Monday, March 21, 2016

The Oddly Appealing 2005 Chrysler 300

When it first appeared, I didn't quite know what to make of the revived Chrysler 300.  That was mostly because all I saw were photos, and for some reason photographs never quite capture how the cars look when seen in person.  It's like certain attractive women who don't photograph well.

That'a not to say 2005 Chrysler 300s were beautiful.  They aren't.  But as the title of this post states, they are oddly appealing -- to many of us, if not everyone.  My analysis is in the Gallery below.

Back to my early reactions.  After a month or so from the introduction I started seeing some 300s on streets and highways.  They increasingly seemed more interesting than what photos had shown.  The following summer, I bought one.

The 300's Wikipedia entry is here, and here is a previous post dealing with some styling antecedents of the 300.


The 300 had rear-wheel-drive, so the long front overhang of contemporary front-wheel-drive cars is absent, resulting in a solid stance and more classic proportions.

The grille is a large egg-crate affair recalling late-1940s Chrysler grilles in spirit, if not in detail.  Note the winged Chrysler emblem atop the grill, a welcome retro touch.

The lower body is slightly wedged, something so subtle that one might not notice.  Look at the wheel openings and their relationship to the crease running along near the top of the fender line.  The crease is interrupted by the lip surrounding the front wheel opening, but rides above that of the rear opening (that in fact might a tiny bit smaller than the front, though I'm guessing here).  These relationships make clear the wedge aspect: lower front, higher rear.  This view also shows that the window openings are almost, but not actually, symmetrical -- a 1930s sort of thing.

Viewed from a high point of view, the body sculpting on the side and rear is prominent.  The car seems brick-shaped with bevels, yet there are curves such as the roofline and rear trunk lid and strike panel that soften the effect.

A more normal perspective of the rear.  On the trunk lid is a repeat of the winged Chrysler ornament.

Cockpit of the top-of-the-line 300C model.  Tortoise-shell embellishments and the steering wheel brightwork were absent on my car.  Some observers have written that this part of the car lacked quality.  I didn't mind that supposed defect.  And I really liked the retro dials on the instrument panel.

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