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Best of Both Worlds: 1964 Chrysler 300K

Best of Both Worlds: 1964 Chrysler 300K

The Chrysler letter automotive story is well-known to the readers of Mopar Muscle. Beginning in 1955 with the introduction of the C-300, via to the 300L in 1965, the final of the famed letter automobiles.

For 1963, your complete Chrysler lineup acquired extensively restyled exterior sheet metallic and on the within, gone was the electro-luminescent AstroDome instrument cluster, changed with a way more conventional flat instrument panel. Whereas most Chryslers rode on a 126-inch wheelbase, the 2 door fashions of the 300 letter and non-letter automobiles had a wheelbase that was 4 inches shorter at 122 inches. The most important information for Chrysler in 1963 was the introduction of the 5 yr/50,000-mile guarantee, a transfer that set Chrysler aside from its rivals.

All of the 300J hardtops (the letter “I” was skipped due partially to in that it could be confused with the numeral 1) have been outfitted the 413-cubic-inch V-Eight that includes ram induction, producing 310 horsepower. Prime velocity was reported to be 142 miles per hour making it one of the quickest manufacturing automobiles in America, in spite of a curb weight exceeding four,000 kilos. Gross sales have been comparably poor for 1963 with simply 400 automobiles produced as gross sales of the non-letter 300s continued to develop.

For 1964 the convertible returned to the 300Okay lineup however the cross-ram 413 turned an choice, a 300Okay unique not provided on different 1964 Chryslers and the leather-based inside turned an extra-cost choice. These strikes allowed Chrysler to scale back the bottom worth of the 300Okay by over $1,000. The outcomes have been an eight-fold improve in sale to three,647 models (Three,022 hardtops, 625 convertibles), the most important complete within the historical past of the 300 letter automotive collection.

The automotive you see right here, a 1964 Chrysler 300Okay two-door hardtop, owned by Michael Laiserin, one of these Three,022 hardtops produced for the 1964 mannequin yr, the final of the sixth era.

Michael marks the beginning of his automotive enthusiasm in 1971 when he was simply 4 years previous, vividly remembering his Dad purchasing for a brand new Chrysler when he deliberate to commerce within the household sedan, a 1964 Newport he purchased new, to his mother who was simply studying to drive. “I remember a big blue fuselage-bodied Chrysler on the showroom floor with a white vinyl top and interior, fancy wheels and hidden headlamps,” recollects Michael. “Looking back now I’m sure it was a 300 and kept telling my Dad ‘let’s get that one.’ Being ever so practical Dad insisted on another economical sedan and the salesman took us out into the lot and showed us a Burnished Red Metallic Newport. I didn’t like it and told Dad the wheels were ugly – back then the wheel covers were in the trunk until the cars were prepped – and this car was broken because the left front tire was flat. I remember noticing the unusual, dual-pinstripe whitewalls but remained unimpressed. ‘Dad, let’s get the blue one.’ Of course, we came home with the red one.”

For Michael, the 1964 Newport turned considerably of a plaything as he requested. “Hey Dad, if we still have this car when I’m old enough to drive can I have it?” To which his dad replied, laughing, “Sure why not.”

“Little did he know the path he set me on,” says Michael greater than 4 many years later. “As I got older I learned to tinker on that car, changing oil, brakes, ignition points and more. By the time I was sixteen although the car was still around, I came across a big block ’1970 Charger project. Dad wasn’t a car guy and looked at the basket case with the engine in pieces and figured I couldn’t get into any trouble. He knew he was wrong the first time a cop woke him up in the middle of the night and asked if he wanted me locked up and the car impounded or if he wanted to get dressed and come to get me instead. That ended my street racing activities for the summer and I was headed off to college anyway.”

After school, Michael took the Charger off the street with plans to revive it and whereas he was accumulating elements, got here throughout a 1964 Chrysler 300Okay convertible. I had by no means seen a 413 cross-ram engine earlier than and he needed to have it. He did the most effective restoration a 23-year-old might again in 1990 and drove that automotive to each present he might attend. Quickly after he changed his 383 automated Charger for a legit, numbers-matching 1970 RT/SE four-speed Charger. As soon as accomplished, he packed up his automobiles and headed west figuring Arizona was the place to be as he might drive his automobiles year-round they usually’d by no means rust once more. Because the years glided by, he didn’t simply add a spouse and youngsters, like so many different automotive nuts, he added and accomplished tasks that included a 1970 Street Runner with a Gen III Hemi, a 1969 Charger 500, and this 1964 300Okay hardtop.

“I came across this car sitting on a trailer in the swap section of the Spring Fling in Van Nuys, California,” stated Michael. “It was a complete, but rough looking, unrestored car. It was pretty devoid of options as far as luxury cars go, even radio and side view mirror delete. The original window sticker was in a box full of paperwork dating back to before the original owner even purchased the car. There were handwritten notes comparing prices from different dealerships and shows he traded in a Renault to order this “bankers hotrod.” He checked off only a few choices, simply leather-based trim, a Positive-Grip differential, and the ‘300K special package’ which included the twin four-barrel, cross-ram outfitted engine. The paper path on the automotive spanned almost 25 years with receipts for guarantee work on the dealership, automotive washes, and even custom tuning on the well-known Granatelli Automotive. I struck a deal for it and the vendor trailered it to my my place in Phoenix.”

Whereas I’ve pushed it to Mopars on the Strip in Vegas and the Spring Fling in California my favourite journey was attending one of the Chrysler 300 Membership Worldwide’s occasions which was held in Monterey, California. The present host organized for a day gathering at Laguna Seca Raceway the place they allowed us all to do some exhibition runs across the course. Not going to overlook the prospect, with the spouse and my three youngsters (the youngest 10 months previous and in a automotive seat) securely fixed we hit the monitor for a couple of laps. I’m assured my women will have the ability to say they’re probably the one little women to have skilled the well-known corkscrew within the household present automotive. Not even Disneyland can compete with that.

“I figured that this car was going to be the bookend to my 300K convertible, only with a modern twist,” explains Michael. “Having owned my ram engine ragtop for over 20 years, I know that even when tuned properly, you’ve got to have a feel for how to drive the dual quads. These were built for the open road and they weren’t exactly civil for cruising around town. The decision was made to retain the ram induction but to add EFI for driveability. A manual trans with overdrive would make cruising fun and overcome the 4.10 gear needed to launch this heavy beast. A hydraulic roller cam would maximize power and alleviate the need to regularly remove the intakes to adjust the valves. Yards and yards of Dynamat lined the floors, roof, firewall and doors to keep things quiet so the kiddies in the car seats could nap on long trips. The original KK1 Silver Turquoise paint color was retained as was the black leather interior. I needed to upgrade the wheels as there was no way 14” tires have been as much as the duty of sustaining adhesion with the street contemplating all the load and energy concerned right here. I settled on 18-inch Centerline Boulevard wheels custom-ordered with unpolished facilities they usually have been reminiscent of the 1950s and 1960s kidney-bean-style wheels. General I achieved the look I needed with the automotive.”

Michael explains that the unique Chrysler 300 letter automotive collection helped to spawn the horsepower races of the 1950s and 1960’s. Not categorised as muscle automobiles (outlined as an enormous engine put in in an intermediate or compact automotive), the large, bruising Chryslers are muscular automobiles. “Many are restored to stock as owners feel that protects not only their heritage but value also,” says Michael. “Mine is tastefully modified with subtle improvements that don’t get the purists too upset but make mine a helluva lot more fun to drive.” One of these modifications, the stealth infotainment system hid behind a movable panel of the sprint, is nearly as complete because the uConnect package deal you’d discover in a up to date Chrysler 300.

The cross-ram fuel-injection setup is a singular, one-off design. From Think about Injection in Phoenix, Arizona. It was this uncommon EFI arrange that caught our eye a few years in the past when caravanning from Phoenix to Las Vegas for that yr’s Mopars on the Strip (when it was nonetheless referred to as Mopars on the Strip). Lifting the hood at a fuel cease in Wickenburg, Arizona, we noticed that the anticipated carburetors have been lacking, changed by a state-of-the-art fuel-injection arrange. Michael defined that not solely did gasoline injection enhance driveability, however at the side of the overdrive fifth gear, it considerably improved gasoline mileage. It’s virtually as if it was engineered by Chrysler’s engineers in Highland Park again within the 1960s (keep in mind that Corvette provided gasoline injection since 1957).

Through the years Michael has joined many Mopar golf equipment together with the Chrysler 300 Membership Worldwide, the Chrysler 300 Membership Inc., AZLX Trendy Mopar Muscle, and the 602 (space code) Mopars. He’s participated within the Silver State Basic Problem and the Nevada Open Street Problem

Michael notes that he doesn’t drive the 300Okay as a lot as he may like. “I drive my projects a little bit after completing them before parking them and getting involved in my next project. It’s a mixed blessing. I’ve been fortunate to be able to build quite a few Mopars but when I’m into a current build that consumes all my time, I don’t enjoy the finished cars as often as I hoped to. One thing I love is that my family is actively involved in the hobby and I have aspirations that my three daughters will get the car bug as they approach driving age in a few years.”

“I love my vintage Mopars, but as I’ve gotten older, and the cars have gotten older I enjoy them differently than I used to,” say Michael with a smile. “I don’t abuse them like I used to, I have the modern Mopars for that. If I hurt one of the new cars the local dealership delivers the new parts to my shop the next day and I’m well on the way to being back on the road. I had a customer who wrecked his vintage Challenger and although the insurance took care of the bill, the car was down nearly a year for the rebuild. I think that’s got to be a collector’s worst nightmare.”

Concluding our dialog, Michael famous that each the 1964 and 1971 Newports that began all of it for him are nonetheless within the household. This, in addition to the automobiles he’s constructed since then, stay in his custody. In contrast to many of us, he’s had area and by no means has been pressured to promote any of his Mopar legacy.

ENGINE
Sort V8 Wedge
Bore x stroke four.36-inch x four.15-inch
Block 440
Rotating meeting: Mopar
Cylinder heads: Edelbrock
Compression: 10.four:1
Camshaft: Muscle Motors spec’d, Comp Cams floor Hydraulic Curler Cam
Valve practice: Hughes Engines 1.6 Curler Rockers
Induction: Unique “Short” cross-ram fitted with EFI
Oiling system: OEM
Gasoline system: EFI by Think about Injection Phoenix, AZ
Exhaust: Manufacturing unit Forged Iron “headers” into 2.5-inch pipes by way of Impco Imperial-style inventory mufflers
Ignition: Direct Connection digital changing the manufacturing unit twin level Cooling OE
Engine constructed by: Shortblock by Speedomotive,

DRIVETRAIN
Transmission: 5-speed Tremec TKO600
Shifter: Tremec with Hurst Deal with
Steering: Inventory energy steering
Entrance brakes: AAJ Disc brake conversion utilizing GM calipers
Rear brakes: Dr. Diff Disc brake conversion utilizing Mustang Cobra calipers
Rear Axle: Eight-Three/four positive grip with four.10 gear

WHEELS & TIRES
Wheels: 18×Eight Centerline Boulevard wheels with as-cast facilities as an alternative of polished
Tires: Michelin MXV4, entrance 235-50-18, Rear 255-55-18

INTERIOR
Seats: OEM leather-based by Legendary Auto Interiors
Devices: OEM and vintage-style Autometer brief sweep tach mounted on the steering column
Hidden Navigation radio