I purchased this car in the early 1980's here in the Midwest. I think the ad said "1957 Chrysler 300C for sale, not running, bring large basket." Being a novice at the whole idea, I thought I'd tow a friend's construction trailer behind my pickup and bring the car home. Big mistake! The trailer was so heavy it almost jackknifed the truck about 3 miles down the road! Plan B was to rent a bumper hitch at the local rent-all place. About 150 miles later, we arrived at the house where the car was stored. This car had the front sheetmetal and mechanical parts partially disassembled and scattered all around the yard; it was up on blocks with all the brake parts and drums removed. I can remember circling the area where the car sat several times to make sure I got all the parts. It was obvious that the open cylinder heads and manifold had made a convenient place for squirrels to store acorns and walnuts over the years. Even in this sad condition the great bodylines of the car made an impression. I can remember thinking about what it would be like to eventually drive this rare car. In order to get it towable, we did some fast reassembly of the brake drums and bearings and hit the road. The tow home was a real event, with all kinds of loud noises, a hitch that kept getting loose, and frequent stops to tie up the driveshaft and add air to the tires. We must have looked like the Beverly Hillbillies on the freeway.

After 13 years of working on various pieces of the car (while moving three times, getting married, and a planned career change) I had lost interest and was really thinking about selling. While attending the St.Louis National Meet, club member Bill Elder came to my rescue, tossing me the keys to his newly acquired black 300C and telling me to "Go Ahead and Drive It" Hey, this is fun! So that's what a 300C runs like! My car had never even started the whole time I owned it (I did see the dash lights on once, though, and thought that was exciting!) Now I decided to finally get serious about fixing it. The first thing we discovered is that my rebuilt motor had sat long enough it froze up again. The car body was actually in better shape that I had thought. While it had a lot of dents, the rust was confined to small spots in the quarters, trunk, and floor pan. After plastic beading the old paint off the body, the repairs and repainting were uneventful.


The mechanical side of the repairs went well, with my now twice rebuilt engine actually moving the car under its own power for the first time in 1995. The 300 National Meet was in New Jersey that year, and we had a deadline to make. With a very supportive wife and a couple weeks of mechanical tinkering, the car was ready for the 750 mile trip to New Jersey, with Bill Elder's twin C following behind. We should have had the sign "TwinFins" made up for all the looks we got travelling together! The car ran great and even participated in the drag race events, but needed about one adjustment per mile to get all the bugs out.


My car was built to be a nice "Driver" and has always been fun. It has good road manners, is awfully fast for something that big, and has the best body design of the 50's cars. If you are considering buying one of these cars, or haven't yet finished your restoration, what are you waiting for?

Jim Krausmann