392 Hemi V8! 1957 Chrysler 300C

The Chrysler 300 “letter series” cars were high-performance personal luxury automobiles built from 1955-65 as a sub-model of the New Yorker. They were large, stylish, comfortable, and powerful machines, including the 1957 edition (300C) which saw the production of just 2,402 units. This version was stored in a garage for more than 30 years but is said to run fine now. With its 392 cubic-inch “Hemi” engine, the Chrysler can be found in Prescott, Arizona, and is available here on craigslist for $29,999. This tip is brought to us by rex m!

Chrysler took the industry by storm with its “Forward Look” styling in the late 1950s and its “Suddenly, It’s 1960!” marketing hype. The 1957s caught GM off-guard, who scrapped their one-year 1958 designs in favor of more Chrysler-like styling in 1959. The Chrysler flagship car for 1957 had to be the 300C which was the lowest and fastest grand touring car on the market. As a new car, it was not only five inches lower than the 1956 models, but also shorter in height than about all of the competition. The Hemi engine had been increased in size to 392 cubic inches and produced up to 390 hp, depending on carburetion.

Available in just two body styles (hardtop and convertible), the seller’s hardtop is one of 1,918 built for 1957. This Chrysler is said to have been idled since the late 1980s and some work must have been done to it recently to get it going again. The automatic transmission was rebuilt before it was stored, and a new set of tires can be seen on all four corners. We’re told it’s a rust-free car, but both the color and paint are not original. It left the factory painted white but wears dusty black now.

This was a well-equipped auto for its day, including factory air conditioning which was a rare option (the photo doesn’t show off the hardware; wasn’t that located in the trunk?). The ’57 looks like a nice survivor and the available population today isn’t large because that generation of Chrysler products was subject to catch the rust bug. Hagerty indicates that a Concours-condition ’57 300C can be an $80,000 car, plus 10% for the factory air. That leaves $50,000 worth of room for the seller to improve on the condition and value of this car.

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Comments

  1. Dave

    Beautiful car. You’ll spot one of these in the segment in “Cars” where Porsche speculates about what it must have been like to drive Route 66 in its heyday. They did make these things with a dual-quad option, I’ve seen one in Pruntytown, West Virginia.

    Like 7
    • Dan

      All 300C’s came with dual quads; not an option, just standard.

      Like 8
      • JohnD

        Yep! Like my ’58 300D!

    • Gary

      My uncle in Ripley WVa had one with two fours

      Like 1
  2. Gunner

    Love it. The pinnacle for 57 Styling and performance. What is the intake and carb in the trunk? Dual quad? Would put it back to the factory white. Great find!

    Like 5
  3. Steve Weiman

    The most important feature of the 300C is the dual quad, solid lifter 392 hemi, possibly missing from this car(?) is it just a standard imperial 392? If so, that’s a big hit……

    Like 5
  4. Stephen Miklos

    I bet the dual carb set up in the trunk and single set on engine was…. Nobody could set up the carbs correctly! So put a single one. It will perform just fine. But nothing beats a howling 8 pac 392 Hemi!!! 🐻🇺🇸

    Like 6
  5. tiger66

    “The Chrysler 300 “letter series” cars were high-performance personal luxury automobiles built from 1955-65 as a sub-model of the New Yorker.”

    Nope. The 300s were never part of the New Yorker series. They were a separate series. There is no such thing as New Yorker 300. This is just Wikipedia misinformation which too often is often taken as fact these days even thought it’s incorrect.

    Like 14
    • Paul R.

      Well, tell Wikipedia, that’s how it works!
      A fantastic resource.

      Like 2
      • 370zpp 370zpp Member

        It’s gotta be true. I saw it on the internet. .

        Like 2
    • jokacz

      It was based on the New Yorker. See my link above.

      Like 2
    • NW Iowa

      Wikipedia articles are written by viewers like you and me. They aren’t written by the host, Wikipedia. Don’t like what’s there? Rewrite it.

      Like 2
  6. Charles Sawka

    Hitch receiver ? C’mon man.

  7. Howard A Member

    Coming from Wisconsin, Carl Kiekhaefer of Mercury Marine fame, was one of our states most colorful characters. Prior to his outboard marine success, he raced Chrysler 300’s in NASCAR, and while primarily stock units, his marine mechanics, and highly paid well known drivers, turned them into winning cars. Story goes, Carl had 3, 1957, hemi powered 300C’s, like this, ready for the ’57 season, when he got into trouble with officials, told them all to pound sand, and withdrew the cars to focus on the marine industry. He was quite a guy. These big Chryslers were just the epitome in road cars, a long standing Chrysler tradition. Fantastic cars.

    Like 12
    • Paul R.

      Thanks , never knew that.
      I read he finally accepted the fact that his outboards needed a gear shift instead of stopping and reversing the engine rotation.
      He drew the gear shift mechanism on a napkin while at a restaurant. The same principal is still in use today.
      I had two Merc 700s circa 1962 , with full gear shift !
      Great engines , battery driven ignition. You could just touch the starter key and they’d fire up.
      Nothing sounded like a Merc, kind of like having a Ferrari on the back of your boat.

      Like 4
      • Howard A Member

        Hi Paul, yeah, they called those outboard motors with no neutral, “Dockbusters”. My old mans 1st Mercury outboard I remember, was a 1958 Mark 75 ( 65 hp) To say it was a beast, would be an understatement. It was an in-line 6, with 3 carbs, took 3 stout men to carry it, and I disagree, it almost NEVER started. On boat rides, we all held our breath until the old man, with appropriate curse words, got it going. I think 3 species of aquatic life were eliminated by the amount of gas that thing dripped. He then got a 1964 Mark 58A( 45hp), that had neutral and a much more civilized motor.
        It’s also a little known fact, Carl knew the importance of trucks in our society, and was known to buy lunch for every truck driver that went to his plants. I delivered ( or picked up) many times at Mercury Marine in Fond Du Lac, but that was after Carl was gone.

      • Craig

        I had an old ski boat with a 59Merc on it. They called these “suicide engines” because of having to start in gear. Terrible design but it ran pretty good.

  8. John Santomasso

    It never fails to irk me, interesting cars like this, and only four pictures. I guess either the owner couldn’t’ afford the film, or you people don’t provide them with suggestions of what pictures they might supply (like a face on picture of the dashboard). Most people that check out your posting will be buying any of these cars, but we do enjoy viewing them. You can supply a bit more for our enjoyment,…so why don’t you??

    Like 4
    • john santomasso

      Edit. — “most people will NOT be buying”. -Line four-

    • Poppy

      Looks like the seller read your comment. Now there are 11 photos including the great looking instrument panel. Nice looking car!

      Like 5
  9. Vance

    I know somebody is going to complain, and say this is Barn Finds, and cars should be shown in as is condition. But for the love of God, why can’t a person clean the car before showing it? Spend half a day and detail the car before taking pictures. Presentation is everything. wash and wax it, clean the interior, and wipe down the engine compartment to make it presentable, not perfect but people take notice of these things. I lived in Arizona for 25 years, and it’s dusty as hell. But I washed and wiped down every car I sold and cleaned the interior, engine too, and I sold a lot of cars. It just drives me crazy, I will get off my soapbox now.

    Like 22
    • Steve

      I think that too, but then theorize the seller is trying to show the “as found” patina or barn find look. Myself I would clean and fix it up the best I could for a vehicle that sells for crazy money.

      Like 3
      • Poppy

        No reason but laziness to not to photograph it both “as found” and then expend a little energy showing prospective buyers how well it cleans up.

        Like 6
    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      I agree, a couple of “as found” photos would be sufficient. And then clean it up.
      I’m sure that would bring in more $$ and not make the seller look like so lazy.

      Like 2
    • MikeB

      Stay on your soapbox Vance because you are 100% correct.

      Like 8
    • Martinsane

      Agree and no soap box, unless it’s used by the sellers to clean their wares.
      Seriously. A 30k ask and you can’t spend $300 and have the car professionally detailed?
      Who wouldn’t trade $300 for $30k?

      Like 2
    • Howard A Member

      I mean no disrespect, but we’ve been over this and over this. An old car, some figure, needs to LOOK like an old car, in what some think, finding it in “as found” condition, is all that’s needed. The “taped” vacuum lines to the accordion brake booster, are a nice touch. Due to the cars rarity, the seller feels, there’s no need for it to be classy, it should sell itself, and that may be somewhat true in this case. A vehicle with no real appeal, has to nice for a sale, but someone knows what this is, and condition, within reason, of course, is unimportant.

      Like 1
  10. Jasper

    Must have an interesting story with the four barrel conversion and the trailer hitch. Cool car for sure. One my short list of best ‘50s cars.

    Like 1
  11. frank Orzechowski

    Some people do not know how to advertise a car of this value. A $5.00 ad for this car ?? You put it in a auction for classic cars and clean it up , but like I said some people do not know.

    Like 1
  12. Sam61

    Bad a$$ car! All you need is a fedora, pack of Camels and your key card to the Playboy Club.

    Like 2
    • jokacz

      Playboy clubs didn’t open until 1960, but I get the vibe. :-)

      Like 1
  13. gaspumpchas

    Ahhh its sportin’ a REAL HEMI! Not the new one thats not really a hemi. One beautiful mopar this is! Good luck and happy motoring!
    Cheers
    GPC

    Like 2
  14. MarkO

    My friends father, Dr Carleton Fredericks , had a white 1957 300C convertible with a Paxton supercharger. I remember that it had a louvered hood! remember him telling me that none other than Bill Frick did the conversion. His father was a rather famous radio personality: he did a show about NUTRITION , when nutrition was hardly spoken about. The live radio studio was done at the WOR-710 studio in Manhattan.(New York) He drove the 300 on his daily commute from Rockland county to the city. Their home was at the bottum of a fairly large hill. We used to watch him tear out of that driveway and up the hill at full throttle. What a BEAST! the sound was deafening.
    I wonder where that car is today?
    Ever come across a 1957 white 300 C with a paxton supercharge and a louvered hood?

    Like 3
  15. Frank

    Super nice Right color in and out. Hemi 2 door coupe Buy it, detail it and drive it!

  16. Terry Bowman

    I’m sure it was an option, but my friend had I believe , a 300-C and it had swivel front seats. The car looks complete, but why the red spark plug wires?

  17. Bigbird

    I have to say with the new homes being built today, I do not think this big boy would fit in the standard garage. I could only imagine pulling a trailer up the Arizona mountains with 8-barrels open, hense the 4-barrel AFB. A very nice car indeed. The biggest thing going is no rust, you want solid, solid and more solid for a good foundation….drive while you finish.

    Like 1

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