Interior: Other than a set of auxiliary gauges, the 300's interior is just like it was wh
Three Hundred. There's magic in that name, and number, for Mopar lovers. From the first C-300s of 1955, the first American passenger car boasting 300 horsepower, through the letter series 300s--which legendary automotive scribe Tom McCahill dubbed Executive Hot Rods for their combination of top-end luxury and incredible power--and the non-letter sports bred 300s, the Chrysler brand's performance line was also an awe-inspiring one. Hemi--and later RB big-block--power will do that every time.
Chad Potter's '68 300 convertible combines the magic that was engineered and styled in, with his own touches, which add up to a 4,650-pound cruiser that runs the quarter-mile in the high 13s. But it was far from a ready cruiser when Chad found it on eBay back in 2005. "It was non-running," he recalls. "The paint was the way it was, but it needed a top, and it needed an interior."
Engine: Original 440 (updated with 440 Source and Edelbrock hardware) powers Chad's 300 i
When Chad got it home, he turned his attention to the 300's 440, column-shifted TorqueFlite, and 83?4 rear end. There was a great foundation in the 440 to start with: an intact block and OEM forged-steel crank, which Chad improved with 440 Source heads, an Edelbrock Performer RPM intake, a FAST EZ EFI, and Keith Black pistons.
While the 727 got a needed freshening, the stock rear end was swapped for another 83?4. "I swapped in a B-Body rear end, so I could get larger tires under it," Chad says of the switch that turned the rear wheel houses into wheel mansions.
That combination makes for quite a cruiser--and a "Q-ship" on the strip. "I was kind of amazed myself when the car went 13.70," says Chad of his best run, which saw the 300 hit 102 mph at the strip's top end.
On the strip: What Chris' 300 looks like when launching another 13-second run.
But getting that drop-top 300 into the 13s didn't mean giving up anything, especially its power windows and seat, or the factory Airtemp A/C. "It's got a set of 3.55 gears in it, so it's not too terrible on the freeway with 31-inch tires," says Chad of his 300's long-distance manners. "It moves right along. I drive it to Ocean City, Maryland, to a car show there every year. It's not a bad time at all."
Does the thought of a C-Body as your next project get you going? Chad's advice if you're considering it is simple: "Do It!" He adds, "The cars are relatively inexpensive, the parts are a little bit hard to find, but the reward overall is definitely worth the investment involved, especially when you can put six people in the car and still be comfortable."
1968 Chrysler 300 convertible
Owned by: Chad Potter, Schnecksville, Pennsylvania
- Engine: Chad updated the original forged-crank 440 with 440 Source heads, Keith Black pistons, a mild-grind Comp Cam, and an Edelbrock Performer RPM intake topped by FAST's EZ EFI fuelie. Future upgrades include an MSD ignition, tti headers and a 3-inch exhaust system.
- Transmission: The original 727 TorqueFlite was rebuilt by Chad.
- Rearend: Chad installed a narrowed (B-Body) rear end for tire clearance, after filling it with a 3.55-geared Sure Grip.
- Suspension: Restored stock '68 300: Longitudinal torsion bars, tubular shocks and a sway bar in front; leaf springs and tubular shocks in back.
- Brakes: '73-vintage Mopar single-piston discs in front, with 11-inch drums in back.
- Wheels and Tires: Keystone Classic wheels (15 x 7 inches front, 15 x 8 inches in back) wear BFGoodrich tires (235/70R15 front, 285/70R15 rear)
- Body: Original '68 Chrysler convertible unibody, with a replacement top by Laudenslager's Upholstery in Orefield, Pennsylvania. Bumpers still wear their thick OEM chrome plating, and the headlight doors work fine.
- Paint: The original Frost Green Metallic color, in base/clearcoat form.
- Interior: Stock 300 front buckets/rear bench, restored by Laudenslager's. Other interior highlights include power windows, power seat, the original AM/FM radio and Airtemp A/C.