Crunching numbers for the 300B.

One of the things on the “to do list” is a review the production records for the 300B (and other years). I’ve gone through the B records and the results are interesting.

How many Bs had AC?

65 cars. That is 5.8% of production. 31 of those were white cars, 25 were black and 5 were regimental red cars. While we are talking about AC, let’s talk about the heater; 929 cars had the normal “Custom Conditionaire” and 24 cars were heater-delete. 142 cars had the “Instant Heat” heater. This is a neat device that runs off of gasoline, has its own spark plug and exhaust pipe. 1956 may have been the first year for this option. I think 1959 was the last year for “Instant Heat.”

How many B's had the Torqueflite?

25 cars. The first Torqueflite car was built January 28, 1956. The first B was built December 15, 1955 so the rumor that the Torqueflite was a late year addition is not correct. Since we are talking transmissions, there were 30 cars built with the manual; the Torqueflite is more rare than the manual!

How many B's were built for export?

33 cars. 13 went to Paris, 10 went to Rotterdam, 3 to Cuba, 3 to Casablanca, 1 to London, 1 to Italy, and 1 to Kuwait. The Kuwait car had AC and it was a heater delete.

Colors. Let’s talk colors

Cloud white was the most popular color at 663 (60% of production.) Raven black was a distant second at 262 and regimental red is third at 158. There were two cars built in “Geranium Red”, one in Hunter Green, one in Mediterranean Blue, and one in Nugget Gold. There was one car in 2 tone, Black and Nugget Gold.

There were 9 special order paint cars. There were 4 cars built with trim code 99.

Axle Ratio

What discussion would be complete without talking axle ratios? In 1956, Chrysler went crazy and offered eight different ratios. 70% of the cars received the 3.36 ratio, 13% had the 3.07 gear.

Did you know?

Did you know you could get a power antenna for your radio in 1956? 252 cars had it (22%) but I’ve never seen one. 65% received the manual antenna. Export cars had their own antenna; apparently European standards are different. Did you know 93 cars were special order? 25 of the manual transmission cars were special order. Export cars were generally special order as well.


91 cars were radio delete. 407 were Electro Touch Tone, 32 were Electro Touch Tone with rear seat speaker. 395 were Music Master, 128 were Music Master with rear seat speaker. Wasn’t there also the Highway HiFi record player? Yes. 42 cars had it.

Power Windows, Power Seats, and Wire Wheels

107 cars have power windows. 122 have power seats. I am surprised these options were not more popular. A real surprise; only 29 cars had the wire wheel option.

The Missing Vin Numbers

Up until 1960, Letter Car production Vins were sequential. If you look at a column of 1956 Vin numbers, everything is perfect from 3N56-1001 until 3N56-2051. Then there is nothing until 3N56-2099. What happened to those? There is a card from Chrysler production that says “Serial plates for 3N56-2051 to 3N56-2098 are scrapped.” While we know why there are no Bs with those numbers, we can only guess why those plates were scrapped.

Production End Date

Some time ago I looked at the card for the highest VIN number, saw a 5/24 build date and assumed production of B’s ended on May 24, 1956. But with the build date and the VIN numbers laid out on a spreadsheet, I see cars with build dates of 7/23 and ship dates of 8/8. The odd thing is their VINs are 50 digits lower than the highest VIN car of May 24. If VINs are sequential, how can a newer car have a lower VIN? I don’t know. Although there are only a few cars with July build dates, you could say production ended in late July.

What Other

Stay tuned as the crunching continues and we discover other strange things in the piles of files. The 57 data is being crunched, the 63 data is near done, and the other years will get their review one of these days. But not the L. Beloved though it is, there is no data for the L so we will have to admire it through the fog.