Chrysler’s 300 series has always been known for its luxury, power, and style. Starting in 1955, their “letter series” ⎼ as it is referred to today ⎼ all the way up to today with the 2019 Chrysler 300, the 300 series has been a successful line for Chrysler. Whether you’re restoring a Chrysler 300 from their original letter series, or showing your 2019 Chrysler 300 some TLC, make sure you don’t forget your Chrysler 300 service manual. In times of need, it will see you through.
Back in 1955, Chrysler introduced its first 300. The 1955 Chrysler 300 was the first production muscle car made available to the public. Named for its 331-cubic-inch 5.4 L HEMI “Firepower” V8 that produced 300 hp and coupled with Chrysler’s “Powerflite” fully automatic transmission, meant that ⎼ by 1955 standards ⎼ this beauty could do more than move. In addition to what was under the hood, it came with sport suspension, leather seats, and was available as a coupe in black, white, or red.
The 1955 300 was able to hit 127 mph (204 km/h); 7 mph (11 km/h) faster than its competitors and in 1955, it set the Flying Mile record in Daytona for production cars. Taking over from the famed Hudson Hornet, the Chrysler 300 rapidly began dominating the racing circuit. However, this performance coupe was just the beginning; the next ten years would be the golden years of the 300 with something new every year.
From 1955 to 1965, Chrysler released a new letter model every year.
By the 300L, Chrysler had emasculated the original design of the car so much that they lost what had made the 300 so special in the eyes of the public. With the drop in sales, Chrysler decided to shelve the 300 series. In 1998, the 300M was released. The only connection this FWD premium sedan had to its 300 predecessors, was its name and the fact it was considered to have luxury amenities for its time.
The current Chrysler 300 made its debut at the New York International Auto Show in 2003. With its luxurious styling and design, it was apparent that Chrysler had been inspired by the 1998 Chrysler Chronos, which in turn had drawn inspiration from the 1953 Chrysler D’Elegance ⎼⎼ both of which had been concept cars. However this time, the Chrysler 300 wasn’t a mere concept car.
Starting production in January of 2004, Chrysler emphasized how luxurious, yet affordable, the 300 was. The model range included the base, Touring, and Limited. All of which, were based on Chrysler’s LX platform, which was a full-size RWD platform. Although, an AWD option was available.
The base model was comprised of Chrysler’s LX platform, standard 17-inch wheels, four-wheel disc brakes, wheel covers, auxiliary input jack, single disc MP3 player, and power driver seat. Powering this model was a double overhead camshaft, 2.7 L naturally aspirated 6-cylinder motor, with 4 valves per cylinder that produces figures of 190 bhp (142 kW/193 PS) at 6400 rpm and 258 N•m (190 lb•ft/26.3 kg m) at 4000 rpm respectively with a 4-speed automatic gearbox.
The Touring model used a 3,518 cc (3.5 L; 214.7 cu in) V6, producing 250 hp (186 kW/253 PS) and 250 lb⋅ft (340 N⋅m) of torque, and a 4-speed gearbox. It came with 17-inch aluminum wheels, AM/FM radio with CD player, auxiliary audio jack, Electronic Stability Program (ESP), leather-trimmed seats, remote keyless entry, and SIRIUS satellite radio. For the 2009 and 2010 model years, this model was renamed the Touring Plus.
The Limited model included the Touring model's 3.5 L 24-valve HO V6 engine. Additional features included 17-inch chrome-clad aluminum wheels, anti-roll, four-wheel disc brakes, single disc MP3 player, auxiliary input jack, Electronic Stability Program, remote keyless entry, leather trimmed seats, SIRIUS satellite radio, and power driver seat.
An SRT version was debuted at the 2011 New York International Auto Show, powered by a 6.4 L 392 HEMI V8 engine. With 470 hp (350 kW/477 PS), the new 300 SRT can go from 0-60 mph in 4.3 seconds. In 2015, the 300 SRT was discontinued in the United States.
2019 Chrysler 300
Today, the 2019 Chrysler 300 is marketed as an icon of ingenuity. It is one of the last remaining full-size sedans still in production as the market is shifting to the increasingly popular crossovers and SUVs. It features a 3.6 L V6 engine that produces 292 hp (300 hp in the 300S trim level) or an optional 363 hp, 5.7 L V8. Both engines work with an 8-speed automatic transmission.
The V6 versions are available with rear or all-wheel drive, while V8 models are RWD-only. Boasting a highway mpg of 30 mph (48 km/h), it also features electric power steering, Apple CarPlay, an 8.4-inch touchscreen, and Android smartphone connectivity.
Luxury options for this vehicle include a heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats, Nappa leather upholstery, a power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, heated rear seats, and wood trim. Other options include adaptive high-intensity-discharge headlamps, front and rear parking sensors, and a Harman Kardon premium stereo. Advanced safety feature options include blind spot warning with rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and lane-keeping assist.
In terms of automotive history, Chrysler’s 300 series has indubitably made its mark. It has proved itself and shown that it can survive the waves of time. It truly is an icon of ingenuity. Whether you’re a lover of the original 300 or have just purchased your first 300, remember if you ever need help, having a Chrysler 300 repair manual on hand can make any repair job go easier. Pick up yours today!