Chrysler 300 Club International
Spring Meet in Rohnert Park, CA

May, 2018

This was my first Chrysler 300 meet. With a young family, a consulting business to run and ranch animals that need care and feeding each morning and evening, I have never made it to a Chrysler 300 meet. I have met a lot of Chrysler 300 Club members virtually so I thought I would be the "somebody" and organize a meet. Thankfully, Larry Jett stepped up to co-chair, Bob Merritt did the publicity and Noel Hastalis handled the registration and accounting. I've always heard, come for the cars and stay for the people and without their effort, the meet would never have come off. Everyone who came to the meet was friendly and pitched right in whenever help was needed. Each night after hanging out at the meet hotel, I ran home to see my family and help with the animals and then rush back the next morning for that day's events.

Tuesday was the first full day of the meet and we took a tour bus to the Academy of Art collection in San Francisco. They have a varied collection but the highlight of the collection to me is the 30s classics. My personal favorite is the black 35 or 36 Auburn boat tail speedster. The black sets off the exterior exhaust from the superchargers and the art deco trim details. On the way back we stopped at the vista point with stunning views of the Golden Gate bridge, Alcatraz, San Francisco and the Bay Bridge that connects San Francisco to Oakland. Rob Kern hosted Letter Car Jeopardy on Tuesday night dressed in a tux. It was an impressively well done event and I was happy that I knew the answers to at least some of the questions. I had reread Robert Ackerson's Chrysler 300 book prior to the meet and it had answers to many of the obscure questions.

Wednesday was the coastal tour. Coastal weather is always unpredictable, but May is a good bet. We had absolutely perfect weather for our drive through the redwoods and the coastal driving tour. My favorite part of the meet was touring the redwoods and coast and seeing 20 or more 300s and Imperials in the rearview mirror winding down the coast with passengers playing musical chairs between the various cars. We stopped at Goat Rock at the mouth of the Russian River and had warm sand underfoot and blue sky with white puffy clouds. We headed South down Highway 1 following the Pacific coast to the fishing harbor in Bodega Bay where we stopped for more stunning views and split up for fresh seafood lunch. We regrouped and then headed further south following Tomales Bay and eyeing Pt Reyes National Seashore across narrow bay. After that, we turned inland on empty ranch roads and toured some of the most beautiful and remote ranching communities in the highly populated Bay Area. We arrived at my ranch within 5 minutes of our scheduled time for a barbeque with meat raised on our ranch. We had more time to admire the great cars on the tours and peruse the cars in my collection. My collection is nothing if not eclectic ranging from 40s art deco cab over trucks to Corvettes to 4 decades of Studebakers to 30s Packards to lots of big fin cars, including Forward Look Mopars.

Thursday was the inland winery tour. The weather was sunny as well and everyone took in wineries at their own pace. Our group stopped at Ferrari Carrano first and then went to Francis Ford Coppola's winery for lunch and snuck in one more car feature, a Tucker on a rotisserie. The alternative tour that day was a run to John Fowlie's Big M Mopar junkyard in Williams. We got back just in time to wipe down our cars for the car show.

I hope to make it other events in future, but encourage all my new 300 friends to come visit the ranch again when they return to the San Francisco Bay area. At the next meet I make, I hope to bring my 300G convertible that I purchased from Sweden and will be bringing back to the States. In 1986, it left sunny Stockton about 100 miles from where I live and journeyed to Sweden. It will make it the round trip and end up right near where it started.

Our meet hosts

Katy and Sam Cohen

Photos: Scott Dejka, Noel Hastalis, Rich Hardy, Jamie Hyde, Martha and Mick Kreszock, Mark Love, Gloria Moon, Mark and Matthew Obermann,
Kai Rentmeister, Steve Simon.

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