The 1957 Chrysler ‘Letter Series‘ high-performance luxury cars had evolved to the 300C model powered by either a 370 hp or 390 hp 392 cui / 6.4 litre Hemi motor and either Coupé or Convertible bodies that were styled by Virgil Exner with a new ‘yawning’ grill at the front and larger tail fins at the rear.
1958 300D’s, like the example seen here at the Classic Motor Show at the NEC in Birmingham, retained the 1957 body in Coupé and Convertible forms.
The 392 cui FirePower Hemi motors were all tuned to produce 380 hp except for 18 fuel injected cars which produced 390hp that was so unreliable most were converted back to fuel delivery by carburetor.
Norm Thatcher loaded his 300D, fitted with 8 non stock Stromberg carburetors into the back of his truck and took it to Bonneville from Van Nuys with 3 other people, supplies, food and extra tires in the trunk / boot.
He then showed the cars high performance capability by recording a top two way average speed of 156.386 mph, using Firestone tyres and Quaker State oil without the aid of any special lubricants on the famous salt flats.
Having accomplished his mission to set an new ‘Stock Body’ record Norm loaded the 300D, one of only two with manual 3 speed transmissions and all the factory options deleted, back into his truck and drove back to his shop where the car was eventually returned to stock carburetor configuration and sold on as a daily driver which is still a runner today.
Automobile sales plummeted in 1958 and so only 618 Coupés and 191 Convertibles were built, down nearly two thirds on the previous year.
Thanks for joining me on this “Stock Body Record” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !