars.
I was always a little conflicted on the design of the 300M. Attractive for the most part, but the proportions were just a little bit off–needed less front overhang (can be hard with a larger-engined FWD car), plus the tail never seemed to quite resolve to the rest of the design. Hard, chopped edges on an otherwise rounded shape.
The overhang is more a result of the cab-forward design language in this case, longitudinal FWD layouts can easily have RWD proportions if intended.
^this^. What sucks is that the platform was designed to eventually spawn a RWD variant, and that never happened. That would have been perfect to build a Mustang/Camaro fighter with the style of the first LH but in coupe form.
Hell, I wish the LH underpinned a retro Challenger. The most awkward aspect of the actual LX based version compared to the originals is the massive body below the beltline. Had it had a cowl height as low as these LHs it would be the spitting image of the real deal, and probably lighter too!
Matt, white I like that idea too you have to remember the times. Everything was aero, soft, organic, and fluid looking. An LH based ‘Challenger’ may well have took form in a ‘properly done’ Avenger/Sebring coupe. Which thru a mid 90’s lens would have been great. The 3.5L V6 was competitive on paper with Ford/GM’s V8 engines at the time. Furthermore, the 4.7 Corsair V8 would have likely seen a non-truck application. I can all but guarantee such an animal would have been a runaway success especially vs the all show/no go fwd coupes Mopar was offering.
The LXs belt line never bothered me. It recalls the chop top look of classic street rods. Or most likely it’s because Im thrilled that Ma Mopar has resurrected the broad shouldered RWD brutes that had been missing for so long. There’s so much to like about these cars…and they are EXCELLENT…that the beltline is a trivial nitpick. JMHO.
I don’t think it’s trivial, besides throwing off the proportions, my favorite driving position is elbow out the window, and I can do that in a 70-74 easy, the retro cars not so much(the Challenger obviously isn’t alone).
” What sucks is that the platform was designed to eventually spawn a RWD variant”
I remember a salesman in the showroom pointing out the ’93 LH underbody stamping designed to accommodate this, and I thought, what’s the point of making it FWD if the floorpan has been shaped to take a RWD setup.
The whole point of FWD is to maximize interior space.
That’s just one reason for FWD. Its superior for all weather predictable handling, the reduction in rotational mass makes it more efficient (particularly noticeable with the smaller engines fwd is already suitable for) and its cheaper to produce. If the LH had spawned a rwd variant then a coupe would have been the best way to flesh that out since the practical advantages of fwd are irrelevant on a bodystyle that at its worst is a fashion statement but when at full potential is a platform for hardcore performance.
I always figured it was for an all-wheel drive version sometime in the future.
The subject 300M is nearly an exact match to my daily driver except for wheels and interior color (mine has tan leather). Invariably when I go out to meet friends somewhere or do anything that requires me to describe what I’m driving, “Red Chrysler 300” just doesn’t compute, as the RWD 300’s are so common that they’ve eclipsed anything else bearing the name.
In some ways it’s a shame that the new generation 300’s have been so slightly changed for so long, as they now more or less blend into the scenery. On the other hand I get compliments nearly weekly on my ’99 300M, which is a bit comical, as in the end it’s really just an 18 year old grocery getter at this stage, albeit one that’s in phenomenal shape. The LH cars are hardly without their flaws, but even today a well-tuned and properly maintained example is still a pleasure to drive.
What a big – and disappointing – step backwards in
automotive aesthetic. Perhaps a metaphor for a lot
of other things that will be in reverse the next few
It is like history competing really. I would compare these very swoopy cab-forward cars as the 90’s version of tail fins. And the LX 300 is like the very boxy mid-60s conservatism that followed.
I had never owned a Chrysler product and the 300M just did’n’t make me a convert but when the 300C came out, well that changed everything! RWD, solid handling with cylinder deactivation, affordable luxury, 340 hp. What more could you ask for so I ordered one and got it end September 2004. Did it turn heads, young and old alike giving me thumbs up at lights including drivers of much more expensive German machinery which will be un named! Yes it is time for a redesign but keep the character! It just goes to show that if you forsake the appliance school of design you can get a modern car that still gets the blood flowing.
That was the real power of these LX cars. The LHs may have sold more overall (Id have to look that up) but these brought in a lot of conquest sales. The way the 300 was an instant hit with high profile celebrities too did a LOT for the brand. The LXs staying power is still felt today, since there are numerous clubs dedicated to these cars…real gear heads lap them up. And while a 300C at the dragstrip would be a common sight, who can imagine an LH car lining up at the Christmas tree?
Ive got experience with most versions of the LX…theyre surprisingly efficient and handle a LOT better than what the rags try to tell you. For such brutish and visceral cars theyre very modern and livable.
I like them both but…the 300M had a look and size that appealed to me.
Having driven one on a road racing track at a media event I know they handle well. Still see one now and then on the streets up here and know a guy who uses one for daily commute. Not sure if he drives it in winter, I hope not the 300M is a noteworthy design from Chrysler. Certainly worth preserving. The best of the cab forward models.
The first generation LH’s were certainly attractive as sedans go and were also class leading at the time. I think the styling went to hell on the LH’s refresh, personally. The fact that someone (here on CC I think) pointed out the M’s grille resemblance to hitlers mustache is proof…and you can’t unsee it now. Ive driven LHs before. Very nice driving but nothing really ‘special’ here. Im not partial to FWD V6 layouts and don’t like sedans so there’s that.
The LX was a godsend to Mopar fanatics who’d been sorely missing rwd V8 power in something besides a truck. The way these things busted thru the gates in ’05 was pretty amazing…especially considering this wasn’t some new revolutionary thing: burly, muscular rwd cars with old school V8 power just modernized and refined. Who’d have thunk it? There’s still a place for powerful, brashly styled ballbreakers without the touchy-feely, get to know your feminine side organic dreck of the 90’s. The initial sales boom had calmed down but the LX is still a strong seller, even if the 300 has fallen in the shadow of the Challenger and Charger. Like the LH cars, the 300 and Charger seemed to take a step backwards in styling on the refresh (’11-’14 cars). IMHO, the ’15’ refresh made up for it and then some. The ’15 up LX Charger has never looked better, the Challenger is a wash, and the ’15 up 300 is at least as sharp as the ’05-’10. Personally I don’t like sedans as you all know. But a 300S in Redline with the 345 Hemi…there’s not another 4 door car made Id rather own.
David Bache’s styling influence still lives on….. 🙂
Is that a Rover of some kind? I like it though. Looks like shrunken Rolls 2-dr sedan at first glance and I love those road wheels. I definitely see a resemblance though.
One thing about the LX 300 that I like is a little passing resemblance to the ’50 ‘shoebox’ Fords, ’55-’56 Imperial, and Volvo Amazon. Just a clean simple shape that works.
Rover P5B with the aluminum 3.5 V8 (originally a Buick design). In my opinion, one of the most iconic British designs of the 60’s and 70’s.
There was also a coupe version which, confusingly, still had 4 doors. It *did* have a “faster” roofline and thereby looked a bit sportier. So in that respect I suppose we can blame Rover for the whole “4-door coupe” movement that started so many years later…
The M has too much car slung out ahead of the front wheels, while the C has better proportions but a beltline that’s just too high. Not really a fan of either.
Two very different interpretations of Big American Car, and to my eye they both work. Neither was in the styling mainstream when launched, so credit goes to Chrysler for having the courage to blaze a new trail — twice.
That’s a huge contrast to most of what’s being sold today. Take compact SUV/crossovers. Each has its own grill treatment, but in profile they’re all nearly identical. Packaging, aero, weight reduction are all conspiring to strip the designers of any freedom to delight & surprise car buyers.
“…but in profile they’re all nearly identical.”
Not, really, no, but I have a feeling you won’t be convinced otherwise.
I think he is saying (and am projecting here but this is also my opinion) that you could mix and match the grilles onto the various side profiles and they would still “work” for the most part. i.e. the Highlander could just as easily work as a Santa Fe which could just as easily be a Pathfinder which could also be a Pilot and so forth. Same with the Escape/Rav4/Tucson/Rogue etc. A Chrysler 300C will not be confused for anything else.
If one pays attention to the design languages used by different companies, one can see how they all fit together within their brands and have differences from other brands.
On the flip side, unless you know the and are interested in them, all ’50’s, 60’s and 70’s cars look alike.
That’s what I’m getting at. I couldn’t tell a ’57 Chevy from a ’57 Ford before I was “into” them. Immediately writing off newer vehicles as cookie-cutter only because they’re new reeks of the “golden age” fallacy.
Although Dad and I are both car guys it’s interesting how little we know about each other’s hero cars growing up. The cars he can name at a glance from the 30s and 40s all look the same to me except for the Fords or something like a Packard. Chevy, Dodge, Oldsmobile even Cadillac before ’49, I need to see the badge to tell what it is never mind the year.
Starting with the 70s though, I was much better than Dad at knowing if it was a Mustang II V8 or V6 just from a glimpse.
So yes I buy into “if you don’t know what they are, they all look the same”, even if you’re a car guy.
But, and this is a big but, I would argue there are fewer iconic designs today than there were in generations past. Iconic meaning a design so famous everyone knows what it is.
Just a few examples from 1950 – 1990s:
55 – 57 T-Bird
Jag E-Type and XJ
C2 and C3 Corvette
Mark III / VI
70 – 73 Camaro
Cadillac RWD through 92
BMW until 91 E36
Mercedes until 94 C-class
Volvo until 97
Heck even my mom would get those right if asked to match a name with a photo.
How many cars would be on a 2000-2017 Icons list, where your mom could get them right 40 years from now? Can anyone remember what the newest Mercedes SL looks like?
The point is mass market cars have always blended in but there were more designs that stood out during the golden age. I believe this gets mixed into the feeling some folks have about modern cars all looking alike.
Not sure what is meant by the golden age but if it means a 30 year period could anything top 1960 – 1989? Was there ever more progress than during those 30 years?
How much of what we consider “classic” status stems from its design or performance specs, and how much of it is just having X number of years to become accustomed to it?
“Golden age” wasn’t a reference to any specific era, but the name of the fallacy in which one believes a certain time period (usually the one in which they were young) to be better than the present because of some subjective criteria.
Well. A distinctive design from the late ’90’s-’00s…
Instantly recognised without looking at badge – check
Ahead of almost everything else in that category when it came out – check
(Or maybe I’m just biased)
If you buy into my premise that more icons = less generic era, you could make it plenty objective with enough money…
Take a very large sample of people:
* Ages 16 – 70
* Men, women
* Knows cars well, doesn’t know cars well
* Grew up in a heavily populated area with lots of cars
* Icons from 1960 – 1989 provide by me
* Icons from 1990 – present provided by you
* Try to have the same number of cars per decade
Ideally all in similar color and condition, all in the same room.
* Know it? How well?
* Like it? How much?
Analyze to find the differences between the decades. You wouldn’t show a 1960 model car in the array to someone born after say 1975, they won’t remember it. But you would show it to those born between and 1947 and 1974. And so on.
With the research data you could answer your question how much of it is just having X number of years to become accustomed to it? You could also find out if some decades had more icons than others and if you could string together a set of decades into an “era”.
You could include cars from the 50s but you would need to have people up to age 80.
I don’t think this kind of work has ever been done because the answer is way too obvious 🙂
Three factors that work against distinctive, unique, designs:
– Safety standards, especially EU pedestrian safety standards that lead to bluff, cut-off front ends.
– Desire for fuel efficiency, gives you the high tail end and tapered jelly bean look.
– Market forces. Face it, as much as frequenters of this site love unique, expressive design, bland sells.
Try as they might but it’s really difficult for automakers to style anything past the front end of a 2 box 4 door shape into anything particularly distinctive.
Isn’t the Ford Flex distinct from the Honda CR-V distinct from any minivan distinct from the Focus RS, etc., etc.?
Flex yes, the rest, eh….
The Focus RS isn’t distinct from a minivan?
It would be interesting if the originator of the line the Eagle Premier was on the other side of the 300M. It’s crisp lines would dramatically demonstrate the bloat the line has put on.
Meh, “crisp lines” but weird blocky proportions like many other midsize/large FWD sedans of the ’80s. (The 1985 Maxima, 1988 Continental, and too many GM products to list come to mind.)
Chrysler has done a great job of keeping the LX/LY cars relevant in terms of both styling and performance, in my opinion. I know some have called the styling updates too subtle, but I digress – the overall shape of the 300/Charger/Challenger still holds up. (That doesn’t mean the pre-facelift originals haven’t begun to look stale.)
The 300M is my favorite of the LH cars – the others have not aged well, IMHO. (The 1998 Concorde seemed like it was trying to out-oval the 1996 Taurus.)
You call THAT a 300?
Now THAT’S a 300, mate!
You said it, mate ~
That headline is so misleading. I was expecting a 1957 300C and a ’66 300M. Instead, you post this junk. Nothing personal, but that was cruel.
Junk is a bit harsh. Both were good cars and have helped keep the full-size American sedan alive. Isn’t that a good thing?
As a 2000’s kid the 300M’s and the Concordes were some of my favorite cars in my early years, especially the big Concordes (as you can tell by my profile pic). Even as a kid I knew that these cars were way different than our dowdy brown Taurus, they were just so… *big*, and weird looking on top of that. I thought it strange that almost every Concorde I saw (later in the 2000’s) ended up in the hands of someone that treated it like they had no other choice, odds are those were the circumstances. Let’s be honest here, I can respect their daring nature and their technological achievements, but who really wants to got through the trouble of owning an LH car?
P.S. I guess I should say I would own a 300M, but other than that I don’t need my car trying to kill itself on a daily basis.
I think the ’11-14 LX 300 is the best looking of the LX 300s. Much classier, more befitting a near-luxury/American luxury status.
The first generation looked pretty good on the outside but I think it is somewhat overdone. The interiors are pretty cheap and bland too. The third generation tones down the chrome too much and the interiors are usually just black and boring. The instruments and wheel is too “sporty” as well. 300c Platinum is the way to go in the last generation.
I also rather like the LH cars but prefer the New Yorker/LHS/Concorde to the 300m. I’d take one though.
Speak the truth. I love the ’15 front end, but lament the switch to gummy bubble badges, and the loss of detail in the tail lights. And the cluster/wheel combo is out of character, even though the new telematics are amazing. Makes for a tough choice: the ’15s are more livable, but less cohesive visually, than the 11-14s. I love my 2013 Luxury Edition, but I’d sure love a blue 2015 Platinum too… Tough choice.
The 300 M is a great handling car. I took a testdrive in it . I liked the power and the inside of the 300 M . Nice car with the 3.5 v6 and the autostick on the automatic.
I recall when the 1962 Chrysler Windsor series was replaced by the plain 300 series. I did not think that it was a good thing then. The letter series 300 was a higher performance model with engine tuning that was not available on the rest of the Chryslers. So I think that the 300M should have been a plain 300. The new 300C has a V8 making it a higher performance version of the base 300 series, so I think this is OK. I am not quite sure why they went back to the letter C instead of starting with N. But why Chrysler started the letter series with the second year’s production is not entirely clear either, although HP rating was increased, eventually they were going to run out of alphabet, unless they expected an end.
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