300 Brothers
by Marshall Goodknight

My brother, John Goodknight has been a Club member for quite a few years, but he does not participate in correspondences on this list server, so I'm going to share what I know of his story and a little bit of my own. At some time in the mid/late 50's I began to hear him talk of his intense interest in the 300 series cars and I recall that he said he would someday like to own one. Well, it happened in early 1962 before he was 20 years old. One day in February or March his college roommate called from St. Petersburg to let him know "John, I found your car on a used car lot". John promptly drove his '53 Coronet HT to St. Pete and made a trade deal. Now almost 58 years later he's still in possession of that same car, '55 C300 3N551863, the exact mid-production '55 car. For several years he has been working on a serious restoration project, but is now entering the final stages, hopefully to be complete enough to bring to the Spring event in Greenville, SC. It was recently driven again on a public street for the first time since 1986. I've heard his stories of making several trips down central Florida toward Miami often reaching speeds of 100 MPH. I don't recall statements of higher speeds, but some things he simply doesn't talk much about. When he purchased it, the odometer was at 35,000 and though I don't recall the exact reading now I believe its just short of 35,000 again.

I drove his car quite a bit during the 70's and 80's one time to 100 mph. This period of 10 years convinced me that if I could ever find a '55 300 that was in good enough condition to "fix up" as a driver car I would try to make that purchase. It came to pass in the fall of 2006 immediately after the Club event at Lawton, Oklahoma which both he and I attended. My car showed up on eBay and was located only 160 miles from Lawton, near Ft Worth, Texas. I promptly made a trip to Ft. Worth area for a first-hand look at the "derelict" car that had been pulled from a local salvage yard. It was missing almost everything under the hood and had lots of "character marks" (dents in hood, bent fenders, caved in doors, broken windshield, damaged quarter panels, large hail stone dents on upper surfaces, and dry rotted upholstery) ------ but almost no rust and absolutely no sign of poor workmanship or alterations. I bid aggressively to buy it and in a little over a year I began driving it on the streets. To date I've driven to 3 Club events, each time receiving the LONG-DISTANCE award. It's more than 200 miles for me just to escape Florida. I've now driven it a total 28,000 miles by its odometer (a bit high), more than 10,000 of which were on the highway to club events in Arkansas, Wisconsin, and Texas. The only item of failure that I've had was on the trip to Arkansas when my driver side low beam headlight burned out. I aimed for high reliability and I achieved it. I'm hoping that we can both attend the spring event with these 2 cars.

Marshall Goodknight 3N552650

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