The Story of Lady G
by Billy Korbel

reprinted from the Spring 1989 Club News
Volume XV Number III

I will never forget that cold day in January of 1985 when Horseless Carriage’s 18-wheel transporter pulled up in my driveway to deliver its precious cargo; a Formal Black 300G hardtop. After 5 years of searching, my dream had finally come true. I was now the proud owner of a Letter Car. I wish I could adequately describe my feelings at that time. All I can say with any certainty is, I was grinning from ear to ear! That was a year ago and I am still grinning.

It all started when I answered an ad in Old Cars Weekly for a ‘61 Chrysler. That is all it said. I don’t think I controlled my enthusiasm too well when it turned out to be a 300G. The owner, Joel Cox of Elyria, Ohio kindly sent me pictures, a description and a complete history of the car. I really liked what I saw, so I called the previous owner who confirmed the car’s history. It had never left the State of Ohio and had only been used on occasion between both of its previous owners. Just to be 100% sure, I asked a fellow club member who lived nearby to check out the car for me. After being completely satisfied that the car was everything everyone said it was, I came to a very fair price with Mr. Cox and the rest as they say, is history. This Beautiful Brute was now mine. Now, all I had to do was get it back to New York. It was in the middle of winter, so I wasn’t happy about driving it home through snow, salty roads and careless drivers. Enter Horseless Carriage. I called them and luckily, they had a rig coming East from Nevada enroute to New Jersey, so I had them make a little detour through Ohio, pick up the Brute and bring it with them. The cost was well worth the peace of mind, knowing the car was safe. Actually, it was a bargain because I only had to pay for one way.

When that big green and white rig rolled down Main Street, it was like the circus had come to town. Despite the weather, people were stopping to see what was in the trailer. What a sight it was too! Then came the moment we were all waiting for. I heard the Brute before I saw it. There is nothing subtle about a ram-inducted 413! The driver very carefully inched it out of the trailer and into my driveway. What a beauty! The G is in excellent condition. The body is straight as an arrow with no rust or bondo and it had been beautifully painted in the original color. The odometer showed 42,000 miles, which I had already researched and knew to be correct. The bumpers and some trim pieces had been re-chromed, it had Goer’s seats and it was mechanically sound. The only thing that was incorrect were the tires, so the first project was to replace them with the correct wide whites. The car was just what I had been looking for; clean, straight and ready to enjoy. Now, all I had to do was wait for summer and show it off to all of my friends and club members. The rest of the winter passed by very slowly.

The Brute made its debut, here in Albany in July of ’85 and it won first place in class. I also noticed that it was the only Chrysler 300 in a field of over 200 entries. I love being part of a legend. This was the first time that the G and I had been anywhere together and it was exciting. Now I couldn’t wait to take it to the 300 Club Meet that was being held in Dayton, Ohio later that year so my friends could see this prize.

There was an unexpected honor bestowed upon the G before my friends got to see it. 1985 was the 60th anniversary of Chrysler Corporation and the WPC Club was holding its National Meet in Detroit, Michigan. To celebrate the event, they chose various Mopars to represent each year from 1925 to 1985 for a group photograph to be taken at the Chrysler Proving grounds. I was informed that my 300G had been selected to represent 1961. Was I excited! “Lady G” was going to be immortalised on film! I was looking forward to the ride out there too. Now I would have a chance to turn the Beautiful Brute loose on our nation’s interstates and let her do what she does best-----RUN! I had a lot of fun on that trip. From leisurely cruising through small towns to blasts past the century mark on the super highways. The highlight of the trip, along with all of the appreciative looks and thumbs up from other motorists, came when a guy with a Porsche 914 tried and failed to lose the big Chrysler. He really should have known better. Boy was he mad!

A few weeks later, we were on the road again, this time out to Dayton. This is what I had been waiting for. No Porches this time, just lots of smiles. What a feeling it was when I pulled into the motel parking lot to join all of the other Letter Cars. I knew I was in the right place. I hurried inside and proudly announced to my friends that “The Black G in the parking lot with New York plates was mine!” Finally, they could see what I had waited so long for. “Lady G” was a hit too. I had her entered into the concours to see how good she really was. I figured I would let the experts tell me and tell me they did. The Lady had a few words of her own though as she totalled 887 points, which earned her a second place in class. She also won the People’s Choice Award. That made me feel very good. It was then that I knew my patience had paid off. Also, I was now armed with the Judges scoring sheet so I now knew what I had to do to make her as correct as possible.

That winter was spent on a few minor projects and in the spring, it was off to the Club meet in Allentown, PA. More cruising on our interstates. Didn’t encounter any Porches this time either. They must have got the message. There were plenty of other adventures though, like enjoying the company of good friends once again and getting lost trying to find the banquet hall. “Lady G” continued her winning ways too. She was honored for Best Exterior, Best Interior, Best Engine and Best Coupe. I was beside myself! Of course, a little good-natured kidding is sure to follow such notoriety as evidenced by then President, Jeff Miklas when he nicknamed me the “Lumber Jack of Allentown”. The meet also brought other goodies for my Lady. It was my good fortune that P. J. Ehmann brought along four original G seats, in excellent condition; that he wanted to sell. Wanting to keep the car as original as possible and not one to pass on a golden opportunity, I bought them. The Goer’s seats have since been replaced with the originals. Nice touch. I have also treated her to a correct battery, complete stainless-steel exhaust system, new grille and wheel cover medallions, new shocks and a few front suspension components. This Lady deserves to be spoiled.

Unfortunately, Allentown was the last meet that I attended with “Lady G”. The others were either a little too far away or has been the case lately, health problems had me hospitalised at the time. That is why we were not at Rochester or Annapolis. Hopefully the future will be kinder to me so I can once again experience the joy of getting behind that Beautiful Brute and go cruising. Ideally, that cruise will take me to a meeting of the 300 Club, where good friends and good times await.

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