More history regarding the 300-F
Wayne Graefen purchased the 300F-F 4- speed from Merle Wolfer and joint owner Ken Diehl. They purchased it from a relative of Andy Drumm Jr of Fallon, Nevada. Drumm was a predominant state highway contractor from Fallon (Silver State Construction) who could get anywhere in the State of Nevada in about three hours in his Chrysler 300s.
Merle Wolfer was at the Chrysler 300 meet in Carson City, Nevada when someone told both Merle and Ken that he knew where there was 300-F in the area. So they went and looked at it and purchased it. That was probably 1980?
They went back to Portland to get their trailer and brought it home. They installed a new clutch and also found the correct trunk lid.
I attended the Carson City meet. I did not have our 1957 300C as I had our son’s 1963 Chrysler New Yorker 4 DR HT which we were taking it to San Francisco.
Also, with Wayne's permission I'm relaying this. FYI: Andy Drumm was the original owner of the Graefen car and current is Joe Jordan.
Gil would tell anyone, as he told me, that there is NOTHING definitive on the fiche. There is ONLY the known history of each GT car's existence. Assembly line finished cars went to Header House (more properly "the special engineering building") for tear down and rebuild to GT spec. This took a few to several weeks and delayed their shipping which DOES appear on the IBMs because it is hand written when shipping occurs. But other cars also get delayed due to something like an improperly assembled engine, etc. etc.
There is ONE EXCEPTION to the above. In the GT project notes there is ONE serial number given. It is 8403141452, which is the VIN of the Drumm - Graefen - Jordan GT. That is why I claimed mine was the ONLY documentable GT.
From: "John Lazenby french_fryguy@xxxxxxxxx [Chrysler300]" <Chrysler300-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
This just in from Wayne to correct me on a previous comment:
The console corrugated aluminum required replacement as the shifter does not come up in the same location as the ash tray.
To my knowledge it would not show up as anything unique as the call for a car came after completion and I suspect the microfilm was already completed. I'm sure if that was not the case Gil would have commented on this years before and I know that when he, Wayne and I have had in person discussions there was no such evidence. It would be the luck of the draw if a car was sent to Header House to become one of the "Special" ones.
From: "'Bob Jasinski' rpjasin@xxxxxxxxxxx [Chrysler300]" <Chrysler300-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
John et al,
Thanks for sharing that. I remember seeing George Cone's 300F special way back in 1985 In Carson City Nevada, and photographing the shifter plate. It did look like it was hand stamped for gear locations. The impression I got was that it was pulled off the line and the mods made, I wasn't aware that it was a Chrysler vendor that did the work. Having written that, wouldn't it still show up as a "special" in the microfilm records?
Regarding records, I've seen tons of material that Wayne has documented over the years and continues to this day. He has also has ongoing contact with Burt Bouwkamp who was in charge of the program at Daytona.
From: "Val Jeffers edward1108@xxxxxxxxx [Chrysler300]" <Chrysler300-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Were not all 300 F's built as automatics and then shipped to a "conversion company" for the 4 speed addition ? If so, then would not that company have the only true records of the actual cars ?
ps: When I bought my G from Bob McAtee, his black 4 speed was sitting right beside !
I don't know if that's ever been done. Like you mentioned, that would be up to the owner to contact Gil Cunningham.
Gil, do you have any records on the genuine 4 speed F coupe or the F convertible that Don owns?
I may be missing something here, but the one definitive way to verify authenticity of the car would be to have Gil Cunningham look up the car in the microfilm records. Until or unless that is done, it would remain in question as to whether it was factory produced or not. Of course the owner would need to request that research be done.
Normally I wouldn't get into something like this but here is what I can offer.
IMO my friend Wayne Graefen of Kerrville, Texas has done more research on the 300 4 Speed cars than anyone. He also owned for years one of the four "documented" examples existing. I knew his car well as I was there in the beginning and watched the restoration. Over the years I've driven the car a few times, stored it for Wayne when he moved from SoCal to Texas and have been in the car at speeds well over 100 mph. Wayne and the late John Hertog pretty much agreed on facts regarding these cars and both say the Petty convertible is NOT a documented example.
Don Petty does own a white coupe that I've seen and it is a documented car. The car that he claims to be a 4 speed convertible has nothing to support that to my knowledge. Over the years Wayne communicated with Don regarding this and if I recall there was no reply.
There was one 4 speed convertible built and was found years ago by Bruce Cone and Bruce Hoover. That is the car that Tom Turner owned for years. It was sold to a Milt Robinson out of the Atlanta area who is/was a large collector. Milt has since sold the car and it was on the east coast the last I knew.
The Flying Mile Gregg Zigler example which was purchase shortly after it made it's runs at Dayton was owned by Robert Macatee (sp) until his passing. That car sold to a new owner and has sold at least once again.
Wayne sold his to a Texas Hotel Owner a couple of years ago and that car has since sold again and I believe is now in Wisconsin. Wayne was involved with the recent sale of this car again.
So there you have it as I remember.
For what it may be worth, I saw that car several years ago, along with John Hertog, when we were out at a Chrysler 300 Club, Inc. meet, and it appeared to be pretty much in parts - not refinished parts - just parts. If he did a total restoration on it, it must have been after we were there. I know at the time, John had sincere doubts as to the authenticity of the car as an F special.
In a message dated 3/2/2016 11:25:32 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, Chrysler300-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx writes:
Posted by: "John L. Chesnutt" <chesnutt@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
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