1964 Chrysler 300 Silver Edition
1964 Chrysler 300
" Silver Edition "
Featured in Hemmings Magazine 2013
Push Button Trans
Factory AC - Power Windows - Rear Defogger + More!
Very clean survivor. last owner has recently passed. This classics Chrysler was his pride and joy. Original survivor car with one repaint years ago. Runs and drives great. Drivers power window is not currently working. AC system is intact but will need a charge and the compressor cycles. Below is the article featuring this exact car in hemmings 2013.
Chrysler and its divisions are known for special editions. For the 1976 model year, for instance, they brought out the Spirit of '76 Dodge Dart Lite, which not only celebrated our country's 200th birthday, but also addressed public concerns about fuel economy. A little over a decade earlier, as 1964 was passing into 1965, Chrysler mined silver to address the core competency of the company: selling cars. Midway through 1964, that meant the Chrysler Silver 300: a limited and distinctive derivative of the full-size, two-door coupe.
Stagnation is strictly forbidden when it comes to top-of-the-line automobiles. When the engineering or design of the flagship model is considered outdated or out of style, the discerning car buyer can get tempted into looking at other makes and models. So Chrysler minted these Silver 300 edition models not just as cars, but as part of a full sales and promotional package. Along with the car, the dealership would get distinctive Chrysler 300 window posters, showroom trim, floormat advertisements and postcards.
The Chrysler Silver 300 edition was designed to be a sure bet. As boasts often go, Chrysler claimed these cars would be backed up by the biggest spring promotion in Chrysler history. The ads touted the Silver edition's option package, which was included in the price, along with a distinctive inset black vinyl canopy roof treatment and a custom black interior featuring bucket seats.
Competing with the likes of the Buick Wildcat, Oldsmobile 88 and Mercury Monterey, the Silver 300 may have had a less trumpeted but equally important underlying purpose. With an all-new, full-size car line coming soon for the 1965 model year, Chrysler didn't want any stragglers on the books or on the lots. Each participating dealer received one Silver 300, along with the full complement of signage and promotional materials designed to get buyers into the showroom--if they didn't drive home in a Silver edition, then perhaps they would in another 300 or the sportier 300K.
While the package was largely determined by Chrysler, the powertrain was the dealer's choice, depending on what they thought would sell. In the Chrysler 300, that meant either a 383 cu in V-8 or, if the dealer was crafty, a high-performance 413 cu in V-8. The powerful 426 cu in wedge-head V-8 that lit the roads and race tracks on fire for 1963 was restricted in 1964 for racing use only. However, passenger vehicles were not left out in the cold in terms of performance. The 413 engine offered similar real-world power, and the formula worked.
For 1964, sales of 300 two-door coupes rose a stratospheric 42 percent over previous-year models, but there was still that new full-size model coming for 1965, which might have induced buyers to hold off. Enter the special promotion. Bear in mind, too, that the Silver edition, however unique, was not a letter car. This was the 300 without a letter--the descendant of Saratoga and Windsor.
Still, in standard trim, in addition to its all-vinyl bucket seats, the big Chrysler 300 came fitted with luxurious deep pile carpeting; a padded, color-keyed dashboard; map lamps; and variable speed windshield wipers. The future wasn't just behind the wheel, either: All 1964 Chrysler 300s were painted with easy-care acrylic enamel. Most important for Ira Alpert, current steward of our featured Silver 300, was that, unlike the more performance-minded letter car, this 300 featured the undeniably modern dash-mounted convenience of the pushbutton TorqueFlite automatic transmission.
Ira had a few chances over the years to acquire the same model year 300K, but chose the less powerful Silver 300 over the sportier letter car because of this car's modern convenience of the pushbutton automatic transmission controls.
"It's quite a distinctive car. It has more distinctive molding and details than the 300K."
Other options that it has are the AM/FM Reverb Radio with dual speakers, which adds a stereo-like sound; rear defogger; Sure-Grip limited slip differential; and power windows. "The only thing it doesn't have, which surprised me a little bit, was the power seat," Ira said. "They put so many options in, but no power seat!"
"I was always enthralled with the 1964 Chryslers from when they first came out. Somehow, that particular model really appealed to me," Ira told us. "Besides my two 300s, I also have 20 other cars in various stages of restoration. And although I'm regularly offered all kinds of deals, if it's not a Mopar, I don't want it."
Ira, who resides in New Jersey, was already moving along on a restoration of a Chrysler Silver 300 when, to his own bewilderment, he located this all-original survivor example of the very same car he was in the process of bringing back to the road. Only 13,401 of the promotional Silver 300 models were made, but since these special-edition models hold historical value, they tend to avoid the less glamorous destination of the scrapyard with greater success than their more mundane brethren.
"I was a little upset with myself, thinking, 'Why couldn't I have found this car first?'," said Ira about this surviving Silver 300, as opposed to his restoration. His other Silver edition is exactly the same car, but in less fortunate condition. Rather than fight, he just added to the stable. He was ready to sell his first unrestored car after acquiring this survivor, but changed his mind in what amounted to a spare parts epiphany. "I got to thinking about it. I said, wait a minute. What happens if this car gets hit? A rear quarter? A side panel? A fender or something? Where do I get the parts? I realized I have my own parts department right here. Same car. Same everything. I was thinking of selling it and I thought, wait a minute. What, am I nuts?"
Ira is the sixth owner of this particular Silver 300, and lavishes it with preservative care and maintenance, as did the previous owners, in order to keep the car in as-new condition over the years and miles. This car was so connected to the dealership from which it came that the dealer himself owned the car not once but twice; the service manager at the same dealership also owned the car. Every time Ira drives his 300 out to Carlisle for the All-Chrysler event and displays it under the survivors tent, people recall seeing the car around the Allentown, Pennsylvania, area.
The drum brakes require the usual inspection and maintenance, yet work well enough to get the 3,850-pound car slowed down quickly and effectively. Big brake shoes inside large drums can get a little dodgy in panic-stop situations, especially after almost 50 years, but thinking well ahead prevents any post-braking problems. Ira says the car cruises on the open road as a full-size Chrysler should: smooth, stable, confident and silent.
Like the rest of the car, the 383-cu.in V-8 is in excellent condition. Motor oil brand is not as important to Ira as the formulation. He looks for high sulfur content, and regular oil and filter changes are part of the engine maintenance regimen.
As critical as taking care of the car when it is out on the road is its preparation for the annual winter hibernation. Winter storage starts with a gas tank fillup, followed by a dose of fuel stabilizer. A battery tender keeps the battery charged and ready for springtime startup. The car is stored covered in a secure building that's as rodent-proof as possible, with tightly sealed doors. Even the covering procedure is exacting: First, Ira lays a sheet down on the vinyl top before putting on the car cover, for dual layers of protection. That the original vinyl has held up this long is not only a testament to its quality, but also the care that comes from a regular cleaning with Armor All protectant.
While the Silver 300 does not get driven very often--this past year, Ira only made one trip to Carlisle--it does get used. Although it's a special survivor, Ira truly enjoys driving the car. "Basically, I don't want to use this car too much. Car-lisle is a big trip for the car, but now that I've had the air conditioner repaired, it's beautiful. Just beautiful."