This 1965 300-L hardtop was a sorry sight when I finally got to see it for the first time - you see, I purchased it sight unseen...not a great idea...
I found this car through an ad... it was located upsate New York, where it appears to have spent most of its life. The seller sure made it sound a lot better than it turned out to be ... but it had A/C, which mattered to me, and it was blue, which I liked, so I bought it ...over the phone.
I called a good friend and fellow 300 Club member, Dan Jenks, who picked it up with his car trailer and brought it back to his house... better to have his wife mad at him, than Helen mad at me! Ugly it was, the seats all ripped up, the headliner hanging down, five dead flies on the dashboard... Dan worked on it a bit, I had asked him to see if he could get it running / driving so that I could drive it the 500 miles from his house to mine. After much effort, he got a couple of the brakes working, the engine running, and a few month later, we met at Bob Merritt's - another story... I ended up driving the car almost all the way back home - with 2 wheel brakes, no exhaust, and those dead flies on the dashboard..
Phase one involved getting the ugly beast running and driving well once again... surprisingly, that took little effort... some new brake lines and components, tires, shocks, front end stuff, a complete exhaust system, belts, hoses, change all the fluids, grease and lube everything in sight, and I had a good runner. With approximately 120,000 miles, neither the 413 nor the transmission needed an overhaul.
During phase two, the car was pretty much gutted - only the drivetrain remained. Even the dashboard was stripped down. The body turned out to be surprisingly solid, some rust damage to the rear quarters was taken care of, lots of dents were smoothed out, and everything got primed, and painted.
Phase three: reassembly. And there was a lot of it... I'd decided to upgrade the car a bit, using only 1965 options, as it was pretty much a stripper, aside from the A/C... this car even had a map light delete! We added tinted glass all around - power windows - an AM-FM radio and a reverb unit - a rear mounted power antenna - a right side mirror - a left side remote mirror - and a map light! Legendary Auto furnished the interior carpet, headliner and seat covers; Gary Goers shipped me weatherstip, cardboard, and other rubber parts...
Good friend and Club member Bob Haag probably spent more time on reassembly than I did... I would never have had the courage to finish this car if it weren't for Bob... the goal was to have it ready for the '98 Fall meet at Myrtle Beach, and it was close, but we made it...
No time for shakedown runs - Helen and I packed our bags and hit the road... about 2,100 miles and two weeks later, we were home again... the "L" performed flawlessly, we had travelled in cold air conditionned comfort, and enjoyed a wonderful time at the meet.
By today's standards, the 300-L might be considered a tank - it's rather large! In reality, it is a true road car, designed to gobble up miles in comfort and style.