The ferocious Chrysler 300 Letter Series continues
In style…grace…performance…and beauty, the 1960 Chrysler 300F is another ferocious contender in the formidable 300 Letter Series limited edition muscle cars. This is another of my all-time favorites. These high-performance behemoths are some of the most powerful and exclusive automobiles ever built in America. They left an indelible impression in the automotive industry.
Only 964 hardtop coupés and 248 convertible coupés were built making them highly collectible among connoisseurs world-wide. The 1960 300F is the first 300 to be built with Unibody Construction which made it tighter and rattle-free. NotoriousLuxury celebrates the fabulous Chrysler 300 Letter Series to bring these invincible muscle cars into the spotlight once again. The Chrysler 300 Letter Series automobiles scorched the tracks from 1955-1965 in a fashion no other car could come close to in its class –
The mighty 1960 Chrysler 300F garnered the first six places at Daytona Beach in the Flying Mile Competition. It was 8 short ram cars that were built for this grueling competition dubbed as Gran Turismos with speeds from 140-145 mph. Performance was no big thing for Chrysler…it was simply understood.
The Hemi and the Max Wedge are two of the most ferocious engines ever put into American automobiles. The 1960 Chrysler 300F is another fire-breathing luxury performance car the competition’s only view of was…the rear bumper – remember…the ferocious Chrysler 300 Letter Series invented the “bitch-slap” which sent the entire industry into subservience –
The Chrysler 300 Letter Series were the brand’s most exclusive production cars and the 300F is no exception. The interior was refined to be a thing of beauty. It seats four…and only four in Tan leather upholstered bucket seats front and rear. This four seat concept is the first of its kind for American luxury cars and put the 300F in a class all by itself. It is as sporty as it is elegant. A long center console spans from the dash all the back through the rear seats featuring large, comfortable arm rests with storage compartments.
A tachometer was installed to the front of the console for the driver. It also accommodates the power window switches for convenience. The front seats swivel for easy entry and exit. The convertible’s power, fully automatic inward folding fabric roof provides a larger rear passenger compartment than other convertible coupés for the day. Chrysler products were outrageously luxurious in the 1950s and 1960s…the very name “Chrysler” was synonymous with luxury.
The exclusive four seat interior is built with a futuristic look. The dash reminds me of “The Jetsons.” It features the exclusive to the industry “Panelescent Lighting System” which back-lit the controls creating a floating effect. This was Chrysler’s new breakthrough in automotive lighting eliminating the conventional incandescent bulbs. It was introduced by Sylvania Lighting Products on September 8, 1959. It gave the instruments a soft glow.
Today’s electroluminescent systems are a contemporary version of this and can be found on Lexus motorcars. It is ten times greater than conventional bulbs with a longer life. This system never burns out suddenly…it simply declines in intensity. It was first introduced on the Imperial by Chrysler. This system reduces eye strain for night-time driving. The dash also features the “Astra-Dome” 3-D speedometer that reads up to 150 mph. This semi-circular unit makes the numbers very easy on the eye. The Chrysler Corporation rocked the entire automotive industry with engineering prowess.
Model # PC3-300, style code # 842/2 1960 Chrysler 300F hardtop coupé had a base price of $5,411, a base shipping weight of 4,270 pounds, and only 964 were built.
Model # PC3-300, style code # 845/2 1960 Chrysler 300F convertible coupé had a base price of $5,841, a base shipping weight of 4,310 pounds, and only 248 were built.
Either version is a highly desirable investment quality vehicle which will appreciate favorably. The 300F is a large front engine, rear-wheel drive automobile. It has the luxury length of 219.6” and rides upon a long 126” wheelbase with a hefty 79.5” width.
With its seamless Unibody Construction, it drives with a solid feeling sans squeaks and rattles. Its excellent weight distribution makes it sure-footed under all driving conditions – wet or dry. Boulevard travel intrusion is negligible. No wonder Chryslers were eminent vehicles both on and off the tracks –
Prodigious power…and then some –
In the ferocious Chrysler fire-breathing dragon tradition, the 300F continues the formidable reputation with the indomitable “Wedge-head” V8. It is powered by the Chrysler RB series 6.8 litre 16-valve 413 CID Golden Lion V8 engine. The Wedge-head gets its name from the wedge-shaped combustion chamber’s characteristic design.
The RB, or “Raised-Block” engines are the taller versions of the Chrysler “B” performance engines. All RB engines have a 3.75” stroke with a 4.18” bore center distance. The RB engines are oversquare, or short-stroke in design. This type of engine allows larger valves in the head of the cylinders. (Like the larger valves in the ferocious Hemi-head…this was a Chrysler signature) Oversquare engines are tuned to develop peak torque at higher speeds.
The 6.8 litre Wedge-head V8 has 17 capscrews per cylinder head, a cylinder block extending 3” below the crankshaft centerline, a cross-ram intake manifold, stamped-steel shaft-mounted rocker arms (race versions uses forged-steel rockers), and a front mounted external oil pump driven by the camshaft. It is built with a Super-Micro Babbitt crankshaft, main and connecting rod bearings. The ferocious cross-ram intake has two pairs of 30” long tuned pipes that are “criss-crossed” so that each set feeds the opposite side of the engine. The tubes are calibrated to deliver forced air into the cylinders.
This is actually a primitive version of supercharging. The engine is equipped with overhead in-line hydraulic valves. The 2-4bbl Carter AFB downdraft velocity type carburetors have a secondary system with automatic choke, they are hung off to the sides of the engines over the inner fenders under the hood…ferociously! The carbs have dual paper element air cleaners. The engine is mated to the Chrysler TorqueFlite 3-speed automatic transmission with torque converter and planetary gears.
The 6.8 litre Golden Lion V8 cranks 375 hp @ 5,000 rpm packing a prolific punch with 671 Nm of peak torque @ 2,800 rpm. It has a top speed in the 125 mph range…but tweaked, it can easily hit 145-150 mph. My cousins were MOPAR enthusiasts, this is how I found out first hand!
Longitudinal acceleration is rated as: 0-60 mph in 7.6 seconds, 0-100 mph in 22 seconds, 0-110 mph in 30.9 seconds, and 0-120 mph in 87.6 seconds. It does the ¼ mile @ 89 mph in just 15.6 seconds. The 1960 300F ushered in the third generation of the mighty 300 Letter Series muscle cars. It is even more beautiful than the 1957-1959 models. If you have never driven a Chrysler 300…you missed out on a real high-performance experience.
If you wanted more bang for your buck, there was the Chrysler 300F Special Gran Turismo. The 6.8 litre short-ram Wedge-head V8 is tweaked and tuned to crank 400 hp @ 5,200 rpm with 631 Nm of peak torque @ 3,600 rpm. It has a top speed in the 131+ mph range. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as: 0-60 mph in 6.6 seconds, 0-100 mph in 18.2 seconds, 0-110 mph in 25.2 seconds, and 0-120 mph in just 38 Seconds.
It can do the ¼ mile @ 93 mph in 15.1 seconds. This version of the 6.8 litre V8 is mated to the French Pont-à-Mousson 4-speed manual gearbox (boo-hiss…I did NOT like this transmission at all, they were extremely trouble proned). The Gran Turismos are the rarest of the post-war collectible cars. Four of the 8 short ram cars built still exist.
The beauty –
The 1960 Chrysler 300F sports all-new architecture covering its Unibody Construction. It’s a beautiful symphony of sweeping lines from the modified trapezoid trademark 300 Series grille back to the upswept tailfins. This is the last year for the Virgil Exner tailfins. The “toilet seat” rear deck lid was frowned upon by many but I think it adds character to the curves of the rear end ensemble.
The sculpted taillamps set off the chiseled tailfins. Both front and rear bumper ends are kicked-up providing extraordinary protection. The over-sized greenhouse lends a light airy appeal to the luxuriously sporty interior. Popular options for the 1960 300F includes air conditioning, remote control outside rearview mirror, six-way power front seats, power door locks, and Sure-Grip rear differential.
This is one of Chrysler’s most beautiful designs. The long front fenders and hood houses one of the most powerful engines in the industry. Its extra-wide front end ensemble is an exercise in luxury and high performance. The front suspension is independent with lateral non-paralleled control arms with torsion bar springs. The spring rate is 40% stiffer.
The rear suspension uses parallel longitudinal semi-elliptic leaf springs. Direct acting Oriflow heavy-duty shock absorbers are fitted all the way around. The 1960 Chrysler 300F remains highly desirable today as it did when it rolled off the assembly line – its design is timeless and will challenge the years gracefully. Chrysler engineers had once again beat the entire industry in style and performance.
Special thanks to Wallpaperup and Nick’s Chrysler 300F page for insight and the use of the photos of these rare collectible automobiles from the Chrysler Corporation. MOPAR Lives!!! MOPAR RULES!!!
Here’s some MOPAR history…
1931 Chrysler Imperial sedan
1933 Chrysler Imperial Custom LeBaron
1956 Chrysler 300B hardtop coupé
1956 Chrysler 300B in track form
1958 Chrysler 300D convertible coupé
1958 Chrysler 300 FirePower Hemi-head V8
1958 Chrysler 300D hardtop coupé
1959 Plymouth Fury convertible
1966 Dodge Coronet 500 440 Magnum
1968 Plymouth GTX
2000 Chrysler 300C concept
2003 Chrysler 300C concept
2015 Chrysler 300C
2015 Chrysler 300 SRT
Chrysler 300 Tuner
Remember the classic Mag wheels?
Remember the Dodge Polara knock-off hubcaps?
A Chrysler 300 Letter Series performance car is the ultimate from the brand in exclusivity. They were among the finest automobiles made in America. From 1955 until 1965 these performance behemoths scorched the tracks at Daytona Beach and also were NASCAR champs. They are the grandfathers to American muscle cars…the difference being the 300’s delivered raw, unadulterated torque thrust whereas today’s make believe muscle cars rely on wedge shapes, wind-cheating designs, and power-to-weight ratios.
Be it Hemi or Wedge-head V8, the Chrysler 300 delivered power first class. The 1960 300F is the first of this elite series to be built as Unibody Construction. Either 375 or 400 hp…they were true track stars in street clothes. These luxury sport cars will live on in the hearts of enthusiasts world-wide. NotoriousLuxury pays tribute to the brute force of the Chrysler 300 Letter Series –
The 1960 Chrysler 300F is NotoriousLuxury