Chrysler 300 Club International
Spring Meet in Greenville, SC

April, 2022
2022 Spring Meet Report – the Belated 50th Spring Anniversary!

Scheduled for Spring 2020, then delayed by Covid for two years, our members finally traveled to beautiful Greenville, SC, for our long-anticipated meet hosted by Tom Cox and Jim Benson, with assistance from Noel Hastalis all along the way.
Wednesday April 21st finally arrived and saw our members rolling in – some driving here and some flying here. We treated them to perfect South Carolina weather for the entire meet – as delightful as at any meet ever!

Our host hotel was the Greenville Marriott, with the Hospitality Room located off the parking lot. Letter Cars rolled in from IN (Bill’s and Will Bell’s G), MI (John Begian’s G), OH (John Rebolj’s Hurst), PA (Tony Rinaldi’s F), NC (Mick and Martha Kreszock’s B and Mike Sabbagh’s B. Mike’s B suffered brake issues so only joined us Thursday), FL (John’ Goodknight’s ’55, Marshall Goodknight’s ’55, and Marshall Larson’s F), and OK (Rob Kern’s C) – 10 in all. Also, other older interesting Mopars joined – Spanky Cox’s ’36 Dodge Bros. pickup truck from IL, Tom Cox’s ’38 Imperial restomod roadster from SC, Al MacDonald’s ’60 Windsor station wagon from PA, Dave and Kya Mason's 62 300 Sport coupe from VA, John Grady’s and Kathleen Camerano’s ’67 Dart convertible from MA, Kevin Adams’ ’68 New Yorker hardtop from SC, and Ralph Rhees’ 70 300 coupe from IN.

Thursday morning, we headed over to visit Paul and Dinky Ianuario and experience Paul’s eclectic collection of cars, memorabilia and ‘who’s who’ photo collection. Paul’s Brass Era classics included his 1908 1-cylinder Cadillac, 1910 Chalmers Detroit, a bright yellow 1912 Hudson ‘Mile-a-Minute’ Speedster and his unique locally-built 1920 Anderson Six Convertible Roadster that he drives regularly. The Hudson had its rear axle off, while its rear end was in process of rebuild. Paul fascinated us with his never-ending stories, such as weekly lunches with David Pearson and Cotton Owens, and racing stories with Bill ‘Grumpy’ Jenkins. As a highly respected judge at Concours events across the U.S., Paul has narrowed his participation to judging at Amelia Island and Hilton Head, passing on his participation in more distant Concours, as far away as Pebble Beach. Paul is a real automotive treasure. We found it hard to leave Paul’s, but our group headed over to Mutts BBQ for a delicious barbecue lunch. Guaranteed, no one waddled out of Mutts hungry! After lunch, the afternoon was open for folks to explore Greenville on their own.

Early evening, we convened in the meeting room to see a presentation by Dave and Cheryl Mihalko, proprietors of Quirey Quality Design Co. Dave and Cheryl spoke about their purchase of much of Gary Goers’ parts inventory, to improve on Gary’s production processes, to support our Letter Cars and other classic Mopars by continuing to supply these parts and to consider expanding some of their parts offerings. They discussed the supply chain and materials issues they’ve been suffering through, of which we’ve all been hearing ad nauseum on newscasts and personally dealing with in our daily lives. The old question was asked “When will you be issuing your new catalog?” and answered – Quirey is a small company, concentrating on its core business, and has no plans to take on this time-consuming catalog-updating task. We’re asked to keep ordering, referring to Gary Goers’ Catalog #10. Of course, the prices have been revised upward. Continue calling Quirey, Mondays through Thursdays, place your orders, and conveniently pay with your credit card.

After our meeting with Dave and Cheryl, we sat in for our Business Meeting. We welcomed first-time meet attendees - John and Cindy Guarneri (NH) who own a 300-G, Randy Edison (WY) who owns a 300-F, Kevin Adams (SC) who owns a 300-G, Ron and Tracy Klinczar (NY) who own a ’55 300 and Bill and Will Bell (IN) who brought their 300-G coupe. Minutes of this meeting are provided in our upcoming Chrysler 300 Club News Greenville meet issue.

Friday morning rolled around and we headed over to the nearby BMW Assembly Plant. Situated on a huge 2,100-acres of land, we toured the plant that builds the X3 sport utility vehicle and X4 sport activity vehicle. No photos allowed, but we enjoyed the walking tour of this facility – the oldest of all the assembly plants in this huge BMW complex. Photos were allowed in the lobby area of this building. Here’s an Isetta convertible:
After lunch, the afternoon was open for meet attendees to explore the Greenville area or convene in the hotel parking lot to talk Letter Cars.

Saturday morning was a busy one, with cars being cleaned for our Peoples’ Choice Car Show at co-host Jim Benson’s CDJR dealership complex. Jim’s personal collection includes several Letter Cars and Forward Look Cars, but he chose to display his survivor 1951 Shoebox Ford. The show was very well attended, with local Mopar Club members, all our attendee cars, plus a 300-L coupe that showed up, owned by Richard Beckham, who renewed his lapsed Club membership. These Mopars really glistened under the sunny blue sky.

From the Car Show, we cruised over to Hennie and Yvonne Jacobs’ who hosted us at their wonderful rural complex to ogle over their collection of cars and a wonderful lunch of hotdogs and burgers. As with Paul, Hennie is another automotive treasure, with a never-ending trail of fascinating car stories. Well known in DeSoto circles he and Yvonne have driven to many national DeSoto Club meets in their ’59 DeSoto. Hennie has been rebuilding automatic transmissions of classics, including Packards, for 60+ years. Emigrating to the U.S. from South Africa, Hennie expressed his deep gratitude for the USA. Just before lunch our group gathered together, faced our US Flag, recited our Pledge of Allegiance, and Hennie said a prayer for all. Hennie’s beautiful cars were real eye candy – a ’56 New Yorker St. Regis in Hunter Green over Cloud White over Surf Green, ’58 white/gray/light green DeSoto sedan, ’59 white/light blue DeSoto Sedan, ’55 blue/white Plymouth Belvedere convertible, ‘56 black/white/red Dodge station wagon, ’55 black/white/yellow Dodge Coronet coupe, ’62 red/white Valiant sedan, ’29 cream/green Dodge Brothers roadster, ’56 white/gray/pink Dodge Custom Royal sedan, early ‘50s brown Dodge Wayfarer sedan, ’34 beige/brown Plymouth sedan. A notable non-Mopar was Hennie’s ’56 Continental Mark II undergoing restoration – in a deep blue, this was one of two Mark IIs built exclusively for, and shipped directly to, the Paris Auto Show.

Back to our hotel for a quick shower and change of clothes, and then back to Jim Benson’s CDJR dealer complex, where our Awards Banquet was being held in his Fiat dealership. Before the Banquet we had plenty of time to tour Jim’s impressive auto collection. Jim’s Letter Cars on display – Platinum ’55 300, Tango Red ’55 300 with a racing jacket hanging on its rear coat hook autographed by Tim Flock, ’60 Alaskan White 300-F convertible and ’61 Mardi Gras Red 300-G coupe. Other Mopars included a ’36 red/dark red Chrysler Airstream C7 Rumble Seat Convertible, ’59 white Sport Fury convertible, ’60 black Fury coupe, ’57 black/coral Custom Royal convertible, and a “period correct” showroom of four 1954 Plymouth Belvederes – 1 of each ’54 body style – San Gabriel Green convertible, San Leandro Ivory/San Diego Gold coupe, San Pedro Blue 2-door station wagon and black/coral 4-door sedan – with sale brochures in a rack, showroom wall posters, neon sign, accessories rack with accessories including a wire Motor Wheel. Several other sweet ‘50s cars, including ’57 red/white Ford Skyliner, ’55 blue/white Mercury Montclair convertible, ’57 white/red Fuelie Pontiac Bonneville convertible, ’57 yellow Mercury Turnpike Cruiser convertible, ’51 yellow Mercury convertible, ’54 maroon Buick Skylark convertible, ’60 red Pontiac Bonneville convertible, ’56 coral/black Ford Sunliner convertible, ’50 black Olds 2-door Sedanette and ’58 light blue Chevy Impala convertible.

Filling up Jim Benson’s Fiat dealership, we enjoyed a dinner catered by Mutts BBQ, final visits with our fellow Club friends, chatting about the fun we had here in Greenville, and Letter Car experiences in general. Thank yous and awards were announced by John Begian. And, a first in recent memory, no Hard Luck Award was granted – Good News for everyone who drove their Letter Cars to Greenville. Then it was the final meet ritual of turning in our lanyards for use by Rob Kern, co-host of the Fall ’22 meet in Pasadena.

Sunday morning, the Marriott’s parking lot was again vacant, as everyone had headed for home.

Thanks to everyone who assisted in making this meet a success!

Photo credits: Bill Elder, Jamie Hyde, Mick Kreszock, Noel Hastalis, Dave & Kya Mason, Jeff Miklas, Bob Merritt, Gloria Moon, Frank Newhouse, Mark Obermann, Tony Rinaldi, Caroll Ripley, Don Warnaar and Joe Williams.

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