The Corpus Christi Old Car Museum Auction

Lot 183
1955 Chrysler 300C Coupe

Selling on Saturday

1955 Chrysler  300C Coupe

CHASSIS NO: 3N552653

• One-owner example until 2018
• Extremely rare high-performance legend
• Historic and essential postwar collector car
• First production car producing 300 HP

331 cid “Hemi” V-8 engine, dual four-barrel carburetors, 300 HP, Powerflite two-speed automatic transmission, independent front suspension with coil springs, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, hydraulic four-wheel drum brakes; wheelbase: 126"

While the Chrysler 300 is widely recognized as one of America’s first true postwar high-performance cars, it was also a refined full-size automobile with abundant luxury features and a commanding presence to match. Powered by Chrysler’s 331 cubic-inch “Hemi” V-8 engine delivering 300 horsepower, the C-300 carried the substance to back up its image, as the most powerful American production car made available to the public since the mighty Duesenberg Model SJ of the 1930s. Racing success was immediate, with the C-300 winning 18 NASCAR-sanctioned stock-car races during 1955. At the world-famous Daytona Beach speed contests that year, Tim Flock’s C-300 set a new record on the flying mile and he went on to take the 1955 NASCAR Grand National Championship with a C-300, securing the car’s formidable and enduring performance image.

Utilizing the information gained from Briggs Cunningham’s Chrysler-powered Le Mans racing program, the C-300 engine featured a full-race cam, higher compression ratio, adjustable rocker shafts, solid valve lifters, and dual four-barrel carburetors gulping air through a special “bat wing” air cleaner assembly. Other C-300 features included highly developed, heavy-duty suspension with a lowered ride height, an improved Powerflite automatic transmission, and a 3.54:1 performance rear axle. Chrysler produced just 1,725 top-of-the-line C-300s in all for 1955 and today, the Chrysler Letter Car Club estimates just an approximate 10 percent remain.

The Chrysler C-300 gave rise to the legendary Chrysler 300 “Letter Series” cars to follow through the next 10 years, ending with the 300L of 1965. The first postwar production car to produce 300 horsepower, the C-300 took the automotive world by storm when new and its influence remains profound today. The C-300 offered here is particularly interesting, having been owned from new until mid-2018 by Harold and Clara Speidel of Salem, Oregon when it was acquired by the museum. While the Chrysler did receive a repaint many years ago, the interior upholstery appears original and well-kept, notwithstanding age-appropriate wear accumulated over the previous six decades. In addition to power steering and Chrysler’s Powerflite automatic transmission, this C-300 is further equipped with a Town and Country pushbutton radio, period-correct spare tire and wheel assembly, roadside jack and lug wrench. An unqualified motorsports legend by any standard with precious few survivors today, the 1955 Chrysler C-300 is historic and an essential part of the finest collections of significant automobiles, regardless of the era.

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