Chrysler 300: Captivating Generations
December 8, 2016
For more than six decades, the Chrysler 300 has evolved from a powerful muscle machine into the stylish vehicle it is today. With roots that include the breakthrough 1955 and 2005 models, the 300 is one of the nameplates that marks the rich history of the Chrysler brand.
The vehicle has also made waves outside of automotive, partnering with leaders in fashion, architecture and technology. Let’s take a ride down memory lane to look at some highlights of the storied Chrysler 300.
Remembering its Roots
In 1955, the Chrysler brand introduced a striking automobile which combined smooth styling with brawny HEMI® power—the 300, arguably the first muscle car.
The hardtop contained a 300-horsepower HEMI V-8 with solid valve lifters and dual four-barrel carburetors, making it the most powerful full-size car in the world.
300 Accelerates into the Music Fast Lane
Nearly a half century later, the 2005 Chrysler 300 series marked a return to rear-wheel drive and included the 5.7-liter HEMI-powered 300C model with 345 horsepower. Adding even more performance to the lineup, the 425-horsepower 2005 Chrysler 300C SRT8 featured a 6.1-liter HEMI engine, Brembo four-piston disc brakes, performance styling, suspension and exhaust, and was capable of 0-60 mph times in the low 5-second range.
Soon, the 300 became celebrated not only in automotive circles but also turned heads in the music and fashion world as well. In 2004, rap legend Snoop Dogg left a voice mail message for the Company CEO at the time, asking for one of the hot-selling sedans. “What I gotta’ do to get that brand new 300 up outta you?,” he asked.
This request eventually led to the rapper teaming up with former Chrysler chairman, Lee Iacocca, to appear as “golf buddies” and ride around in a souped up golf cart in a popular commercial in 2005. Iacocca had frequently appeared in Chrysler commercials during his tenure as chairman from 1979 to 1992.
Additional models within the 2005 to 2010 model year span included all-wheel-drive versions, the “blacked out” 300S, the 300C and 300C SRT8 Touring models (outside of North America) and the 300 “DUB” edition came with standard 20-inch wheels.
The Chrysler 300 was also featured as the sedan of choice in numerous music videos during that time.
A few years later the Company partnered with Beats by Dr. Dre audio to bring studio quality sound to the 2012 Chrysler 300S. Dr. Dre was also featured in a 300S commercial.
Olivier Francois, then-President and CEO - Chrysler Brand and Lead Executive for Marketing, announced a bold new partnership with Beats By Dr. Dre at the 2011 New York Auto Show.
2005 Chrysler 300C SRT8
The commercial showcases the new 2013 Chrysler 300 Motown Edition and features legendary Motown founder and Detroit native Berry Gordy.
2014 Chrysler 300C John Varvatos Limited Edition
1965 Chrysler 300L Convertible
Historic Chrysler 300 badge
2012 Chrysler 300S
1999 Chrysler 300M. (C-934)
1999 Chrysler 300M. C-907.
This connection to music extended all the way to the theatre district, when the brand paid homage to Motown music by revealing the 2013 Chrysler 300 Motown Edition during that year’s North American International Auto Show. The ambitious partnership included the special edition vehicle being displayed on the red carpet during the Motown: The Musical premiere in New York City.
From the Catwalk to the Dealership
Meanwhile on the fashion circuit, in 2012, the Chrysler brand drove the 300 from showrooms to the runway when it collaborated with Detroit’s own John Varvatos, the multi-award winning menswear designer.
Working together hand-in-hand, John Varvatos’ signature fashion style combined with Chrysler designers styling expertise forged two 300 sedan models that embody the soul of “Imported from Detroit.”
The 2014 Chrysler 300C John Varvatos Limited Edition also appeared in 50 Cent’s ‘My Life’ video featuring Eminem and Adam Levine.
The brand released John Varvatos limited editions of the Chrysler 300 in 2013 and 2014.
Fast Forward to Today: Big, Bold American Design is Back
From 1955 to today, the Chrysler 300 continues to impress young and old audiences alike.
The history of the Chrysler 300 proves that this vehicle has the ability to take you on the ultimate road trip – from the race track to the fashion runway to the red carpet premiere on Broadway. Sit back and let the Chrysler 300 take you on your next journey.