Friday, January 24, 2020

The Chrysler 300F, Defining Dual-Purpose Power in the Early 1960s

1960 Chrysler 300F image from

Primary care physician Christopher Stubbs, M.D., serves as medical director of the Audubon and Exira EMS service in Iowa. An off-road vehicle enthusiast, Dr. Christopher Stubbs also has a passion for classic cars and automotive history.

One of the landmark vehicles that defined the 1950s and 1960s was the Chrysler 300 series. Introduced in 1955, the vehicle capably combined exclusivity and power, giving the road driver unmatched capabilities under the hood.

The 1960 Chrysler 300F was a major step forward for the series and represented a final milestone for legendary auto designer Virgil Exner, who led a team of engineers in creating the manufacturer’s first-ever unibody design vehicle. This streamlined vehicle offered a number of advantages, including a lighter and more rigid frame that expanded the car’s interior space.

At the same time, the 300F housed a 375 horsepower “Golden Lion” engine, then in its second year of production. Offering an innovative cross-ram induction system that powered dual four-barrel Carter carburetors, the engine delivered 495 pound-feet of torque.

The result was a dual purpose vehicle that needed relatively little modification to be race-ready, but also offered around-town luxury. The futuristic interior was a defining feature, with the floating electroluminescent AstraDome instrument cluster paired with leather bucket seats. With fewer than 1,000 two-door hardtop Chrysler 300Fs manufactured, and only 248 convertible 300Fs produced in 1960, the car is a sought-after rarity among collectors.