Mystery Mill: 1964 Chrysler 300K Ram Induction

The Chrysler 300 series was the granddaddy of muscle cars. This may look like just another lumbering old luxury car from the 1960s, but in its day it was a beast, especially with the Cross Ram option. Mashing the go pedal produced lots of happy sounds and exciting sensations. They are not at all agile but they are very impressive in a straight line. Even with an automatic, the original 390 horsepower could haul this 2-ton hulk to 60 mph in about 7 seconds. At some point, the original owner swapped out the 413 for a 440 out of a late ’60s Chrysler. The 440 upgrade hopefully woke up a few more ponies. You’ll find this big Chrysler listed on eBay in Manassas, Virginia with a buy it now of $15,800. It’s also advertised on several other sites. It is said to run and drive well, to be mostly original, and to have only about 65,000 miles. There is no mention of any paperwork to verify the mileage.

The original buyer didn’t check many boxes after he selected the 390 HP 413. He did not even select AC or power windows. Bucket seats, a console and a cool handle for the tranny were just what was needed for a sporty and luxurious sled. The interior looks really nice and original, but the driver’s seat will need some upholstery work.

Here’s where the grunt happens. There was supposed to be a 413 in there, but it’s said to have been swapped out for a 440 from 1969. There’s no information why he swapped engines or which 440 it is. The owner could have blown the original engine and had whatever used engine was available installed with the original cross-ram setup. The stock 440 with a single four-barrel would be good for about 375 horsepower. The cross ram setup with two four-barrels added 30 hp to the 413, so this 440 might top 400 hp in fresh and top tune condition. That’s gross horsepower, of course, and not net. As I recall the cross ram setup was great fun but did not have very good street manners. The long intake runs meant a slow cantankerous warm-up and drank lots of gas. Chrysler claimed an optimistic 8 MPG.

The rust on the underside doesn’t look too bad in any of the pictures provided. A closer inspection may reveal otherwise, of course. The paint is driver quality with one embarrassing dent from a garage door. There’s a little rust along the bottom of the right quarter panel but otherwise, it looks rust free.

There’s the garage door dent on the right fin. Otherwise, it looks pretty straight from here. The big questions on this car are rust and the engine. If everything checks out OK this could make a great driver. The nonstock engine hurts the value, of course. The $15,800 asking price is high but the seller is taking offers and creating a silent auction. Hopefully, all this Chrysler needs to make it a nice driver is a little upholstery repair as well as replacing rubber bushings and door seals. I would upgrade the brakes to make it a little safer to drive. I have fond memories of a new white 1963 Chrysler 300J and watching the speedo wind past 100 on Interstate 10 across New Mexico. Stopping quickly was not an option. Some might choose to replace the engine with a period correct 413 and do paint and bodywork. It will be interesting to see what you think.

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Comments

  1. Chinga-Trailer

    Pass anything but a gas pump!

    10
  2. Beatnik Bedouin

    Cool find! It’ll be interesting to see what it goes for.

    3
  3. Troy s

    I wonder if that 440 is out of an ex cop car, preferably one of the hot ones.
    Would get more than a few looks at shows with that intake set up, very strange looking. While a 413 in there would be interesting and more fitting to the era it was built in the 440 would remain if it was mine. Just can’t beat the 440 when it comes to moving the big mopars!

    7
  4. ACZ

    I’m not a Mopar guy but you have to admit that they had some wild engineers.

    11
  5. Bob S

    I love the 300 series Chryslers, and would love to own one of the older hemi cars. It is a pity that the 413 was removed in favour of the 440, because I believe this is one of the special series cars that should be kept whole. I hope it finds a good home.
    Bob

    3
  6. Alan (Michigan) Member

    Don’t know why specifically, but….. WANT!

    So cool as a period sedan hotrod! The front and rear deck lengths being nearly equal (slightly higher in the rear and sporting a B-pillarless roof) gives it a unique appearance. Gotta love the console-mounted “Economy/Power” vacuum gauge. Needle in the red means you have your foot down! So many boxes checked here.

    Love this car. If I was a lottery winner, the auction would already have ended!

    6
  7. Chinga-Trailer

    Say what you will, whenever I see a Chrysler like this, I can’t help but think of the most boring, elderly conservative old man in the neighborhood I grew up in. I still have that reaction, even though I’m probably nearly 20 years older than he was then!

    2
    • Ed P

      If that old man had a 300K, or any other letter series 300, he must not have been boring all the time.

      3
  8. Will Fox

    When it comes to 300’s, IMHO the more original, the better, no matter which year you’re talking. Too bad the original 413 cross-ram is gone; that seriously devalued this K right there. That, and the non-original re-do of the vinyl that would be big bucks to correct. These 300K’s aren’t exactly non-existent today, and as long as you’re willing to spend what it takes, I’d shop for one that’s more complete, and hopefully better optioned.

    2
  9. John

    Is it actually possible to bolt the cross ram “manifold” to the 440 heads? Its been a lot of years since I got that far inside a Chrysler, but I seem to remember the intake ports being different. Interesting car, but these were never rockets. They weighed 5000 lbs and were geared for “high-speed” meaning that at normal speed they were only turning 1800 to 2500 rpm – well outside the real power range. I also seem to remember they had a particular habit of freezing the carburetor plates in the winter. The later models moved the carbs closer to the center of the motor in a staggered arrangement that was very similar to the design used on the dual quad equipped Z-28s. But its a very neat car that brings back a lot of memories. You found a lot of these near the various Playboy clubs around the country — they were a favorite of the “nouveau riche”.

    1
    • Ed P

      Maybe not GTO or Road Runner fast, but fast for a 5000 lbs car.

      2
  10. James Martin

    With a motor transplant, probably not worth more than 10000. But cool car.

  11. Wrong Way

    I love the interior of this car! The red and black looks amazing! Gives me some ideas on a 65 Mustang that I am having professionally redone right now! I have been trying to decide what color I want the interior now I am sure I have found the right color combination to go with the black exterior! Thanks, lol

    1
  12. Hide Behind

    Long runners or short runner intakes were available, as they changed engine power characteristics, NASCAR ran short plane dual quads.
    Intake science just beginning with Offenhauser having dual or single plane intakes, a redo of these early performance intakes.
    Heavier than a circus fat lady it took men to remove, and one took off the Carter AFB, around 550 cfm each, carbs first.
    0 to 60 in 7 sec, not that slow, time your van or truck.
    If this mill one of early hi-comp large valve heads it would pull an easy 450- 475 gross go easily.
    Gobs of torque available from 2500-3600 rpm is when those long runners did atomize and ram the gas into them.

    2
  13. Hide Behind

    Long runners or short runner intakes were available, as they changed engine power characteristics, NASCAR ran short plane dual wuads.
    Intake science just beginning with Offenhauser having dual or single plane intakes, a redo of these early performance intakes.
    Heavier than a circus fat lady it too men to remove, and one took off the Carter AFB, around 550 cfm each, carbs first.
    0 to 60 in 7 sec, not that slow, time your van or truck.
    If this mill one of early hi-comp large valve heads it would pill an easy 450- 475 net go easily.
    Gobs of torque and yes 2500-3600 rpm is when those long runners did atomize and ram the gas into them.

    1
  14. stillrunners

    Sonaram was available earlier on all models….check out Elvis in Blue Hawaii…..and the fender badges on that blue convert he drives…..

  15. PatrickM

    I’m next thing to a sucker for these old, big land yachts. But, I’m just not in a financial position to take it on, now. A bit too ambitious on price, IMHO.

  16. dave smeaton

    I had 4 door hardtop version with the same interior,floorshift..It would light up the tires at 30 mph by kicking it down to first,must have hit a happy spot in the torque range.It was a 413 ,single four barrel which I believe was 360 gross hp.Great car ,lousy brakes though!

    1
  17. Chad

    these motors out R a thing to behold – looks like a bat in-flight (w/those 4 ft, over the fender runners).

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