Chrysler 300 Club International
Spring Meet in Mena, Arkansas
April 28 - May 1, 1988

George Riehl's J

300F of Dave Schwandt

Louise Elder, George Riehl, Don Rook

Jerry Kocur and his 300 K

Black 300 G coupe, Joe James

Black 300 E coupe, Tom Turner

Working on a wheel cylinder, Tom Turner's E

George Riehl's J

Sunburst yellow 300F of Michael Burke

300L of Ken Quick

300D of Jim Golden

1970 Hurst of Ray Jones

Blue C 300 coupe, Alan Alkus

Red 300 D coupe, Dean Roberts

White C 300 coupe, Lavonne Linenburger

Red 300 F coupe, Alan Kerstetter

Ken Mack and his C convertible

Dave Schwandt 300F

Also, at the meet: White 300 H coupe, Brian Utzman. Black 300 G coupe, Bill Snyder. Red 300 G coupe, Don Rook. Red 300 G convertible, John Cornfoot. Tan 300 K coupe, Vern Graber. Red 300 K Coupe, Rene Kroeger. Blue 300 K coupe, Bill Pigg
Non 300s: 1967 300 convertible, Tom Hartmeir. White 1979 300, Reggie Simmons, Green & white 1955 New Yorker, Royce Kidd

Photos by Bill Elder
18th Annual Spring Meet – Mena, Arkansas
by Don Rook

Well folks, we had convertible weather the week before the meet and the week after but it didn’t make any difference. Mid 60s and low 70s temperatures were welcomed by all in mid April. By Thursday afternoon, four cars filled with “get rich quick” Chrysler enthusiasts left for the Crater Of Diamonds State Park to try their luck. Three car loads eventually arrived because one member did not follow directions or (forgot them). As the remaining cars caravanned over back Arkansas roads at reasonable speeds for jet pilots, the 300J pulled over to the side of the road. Up went the hood. All of the pulleys on the front of the engine were free of those cumbersome belts and the belts were neatly tangled like groups of spaghetti in a blob! Amazingly, none were completely broken through and after the maze was unscrambled and reinstated, we all proceeded slowly to the next Arkansas town to “purchase new belts” we snickered. First stop, NAPA store, new belts in stock and installed by George. All smiles and away we go.

At the diamond field, we were surprised to meet up with Tom and Bea Gorse from the metropolitan New York City area. I don’t believe they knew our itinerary as they hadn’t arrived in Mena yet and checked in. They had been crystal digging and had some beautiful specimens. We took a different way home and covered the 1 ½ hour trip in 1 hour flat. Boy, Js and Mercedes sure do run!

Next day we toured Brodix Manufacturing, an aluminum cylinder head manufacturing plant and Street And Performance, an aluminium polishing and small parts manufacturing plant. Some of the technical minded returned to BRODIX after lunch and spent another hour and a half there. It was one of the most interesting tours that we have taken, according to the members. Later in the evening, we all attended the business meeting at the hotel and enjoyed refreshments, compliments of the club, afterwards.

On to Saturday and a 65 mile run to Oklahoma through the beautiful Quachita Montains. Tom Turner found only three wheels useful on his 1959 300E coupe and needed help. Our local standby mechanic was out fishing but our own members managed, “En Masse” to solve the problem. We all successfully managed the mountains up to the Queen Wilhelmina Lodge for a delicious luncheon buffet. After lunch, much picture taking and socializing took place and a few members rode the miniature train around the park. The view from the lodge is one you find on postcards and a lot of folks lingered well into the afternoon before returning to the motel. George Riehl took all of the individual car pictures as we were leaving to head back to Mena.

The award’s banquet was held at the Elk’s Lodge #781 in Mena and was attended by 65 people. Bill Pigg conducted a “roasting” party for John “Chip” Chapman which included a gift of Mississippi Splatted Possum Meat in a can. Chip said it was delicious! Well friends, pay backs are a bitch (they say) and if my name was PIGG and I roasted somebody, … well …. Later we played people bingo to get to know some of the many 300 folks who had never attended a national meet before. Prizes were donated to the club and presented to more than 20 winners. We then split up with some staying for the dance and others returning to the motel for more socializing.

Because of the location and the efforts of Brian Utzman and others, we met a lot of new people and saw many new cars. Of course, it was the same for these folks. Some cars that we hadn’t seen before included Joe James beautiful black 300G coupe, Brian Utzman’s white 300H coupe, Royce Kidd’s ’55 white/green New Yorker hardtop, Lavonne Linnenburger’s white C300, Jim Golden’s white 300D coupe, Ken Quick’s black 300L coupe, Dean Robert’s presently red 300G coupe, Dave Schwandt’s Polar blue (special order) 300F coupe, Ken Mack’s black 300C convertible, Al Krenzien’s white ’68 Imperial convertible, Fred Kerstetter’s red 300F coupe, Alan Alkus’ presently blue C300 with black wall tires and chrome wire wheels, Bill Snyder’s presently black 300G coupe, Don Rook’s currently red 300G coupe, Reggie Simmons ‘79 300, Tom Heartmeier’s ’67 300 convertible and Albert Weismeier’s ’64 New Yorker station wagon. Sure hope we haven’t missed anyone. But I’m sure you will let us know if we have!

Some of the comments received from the members included the friendliness , the beauty of the country, the relaxed atmosphere and almost “laid back” approach of the people and the antique shops. Several asked when we would be coming back to Mena. Well, you never know! The local people enjoyed our stay and most definitely want us to “Y’all hurry back”. And the sun sets in the west over the beautiful Quachita Mountains and the departing 300s.

Thanks to Bill Elder for typing this article for the web