It pays to drive your vintage Mopar iron for fun. Just ask Dave Young of Lakeland, Florida, who was visiting a friend at an auto shop, when his GTX convertible attracted the attention of an electrician who happened to be working there that day.
According to Dave, "We started talking Mopars, and he told me he had a couple 300 Hurst cars." The electrician, John, had already mentioned the car to several people, but none of them were savvy enough to know the significance of the word Hurst. They heard Chrysler 300, vintage 1970, and they weren't interested. But Dave knows his muscle Mopars, since he's restored three of them. In his initial e-mail, he admitted to knowing the rarity of these cars (either 485 or 502 produced, depending on your reference source).
Well, Dave found two. One 300-H was a parts car, and the other was in good restorable condition. Both were in nearby Dade City. When John said he didn't know what to do with them, but wanted the cars to go to a good home, Dave saw his chance.
Dave said, "well, go look at my GTX, that's what I do with them." And John said, "well I kind of noticed that, so if I do decide to get rid of them, I'd like to sell them to somebody like you.'"
Dave didn't pressure the sale right then. Instead, he gave John his phone number. The restorable Hurst had been in the family since 1972. John had bought the car for his wife as a wedding present. When long-time owners decide to sell, they often need a little time to mull over the deal, to come to terms with the departure of a family heirloom.
It was probably a month or two later, Dave recalls, when John phoned. He was ready to get rid of the pair of Hurst Chryslers. Dave had first chance at buying, and the cars were not advertised. Dave knew what to look for when he arrived to inspect the old Mopars. The hood and trunk lid were hand-laid fiberglass, and the interior used trim pieces from the Imperial line, along with special trim. Also included in the deal was a '70 New Yorker, as well as many scavenged parts from another '70 300 non-letter car. As for price, neither John nor Dave knew for sure what the cars were worth. Dave told us, "He knew I respected the car, and planned to restore it as it deserves to be." No doubt that attitude went a long way in the negotiations, which ended up at $2,500.
The 300-H is a nice car complete with the all-original components, trim, and emblems. The body is very nice (one paint job since new), and the car runs and drives. The interior shows its age, but is complete and has not been altered. The second 300-H is nearly complete and is a northern car in rough shape. The fiberglass body panels and trim are all there, but need attention, as does the interior. The special 300-H wheels for the second car were on the owner's utility trailer, but he agreed to let them go with the cars if Dave replaced them with other wheels.
The 300-H parts car actually broke in two when they pulled it on the trailer. The front frame ripped from the body due to rust. Actually, the good car is so good Dave doesn't need the parts off the parts car. He is saving the Hurst-specific parts for either a 300-clone or another 300 restoration.
He'll restore the good one, which he feels is a rare piece of Chrysler history that should be preserved. He feels lucky to own a 300-H and will put the car on the road when done to enjoy it as much as the original owner did. But that's after he takes it off the road first. Yep, he's driving and enjoying the car just as purchased. It's amazing what a little clean up can do for a car.
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