In late 1955 Bendix demonstrated fuel injection in a car to Chrysler Corporation. It was a seriously deficient system, but it started Chrysler thinking.

By early 1956 Chrysler started serious work on adapting their own low-pressure, continuous flow speed-density fuel injection system to a 392 C.I. hemispherical engine. Chrysler cost overruns caused cancellation of the 1957 Chrysler 300C fuel injected car. That left it for the 300D.

The very early Chrysler systems already had problems with hot idle and hot starting (vapor handling characteristics). The improved Chrysler fuel injection system use was delayed by the decision to go with the Bendix Electro injection unit. The Bendix had limitations and Chrysler designed a still newer system incorporating all the best components of all the systems.

This latest system of January 1958 was supposed to be used on the new upcoming 413 C.I. ram inducted 1959-60 300. As we all know, the 59E did not get its ram inducted engine much less a fuel injected ram inducted one. Chrysler did build one of these engines though. Performance was a poor second to the carbureted ram inducted engines. It was eventually decided to go with the Bendix system for 1958 and develop ram induction rather than fuel injection at Chrysler.

Chrysler still thought well of fuel injection but it took many years to produce it in a car again after the negative results of 1958. Cost was prohibitive, buyer response was poor, reliability was low and service was difficult. The system advantages were prestige, higher net horsepower, no carburetor icing, fuel control during violent maneuvers – tilting, turning (Note: Make a sharp left turn with WCFBs and you’ll understand) and altitude compensation. These so called advantages could not overcome the problems. But it was a grand experiment.

On September 23, 1957, Chrysler put their money where their collective mouth was – in 12 show cars sent to the Miami press review. They had equipped three Plymouth Furies (LP21013, 1014, and 1015), three Dodge D-500s (LD31008, 1009, and 1010), three DeSoto Adventurers (LS31017, 1018 and 1019) and three Chrysler 300 Ds (LC41002, 1003 and 1004) with the Bendix fuel injection system. The 300D used the 392 C.I. hemispherical engine, the rest had the 361 C.I. wedge “B” block.

After installation of the units, the cars were sent to the Proving Ground for extra work and a 500 mile “break in”. One of the 300s, LC41004 and one of the other cars were also run for fuel economy. After the “break in”, the cars were returned to the division for any added final touches. The 300D received an extra 593 miles worth of extra care. LC41004 also proved to be the most trouble prone of the cars. The throttle lever was loose, the distributor needed reworking, rod bearings 5 and 6 failed and a fuel line wasn’t clamped tightly enough and a fire broke out. Damage was confined to the fuel injection nozzle, modulator harnesses, windshield washer assembly (Jiffy Jet), high tension wires, heater wire and air cleaner elements.

All 12 cars were then shipped by car carrier to Miami. Nine of the cars received operational checks, the remaining three had received previous maintenance. The cars were driven by the press and two of the B engined cars were driven back from Florida to Detroit.

The fuel economy of the fuel injected 300D was compared against a carbureted 300C, both of which had a 3.36 axle ratio. Light rain stopped some of the tests on the 300D such as top speed. The 300C clocked 125.1 MPH. We’ll never know how the 300D would have done. The C accelerated 0-30 MPH in 3.2 seconds and 0-60 MPH is 8.6 seconds. Again there are no comparison figures for the D.

The fuel injected 300D consistently showed less MPG than the carbureted 300C. At 70 MPH the C pulled 12.8 MPG, the 300D 12.0 MPG. The best MPG were both at 30 MPH – the C at a whopping 18.3 MPG and the D at 14.6 MPG. For your curiosity, the rest of the MPGs are:


40 MPH – 17.8 MPG

50 MPH – 16.2 MPG

60 MPH – 14.6 MPG


40 MPH – 14.3 MPG

50 MPH – 13.4 MPG

60 MPH – 12.7 MPG

The fuel injected system was expensive. It was unreliable, not well crafted, and there was found to be no prestige in a stalled car.

Allan & Gloria Moon