A visit from a 959.
Rare 1958 Chrysler 300D drops by Jay Leno’s Garage
When he wasn’t working on projects as the paint and bodywork guru at Jay Leno’s Garage, Per Blixt spent time on a project of his own. His very rare 1958 Chrysler 300D was found in a used car classified ad not far from Jay’s Burbank, California, shop. The Chrysler was a mess when Blixt bought it, but after years of restoration and a bit of modification, it’s finally a gorgeous cruiser eager for a drive.
What makes the car so rare is that it was originally equipped with one of Detroit’s first attempts at electronic fuel injection. The Bendix fuel injection system was dubbed Electrojector, and AMC toyed with it on some pre-production 1957 models, but it was DeSoto and Chrysler that put it into production for 1958 on just a handful of models. The finicky transistors proved to be far less reliable than a carburetor and just not worth the trouble. The majority were presumably swapped for carburetors, and the option didn’t return for 1959.
Blixt spent a decade tracking down all of the fuel injection components needed to make his restoration look correct. However, while the 392 Hemi is once again fuel injected, the injectors are modern and they’re controlled by a modern ECU.
After a walkaround, the 300D fires right up for Jay and the two take the car through Southern California, talking Torqflites, Hemis, and other highlights (and lowlights) of old Mopars. We’re with Jay in appreciating Blixt’s attempt to keep the look of the Electrojector alive while making it totally functional, something Bendix engineers in the 1950s just couldn’t do with comparatively primitive electronics.
Do you have any similar restomod stories of adapting modern tech to older cars? Let us know about your favorite workaround.