Ah, Chrysler: the littlest of The Big Three. While Ford and GM seem to be locked in a permanent race for superiority (GM vastly outsells Ford; Ford has the insanely popular and profitable F-150), Chrysler has spent much of its history offering an alternative to the other two, and often with much success. Sure, it’s had its share of near-death experiences (the early ’50s, late ’70s, and late 2000s), but each time, it seems to bounce back with spectacular results.
Chrysler, and all of its past and present brands — Dodge, Plymouth, Ram, Jeep, Eagle, De Soto, Imperial, and Fargo — have all contributed to automotive history in a way that can’t be understated. It’s the company that’s given us the aerodynamically-designed sedan, the transistor car radio, the alternator, the Hemi V8, the minivan, and other countless innovations, on top of some incredible cars.
Even the most casual gearheads know the Dodge Charger, the Plymouth ‘Cuda, and the Dodge Challenger. But for all the hits, there have been more than a few models that have fallen through the cracks. Some deserved to disappear, others deserved better. Regardless of the reason, Chrysler’s cars usually have a knack for being a little more interesting than the competition. Here are 10 especially unique Chrysler models that have largely been forgotten.
1. 1963 Chrysler 300J
Chrysler’s letter series 300 cars rank as one of its most iconic nameplates of all time, but the most powerful original-run model is also the rarest. The 300J was the letter car for ’63, and on top of offering world-class handling (for the era, at least) and a loaded leather interior, it was powered by a fire-breathing 413 cubic inch V8 that put out 390 horsepower. Just 400 were built before it was replaced by the cheaper, less-powerful, and incredibly successful 300K. Despite languishing in obscurity, the J remained the most powerful 300 car until the 300 SRT8 debuted 41 years later.