My 300 Story

By Bill Codner

Reprinted from the 1976 Club News Volume III Number II

You might say my interest in 300’s goes back to 1960. It was in 1960 that my uncle took me to a local auto show in West Orange, NJ to see the new cars on display. I remember seeing a 300F convertible. Being only a teenager at the time I couldn’t afford it, but I was impressed. When I got my driver’s license in 1961 I found a pink 1960 New Yorker convertible for sale. I purchased it and drove it for ten years.

In 1970 I decided to find a 300F. To search for available cars I bought the Sunday New York Times, which features antique and special interest cars in its classified section, and also some other papers. In the New York Times I found an ad from what turned out to be a Club member who was selling five of his collection of F’s. (I was not aware of the Club at that time; he introduced me to it.) Surprisingly this fellow lived 3 or 4 miles from my house. When I got there I found that there were four hardtops and only one convertible which was my greatest interest. It was in two feet of mud. The bumper was out of sight. It had no motor, transmission, radiator or seats. The dashboard was painted blue and the rest of the interior was practically destroyed. But the body was quite good. Next to it was a hardtop. The body was rusted quite badly, but it had all the necessary items needed by the convertible. So we could make one good car out the two. However, after buying the convertible and the other parts as a package deal, we found that almost everything we put in the convertible from the hardtop was bad. The motor needed rebuilding. And so on. So, the car was restored from the ground up. All the wiring was replaced. Except for the major repairs and the paint and the upholstery, I did most of the work myself. It took five years to complete. Reason? Working Man’s Salary. It was first shown at the Elmira Meet (1975). I now have a car of which I am proud not only because I helped restore it myself and was able to save a Letter 300 from the mud and eventually being destroyed. As a result, another Letter 300 lives on and is being cared for.

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