The Chrysler Corporation was going through a bad patch in the 1970s, and cast around for new ideas to revive fast-flagging fortunes. In the 1960s Chrysler had very publicly declared that the company would never, ever produce anything less than a full-size car. Promises, promises! But by the time a new decade rolled round with an accompanying oil crisis it was a case of needs must.
So in 1975 the Cordoba made its debut, as Chrysler’s smallest-ever model — designed to slot into the increasingly popular intermediate personal luxury car category. For a while this about-face and blatant attempt to cash in on Chrysler’s reputation for top-of-the-range quality cars seemed justified, but sales fell off rapidly towards the end of the decade after a revamp and growing awareness that build quality wasn’t all it should be.
Thus the 1979 Chrysler Cordoba 300 was a rather desperate one-year-only attempt to recapture the former glories of the famous letter-series 300 luxury cars in particular and Chrysler in general. Sadly, the Cordoba 300 was somewhat inferior to its illustrious predecessors. Reviving the famous 300 name was not a successful ploy, with just 2,500 Cordoba 300s built in the year, perhaps because they were simply too expensive.
The two-door Cordoba 300 was basically a pricey option version of the standard car, thought up at the last minute in an attempt to boost Cordoba sales. This big coupe came with a white paint job, a revived 300-style cross-hair grille, non-functional bumper vents, red-white-and-blue pinstripes, red-leather interior, bucket seats, leather steering wheel, dashboard with engine-turned appliques, tachometer and opera windows. Mandatory Torque-Flite transmission was teamed with power steering, beefed-up suspension and a four-barrel 5.9 litre V8 engine — Chrysler’s most potent power plant in the ’79 model year.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
5.9 I (360 cid) V8
Top speed of 115 mph (185 km/h)
YOU SHOULD KNOW:
The Cordoba 300 was replaced by the even less-memorable and further-downsized Cordoba LS, before the unlamented model series finally bit the prairie dust in 1982.