Jim Krausmann's 1970 Chrysler 300 Hurst
The 1970 Chrysler 300 Hurst model is certainly one of the more unusual cars that Chrysler has ever built. After several years of offering the 300 as an option package Chrysler wanted to market something in 1970 that was reminiscent of the old Letter Series cars in looks and performance. I think they wanted to give the more mature (i.e. older) drivers a muscle car of their own. Hurst took the Chrysler full-size 2 door models and added the fiberglass hood and deck lid, gold paint accents and the pin stripe scheme. The result was a big flop, with something less than 500 cars being produced in 1970. I personally think that Chrysler even "Forced" the model on the dealers in an effort to get rid of them at the time.
I was looking to buy a 300 in the mid-1980's when I attended the Chrysler 300 Club International 300 Meet in Philadelphia. The term Looking to Buy was actually mild, as I had flown to the meet with a dealer license plate and a company check. I planned on driving something home that week! After looking over several cars, I happened to remember a low-mileage Hurst that had been advertised in the club paper for several months. The Hurst was still available and only about 20 miles away, located in the basement of a Chrysler dealer in the small town of Gilbertsville PA. The dealer was selling the car as a favor for a long time customer. There were actually 2 Hursts located there at the time. This owner actually liked the car so much he bought two of them in 1970. One he drove on regular basis and the second one sat in storage. This second car had only 14,800 miles on it. Other than having about 25 poorly applied wax jobs, the car looked perfect. We quickly negotiated a price, and I had my car to drive home. I called my business partner to let him know I was using the company check to buy the car. He didn't tell me at the time, but he thought I was buying a Hearse with the money and wondered about the sanity of his partner. I hardly remember the rest of the Meet since I was showing off my prize and getting the car checked out for the ride home.
The car has 17,000 miles on it now and, other than a set of new radial tires, is pretty close to original condition. Although the Hurst model has been questioned as legitimately being part of the Letter Series heritage, its performance characteristics are first class. This car is huge, but handles well with good acceleration. It is the best long distance driver of any of the 300's that I have owned. The looks are definitely an acquired taste. One advantage is you won't be seeing a lot of them as competition at local shows. The disadvantage is that it takes a real Mopar fan to actually know what the car is.
by Jim Krausmann