is Mountain Glory? It was a 300 meet that traveled on mountain tops,
underground caves and milled around in parking lots. A few anxious
300 “Nuts” even showed up on Wednesday. It appears that
this early group’s aim was to be fully rested up for Thursday’s
full day of activities. The activity consisted of standing around in
the parking lot all day and looking at 300s rolling in from all over
the place. This is actually the best part of a meet and the worst is
watching them roll out on Sunday. To aid in 300 watching, gabbing
and telling some really great stories there was a keg of beer to help
keep one’s throat at peak performance. Looking out at the lot
at 6:00 pm on Thursday, you could see a sea of 300s with milling,
smiling, laughing and sometimes serious talkers and listeners. At
this meet we were fortunate to have our very own rear parking lot all
to ourselves (with the exception of one lone couple, who’s
advanced age and poor health kept us from doing any nasty tricks).
They did graciously remove their Brand X car and leave the lot
exclusively to us. We did, however, supply a few of our own Brand X
cars, though Don and Pat Cole can be forgiven because they carried
the generic club t-shirts (49 left and available through the club
store now) with them from Massachusetts. Ray and Jo Ann Jones
brought a Chrysler van in addition to their Hurst from Maryland and
the van was allowed to park with us. In fact, it was welcomed since
those two carried the “Club Keg” (with sodas and munchies
too). We also had a fly-in from California, Larry Jett. His
complimentary Chrysler car was tolerated, but never the less he tried
to ditch the car on Saturday.
bunch of 300s threw mechanical fits, on and off, during the entire
meet. Lots of mechanical know-how and parts were required. 300s
being good cars that they are, were, for the most part, accommodating
in their location of break down, most making it into the parking lot.
Some were really rotten though and just did not want to come. Gil
and Carol Cunningham’s freshly rebuilt 300H convertible engine
balked as did Gary Hagy’s 300c convertible. At least Gary made
17 miles towards the meet before turning back with a bad water pump.
Bill and Bev Spear trailered their black 300C and pulled out the lawn
chairs, cranked down the awning and really seemed to enjoy
themselves. They also had the dubious honor of carting around the
empty keg the remainder of the weekend. Dudley and Maxine
Finneyfrock, with their immaculate Hurst, made meet history by
crossing from one side of the parking lot to the other side in under
an hour with some of the best obstacles thrown in their way. Always
a pleasure to see and boasting of his almost 78 years of age was Lew
Fraser. Lew is a club institution by now and a meet is always extra
special with his arrival. As dependable as rain at a 300 meet, Vern
and Helen Graber and 300K were there. Vern’s K misbehaved and
Don Cole put it to rights. How a little old fan belt could take up
so much time and cause so much trouble is a mystery only to those
non-Mopar people. Another “Always there” meet couple,
Adolph and Marge Rebolj didn’t disappoint us. Frank and Gladys
Moran’s K was not back from the shop as promised, but you could
count on them being there, Brand X or not. Marlin Thyer also showed
up. His Dad was supposed to come with him, but went to the races
instead. Those Arkansas cars are made of strong stuff. Don Verity
brought along his F pictures along with his Imperial and thankfully,
his mechanical know-how. Thanks Don!
had some Canadians come as well. Bob Crawford brought his nice 300H,
Greg and Sue Leggatt came in a Brand X. No, we don’t believe
that it was their first meet. Bill and Louise Elder, early arrivals
with another problem K. Battery and water problems didn’t slow
them down though. Gabe Knapp came with his 300G. After driving all
that way, Gabe entered his car into concours and Bill Elder judged
it. Sure, it’s a long drive to get together, when you live in
the same Province. Caravanning together was Candy Bryant and Bill
Worden in Candy’s H and Billy Korbel and Marge Paradise and son
in Lady G as she is known. Jerry Kocur had to be forced to park his
300K convertible in “our” parking lot. He was still
miffed with the F. He had the F running and had driven it for a few
weeks to shake out any problems. Just hours before the meet the
starter hung, so the K was gassed up and driven to the meet instead.
More New Yorkers (not cars) showed up. Bruce Brownell brought his C
and bunches of people. John Bertz parked his four-wheel drive away
from the lot, but was welcome to walk over to our side. Paul Youngs
brought his G and his sense of humor too. He parked his red G next
to this funny blue F. Sure was a contrast in colors. Seriously Dave
and Carolyn Schwandt’s very correct Polar Blue F is a beauty.
He received the Long Distance and Hard Luck Awards with it and we
wonder if the F carries a black cloud along with it. On route, they
gassed up the F, pulled out of the station, flipped up one of those
large metal storage tank covers breaking the manifold, messing up the
steering sector and column and in general messing up a good time.
Still made it though! Len Astroth brought his F from Missouri and
entered it in concours. Nice drive, nice car! Jeff and Leslie
Miklas brought their Hurst, but no kids this time. (We suspect they
enjoyed themselves, a lot). Tom and Marie Trexler brought a Brand X.
(A Brand X is any car, even a new Imperial, that doesn’t have
300 and a letter hung on it). At the meet, they got carried away and
agreed to host a meet in 1993. It will be in the Philly area.
south was well accounted for. Tom Turner trailered his very unusual
300F four-speed convertible with a nifty Little Red Express truck.
Carl Kreps and his son brought the L convertible. It had starting
problems, which the roving backyard and professional mechanics seemed
to have fixed good enough for him to drive around. Virginia showed
up in force in support of a national meet in their home state.
Darrin Bailey brought his L and fell in love with the black C. Bill
Lindley, Keith Henry, Rich Connor and Leon and Jeanne Mullis rounded
out the Virginia contingent. Leon’s H is a sort of one owner
car. His parents bought it brand new. Leon started restoring the
car in the parking lot the day after concours.
Michigan mob was in force. Jack and Marlou Wiltse drove their
beautiful Sandalwood Beige 300D. Eleanor and “Leadfoot”
Riehl flew down in the J. Ken and Anne Mack drove the C convert.
Jim and Andrea Krausmann came in a shopping cart. Andrea is one of
the “Shop till you drop group” along with Sue Leggatt,
Louise Elder and a few others. Jo Ann Jones chauffeured a few to the
local outlet malls. Mike and Linda Burke came in the yellow F. It
didn’t want to leave the mountains and broke down in the
National Forest – another water pump problem. Fortunately,
George had a spare with him and it was quickly replaced in the
Mikonis brought his new G. Andy is apprenticing as a judge. It’s
good to get in some new blood. David Geise is starting the
restoration of his C. He came without it. Chris Frederick’s F
couldn’t make it either. Chris brought a huge picture of his F
along with him so he wouldn’t feel too lonely. Jerry
Frederick, his Dad (and a 300L owner) came too. Scott Kettering
brought his black C. Looks better every time. You can tell, he’s
always making improvements. Bill and Rose Dahms brought there
trailered beautiful 300B along with gobs of family and lawn chairs
too. Don Warnaar drove another Brand X; can you believe it? But I
guess it was wise not to test drive the L to school. Just what some
high school hot rods need is the Principal’s pride and joy.
Tom and Bea Gorse came in their truck, but bought a new 300 Ram K
convert on the way home. Hope to see it soon. Two young L
restorers, Lloyd Geib and Mike Knabel, brought the L that they had
just restored for its owner. Frank Riedelbach brought pictures of
his two 300H convertibles. He has quite a restoration project in
store for him. We’re always glad to see someone save a 300.
Jerry Heard and Jay Slobowick, two more Pennsylvanians, came. Gil
Boucher, another New Englander, made it. Mark Rayner just made it.
Good thing too, as his judging expertise was needed. Burt Tyler came
with his black G and partner in crime, Carol. Another late arrival
was Bruce and Rose Paul in their ’66 300 convertible –
red of course. Ron Chuchola and Scottie made it to concours day.
Other late arrivals were Rick Chapin, a 300D owner with a very
unusual taste in hats. Chic and Nancy Kramer dropped in on concours
day and stayed through Sunday. They drove an Imperial.
McTaggart was seen bouncing around in another Brand X. McT is our
next meet host. One just has to wonder where all the effervescence
comes from. Robert and Rose Young brought that lovely silver E
convertible. Robert always makes his presence known by opening the
trunk on all of those parts. Lastly the meet hosts, Allan and Gloria
Moon decided to show up in Thirsty Hurst-y.
cast of characters and their Beautiful Brutes ended up the Thursday
gab and gulp with the traditional cop raid. The local cops were
disappointed to find just old cars and a few late nighters in the
parking lot. The parking lot brigade was entertained by watching the
cops dragging the orange pylons around under their car, during the
a break with tradition, most of this crew went to Luray Caverns.
This was considered a refreshing pause from the business of talking
and bragging. Much as a dog marks his boundaries, our club president
once again left layers of the J’s tires in the Virginia hills
to mark his presence. We did heartily enjoy this episode and we
believe that each new club president should leave his mark on the
marque! Maybe we should rewrite the constitution. After the sedate
caravan down to Luray, many toured the Sky Line Drive on the way
back. Every meet must have rain. Ours came very briefly on Friday
night, just in time to mess all the cars up for concours day.
Luckily it came when most of us were in the busines meeting. The
business meeting was a short, nice, with nearly everyone
participating meeting. Were we tired of talking or no microphone or
was it Carol Cunningham’s threats to keep the meeting short?
As a curiosity, Lew Frazer produced the gas receipt for the 300 he
drove to the first meet in Holly, Michigan, in 1970. The virtually
insignificant amount that he paid, reminded us of an era gone by.
How things have changed!
Thompson, owner of White Post Restorations has a great place for a
concours. He had tours of the facility and provide all we needed for
judging the cars. Two new firsts were tried at this concours, a Blue
Grass Band, Red & Murphy and the Mystery Parts Contest. The band
was absolutely terrific. While the parts contest, band and picnic
tables were in the shade, the judges and concours entrants got to
sweat the day away in the sun. Judging has to be the most demanding
and unrewarding job around. We want to thank Gil Cunningham, Terry
Mctaggart, Mark Rayner, Jim Krausmann, Jeff Miklas, Burt Tyler, Don
Cole, George Riehl, Bruce Brownell, and trainee judges, Len Astroth,
Scott Kettering, Andy Mikonis and Bill Elder. As always, these guys
did a terrific job. It is not, nor has it ever been fun to tell
someone that their prize possession is less than perfect. We also
have to congratulate the concours entrants for keeping the true
spirit of the event. It really hurts, when you are told that your
beautiful Brute is not perfect after all. It is to your credit as a
group (concours entrants) that no duels or affairs of honor were
fought, no judges were hanged and no prisoners taken. As a further
credit to this group, they take their 300 home, shine it up, replace
parts, correct faults. Repaint, remove paint, all in hopes of elusive
perfection. And so, it goes. As ever, after the concours came the
banquet. It was an agreeable surprise to all, that the food was more
like a 4-star restaurant than “banquet food”. Even had
the chef carving a huge sirloin of beef. Trophies were awarded and
the winner of the Mystery Parts Contest was Gil Cunningham. Gosh,
maybe the chief judge knows something after all. This evening, many
did not go back to the parking lot. Since it was late and rainy, we
went back into the hospitality room. Sunday, the day to leave, was
dragged out as long as possible. But we did indeed finally leave.
We left behind five inches of rain and flash floods that covered the
area, just a few days later. Lucky? You bet!
the following people, this meet would not have been any fun for the
meet hosts. Those people are: Ron Chuchola copied all the agendas
and meet information; Don Cole oversaw production of the generic
T-shirts; Ray Jones procured a spot for the gab and gulp session; Jo
Ann Jones provided shuttle service for the Outlet Mall shoppers
(shop-till-they- droppers); Brian Wolfe did all the meet advertising
in the national and Mopar magazines. The Washington D.C. Times and
Winchester Star newspapers wrote up huge articles on the meet and our
cars. Many of the crowd at the concours (and we had a large crowd)
were there due to these publications. Luray Caverns also published
our meet in a very nice release. The Luray newspaper, News-Record,
sent a reporter to interview George in the Luray Caverns parking lot.
Clarke Dodge of Winchester supplied hats and polishing cloths as
door prizes during the banquet. Dave Schwandt (Obsolete Parts Inc.)
also provided a door prize. Mystery Parts were brought by Robert
Young, Bruce Brownell, George Riehl, Gil Cunningham and Allan and
Gloria Moon. Billy Thompson and the White Post Restoration
facilities have to be thanked again for providing a beautiful setting
and great logistics. Bill Lindley was our volunteer car parker on
concours day. (Bill was the guy with the huge pointing hand, when
you drove in.) In an effort to allow Eleanor some time away from the
hospitality room, volunteers Tom and Marie Trexler, Bill and Bev
Spear, Don and Pat Cole and a few other warm bodies in the right
place at the wrong time were sincerely appreciated. Jo Ann Jones ran
the 50/50 draw used to defray the band costs and Bert Tyler, acutely,
Carol took home nearly $100.00.
GLORY is now history but, there is history in the making. So, we can
take heart and do it all over again at another time and another
place. This is good!
1st Place Tom Turner 300F
cvt 950.5 points
2nd Place Billy
Korbel 300G cpe 848 points
II 2nd Place Bill Spear 300C cpe 797 points
III Ribbon Paul Youngs 300G cpe 674 points
Knapp 300G cpe 652 points
Astroth 300F cpe 636.5 points
Mullis 300H cpe 475 points
IV 2nd Place Chuck Matthews 300Lcpe 764.5 points
Bailey 300L cpe 618 points
Place Dudley Finneyfrock 852 points
Miklas 681 points
Choice – Billy Korbel – 300G
Distance – Dave Schwandt – 300F - Earlville, Iowa, 970
Luck – Dave Schwandt – 300F – broken manifold
at Winchester, Virginia
Bill Dahms. 300C: Scott Kettering, Bruce Brownell, Bill Spear, Ken
Mack (cvt). 300D: Jack Wiltse. 300E: Robert Young (cvt). 300F: Tom
Turner (cvt), Len Astroth, Michael Burke, Dave Schwandt. 300G: Gabe
Knapp, Andy Mikonis, Billy Korbel, Paul Youngs, Bert Tyler. 300H:
Leon Mullis, Bob Crawford, Candy Bryant. 300J: George Riehl. 300K:
Vern Graber, Jerry Kocur (cvt), Bill Elder (cvt). 300L: Carl Kreps
(cvt), Darrin Bailey, Chuck Matthews. 300 Hurst: Alan Moon, Ray
Jones, Jeff Miklas, Dudley Finneyfrock. ’63 300 Mark Rayner.
’66 300 Bruce Paul
Thanks to Bill Elder for typing this article for the web