1965 Chrysler 300L

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.

1965 Chrysler 300L
The 1965 Chrysler 300L was the last of the letter series for more than 30 years.
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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.

1965 Chrysler 300L
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.

For more classic convertibles of the 1960s and 1970s, see:

1960 Dodge Polara
1960 Edsel Ranger
1961 Ford Galaxie Sunliner
1962 Dodge Polara 500
1963 Chevrolet Impala SS
1963 Ford Falcon Futura
1963 Plymouth Sport Fury
1963 Studebaker Lark Daytona
1965 Rambler American 4401966 Chevrolet Corvair Monza 1968 Mercury Park Lane 1969 Plymouth Road Runner
1969 Shelby GT-500 1973 Mercury Cougar XR-7 1975 Chevrolet Caprice Classic 1975 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale
1975 Pontiac Grand Ville 1976 Cadillac Eldorado

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