Home Car Stories Alley Finds 1967 CHRYSLER 300- Charles Kee, Brothers, Oregon
1967 CHRYSLER 300- Charles Kee, Brothers, Oregon PDF Print E-mail
Written by Double Dragon
Sunday, 11 May 2014 21:48

1967 CHRYSLER 300- Charles Kee, Brothers, Oregon


Writing and photography copyright D. S. Brown

67 300 yellow kee logo

The Chrysler 300 still had some magic appeal even as late as 1967 when crazy musclecars were pouring out of the factories. Compared to the new breed of musclecar the 1967 Chrysler 300 was a pretty low key car. The styling is all of one piece with the angled cut outs of the front nose and rear nose resonating with a subtle angle to the dashboard. The heroic 300 name was still remembered by 1960s buyers, but it was a 1950s nameplate much the way the Olds 88 was also a reminder of a highwater performance mark from the prior decade.

67 300 yellow kee f

This particular 300 packs a punch with the 300's standard 350 HP 440 4 barrel engine. This is the 'K' code engine which could also be ordered in the upscale 1967 Chrysler New Yorker. Take a look at Charles Kee's personal driver 1967 New Yorker filed in the 20 YEARS PLUS section and compare this 300 with that car.

The true supercar buyer wanted the 'L' code 440 which was called the 'High Performance' version colorfully named Super Commando. No matter how you slice it, the 440 Chrysler engine is going to give you a fast car even in the 'K' offering. Take a look at the red 1967 300 in the ALLEY FINDS to see a 300 optioned all the way up to a Super Commando. It is also interesting to contrast that car's bucket/ console interior with this one's bench column shift set up.

67 300 yellow kee driverseat

1967 Chrysler supercar buyers gravitated towards the Plymouth GTX and the Coronet R/T or a Dodge Charger. All of these cars were large big block powered cars with decent styling. The guy who had to beat everyone ordered a Hemi in one of those cars. These people were rare however. The majority of the musclecar audience was over at General Motors where the intermediate cars were devouring the performance car market.

A quick look at the interior of the 300 shows us a refined clean design, but it is bereft of the 'go fast' identifiers GM used in its musclecars. The 300 has a strip speedometer where the Pontiac GTO had dial gauges. The 300 has a bench seat while the GTO had buckets. Most GTOs were ordered with consoles while the 300 has a column shift. GTOs frequently came with the fake wood sports steering wheel while the 300 has a two spoke job with horn ring. I like the angled dash that echoes the angled front and rear treatment of the car. An owner of this car would appreciate the subtle styling and spaciousness provided by bench and column shift. Guys doing hamburger stand burnouts would just see a typical hum drum 'mom-pop' interior.

67 300 yellow kee pass seat

In 1968 Chrysler would release a new intermediate sized bodystyle that was truly contemporary and combine these platforms with ever escalating outrageous in your face scoops spoilers and graphics that eclipsed GM and Ford's extroverted offerings. But in 1967 things were still subtle across the Plymouth Dodge Chrysler lineup. Because Chrysler was the 'mature' upscale representative the 300 remained tasteful even after Dodge and Plymouth plunged into the muscle wars with winged warriors, 6 packs with black steelies, lift off hoods and billboard graphics.

The 300 is a good looking car and bears some resemblance to the Buicks from this time period. The 300 carries forth the legend with grace but by 1967 it was no longer a high profile performance car. The 'barge' size top performance cars that dominated prior to the less expensive intermediate supercars were always aimed at affluent more mature buyers. Never in its history had the 300 been a youth car like the Pontiac GTO and now it had been left behind as the 'drive-in' set started buying less expensive image cars with better power to weight ratios.

67 300 yellow kee driver door

This 1967 Chrysler 300 from the Charles Kee Collection of Mopars was likely among the many of the Mopars in his collection which were towed to his 50 acre property in Brothers, Oregon for storage outside in the desert. Many of the cars in his collection were rescued from junkyards and didn't see any use after transportation to Kee's desert acreage in the 1980s.

Charles Franklin Kee is a famous eccentric legend of the car world. Kee amassed several hundred cars stored on his property but would only sell to people he liked. Money was not the issue when he sold a car. When Chuck (as he was known to most people) died in Redmond, Oregon at the end of 2013 a chapter was closed for one of the last big time hoarders of cars. See the full story on Chuck filed in 20 YEARS PLUS stories under the 1967 Chrysler New Yorker which he used as one of his personal drivers in the 1980s.

This Chrysler 300 VIN CM23K73173230 decodes as:

C= Chrysler

M= Medium price class

23= 2 door hardtop

K= 440- 4 Barrel (the L code was the high performance version of the 440)

7= 1967 model year

3= Final assembly in Jefferson, Michigan

173230= sequence number.

The 300 has a black interior with a split bench seat, column shift automatic, AM push button radio, remote driver's rear view mirror, tinted glass all around combined with Air Conditioning. At one time it had a black vinyl roof which is now gone except for remnants on the passenger 'A pillar'. It seems funny to go to the trouble to get tinted glass and air conditioning and then add a heat attracting black vinyl roof but that is the way the car was ordered.

At sometime in its life someone mounted front mags with whitewalls which were mounted at all 4 wheels in summer. The car currently combines the front mags with steel rear wheels mounted with snow tires. An attempt to reconstruct the car's past would make it tempting to suggest that it broke down in winter and wound up here in the Kee collection. It is also likely that the current wheel/ tire combo have nothing to do with the car's history. Charles Kee was known to buy used tires to replace flat tires to prevent a car from sinking into the ground and rusting prematurely.

The windshield has a bad crack in it on the passenger side and someone broke off the passenger fender mounted radio antenna, but miraculously the front hood ornament 300 emblem is still intact. The trunk lid leading edge is bent as if it had been jimmied open with a crowbar at some point. The lid is kept partially closed using a bungee cord inside the deck lid.

The Oregon license plates show an expiry date of June, 1982 which means the 300 was off the road sometime prior to that date. The 300 has spent only 15 years of its life driving before spending the next 32 years in the desert parked.

67 300 yellow kee r

Last Updated ( Monday, 08 May 2017 10:06 )