The dawning era of muscle cars took a powerful turn with the 1960 Chrysler 300F. In the formative years of factory performance, automakers reserved their hottest engines for their largest -- and usually most-expensive -- models. Early Chrysler muscle cars were best expressed by the stylish and exclusive "letter-series" machines. The first of these was the 1955 C-300 with its 300-bhp Hemi-head V-8. The 1960 Chrysler 300F continued the tradition of power and panache with its special trim and a sporty interior that boasted four bucket-type leather seats and a full-length console.

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1960 Chrysler 300F is one of Chrysler's first muscle cars.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.
The 1960 Chrysler 300F was one of Chrysler's first muscle cars. See more muscle car pictures.

Chrysler specified its most-advanced engines for these image leaders. A dual-quad 413-cid wedge replaced the hemi in the '59 letter-series. It made the same 380 bhp as the previous year's standard 392-cid Hemi, but was 100 pounds lighter and simpler to build.

1960 Chrysler 300F has special trim and a sporty interior.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.
A sophisticated interior, complete with leather upholstery and
automatic-swiveling front seats added to the appeal of the 1960 300F.

For '60, the 413 gained a radical ram induction system in which each four-barrel carb fed the opposite cylinder bank via 30-inch "outrigger" tubes. The length of the runners was calculated to produce a super-charging effect in the heart of the rpm range.

1969 Chrysler 300F was one of Chrysler's first muscle cars.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.
The 300F looked to the highway with a high-tech,
big-inch V-8 and dual-quad, cross-ram setup.


Ram induction was available on 361-and 383-cid Dodge and Plymouth engines, but only Chryslers and Imperials could get the 413, and only the 300F had ram induction standard. Horsepower was 375; optional "short-ram" tubes, which looked the same but differed internally, yielded 400 bhp at 5200 rpm and 465 lb-ft of torque at 3600.

Pushbutton TorqueFlite automatic was standard, but a French-built four- speed manual was optional for just this season, ending up in only a few 300Fs. Chrysler built 964 300F hardtops and 248 convertibles for '60, a peak year for letter-series performance.


1960 Chrysler 300F was one of Chrysler's earlier muscle cars.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.
The vestigial spare tire harked back to an earlier
age, but the 300F looked to the future.

The 400-bhp option wasn't offered after the '62 300H, and thereafter the cars became less and less distinct from regular models until the true letter-series concluded with the '65 300L. These striking automobiles were a bridge from the days of sporty elegance to the age of Detroit muscle.

The 1960 Chrysler 300F
Specifications
Wheelbase, inches: 126.0
Weight, lbs: 4,270
Number built: 1,212
Base price: $5,411

Top Available Engine
Type:
ohv V-8

Displacement, cid: 413
Fuel system: 2 x 4bbl.
Compression ratio: 10.0:1
Horsepower @ rpm: 375 @ 5000
Torque @ rpm: 495 @ 2800

Representative Performance
0-60 mph, sec: 7.0
1/4 mile, sec @ mph: 16.00 @ 85.0

Return to Classic Muscle Cars Library.­For more cool information on muscle cars, go to:

  • Every major American automaker had a muscle car lineup. See these profiles of the muscle car manufacturers.
  • Muscle cars came in many shapes and sizes. Here are features on more than 100 muscle cars, including photos and specifications for each model.
  • Muscle cars created their own culture. To learn about it, read How Muscle Cars Work.

Check out these profiles of muscle cars, which include photos and specifications for each model:

For related car information, see these articles:
  • The engine is what gives a muscle car its flamboyant personality. To learn everything you need to know about car engines, see How Car Engines Work.
  • Muscle cars wouldn't have much muscle without horsepower -- but what exactly is horsepower? How Horsepower Works answers that question.
  • NASCAR race cars embody the muscle car philosophy of power. Read ­How NASCAR Race Cars Work to find out what makes these charged-up racers go.
  • Are you thinking of buying a 2007 muscle car, or any other car? See Consumer Guide Automotive's New-Car Reviews, Prices, and Information.