Chris et al,
I too was at the meet, I have a plaque on my wall where I received First Place in the '60-'62 senior class with my G convert. It was June 21-24 1990. As I recall, I was walking toward the hotel entrance when Eric and wife pulled in. Hood in back, towel or some such wrapped on his head, but he was in good spirits. I did not examine the latch myself, but did discuss it with good friend and club member Kent Hurt, who has since passed on. Kent thought it to be an issue all C,D & E owners should be aware of, and perhaps consider having a secondary latch mechanism installed.
In the intervening years, I've wondered about that incident, and have come to the conclusion that something was not right with that particular car because I have heard and read very little about the problem since then. Your analysis makes a great deal of sense, but I do remember Kent saying there was/is no secondary latch mechanism on the C,D & E that would have kept the hood from coming up, even if the main latch failed.
300G with secondary catch latch on hood
Thank you for your reply. Please understand that I was not trying to point a finger of blame at any particular individual and I am not trying to play a blame game. I just pointed out the fact that the catch assembly was assembled and installed incorrectly. And we cannot avoid the fact someone, somewhere was responsible for the incorrect assembly, whether it was a factory line worker back in 1957, or someone else who touched the car after it left the assembly line. Quite frankly, I don't care who may have been responsible. I just offered a possible scenario on how this could have happened after the car left the factory. And hopefully, through the sharing of my knowledge, this situation can be avoided in the future.
Chris the K MANIAC
I concur with all that you said. I was also aware of that, with the exception that blame was (wrongly I believe) placed on an individual who was alleged to have assembled it improperly.
I felt badly about it especially for that reason. I never believed the allegation for a second.
I have read through this thread of emails and wanted to offer my "two cents" about the hood latch failure on the Baltzar's 300C. I was there at the "Inc. Club" meet in Sacramento, California in June 1990 and had a look at the hood latch that failed. This event is one that I will never forget and I will now share my observations and opinions with others for the first time.
The catch portion of the latch mechanism is mounted to the hood of the car and consists of a base plate with welded nut, the threaded and adjustable catch, and a lock nut. The proper assembly of these three pieces is as follows: The lock nut is installed on the catch first. Then the catch and lock nut are thread into the base plate in such a manner that the welded nut is on top the base plate, then the catch is screwed into the bottom of the base plate. Once the catch is properly positioned, the lock nut is jammed to the bottom of the base plate. The welded nut on one side (top) of the base plate and the jam nut on the other side (bottom) of the base plate, provide the structural rigidity to prevent the catch and base from separating. These three pieces were pre assembled together in the factory before the assembly was mounted to the hood, allowing for proper installation. The base plate has a uniform bolt pattern that would allow an unassembled base to be mounted to the hood with either the welded nut up or the welded nut down if the catch is not installed properly into the base before the base is bolted to the hood.
Erik had his 300C repainted before the Sacramento meet. Apparently the catch assembly was removed from the hood prior to repaint and disassembled while out of the car. When the catch assembly was reinstalled, the base plate was apparently attached to the hood without the catch threaded in and was mounted upside down, with the welded nut on the bottom. Then the catch and jam were screwed directly into the welded nut and the jam nut was jammed directly to the welded nut. In this configuration, only the strength of the weld between the nut and the base plate kept the catch assembly together. It was the failure of the weld between the nut and the base plate that caused the hood to fly up at cruising speed.
I didn't say anything to anybody else at the time because I didn't know whether is was Erik or someone else who reassembled the catch assembly incorrectly and certainly didn't want to embarass anyone in the process.
My message to all you C, D, and E owners is to make sure your catch assemblies are assembled correctly, with the welded nut on top and the jam nut on the bottom, to be sure that what happened to Erik doesn't happen to you.
Chris the K MANIAC
A correction to John Chesnutt's post. The Baltzar's issue with the hood on their 300C convertible was traveling to the 300 Club Inc. meet held in Sacramento, CA around 1988 or 1989. To clarify this further when Eric and Belva walked in to the Business Meeting and you could hear a pin drop when everyone saw them bandaged up.
The next morning it was discovered that a rear tire on their car had gone flat. When the wheel and tire was taken to a repair shop it was and dismounted the rim had split. This had nothing to do with the hood but just ads to the story of their luck.
From: "'John L. Chesnutt' chesnutt@xxxxxxxxxxxx [Chrysler300]" <Chrysler300-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Posted by: "Bob Jasinski" <rpjasin@xxxxxxxxxxx>
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