TREMEC-Equipped Great 8 1959 Chrysler 1000X

When you think of pro touring, the first visual that comes to mind is probably not a massive classic luxury car. Tony Arme and his team at American Legend Hotrods and Muscle Cars took pro touring into new territory with a 1959 Chrysler 300E named 1000x custom built for Randy Kohltfarber.

We got our first glimpse of this TREMEC-equipped build at the 2024 Detroit Autorama where it made the Great 8 for the 2024 Ridler Award. While it didn’t win the 1000X was a fan favorite of the show. Not just for its sheer size but also the complexity, quality and multitude of details that make it one of the most dynamic pro touring builds put together.

American Legend spent four years building the corner carving behemoth for Randy, who wanted something that stood apart from the European sports cars his friends had. With 8,000 man hours invested plus gallons of sweat, the result is one of the most amazing vehicles we’ve ever seen with a TREMEC Magnum 6-speed transmission behind its 1,000-horsepower Hemi Hellcat crate engine.

The 1959 Chrysler 1000X started life as a Chysler 300E with a 413 Golden Lion wedge-head V8 and push-button TorqueFlite automatic transmission. It was bought on eBay by American Legends after Randy told them what he wanted as the starting point. It was shipped to Roadster Shop to be fully 3D scanned and mapped for a custom RS chassis. Once back at American Legends, the work continued on the car’s pro touring transformation.

The heart of the 1000X is most appropriate for the corner carving behemoth: a 1,000-horsepower Dodge Hellcat supercharged 6.2L V8 crate engine. For sending that horsepower to the rear wheels and driving enjoyment, a TREMEC Magnum 6-speed transmission was purchased through Elite Distributor Bowler Performance that received it carbon edition treatment. The clutch is a Tilton triple disc setup with hydraulic actuation.

The inside of the 1000X received just as much attention and work as the mechanical and body. American Legends mapped the interior then designed and 3D printed the panels while Patrick Goodwin did the stitchwork on the upholstery except for the honeycomb pattern inserts which were CNC stitched. The 1000X’s gauges came from Dakota Digital.

To set the car apart and go with the 1000X’s overall theme, all the factory chrome was stripped off along with all the other shiny trim pieces the car had originally. The 1000X’s build took four years and 8,000 man hours to complete, with American Legend’s five man crew supplemented with another 7 outside craftsman to assist with the paint and bodywork plus other aspects of the project. The car uses an American Autowire harness while the Hellcat crate engine uses the included stand-alone harness supplied with the engine.

The 1959 Chrysler 300E was the last full-size Chrysler built as a body-on-frame car before Chrysler transitioned to unibody construction. After the car was purchased off eBay, it was sent to Roadster Shop in Illinois to be 3D scanned for a custom Roadster Shop chassis capable of meeting the pro touring goals both American Legends and owner Randy Kohltfarber had in mind. When first mated together the Chrysler’s body was sitting too high on the chassis. Since it was going to need floor work anyway, American Legends went to work performing surgery to tuck the chassis up into the body more, which also necessitated modifying the rocker panel height so everything looked right.

Tony from American Legends joked about how the 1000X’s sheer size really was noticed during the bodywork and prep phase of the build. When it was time to start sanding and prepping, the massive expanse of the body’s panels made it seem like the work would never end. The car was painted by James Evans (he also did a lot of the body work) in a custom mixed gray hue using BASF’s Glasurit line of materials. Next up for the 1000X is a date with the chassis dyno, then some shakedown cruising since the car is destined to be driven and not trailered. The next major event for the 1000X is the Triple Crown of Rodding in early September.