Rare survivor 1955 Chrysler 300 coupe

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Rare survivor 1955 Chrysler 300 coupe | ClassicCars.com Journal
The Chrysler 300 was built for NASCAR homolagation

A preserved “survivor” car in great condition with low mileage is a wonderful thing, but especially if the car is a rare and significant model.

Such is the case with the Pick of the Day, a well-kept 1955 Chrysler 300 two-door coupe that despite being more than six decades old, still shines with its original paint, chrome, interior and mechanical equipment. Owned the entire time by just one family, the car has just over 35,000 miles on its odometer.

Rare survivor 1955 Chrysler 300 coupe | ClassicCars.com Journal
The 300 signified the horsepower, the most ever for a production car

Aside from remaining as it rolled out of the factory, the 300 is also a stirring example of a high-performance model built for NASCAR homologation.

The 1955 300 is considered to be the first of Chrysler’s famed series of muscular “letter cars,” even if it doesn’t have a letter. Retroactively, it’s considered a “300-A” because the next one to come along in 1956 was the 300-B, which looked not much different aside from slightly taller tailfins.

The 300 wasn’t some random number, either, but acknowledgement of the 1955 model’s 300 horsepower churned out by the 331-cubic-inch Chrysler Fire Power hemispheric-head V8. This was the first American production car to reach that output. A year later, the 300-B bumped that up to 355 horsepower.

Rare survivor 1955 Chrysler 300 coupe | ClassicCars.com Journal
Styling was under Chrysler’s famed Virgil Exner

The 300 letter series continued uninterrupted through the 300-L of 1965.

Chrysler’s legendary chief designer Virgil Exner was responsible for the 300’s evocative styling, which borrowed some sections from other Mopar models, including beautiful front styling from the Imperial.

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As well as being a performance standout, the 300 was a top-drawer luxury car with a retail price of more than $4,000, which was a strong number in those days. So while the 300 was critically acclaimed, just 1,725 examples were ever sold.

“This car is the definition of survivor,” according to the ad in ClassicCars.com from the Grand Rapids, Michigan, dealer selling the car. “Our client’s grandfather purchased this car brand new and it has been owned by the family ever since. It has never been restored – all interior and exterior surfaces are untouched.”

Rare survivor 1955 Chrysler 300 coupe | ClassicCars.com Journal
The original interior is in decent condition

The shapely coupe in Tango Red looks very good in the photos, and its leather seats appear intact with nice patina, although they could use a professional cleaning. The steering wheel, dashboard and gauges look clean and surprisingly fresh.

These cars were rugged and fast, built with heavy-duty suspensions and other gear as they were designed to be driven in anger on the high-speed NASCAR ovals, where they competed with notable success.

This unmarred piece of Chrysler history is priced at $79,900.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

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Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

1 COMMENT

  1. Yes the 1955 300 was the first of the letter cars but it wasn’t an ‘A’. it was called a C300. My family had one from 1962 until a few years ago.

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