12th ANNUAL FALL MEET, Daytona Beach, Florida

by Dave Hammer

Reprinted from the Chrysler 300 Club News

Winter 1983 Volume IX Number II

Wednesday October 27th

As I drive down A1A into Daytona Beach, two impressions stood out; the wind was blowing and Daytona Beach looked empty. Whether the cause was the off-season or Mr. Reagan’s reason, I still didn’t expect it. I was used to Daytona during the races when it is never quiet. I hoped the meet would be livelier than the town. It was reassuring to reach my destination, the Treasure Island Inn. Long known as friendly to things automotive, the Treasure Island had the welcome mat out. The marquee read “Welcome Chrysler 300 Club” and a banner inside the lobby trumpeted “The Good Old Florida Boys Say Welcome!” The banner which featured every year letter car’s medallion satisfied me that I was finally in the right place.

When I checked in, I found that Jack Streamo, the meet host, had booked the penthouse suite for meet activities. The desk clerk pointed out signs about the club’s business meeting, and told me that my room was next door to the hospitality suite. With that as my neighbor, I was sure to miss some sleep.

After check in, I hurried outside for a look at the assembled 300s, hoping to meet their owners. What I found in the parking compound was a group of 300s and Mopars being discussed by their devoted owners. People milled around happily talking about everything from tail fins to Blue Streak tires. Ray Beaumont, Bruce Williams and Jack Streamo were gathered around Bruce’s red F coupe which had suffered brake problems during the trip from Orlando. Bruce got plenty of ribbing because he had problems on such a short trip. I could feel the excitement building as 300s and specialty Mopars of all kinds continued to pull into the parking lot. All around me, I could see people renewing old friendships and making new ones. I had heard about the camaraderie of previous meets and this Fall Meet proved to be no exception.

Besides the cars themselves, a subject often being discussed was club affiliation. People asked me “Which club are you a member of?” Lots of people seemed to belong to both the “Michigan” club and the “Texas” club, just as I do. I heard positions both for and against the two-club situation defended enthusiastically, with surprising little rancor on either side! Of course, everyone at the meet knew the Texas club had scheduled another meet at the Treasure Island after our Wednesday-through-Friday affair. Some people who had come a long way for our meet planned to stay for the other one and make a short vacation of the trip.

The business meeting for the Chrysler 300 Club International got underway promptly at 8:00 Wednesday evening. Curtis Thompson, assisted by Jeff Miklas and John Sheets, chaired the meeting. The penthouse’s living and dining rooms were packed with club members, families and friends attending the meeting. A refrigerator, liberally stocked (and restocked) with beer fueled business and good times and the post-meeting party lasted late into the night. Needless to say, my sleep suffered as I thought it might!

Thursday, Oct. 28th

Thursday morning’s theme was “Clean them up boys!” as 300 owners and Mopar owners alike prepared for the parade to Daytona International Speedway. After people had breakfast, activities moved outside to the parking compound where owners prepped for the parade. There was a garden hose for do-it-your-self car washes but I confess, I took my 1966 New Yorker to the professionals down the street.

The action started to pick up at around a quarter till one when our motorcycle escort arrived. It consisted of four officers astride Kawasaki KZ 1100s, led by sergeant Beck of the Daytona Beach Police department. Arrangements had been made through Lt. Zalewski of the department. As one o’clock drew near and the cars started to line up, I heard a cry from the back of the group. Bruce William’s red F coupe was down again, this time experiencing a failure of the oil pressure sending unit. He couldn’t fix it in time, so Bruce had to “passenger” to the track, knowing all the while that he was the winner of the Hard Luck Award.

As the parade got underway, our police escort treated us to a display of motorcycling expertise. Our twenty-five-car caravan swept west through Daytona Beach unimpeded. The police would rocket ahead and stop traffic, allow the convoy to pass by and then use all of their acceleration to over take us again. They looked like they were having a wonderful time!

Once at the speedway we drove through the tunnel under the high banking and came out in the in-field. Our use of the facility was somewhat limited because Chrysler was testing some of their small cars and trucks on the track. It was OK since it was Chrysler. Owners positioned their letter cars in a proud row in front of the high banking and Mopars were lined up opposite them. A lively picture taking session ensued, with photographers trying to capture the test cars flying by on the track, with their letter cars in the forefront. Later on, many letter car owners got to photograph their beautiful Brutes near the start finish line, in the paddock area.

Participants in the parade to the speedway slowly drifted away to other pursuits during the rest of the afternoon because the parade and the time at the speedway was the only scheduled activity. The high winds that greeted us on Wednesday returned on Thursday to force cancellation of the planned picnic. Trying to cook hotdogs during a sandstorm on the beach at night was too much, even for our resourceful host! Individual plans for dinner and entertainment were made and groups met throughout the evening to pan for Friday’s concours.

Friday, Oct. 29th

Some concours entrants greeted the dawn on Friday morning as they began final preparations for the all-important judging. By 8 o’clock the parking lot was busy and full. Washing and polishing of the concours cars continued right up to the twelve-noon deadline. Concours judging was detailed and precise and it continued for four hours as each concours car got a thorough going over. Ray Beaumont and Bill Codner judged engines and Jeff Miklas judged undercarriages. Jack Streamo judged body and paint and the B engine, Mark Hoffacker handled exterior ornamentation and Mark Raynor evaluated interiors. Each concours car represented the mystique that surrounds the legendary Letter Car Series and each was the centre of rapped attention Friday afternoon. As the judging ended, people went off to prepare for the banquet, Friday night’s finale.

The evening featured a true “hospitality hour” from 7 to 8 o’clock when the banquet began. Treasure Island’s catering staff had prepared a buffet table with enough variety for any appetite. The all-you-could-eat entrees included roast beef, roast pork, fried chicken and sea food gumbo and no one was observed going away hungry, especially not me. Following dinner, Master of Ceremonies Curtis Thompson stepped to the podium to open the program. He introduced Jeff Miklas, who as chief of the concours presented the awards. For the fifty-two people present at the banquet the presentation of the awards was the high point of the 12th Annual Fall Meet. Jim Faber’s bright red 300B took first place in class I. Jim had driven his B from his home in South Carolina. Jack Streamo’s wire wheeled 300C coupe captured enough points for a second place in Class II. No first was awarded in this class. In the most hotly contested class, the G convertibles of Jim Thigpin and Bruce Williams went head-to-head in Class III. Judges awarded first place to Bruce’s car and Jim’s red beauty finished a very competitive second. In Class IV, Ted Dalack’s daffodil yellow 300 L (original owner) won first place and Jack Williams’ 300 ram K finished second.

Concours Results

Class I:


300B cpe.

836 pts.

Jim Faber

Greer, SC

Class II:


300C cpe.

755 pts.

Jack Streamo

Atlantic Beach, Fl.

Class III:


300G cvt.

921 pts.

Bruce Williams

Orlando, Fl.


300G cvt.

835.5 pts.

Jim Thigpin

Killan, Al.

Class IV:


300L cpe.

817.5 pts.

Ted Dalack

Pendergrass, Ga.


300K ram

800 pts.

Jack Williams

Birmingham, Al.

The popular People’s Choice, Long Distance and Hard Luck awards were presented by meet host, Jack Streamo. Hans and Brigette Larsson took the Long Distance award back to Sweden. They won it by driving their 300K to Florida from its purchase point in Michigan. Bruce Williams won the Hard Luck award with his red F coupe. His glittering black 300G convert took home the People’s Choice award and Best in Show and was named a “Senior” car for scoring 900 or more points in two different meets. Bruce had quite a night!

As the banquet drew to a close, conversation around the room was uniform in its opinion: This was a great meet! Although it was not blessed with heavy attendance, the people made up in spirit what they lacked in shear numbers. The friendship and mutual interest shared by everyone are what meets are all about. To all of you who didn’t make it: YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE!

Thanks to the following individuals for their assistance: Jack Streamo (Meet Host), Curtis Thompson (Master of Ceremonies), John Sheets (Club Protocol), Jeff Miklas (Concours Chief), Lt. Zalewski and Sgt. Beck (Dayton Beach Police), April Huntsman (Treasure Island Inn), Jim Bokoven (Daytona Beach International Speedway), David Hammer, (story and photos), and Judy Jacobsen (photos).

Thanks to Bill Elder (Wild Man of the North) and Don Warnaar for preparing this article