Chrysler's legendary "letter-series" performance line ended with the 1965 Chrysler 300L -- or so we thought. Today there's a new 300, but the thrill of a convertible isn't part of the resurrection.
For 34 years, the 300L was the last of the great performance Chryslers that began with the 1955 C-300, but that changed with the introduction of the 1999 300M. Is the M worthy of the great letter-series tradition? If you like V-6 "cab forward" sedans with front-wheel drive, yes. Otherwise, it's nothing like its burly V-8 predecessors.
The 1965 Chrysler 300L featured clean styling.
The same might be said for the 300L hardtop and convertible. In 1965, Chrysler was into a fourth successful year peddling "standard" 300s that were barely sportier than low-line Newports. But that, plus fast-waning demand for sporty big cars, had made letter-series superfluous, so the L was the least special of the original line. Still, it had the same clean new styling and long 124-inch wheelbase as other '65 Chryslers, plus a 360-horsepower 413 V-8 that cost extra in plain 300s. But at $4618 for the convertible, the surcharge for an L amounted to over $700 -- a lot to pay for little more than distinct badging and the bigger engine -- so sales totaled just 440 ragtops and 2405 hardtops.
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