May I Have A Letter: 1979 Chrysler 300

300

The “letter series” Chrysler 300’s were produced from 1955 to 1965, and are all considered collectable today. In 1979, Chrysler reached into it’s past to liven up it’s full-size models and created a “300” special edition to try to boost sales. Production figures are unclear as different sources list from 3,800 to 5,500, but in either case it’s not a lot of cars. Based on the Cordoba, the 1979 300 included a bunch of special trim and emblems and relatively high-performance (for the time) engine and suspension packages. This car is located in Hayden, Colorado and is for sale here on eBay, where the opening bid is $750 with no reserve.

300-2
Ad courtesy curbsideclassic.com

Although the description is slight, the car is said to run and drive well and have no rust issues. The windshield is cracked, and there are some electrical problems with the turn signals and wipers, but other than that the car looks complete but tired. The front seats are pretty worn but at least there’s enough upholstery left to duplicate if you wanted to. It seems to me that this would be a budget way to enter the classic car hobby, especially if bidding stays below $1,000. Would you want a letter, or could this 300 fill a need for you?

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Comments

  1. Glen

    Looks like it sold for $750.00/1 bid..

  2. randy

    I am sure it has “The Fine Corinthian Leather” as well!!

  3. Charles H.

    These were a nice effort by Chrysler to revive a legend in a time where performance was non existent. A friend has a ’78 with a 440 High Performance…..basically the police package with the 300 body. He purchased his new,and it has only about 40k miles on it.

  4. grant

    I’m afraid that a 1979 anything gets you into “a tired old 70’s boat” more than the “classic car hobby.”

    • Utes

      WHO CARES for $750 !

  5. Fred

    With a few exceptions, almost all classic cars are considered undesirable at some point. Station wagons and patina covered anything couldn’t be given away until a few years ago. I don’t remember anyone lusting after 50’s Chrysler 300’s in the 70’s. So don’t be too sure that what is considered a throwaway today will always be so. All it takes is an age group who once had the car wishing they had it back.

  6. Charles

    These cars will see an increase in interest in the future. It may be 10 years, or maybe 50, but at some point there will be few left and the ones that are will be desireable. As for values, probably no huge increases, but enough to make owners take care of the ones that are left. Our local Chrysler dealership, which was a one couple operation had one of these for a dealer demonstrator. The car had the factory T-top option, and it was a tough looking car! It was black with a 400 Lean Burn engine. My first wife wanted the car and we considered purchasing it for her DD. We ended up buying a 1980 Cordoba Landau Edition that she drove to over 325K miles. I drove the 300 once when we considered buying it, and it would give anything else on the road in 1979 a run for its money. My DD was a 79 Trans AM with the 400 Pontiac engine and four speed Muncie, so It took a strong car to impress me. If anyone remembers the Lean Burn, it was Chrysler’s first attempt to computerize an engine operating system. The computer used an O2 sensor like modern computers, and controlled the timing to optimize spark control. They were troublesome, however it is very easy to convert one to a Chrysler Electronic Ignition and a standard four barrel carb.

    • The Walrus

      I remember, circa 1983, spending what seemed like a year of Saturday afternoons with my father under the hood of a ’78 Lebaron as he attempted to unravel the mysteries of the 318 Lean Burn. The final solution was a trip to the junkyard where a ’72 Satellite was pillaged of its carburetor and distributor.

  7. Tom

    I work in advertising and that ad is very bad who is going to read all that. Looks more like an ad in the 50’s, they like to tell romantic stories to sell.

    As far as the car, the 70’s was a low performance time for America cars. The big 3 tried to sell cars with trim packages. For me that car is just a pig with lip stick.

    • Utes

      I’m guessin’ you weren’t too successful @ your job….
      Ever peruse any late 50’s/early mid-60’s Pontiac ads?

      Now THOSE were ads !!!!……never mind the spectacular art work!

      • pontiactivist

        Amen brother!!!! Jim Wangers’ team and Von Fritz artwork is amazing!

  8. ClassicCarFan

    I don’t want to sound too negative….but I have to agree with Grant.
    it’s true to say that newer “old” cars will typically pass on one day to be considered desirable classics, in the natural cycle of time- but I’m not so sure. By the seventies these Detroit barges were just plain ugly, under-powered and had generally hideous interiors.I struggle to see much to like in car like this.

    I know there is some nostlagia for the last of the big-bodied, RWD, body-on-frame, big-bore V-8 cars….. but to me, I’m afraid this is just uggghhh all round

    I think the classic car marketplace tends to agree, judging by the prices.

  9. charlie Member

    I sold my ’54 Corvette for $1200 in l968, running, nothing wrong with it except its original design (Powerglide 6, front heavy, a long torso 6 footer could not fit under the roof); my ’60 Jag XK 150 S (not running) in ’72 for $300, my ’69 Camaro totally rusted away, floors and subframes, for $500 in ’81, my ’56 Chevy for $500 in ’68, running, only a little rust on rockers and rear fenders above the rear wheels, but a 210 4 door sedan that I figured NOBODY would ever want, a 4 door hardtop, Bel Aire, yes. Well, 45 years later, any of them would command a good price, especially the Jag (body was perfect and I don’t know why it stopped running, it would turn over, but I didn’t have the cash to get it fixed), Camaro was sold for parts, interior, and mechanicals were fine, ’56 Chevy was raced in local stock car races (when stock cars were really stock), now all would be bought, and the Corvette and Jag by guys who would restore and hardly ever drive them. So the entry to the hobby is the $3000 car, or less, that can be fun to drive, and you can drive it which, other than Jay Leno types, the guys with the ’54 Corvettes and old Jags, generally do not.

  10. Mark E

    I remember looking at a low mileage one of these back in the ’80s. Essentially a Cordoba with a special trim package it’s not unattractive but… On the other hand, for $750, if it runs it was a good buy!

  11. pontiactivist

    If I was closer and round this I would have bought it and made it a driver and drive it. I like stuff like this for a dd. I drive a Mark vii Bill Blass now. Lol. Clean it up drive it enjoy it and when something else comes along send it on it’s way. Gotta be worth more money in three four years as a driver and you get the enjoyment and the experience. What more can you ask for?

    • pontiactivist

      If I was closer and found this I would have bought it and made it a driver and drive it. I like stuff like this for a dd. I drive a Mark vii Bill Blass now. Lol. Clean it up drive it enjoy it and when something else comes along send it on it’s way. Gotta be worth more money in three four years as a driver and you get the enjoyment and the experience. What more can you ask for?

  12. Charlie G

    While these were good looking cars outside and the interior, under the hood was a disgrace. The engines were enimic pieces of what use to be. I had the ’77 Daytona Charger with the crap Lean Burn System. 400ci (with the locked up 727 Torqueflite and a damned rear gear ratio of 2.73. After the O2 sensor went bad on the Lean Burn, I pulled it and wired in a new non-lean burn system that Chrysler was offering at the time to replace it. Week before I got ready to pull the complete drivetrain in 1983, and replace it with a built 383 and 727 from an old Super Bee I had had, I had pulled the car out of storage for a drive, when two blocks from the house, a kid from the local University ran a red and ripped the front off the Charger with his Spyder. I finally scrapped it in 87. I needed the garage space.

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