300C in Australia

by Jamie Watkins

Hi. I believe that you might already know about my "57" 300C. It was owned by my father and has been in Australia since the early sixties. My father bought the 300C in 1976 from an old man who wanted to sell the vehicle as it was too fast and he thought if his son got behind the wheel he might kill himself. I now have the vehicle and plan on restoring it after I finish my other projects. For your records the VIN is: 3N571590. The vehicle is white with tan interior, manual windows and electric seats. It retains its original motor, trans and all body panels, a little rusty but original.

That's me and my brother next to the 300C.

The 300C is left hand drive with its original registration plates, which means that it would have had to have been registered prior to 1966 in South Australia, as this is when the laws changed and you could no longer register left hand drive vehicles.

My fathers name is Joe Watkins and he tells the story that an American by the name of Bruce Thomas was a good friend of his. Bruce was the chief engineer for Chrysler here in Australia and had settled in Adelaide. It was suggested that when Bruce was working for Chrysler in the US he worked on designing the 1962 Chrysler Imperial. My father had to own one so again some time ago be bought a 1962 LeBaron which I now own and am restoring. Bruce visited my father many times and always tried to buy the 300C but my father never sold it.

My father also collected over the years a 1960 Imperial, 1957 Imperial, 1958 Imperial, 1957 Saratoga, 1958 Saratoga, 1959 New Yorker convertible (which my brother now owns and is restoring). He loved his Chryslers. The is a magazine article that was written on him back in June 1978:

Click above to enlarge

And yes he still owns all the same vehicles.

I should add that the 1962 Imperial was bought into Australia by Chrysler Australia. It was converted to Right Hand drive in the US by Chrysler America. It was placed on display in the Adelaide show room of Chrysler before it was sold. I have attached the newspaper article of when it was on display.

Thanks. Jamie Watkins, South Australia