My First 300 - 1966 Convertible !
by Dan Reitz
Here in the San Fernando Valley we have an informal “No Name Car Club” of OCN's (Old Car Nuts) who meet and shoot the breeze on the 3rd Wednesday night of each month. One of my friends kept bringing his 1966 300 convertible and after awhile, I became very attached to it. Finally, in 1987, I purchased it from him and restored it over a period of about a year. To my delight, it had the power package with the 440 TNT engine, disc brakes, console, etc.
I always wanted a red convertible with a white top and black interior and restored it as such. The original color is a light blue with a blue interior. The current color is a 1969 Rally Red. This was my first attempt at painting a car. I was afraid of getting runs in the paint if I used a regular spray gun so I settled on using a touch-up gun with a large cannister attached. I sprayed on 4 coats, sanded and applied another 4 coats before I color sanded and buffed it out. It turned out quite nicely and as a result of the paint job, I have amassed 23 Best of Show and first place trophies as well as myriad lesser trophies.
The 440 TNT decal on the air cleaner was the most imposing project. The original lettering and numbers were painted on a flat piece of sheet metal and glued to the top of the air cleaner. I could not locate a reproduction transfer so I made a series of cutouts and painted the decal myself.
Later on, I replaced the 4 piston disc brake system with ones out of a 1971 C body. That move immensely improved braking quality and turning radius.
I enjoy driving it long distances to car shows. I've been as far north as Seattle, stopping at a favorite place, Crater Lake, to grab some pictures, Sacramento a couple of times, and to Phoenix. It is one great road car. Surprisingly, it has very little air noise at road speeds. Even with the top down. It always gets lots of thumbs up from other drivers.
.Several years ago, I participated in Christmas parades with this car and one of the most memorable was with the two little girls from the TV show Major Dad. I was elated when I was invited to display it at the 1991 Los Angeles Auto Show.
Although I thoroughly enjoy driving this car, it has taken a back seat to my 300F. But it fits in quite nicely with my collection of horses, all 970 of them.
Dan Reitz, February 2002