A "B" For The Boss' Son
By Jim Treat

Reprinted from the 1987 Club News Volume XIII Number II

The 1956 300B was in many ways the last of the line of conservatively engineered Chryslers. Very elegant and purposeful in their heritage though honestly built to race. I had envied having one since they were introduced, and when I found that there was one available locally with an alleged pedigree going back to being built for and owned by the son of Walter P. Chrysler…well, it surely added to the interest (and detracted from my practical sensibility, my family might add.)

I was only vaguely sure of the car’s past history initially, but several things make it fairly certain that this history is authentic. First, the car itself: It has a special body code number designating it as a non standard build (I believe they call it “forecast” at the plant.) There is factory air and Torqueflite, and an unusual arm-rest in the front seatback. This is similar to the Imperial seat, but upholstered in standard 300B colored leather.
As well, the bolsters and trim on the “entire” seats are of leather. It seems to have all of the accessories except one or two.

I have only driven the one B, but this car is potentially dangerous in its performance. At about 55 it says “let’s go!” in loud and certain terms then hits the “ton” as my English friends would say, in about two blocks. The entire car and drive train are largely stock and untouched.
It has several dings and a dented left hand front fender, the engine compartment is grimy and at present there are some split seams and frays in the front seat. We have been able to collect enough extra parts to do 2 or 3 300Bs, but I haven’t had the irreverence to begin to rebuild it. I’m unsure at this point if I even want the car “restored” which sometimes equates to “embalmed.” I’ve been very happy just driving it. At 88,000 miles she’s still a ground rocket.

Briefly then on its history. Jack Chrysler received the car new in mid-production year; I have his owners certificate from Southampton, NY where the car was delivered dated 3/23/56. It is serial number 3N561489. The next bit of trivia is a 1000 mile inspection receipt from Bruce W. Strong, Inc. in West Palm Beach, FL dated 3/28/56. That’s 5 days later if you didn’t notice. Evidently, Jack liked to drive. He purchased four “Kar-Rugs” (which are still there), and had the cigar lighter and half dozen other items fixed. The whole deal cost him $66.62, but $50 of this was a strange entry that reads, “CK & see if we can hook up both exhaust unit to dash control, off vacu..(illegible word).” I have always wondered about this. What strange engineering changes were installed? Ah!..no, it doesn’t get 100 MPG.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Anyway, to get on with this, Jack drove the car for a reasonably short time then sold it to another Southampton resident, a Mr. Charles Tucker …see Henry Clark’s column on page 8 of the August 28, 1986 issue of “Old Cars Weekly.” Subsequently, in the summer of 1979 at the club meet in Watkins Glen, after much negotiation, a local boy and 300 enthusiast, Steve Barentine, flew out to New York, bought the car and drove it to that meet and then home. Rumor has it that he tore up the track with the machine, and I definitely believe that both he and the car were quite capable.

Regrettably, Jack Chrysler died about this time and I have been unable (and unwilling) to pursue any history there. Mr. Tucker did get hold of Steve while he still had the car. He felt sorry in having sold it and discussed possible options, but there were none until a couple of years ago when Steve unloaded his whole collection of Adventurers and 300s. (Steve has owned one or two of every model I think.)

It was just luck to be there at the right time. So, when looking for a moral in owing the cast off toys of the right and famous, I can only say that it hasn’t really changed my life beyond crowding my garage space, but don’t try to buy it from me just now…if you know what I mean…                                                                                                 Jim Treat

Jack Chrysler's car appeared again early in 2013 when it was purchased along with 269 other collector cars by Skip Nolan of French Lake Auto Parts in Minnesota. It has since been sold and is now in a private collection in Minnesota and will be going under restoration some time soon.
Here are pictures are of the car when it arrived at French Lake Auto. Click to enlarge.


Further Update:
From Burt Bouwkamp:

Your letter reminded me that built a 300B for Chuck Yeager.
I wonder what happened to that car?
I remember the car because we had to create an X-1 hood ornament.
We gave that job to Paul Mehall in our Production Research Department. Paul was one of those guys that could do anything with his hands. He created a wood model and then cast, finished and plated a one-of-a-kind hood ornament. Paul did a beautiful job! I would guess that Chuck kept the hood ornament when he disposed of the car.