For vacation, I slipped out from behind my computer to attend the festivities in Auburn, Ind. Generally, I attend this event for the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club Reunion and the swap meet at the Kruse Auction Park, but I usually walk through the car corral and cars to be auctioned and dream a little bit. This year, I nearly tripped over my dropped jaw and fell flat on my face while walking through the cars to be auctioned when I ran into this 1958 Chrysler 300D originally equipped with factory electronic fuel injection!
Can you believe a 1958 Chrysler 300-D with fuel injection appeared in the tin? I barely could! The only flaw in the design of the 1958 Chrysler is the tail lamps: they don't go to the tip of the fin as they do in 1957. I never figured out why that was.
Some people may already know that I am fascinated by fuel-injected
1950s cars, particularly those full-size offerings from American car
producers, and have been collecting all the information I can find in
order to research a future article. You know the cars I'm talking
about: big 1957-'59 Chevrolets, 1957-'58 Pontiac Bonnevilles and 1958
Chrysler Corp. products (Did you know Oldsmobile is believed to have
been flirting with fuel injection on a 1957 model?).
Chevrolet Bel Airs and even the Bonnevilles from the same year aren't
terribly uncommon at the giant events, but forget seeing any other year
of full-size fuelie -- they just aren't out there. So seeing this 1958
300-D at Kruse was absolutely incredible.
As a kid, I remember
reading about a 1958 Chrysler 300-D originally equipped with fuel
injection and weathering under a tree in a Mopar magazine several years
ago, but had never seen pics of it, let alone the actual car. I am not
sure if this 300-D was the same car mentioned in that Mopar magazine,
but the seller stated that it was one of 21 built and 9 survivors. As
was common, the original Bendix Electrojector on the car at this year's
Kruse auction had long since been replaced by dual Carter carburetor
four-barrels, but those incredibly rare "300-D fuel injection" emblems
remain on the Raven Black quarters.
There it is, the emblem that separates this 1958 300-D from nearly every other of the other, already rare 1958 Chrysler 300s: the fuel injection badge. Try finding these NOS!
Spotting this 300-D was the
second 1958 fuelie I've seen this summer. (The other was a 1958
Chevrolet Impala Sport Coupe at the Appleton Old Car Show. It, too, had
a carburetor with just "fuel injection" emblems in the proper place.)
Hopefully, I'll score a triple and see Tom White's famous gold 1958 De
Soto Adventurer fuelie, the only known 1950s Mopar with a working fuel
injection unit, at Hershey this year!
The car was featured in a European car magazine called "Classic American," though I don't know the issue (love to find a copy, though!). I haven't heard what it sold for, if it met the reserve, but I am sure ithe price was hard on the wallet.