My Car Quest

June 23, 2024

My 1957 Chrysler 300C Supercharged Coupe

Another one that got away, with regrets.

by Bob Wachtel –

Around 1962 or 1963 I came across an ad in the automobile classified section of the Sunday NY Times. It was a supercharged 1957 Chrysler 300C in metallic bronze. I believe the owner, who might have been the third, wanted close to $1,000 for it. I came down to see it in Queens and really wanted it right then and there.

I remembered that when I was in Fort Dix, NJ during my Army basic training in 1960 I had a very cool Lieutenant who owned a beautiful black 300C coupe with a tan leather interior. He kept it in showroom condition and I never forgot about this particular car. So I told the seller that all I had was $745 cash on me, which was true. Then and there we sealed the deal and a friend of mine who drove me there followed me back to Brooklyn, NY after I threw one of my license plates on it.

Chrysler 300C

Well, later on I found out this car’s engine was due for a rebuild. There was no way I could afford to have a 392 cubic inch, 375hp hemispherical engine rebuilt at that time. So, I put oil-firing spark plugs in the engine, gave the engine an oil change, replaced the oil and air filters and rebuilt the McCullough/Paxton supercharger’s ball bearings and gaskets and put fresh automatic transmission fluid in both the supercharger and the push button TorqueFlite transmission.

The car was now running great. I could engage the supercharger anytime I wanted just by putting the proper belt on the idler pulley. This car burnt rubber when I would step on it while doing 45-50 MPH on the Belt Parkway. I even located the original owner when I came across some writing on the spare tire in the trunk. It had the name HiSpeed written on the spare’s wheel. HiSpeed was a speed shop in Long Island run by a Frank Dominiani. I spoke to him on the phone and he told me he was the one who installed the supercharger on the hemi engine right after he bought the car.

Chrysler 300C

I really would loved to have been able to rebuild this engine but it just wasn’t in the cards.

These photos are not of my car for I never took pictures of it. However, it is exactly like it. I truly miss it, it was a great ride. The only thing this car lacked was power windows and A/C.

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

THE AUTHOR: Bob Wachtel has written stories for My Car Quest before here.

Chrysler_ ogo

Summary
My 1957 Chrysler 300C Supercharged Coupe
Article Name
My 1957 Chrysler 300C Supercharged Coupe
Description
Around 1962 or 1963 I came across an ad in the automobile classified section of the Sunday NY Times for a supercharged 1957 Chrysler 300C in metallic bronze.
Author

Comments

  1. Robert Feldman says

    I wonder how many people remember what an oil firing tip for a spark plug is? I used them back in the day for the exact same reason. Thanks for the memories! Great car, great days.

  2. Glenn Krasner says

    Great article Bob!!! I love all the details you give – I can’t remember what I had for breakfast!!! Glenn in Brooklyn, NY.

    • Bob Wachtel says

      Thanks Glenn, By the way I got a reminder fr FedEx that your package of magazines is arriving today. I assume it’s coming to the house.

  3. Norman Gaines Jr. says

    Frank Dominianni was one of the most famous East Coast Corvette competitors in SCCA racing, by the way. B Production was his usual hunting ground.

    • Bob Wachtel says

      Dear Norman, Thanks for your comment. It’s nice that someone else remembers Frank Dominiani of Hi Speed in Long Island. I never met him but I spoke to him several times on the phone. I would have loved to be able to drive that 300C when he first put the supercharger on. I’m sure he raced in SCCA events at Bridgehampton along with other locations. It’s odd how only today I came across a 1957 300C coupe in a similar color in the current Hemmings Motor News that’s for sale in Sarasota, Fla for $47,900 OBO. P.S….. check out my former 1966 427 AC Cobra CSX3129 update on tomorrow’s My Car Quest. Sincerely, Bob Wachtel.

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