Great American Car Goes Back to the Future at the World's Only Sporting Event Set Entirely in Period Theme
The Chrysler 300C, the Motor Trend Car of the Year 2005, is celebrating its half-century of classic American design and power at the eighth annual Goodwood Revival, a premier auto racing weekend held in the UK and the world's only sporting event conducted entirely in a period theme.
"The original 1955 300 was the fastest four-seater production car in the world and the ultimate expression of performance combined with glamour. It provided all the performance of the very best sports cars while offering the luxury of a plush sedan. The car set new standards in the marketplace and at a stroke, created the American 'muscle car' phenomenon," said Joe Eberhardt, Executive Vice President - Global Sales, Marketing and Service, Chrysler Group. "Today's Chrysler 300C embodies many of the attributes of the original 300 letter series and interprets the spirit in a thoroughly modern way - celebrating its 50th anniversary at this exquisite event is a fitting tribute to the marque."
During its first year of production, the Chrysler 300 swept the Flying Mile Class at the 1955 Daytona Speed Week competition with the winner averaging 127.58 mph. The Chrysler 300 became the first mass-produced American car with a 300-horsepower engine, the legendary HEMI® V-8, and combined power with stylish design by Virgil Exner and superb handling. For each of the next 10 years, Chrysler introduced a new 300 model identified by a letter. As part of its celebration at the Goodwood Revival, the Chrysler Group will put all 11 of its "Letter Cars" of the 300 series on display. It will mark the first time that the entire collection of classic cars has ever been assembled in one place.
Regarded as much for their iconic style as their performance, these cars will be contextualized by glamorous models wearing the Haute Couture fashion from each year. Whether it's a design by Chanel or Balenciaga, the classical outfit from each year will be modeled by a glamorous 'Letter' girl associated with the relevant car. The cars and fashions will be on display throughout the weekend and will take to the track once each day for a parade.
"In 1955, the Chrysler 300 stunned the entire racing world by winning both the NASCAR and AAA stock car racing series. Sponsoring the Goodwood Revival presented a unique opportunity to showcase the Chrysler 300's fifty years of classic American design and performance in an appropriate setting," said Jeff Bell, Vice President - Chrysler and Jeep, Chrysler Group. "Goodwood presented the perfect venue to mark this golden anniversary and display the entire 'Letter Car' series in one place for the very first time."
Held in the English countryside about 60 miles west of London, the eighth Goodwood Revival presents a series of auto races featuring classic automobiles driven by some of Europe's leading professional drivers from September 16 to 18, 2005. Grand Prix, Formula One, GT and Junior cars will race on a circuit unchanged from its heyday (1948-1966). Great lengths are taken to ensure that everything at Goodwood is authentic. No modern vehicles (post-1966) are allowed on the premises - including taxis, catering and even service trucks.
Every year, spectators and competitors at Goodwood take a magical step back in time to revel in the romance of motor racing as it was during its glorious post-War heyday. In the spirit of the event, the majority of visitors dress in stylish clothing from the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. Women wear elegant dresses, hats, gloves and seamed nylon stockings, while the men sport Panama hats and other clothing from the era, including Royal Air Force (RAF) uniforms.
Chrysler 300's History of Elegance and Power
"The first 300 gained its name from the 300 horsepower output of its specially modified HEMI V-8, the most power then available in an American production car," said Barry Dressel, Manager - Walter P. Chrysler Museum. "In fact, the 300 set Flying Mile and road course records at Daytona Beach, Florida, in 1955 and then dominated NASCAR competition in 1955 and 1956. The 1956 Chrysler 300B, began the "Letter series," which continued until the 1965 300L."
The dramatic styling of the 1955 Chrysler 300 was created by Virgil Exner, who gained fame for his stylish "Forward Look" designs, including the use of fins on cars for both aerodynamic and aesthetic reasons in the late 1950s. Exner lowered the roofline, made the cars sleeker and more stylish, and featured luxurious interior leather upholstery thereby bringing Chrysler to the forefront of automobile design. In June 1957, Exner's team was awarded the Industrial Designers' Institute's Gold Medal Award.
The letter car series was discontinued after the 1965 300L. It resumed for model year 1999, and later, in 2005, the 300 returned to rear wheel drive (RWD) Chryslers and continued use of a new 5.7L HEMI V-8. To commemorate the return to RWD with a HEMI V-8 this edition of the series was named the 300C, after the groundbreaking 1957 car. The Chrysler 300 was named Motor Trend Car of the Year in 2005.
Chrysler 300C Today
"Chrysler redefined the classic American automobile with the introduction of the 2005 Chrysler 300C," said Joe Eberhardt. "With an entirely new shape based on Chrysler Group's all-new rear-wheel-drive architecture, this striking sedan continues the Chrysler brand's proud 'letter series' tradition - in a contemporary way."
The Chrysler 300C is one of the most distinctive vehicles of its category. Its all-round, stress-free performance and unique Chrysler design gives customers the confidence they need to express their independence and unique personalities. It showcases Chrysler's passion for automobile design and commitment to quality and craftsmanship.
The first European-built Chrysler 300C rolled off the assembly line at the Magna Steyr plant in Graz, Austria, on June 15, 2005. The 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine is built in the Saltillo Engine Plant in Saltillo, Mexico. The 2.7-liter V-6 and 3.5-liter high-output V-6 engines are built in the Kenosha Engine Plant in Kenosha, Wis. The four-speed and five-speed transmissions are built at the Indiana Transmission Plants I and II, in Kokomo, Ind., respectively.
A new 3.0-liter V-6 common rail diesel engine, based on the latest Mercedes-Benz technology, is now available in Chrysler 300C in markets outside North America, providing class-leading torque and pulling power. The engine produces power of 160 kW (218 hp DIN) and torque of 510 N•m (376 lb.-ft.).
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