Chrysler's 300 dates back to 1955 with the origin of the legendary Letter series. During the next ten years the Letter cars were the ultimate in Chrysler performance and were seen by some as the best performing American cars. The "non-Letter" 300's were introduced in 1962 as Chrysler's mid-level offering. Costing thousands less than the Letter cars, these proved to be more popular and could be optioned with many of the performance goodies of its senior brother. After 1965 the Letter series was gone, leaving the 300 as Chryslers remaining performance car, although any Chrysler could be optioned with the 300's performance parts. The 1968 300 had the 350hp 440 standard (375hp was optional), with special grille, hood, front fender, and rear-end design. Not as unique as the Letter series, the 300 in 1968 was still rated as one of the best performing large cars of its era. By this time however, people were more interested in cheaper, smaller and quicker muscle cars and the 300 would be gone in 1971, not to return until 1999.