Michael writes: I have decided to sell the 300 after all the work....
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1965 Chrysler 300 Convertible
Michael Sagar writes:
Hi: I am an avid reader of your Web site.
I bought a 1965 300 convertible off of ebay. The car was not as I thought but I have stuck with it. I told the story to a local newpaper car buff and they ran a feature on my car and the whole ebay experience.
[Editor's note: see below for the news story, slightly edited for this Web page version.]
I was checking ebay for 1965 Chryslers for auction; I had a fondness for them, since my dad owned one and I had a 1965 300 when I was 24.
I found this one in PA; rough, but the pictures looked clear, so I put a bid in. The auction ended and it did not meet the reserve. The auction house contacted me and said the woman who owned it would take my offer. It was her husband's car and he was always going to have it redone but never got around to it. He is now deceased and she would like someone to own it who would restore it. I arranged for it to be brought up on a flatbed truck and about 8 weeks later it arrived.
The car looked much worse on the truck and was covered with leaves and junk and had sat under a tree. The car was so long they had to unload it in the driveway two houses down, lucky for me they were vacant. Everyone who saw the car could not believe I bought such a piece of junk. I was a little disappointed since I had asked a lot of questions before I bought.
The best thing I figured out was to clean it up and start the restoration process. I changed the minor engine parts myself and kept working on it and within 2 days it was running. I then had my mechanic "Buffs Garage" on Sand Creek Road tune it up, change the shocks, replace the alternator, thermostat and overhaul the brake system completely. They also repaired the dual exhaust system that was damaged when it was dropped off the flatbed truck. After all that it ran really good but still looked a mess. I ran out of time so I garaged it last winter and started again late spring.
I bought, over the winter, replacement parts such as carpet, chrome pieces for the dashboard, a new dashboard padded top, correct wheel covers, windshield washers (car was not equipped it was an option), new taillights, bumper guards and a few miscellaneous things. You can get anything on the web if you wait long enough until it shows up for auction.
I then went to "Izzo's Upholstery" in Schenectady and ordered custom upholstery in the original white vinyl to redo the bucket seats and rear seat. I put it in the body shop in August and Tom of "Tom's Autobody" 9J Rensselaer restored the body. The rear fenders were rusted away once the chrome was removed along with a need for the front end to be pulled out. He welded in new sheet metal and created new rear fender bottoms on a sales brochure photo from 1965. He also painted it in the original red metallic that I got from a paint chart on the Internet.
Once I got the car back I had to reinstall all the chrome, replace the carpet and reinstall the seats. Now I get nothing but comments everywhere I go as to what a beautiful car this is.
The mechanical specifics are that is has a 413 cubic inch engine with a 4 barrel carb and dual exhaust. This model car is the 300 not the 300L, but the owner opted for the high performance engine package of the 300L. It has an automatic transmission, power top, Deluxe AM Radio with local and distance feature, power drum brakes, and power steering.
The few non stock changes that I have made are 1)I added the washer package for the windshield wipers and 2) I changed the taillights to the 1965 New Yorker model. The lenses are clear but there is a red glass insert that makes them light up a pinkish color when you step on the brakes, or have the lights on. I did this because when the lights are off the back is all chrome and the clear lenses disappear.
The car is a real sleeper, it has roll down windows and manual door locks and only an am radio with a rear speaker. It also makes it easier to run since there is not a lot of electrical options.
But the car has all the Mopar Magic when you step on the gas pedal!
September 2001 update:
For sale: 1965 Chrysler 300 convertible. Burgundy with a white top and interior.It has the 413 performance engine, 4 barrel carb and dual exhaust. Also power steering and brakes and automatic transmission. It has an am radio and a clock (does not work). The interior is excellent, the seats have custom made white vinyl seat covers and new burgundy carpet. The dashboard is perfect ( no cracks) and the steering wheel is mother of pearl in color and in excellent condition. It has 109,000 miles
and still running strong. The brakes have been rebuilt from the ground up, new starter, transmission recently rebuilt, new radial tires, new muffler and tail pipe, water pump, engine fan, belts and hoses and has had a recent tune up. The body work was done a year ago with metal repair done on both rear fenders. It needs a new top and front and rear bumpersrechromed to complete it.
Update June 2003
Since my last e-mail I have had the gas tank coated, sendiing unit rebuilt, new front drums and linings, a $300 radiator professionally restored, the top replaced to a black one, all new original seat belts in mint condition and a newly rechromed front bumper. These cars are an addiction because I could not stop without finishing up the details! Asking price is $8500.00.
I am hoping she will sell even though I hate to get rid of her; I have now moved on to another project: a 1966 Fury I.
E-mail me for more info.
Thanks for sharing your story, Michael!
As you found out, a lot of cars look good in pictures, but still require some extra effort to get the vehicle back into shape for driving.
A big pat on the back for carrying through the process. A lot of guys would have not have had the stamina and good sense to restore this Chrysler.
However, you knew about "Mopar Magic" -- it is something to behold, especially combining a big block 413 motor, 'vert top down fun, and C Body highway crusing zest! :-)
Re update: whoever buys it will enjoy the 300!
January 29, 2001; September 26, 2001; June 16, 2003