Re: [Chrysler300] The OTHER 300-F 4-speed convertible . . . a can of wor
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Re: [Chrysler300] The OTHER 300-F 4-speed convertible . . . a can of worms, I...

On the same trip that I saw and sat in the white F 4-speed coupe at Don's house, he also had a beige 55 C300 that he said was a 'mule car' from Chrysler and it had a push button transmission (destined for the 56 model year).

On Wed, Mar 2, 2016 at 11:04 PM, cpaviper@xxxxxxxxxxx [Chrysler300] <Chrysler300-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Hello Group,
Looking at a few of my photos of Don's black F convertible, from January 2013 - His display placard reads -
"1960 Chrysler 300F Special - 4-Speed Convertible - 1 of 2 Ever Equipped With French Pont-A-Mousson Trans. & Approx.. 450 H.P. Cross Ram Inducted 413 C.I. Engine - Complete Frame-Off Restoration in 2006 - Owner: Don Petty"
There was no factory/dealer paperwork on display evidencing this. Don's comment in our conversation was that this is a factory-built 4-speed car.
He had a small photo album, with some handwritten notations about the car's features - "Equipped: Factory A.C., Power Seat, Power Windows, Power Top, Power Antenna, Power Door Locks, AM Radio, Heater, Left Remote Mirror, Rt Mirror, Day-Nite Inside Mirror, Power Disc, Power Steering, Solex Glass"  Also mentioned - "Blueprinted & Balanced 413 CID "B" Block 400+ HP" "Note: Solid Lifter Camshaft" "Special Factory Cast 4-Bolt Exhaust Manifold" 
The car had an alternator, chromed air cleaners, and a 200 MPH speedometer face, showing 2 miles on the odometer. Black-upholstered seats were installed in the standard tan interior.
Don also displayed a framed letter dated May 10, 1973, welcoming him to the "Chrysler 300 Club Western Division" signed by Ray Doern, President. The letter also states - "There is a 60 300-F hardtop with factory Pont-a-Mousson 4-speed trans for sale in New York. I offered the guy $4500 for it but he wouldn't budge from his asking price of $6,000! If you're interested write to Emil Scheringer, Krumville Rd., Olive Bridge, N.Y. 12461, or call [phone number]."
Also on display at that same cruise night was a beige '55 C300. Speaking with the car's owner, he said he had purchased this '55 from Don Petty, and that it was a factory beige car from the factory. I didn't see a body tag that would evidence paint color, or special order. The car looked pretty nice, but had aftermarket aluminum radiator, a/c, alternator, I think 12v electrical, and speakers cut into the kick panels and rear seat armrest sides. This car had a For Sale sign - $55k or best offer.

From: "John Lazenby french_fryguy@xxxxxxxxx [Chrysler300]" <Chrysler300-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: "John L. Chesnutt" <chesnutt@xxxxxxxxxxxx>, "yahoogroups" <chrysler300@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Wednesday, March 2, 2016 4:07:33 PM

Subject: Re: [Chrysler300] The OTHER 300-F 4-speed convertible . . . a can of worms, I...

Hi John and it is good to hear from you,

I'm fully aware of all you state and was involved with the details of the car when Wayne made the purchase from Merle and Ken.  An interesting note is that the onetime owner, Milt Robinson, of the 300F 4 speed convertible purchased Wayne's 27,000 300C black convertible and that is how Wayne was able to purchase the 300F Special.

Andy Drumm had ordered the car from Chrysler as he had some clout and built most of the highways in the state of Nevada.  He used the car to travel from location to location and it was the ONLY Special built with factory A/C.  When delivered Andy didn't like the Toilet Seat trunk and had it changed out to a different piece done in white.  That was to remain until the restoration by Wayne.  There was also a CB radio in the car that Andy could use when traveling from one site to the next and there was a large antenna right in the middle of the roof.

Some years ago after Wayne became the owner and restored the car I received a call one morning from Andy Drumm's grandson who knew that I had knowledge of the car and had many stories about his grandfather and riding in the car when it was new.  Needless to say I put the grandson in contact with Wayne and as I recall that was the beginning of e-mail and Wayne was still living only a few miles from me in SoCal.

Owning special cars like this takes special people to do research and preserve history.  I know of no one who does a better job than Wayne Graefen and I've learned much from him over our many years of close friendship.  

Besides this example Wayne has owned close to 30 years the only 300C Road America coupe documented to exist of the three built.  That car is still not completely restored but should be soon.  I had the chance to purchase it way back before Wayne but didn't have the knowledge to realize it's historical significance.

My best to you and Arlys,

John L.

From: "'John L. Chesnutt' chesnutt@xxxxxxxxxxxx [Chrysler300]" <Chrysler300-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: 'John Lazenby' <french_fryguy@xxxxxxxxx>; 'yahoogroups' <chrysler300@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Wednesday, March 2, 2016 1:39 PM
Subject: RE: [Chrysler300] The OTHER 300-F 4-speed convertible . . . a can of worms, I...


Hi John,
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.   
John Chesnutt
From: Chrysler300@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:Chrysler300@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of John Lazenby french_fryguy@xxxxxxxxx [Chrysler300]
Sent: Wednesday, March 02, 2016 11:49 AM
To: yahoogroups
Subject: Re: [Chrysler300] The OTHER 300-F 4-speed convertible . . . a can of worms, I...

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.
John L

From: "John Lazenby french_fryguy@xxxxxxxxx [Chrysler300]" <Chrysler300-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: yahoogroups <chrysler300@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Wednesday, March 2, 2016 11:35 AM
Subject: Fw: [Chrysler300] The OTHER 300-F 4-speed convertible . . . a can of worms, I...
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.  
John L.

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: John Lazenby <french_fryguy@xxxxxxxxx>
To: Bob Jasinski <rpjasin@xxxxxxxxxxx>; 'Val Jeffers' <edward1108@xxxxxxxxx>; 'John' <spiers@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>; "chrysler300@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx" <chrysler300@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Wednesday, March 2, 2016 11:24 AM
Subject: Re: [Chrysler300] The OTHER 300-F 4-speed convertible . . . a can of worms, I...
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.
John L.

From: "'Bob Jasinski' rpjasin@xxxxxxxxxxx [Chrysler300]" <Chrysler300-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: 'John Lazenby' <french_fryguy@xxxxxxxxx>; 'Val Jeffers' <edward1108@xxxxxxxxx>; 'John' <spiers@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>; chrysler300@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Wednesday, March 2, 2016 11:19 AM
Subject: RE: [Chrysler300] The OTHER 300-F 4-speed convertible . . . a can of worms, I...
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?
Bob J
From: Chrysler300@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:Chrysler300@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of John Lazenby french_fryguy@xxxxxxxxx [Chrysler300]
Sent: Wednesday, March 02, 2016 11:02 AM
To: Val Jeffers; John; chrysler300@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: [Chrysler300] The OTHER 300-F 4-speed convertible . . . a can of worms, I...

As I understand it all 300F examples were just as that.  Certain cars were taken to a different location after assembly was completed known as Header House and the conversions were done, thus the cars engines and trans were removed and mods done along with the cover plate for the previous push button with some having a toggle switch to manually actuate the back up lights.  There was also the removal of the Ash Receiver in the console and this became the opening for the Pont-a-Mousson shift lever.  These levers varied with some being bent and other straight.  The opening was surrounded by a rather crude shift guide attached via screws and hand stamped numbers to indicate each gear's location.  Anyway, this is the way the Graefen example was as I recall.
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.
John L.

From: "Val Jeffers edward1108@xxxxxxxxx [Chrysler300]" <Chrysler300-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: John <spiers@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>; "chrysler300@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx" <chrysler300@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Wednesday, March 2, 2016 10:13 AM
Subject: Re: [Chrysler300] The OTHER 300-F 4-speed convertible . . . a can of worms, I...
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 ?
                                  Val Jeffers
ps: When I bought my G from Bob McAtee, his black 4 speed was sitting right beside !
On Wednesday, March 2, 2016 12:55 PM, "John spiers@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx [Chrysler300]" <Chrysler300-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
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?

-------- Original message --------
From: Bob Jasinski
Date:03/02/2016 12:36 PM (GMT-05:00)
To: 'John Lazenby' ,pffkllc@xxxxxxx,spiers@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx,chrysler300@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: RE: [Chrysler300] The OTHER 300-F 4-speed convertible . . . a can of worms, I...
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. 
Bob J
From: Chrysler300@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:Chrysler300@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of John Lazenby french_fryguy@xxxxxxxxx [Chrysler300]
Sent: Wednesday, March 02, 2016 8:59 AM
To: pffkllc@xxxxxxx; spiers@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx; chrysler300@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: [Chrysler300] The OTHER 300-F 4-speed convertible . . . a can of worms, I...
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.  
John Lazenby

From: "pffkllc@xxxxxxx [Chrysler300]" <Chrysler300-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: spiers@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx; chrysler300@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Wednesday, March 2, 2016 8:33 AM
Subject: Re: [Chrysler300] The OTHER 300-F 4-speed convertible . . . a can of worms, I...
Hi Group:
    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.
Pete Fitch 
In a message dated 3/2/2016 11:25:32 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, Chrysler300-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx writes:
I know Val Jeffers just inquired about the Turner 300-F 4 speed convertible, but this is about the other one . . .
I was in Phoenix a few years ago and met Don Petty, close cousin and longtime friend of Richard Petty, and well-known on the Forwardlook List as a dependable vendor of Mopar and other parts.  He has been the owner of a wrecking yard, now a classic car wrecking yard, for many years.  He has dozens of Mopars, including Letter Car convertibles and hardtops.
Don Petty has a 4-speed 300-F convertible he has owned for many years.
What is the background of his car? He makes some convincing claims about the authenticity of his car - the water-cooled exhaust manifolds, the carbs, the Pont-A-Mousson transmission, the special console bezel & shift lever, etc., items that would have taken quite a bit of effort to obtain, even in 1960.  He said he bought the car without the block, but with all the bolt-on parts in the trunk and the transmission and bellhousing in place, and did a complete restoration years ago.  He has no doubt whatsoever that his car is an authentic, factory-built 4-speed car.
I've never seen or heard of this car being discussed anywhere, and Don told me that the re are Mopar people who doubt that his car is authentic.


Posted by: John Nowosacki <jsnowosacki@xxxxxxxxx>

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