CAR OF THE MONTH
november 2019

The 1965 300L was the final year of the traditional letter series.  A complete restyle with crisp lines, slab sides and a tall “greenhouse” – styling cues introduced by Elwood Engel when he succeeded Virgil Exner as Chrysler’s styling boss – brought a sleek mid-1960’s linear look to the cars.  The change from the panoramic Forward Look windshield was nearly the last styling cue of the Exner era for the 300 letter cars.  The cross-ram engine was no longer available; the 413 cu in (6.8 L) engine with regular carburetion and inlet manifold were the only one supplied. 

While the Exner designed letter cars were often flamboyant and flashy, the Engel era ushered in a conservative formal style that was more mainstream.  The 300L did not have the wow factor as seen in previous years, but it was a handsome and clean design.  A unique feature was the running light incorporated into the grille medallion.  It was a one-year design and would light whenever the engine was running; hence the name running light.  All 300L’s had this feature but not all were connected when they left the production factory.  The feature had not been approved in all 50 states and therefore was only activated by the dealer in the states where legal.  A total of 440 convertibles were made in 1965.