Its name and marketing campaign recalls the legendary "letter cars" Chrysler sold from 1955 to 1965. But the 1999 Chrysler 300M provides a much better driving experience than those cars could ever hope to offer. Totally new for 1999, the 300M is a joy to drive. It provides exceptional handling for a full-size front-wheel-drive sedan and its ride quality is commendable. Perhaps you've seen the creative commercials that use actual sales and service training footage from the 1950s and 1960s. Chrysler's new ad campaign was created to appeal to driving enthusiasts and build on the heritage of the letter cars. Counting through the alphabet from the 1956 300B to the 1965 300L (there was no 300I), they were fitted with high-performance V8 engines and, for a time, ruled the great horsepower race. They introduced the latest innovations: Cross Ram dual quads, new suspensions, limited-slips, swiveling bucket seats, center consoles, tachometers, pushbutton automatics. Chrysler's 1955 300 won 23 of 45 NASCAR races. The 1956 300B came with a 354-cubic-inch Hemi engine and won five straight NASCAR races. Other models competed at Le Mans and ran events such as the Carrera Panamerica, a mad cross-country rally through Mexico. Believe the retro ads. Designed as an American sports sedan, the 1999 Chrysler 300M is a contemporary interpretation of those historic letter cars. It was designed to appeal to people who have a passion for driving and offers much of the handling and performance benefits we appreciate in European sedans. Chrysler says it will compete with the Cadillac Catera, Lexus ES 300, INFINITI I30, and-once introduced-the Lincoln LS6 and LS8 luxury sports sedans.