1956 Chrysler 300B

The Chrysler 300 was nothing less than a sensation. A quiet, comfortable luxury car, it concealed its blistering performance behind conservative styling, and thrust it up front with a big, aggressive grille. It was so subtle it was instantly recognized as the 'Businessman's Hot Rod' and brought instant respect to the term 'Letter Car'. It appeared in 1955 as the C-300. Only 1,725 were sold but its performance and handling made it an instant hit. Magazines raved. Incipient performance cars from Chevrolet and Ford cowered when a lawyer or banker pulled up alongside them at a stoplight in a Chrysler 300. The 300's performance was legend; its influence went far beyond its limited production. It was all based on Chrysler's Hemi V-8, a design that flowed from Chrysler engineers' experience with airplane engines in WWII. It lived to breathe and Chrysler fitted it with two four-barrel carburetors and an aggressive high lift cam with stiff valve springs that let it rev. It had just 354 cubic inches in its second iteration in 1956's 300B but the 300B's 340hp (355hp with 10:1 compression heads) put it at the pinnacle of American performance. A Cadillac Eldorado had only 305hp, a Continental Mark II just 300. This 1956 Chrysler 300B 2-Door Hardtop is one of only 1,102 built. Like its C-300 predecessor it is one of the most pure, elemental 300's: just plain big performance with plenty of comfort and convenience features including chrome wire wheels, whitewall tires, power bench seat, power steering, power brakes, signal-seeking radio, clock, heater and Chrysler Corporation's pushbutton-controlled automatic transmission. It has been restored throughout to sympathetic original condition without going overboard to make an overly detailed and shiny showcar. Just right, in many collectors' view. It has the correct original batwing air cleaner on its dual quads and good paint, chrome, interior and under hood details. In other words, it today shows the same restrained, subtle class that the 300B showed in 1956.

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