A dedicated enthusiast of the Chrysler 300 Letter Cars, John passed away after a long illness. A man with many friends, here are some of their thoughts:
I am very sorry to report that I received a phone call from Dave Clelland, informing me that John Hertog passed away. Apparently his condition had deteriorated over the past couple of weeks, and his system simply could not take it any more.
The club has lost a very dear and valuable member, and we have all lost a dear, dear friend. I know our best wishes and sympathies go to his family and to Helen.
John will be cremated, as this was his wish. Services will be held Sunday at the Yardley and Pino Funeral Home in Sag Harbor N.Y. Phone # 631-725-0251. The home is located on RT.114 in Sag Harbor. Services will be held on Sunday July 13 between the hours of 4pm to 6pm. Donations of flowers or offerings have not been decided as yet. As these decisions are made, I will inform the club. His mother, who is 85, and is his only living relative, as you can imaging, is very distraught and no decisions about Johns property will be made for some time. I'm sure we all will miss John and all his knowledge and spirit.
Devastating news to all of us, John was just the best.
Martha K in NC
Tis a sad moment to start out what can be a nice weekend!
I always thought John certainly embodied the true crux of what we should be to one another, not only as car people, but as people.
I have no right to say I knew him well, but I feel as though I did, and that he knew me. It will be a weekend of reminiscing about a good person gone too soon.
He always was willing to give and share thoughts and parts and whatever you needed to get through any problem you might be experiencing with your project.
He will be missed.
Listen John, my heart is talking to you. Our friendship was short but sweet. Thank you for all the memories of the times we shared together, from patrolling wrecking yards, to visiting the Grand Ole Opry house, to getting lost trying to find the drag strip in Dayton in your G. I will never ever forget you. Remember, I was going to will my 300F to you. I really wanted you to have it.
As you begin your eternal journey John, remember one thing, walk slowly down that long, long path, for someday soon, you'll hear me call your name.
God bless you John.
This is a great loss.
Maybe we can do some kind of memorial to John at Chrysler's at Carlisle which is coming this weekend.
Sorry to hear about this. Our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family.
For many years I've had the honor to say I had two brothers named John. Could anyone ask for a better person to clear the path. I'll be looking for those "G" tail lites thru' the swirling dust someday Pal. 'Til then, God Speed.
I never met John - the closest I came to knowing him even just even one little bit more, was him contacting me and suggesting I could pre pay my (overseas) 300 Membership a few years in advance, as it was going up, and this would save me some money.
Today's news is a real, so unfair, undeserved kick in the guts for him personally, and those untold many who knew him and clearly hold special feelings for him, and treasured his company and friendship.
There are no words to explain the wrongness of him losing the fight he put up -life can often be so cruel beyond explanation or reason.
At least nothing can stop those remembering the many happy/special times he spent with you who knew him, and his loved 300s - and clearly anyone reading this website for even a brief time cannot avoid how big the person/man John was.
Christopher - an overseas member who often feels uncomfortable re not being a real/proper US '300 Member', but one John encouraged to stay on as one nonetheless.
If there is somewhere we go afterwards, may John be where he can own whatever 300 (or other cars) he likes, as many as he wants, gas is 105 octane and free, speed cops are there only to book slow and dangerous drivers, and he always has any friends or company he likes to be with, and go wherever and whenever he wants.
Christopher Beilby, Australia
It is indeed a sad day in the 300 Community. We have lost a dear friend who was about the most devoted Chrysler 300 enthusiast out there. John lived and breathed 300s, and was always willing to share his knowledge with anyone. He was a very giving person who would go out of his way to help in any way he could. As one of the three people on the Electronics Communications Committee (ECC), I got to know John from a different perspective. He was the one who first taught me the basics of web editing. There again, he graciously (and patiently) would help whenever I needed it. His legacy will live on in the many contributions he has made to the Club website.
John will be missed by his family, his friends, and by his many extended-family friends in the Chrysler 300 Club International. We mourn over his passing, but we should rejoice in the positive influence he has had in our lives. We are all the richer for it. He will live on in our memories. Happy 300ing, John.
As an overseas member, I never met John, but I clearly recall how quick he was to respond to my plea for assistance a few years back, on the 300 List Server, when I requested help with repairing or sourcing a replacement brake servo booster for my 300L. He was very helpful, and even offered to get mine rebuilt in the USA if I couldn't source a replacemnt. I judged John by his response to my plight, and reading his comments and articles in the club magazine and on the list server, and based on those measurements, he was a true gentleman.
Farnborough, Hants, England
My memories of John are many and varied. Without knowing, he made each and every person he met in person or otherwise feel very special.....like he was your only "buddy". A simple guy with a keen sense of humor and his love of speed in no matter what he drove....cars of any species, boats, water sports, lawn mowers - anything that took him from one point to another was his core delight like a little boy riding his first bike without fear of getting hurt. His knowledge of 300s is legendary. Every part of that automobile was filed away in his phenomenal mind. It extended into his wide world of auto mechanics. If it had 4 wheels, he made it his specialty.
As with many others, I was fortunate to tap into his sharp brain in the cyber field. He was my mentor in the 'http' and .com world a few years back with the webpage for the other Chrysler 300 Club (Inc) in the West.
John and my husband, Gerry, (another 300 guru) spent many long hours solving a myriad of problems no matter what the field of interest was. Gerry also left us early 5 years ago. They are now in good company with each other and many others in that big 300 garage in the sky, cruising around and having a peaceful and pain-free time.
Last year in August I had the pleasure of a whirlwind visit with John and saw a small part of his life in Sag Harbor before his health started to deteriorate. We visited Jack Buttino and Bob Merritt in up-state New York and had a memorable time. (The lawn mower part is true and fresh in my memory as I watched him mow his back lawn.)
John's legend lives on. Our lives have been enriched with having known such a unique person with a big heart.
Keep those lanes open, John and Gerry, and watch that speed!
Sierra Vista, AZ
It was one of the first message I read this morning when I opened my web mail and this couldn't be a more sad opening of the day !! John helped me when I need a shipping to France, John helped me when I wanted to renew my subscription to the club. Merci John pour tout ce que tu as fait pour les "300 letters", merci John pour ton dévouement.
Philippe Courant, France
Sadly hello to all,
I have a loss for words. I knew John was sick but really somehow NEVER expected this! Me and Giselle had a good conversation with John at the Tahoe meet. I am deeply saddened but now have to go on with my new family. As of 9:07 Tuesday morning I became a father for the first time to a baby girl (Lorelei)....uh, for anyone interested. Love you all and take care!!
Sincerely, Brandt & Giselle Jimerson
I only met him once and remembered him well for being a very friendly person.
He took care of me and a friend when we where visiting him as if we had known him for years.
At that time he was taking us on a cruise in the Hampton area and showed us an enormous house by the Atlantic ocean that he was watching for a friend.
That was also the place where he had winter stored his G and Newport 61 with stick he later sold.
It is seldom you meet someone like him and therefore it is very sad to hear that he lost this fight.
See you on the other side John.
What a delight it was to spend time with John. His enthusiasm for the letter cars was such a treat. When John flew out to California to photograph my car from top to bottom, we had a great time and I am so glad I insisted he drive my F. At first he didn't want to because of its low mileage, but to me it is a car to be enjoyed and shared with people like John. And he delighted in it, something I will always remember. Researchers say that the most content people are those that really get "into" what they are doing, so I guess John just used up his allotment early in life. For those of us left behind, we are saddened at his passing, but far richer for having known him. Via con Dios John.
Sorry John ,You will be Missed.
Rose and I had the pleasure of talking to you at many of the 300 Club Meets that we attended. We also enjoyed being with you at your annual Sag Harbor picnic and the more recent brunch in Carteret, NJ. Your interest and enthusiasm toward our 300's and the Club membership will always stand out in our minds. Your efforts in trying to get gather members together between Meets will not be forgotten.
You will always be remembered, but never replaced.
Rose & Bruce Paul
Cherry Hill, NJ
He was a charming gentleman and I am better for having known him.
I never met John personally but I had talked to him several years ago when I started restoring my '63 300. He suggested that I continue the search for the often hard to find parts. He was the only one who encouraged me to join the 300 Club ; that even though I didn't have a "letter car", that a 300 that was still road worthy was a 300, no matter what it's VIN number was. We talked at length about our cars and it was truly apparent to me that he LOVED the 300's dearly. My thoughts and prayers go out to his Mom and the rest of his family. May you have smooth sailing with your 300 and I hope that we meet someday across the bridge !!
Shelley in VA
When come to think about it, it ain´t all that surprising that the big man upstairs does call (TOO) early for those amongst us that makes a true difference. Just imagine what a great bunch of people he´s gathered already and John Hertog will be one of those that will fit in just perfectly.
The world has become so much smaller with the help of internet and John gladly and patiently guided both me and others over here through the winding details of 300 d:s but also in personal matters in every day life. What a great friend although we never came to meet in person. Always helpful and I sure appreciated both when John shared some words of wisdom from his own experiences in life when I experienced some rough times a few years back. It did help and those words, sentences (“Always put I over E” and “Look at the facts only” for those who already know about this) , are still helpful to me. Thanks John, but also I´m grateful for the confidence in return when you shared your own thoughts with me when things didn´t progress to your liking last spring.
John; I´m sad we never got the chance to meet in person and that we never got around to have you here in Scandinavia (MOPAR land outside of the US) as our beloved guest. I know you had a permanent invitation also from others than me. I´m sure we would have had a great time as friends and with the common interest in the 300 d;s in particular and cars in general. Remember I promised you a trip in the French built Matra Bagheera 3-seater? I´ll be thinking about you the next time I´ll take a ride in it. You´ll be missed.
All we can do now is to remember all the good things about you and try to adopt to as much of it as possible. Always trying to be helpful to others, no matter what´s the reason. As I came to know you, you were indeed a great, great guy. Thank you John.
My sincere regards
Ulf Larsson, Sweden
I am sitting at my computer, reading all these mails concerning John but I can't hardly believe this very sad news. He had a long-time illness but no one could expect such an end.
We already had to suffer from the loss of our dear Eleanor, this is another terrible loss for our club !
I had never met him but we were in touch together since 1998 when I got a call from him after I had placed an ad in the Club News for parts. Who was this guy talking French so perfectly on the phone? He was such a nice guy, very knowledgeable in 300s of course but I will remember from him is his devotion towards club members. As if he had not enough to do with his own cars, he still had time to help other members. He was just incredible.
I still keep in mind all he had to do to get me parts for my power steering box when all rebuilders refused to sell parts separately. Like many others, I also ot parts from him. He could buy parts in lots, for his own needs but also for the club members benefit, at fair prices. We must be quite a few international members to have bought parts from him.
We always used to talk or write in French together, he enjoyed it, he said it was a kind of exercise for him, but he didn't need to, his French was perfect.His real firstname was "Jean", a French first name that he had to change into "John" in USA. I called him "Jean" ! I can't believe I will never be in touch with him again !
I know US club members will pay him the last tribute he deserves ! As for us overseas, we will think about him, about Helen and all his friends and relatives.
Well, Jean, you make me feel really sad today !
Wow, I'm surprised and saddened to read of John's passing. I think back to all the enjoyable conversations we had and email correspondence in the 10 years that I knew him, and realize that our Club has lost a significant member. I wasn't expecting this, I felt confident he would get better and return to the fold after his recovery. I guess it just wasn't meant to be.
I thought I was a 300 enthusiast until I met John, he defined the meaning of the words. He was so dedicated to helping people enjoy their cars, was very unselfish in doing so, always willing to lend a hand. I remember one of my last conversations with him. After many years of procrastination I decided to write to Gil to find out where my car was originally sold, because I had heard from the previous owner that is was driven from New York to California in the early '60s. When I found out that my car was sold new in Staten Island New York, I emailed John asking if he knew of the dealership. I no sooner sent the email off to him and my phone rang, it was John wanting to chat about my G convert and its origins from a town he was very familiar with. "Sometimes it's best to talk", he said, "Email can only do so much".
Remember when John submitted an application to be on a reality TV show that would pay for the cost of doing an activity based on the applicants wish, that they would film it and put it on TV? It was about 5-6 years back, and as I recall he wanted to race his '62 300, and did a significant write up on where he would race it, the amount it would cost, how it would be structured etc. His application was posted on the promoter's site, along with others, and John encouraged the Club membership to vote for him to win the sponsorship. Unfortunately, he wasn't selected, although I'm sure most of us voted for him, it sure would have been a great production.
And then there are his 300 car projects. Remember "Finless" the G he bought that someone had cut the fins off of and he grafted replacements on? How about "Frankenmounts" the inexpensive way to fix bad motor mounts. And who could forget the story of "Golden"? I remember talking to him about that car right after he bought it, and discussing how odd it was that there was no factory topcoat on places where there should have been one. He was bound and determined to find out the history of the car, and through his great detective work, and some luck, we were all rewarded with a great Letter Car story, not to mention that he restored the car to be exactly like it was when new, rather than taking the easy way out and painting it a standard color.
I think we all need to keep in mind that our 300 Letter Cars are very special. They will (hopefully) all outlive us. Even though we may "own" the cars, we really are their caretakers. Our 300s will be around to amaze and delight future generations, and this is in no small part because of guys like John Hertog. God Bless John, I'll miss you.
John, thank you.
Everyone has said so many great things about John, I doubt I can come up with anything new. John was an extremely helpful individual, as many have attested. I don't think he could ever refuse anyone if it were at all in his power to assist. We had many great conversations---email and phone---trying to iron out those silly 300F wiring looms and top well configurations, among others. He was always ready to take a few pictures of the area in question and shoot them right out to me. His "F" convert was an original, so we could trust it as an authentic resource. His help was invaluable in getting my car correct. He said on several occasions that his 300F convert would be his last restoration. I wish that we could have one day parked the two next to each other. I certainly thought we would. Actually, given our relative speeds of restoration, I figured he would be done long ahead of me. There is, however. a dramatic shot, taken by Elizabeth Wieland, of my car next to his newly restored 1961 Newport 3spd at Asheville----his last Meet.
John, we have missed you on the listserver and at the meets this past year, and now, sadly, we will be missing you forever. Bye, Friend.
Members and friends,
It's hard for me to separate John from the club and from the living. He loved life and lived it with gusto. A kinder and more helpful guy would be impossible to find. One year at Carlisle I left the top down on my K while I went parts browsing. A sudden downpour sent me running to the car from the opposite end of the fairgrounds. When I got to the K, John had already put the top up and was wiping up the interior.
John loved to drive fast. The month I got my J, I drove it gently to Carlisle. John wanted to drive a bunch of us to a restaurant in it. OK, Rick let's see what she'll do.....That was some ride! Now I drive it the same way. The next morning I was stuck in the hotel parking lot cursing at the reverse push button, which would not engage. John appeared on the scene to fix the recalcitrant mechanism. I drove off with a smile. That's the kind of guy John was.
I plan on burning some hydrocarbons in Johns memory some Time Saturday, maybe even some rubber compound.
For I remember the rumble of a 300 passing us at speed on a highway when we were already cruising right at the max stated speed limit on the way home from a meet.
Please accept my most heartfelt condolences at this troubling time. Also deepest sympathy to all especially John's family and friends.
Mike and Nichole Van DerVeen
The Board for the Chrysler 300 Club International was notified of John's passing shortly after it occurred. Knowing this but not feeling that it was my position to make it public knowledge my only call was to my wife Christie. She like myself knew that the outlook was not great, but hoped for better.
Years ago I met John when he purchased a 300F coupe from California and came out to take delivery. He requested that I store the car for a short period until arrangements could be made for transportation to his home. I remember the day well as I took John to LAX for his flight home after he delivered the car to me. He seemed so appreciative that one would do something like this and I thought it was nothing as he was a friend and a club member.
As so many of you have stated his passion for Letter Cars was never ending. I always admired his ability to take a car ready for the grave and bring it back and then show up at a meet with it. Not only did he show up, but he let people drive the cars. I've put a few miles on Golden myself.
When I arrived at the meet just days after 911 John picked me up at the local airport after there was a long flight delay. He gave up time to be with club members to wait until I arrived and if that wasn't enough once at the meet he gave Larry Jett and myself the keys to his L for the entire meet.
On another occasion after the meet ended Christie and I drove to the east end of Long Island to spend the night with John. He provided a grand tour of the area and then Helen joined us for dinner which he refused to let me pay for. We stayed at his home that night and he saw us off then next morning. At that time we became aware of Helen and his passion for animals. Christie and I are both animal lovers and what we saw warmed our hearts immensely. God places a few people on earth to deal with the plight of animals and Helen and John were surely two of them.
The last time we saw John was in Ashville a couple of years ago. I think it was the last meet he attended. He didn't look good then we both thought, but we enjoyed our visit not thinking it would be the last one in person. Several phone conversations and e-mails continued until he was not able to do so.
It is tough to lose friends, but it is the way of life. We always seem to appreciate someone after they have left us. Life is very delicate and we all need to cherish it and each other while we can. I feel that John did so and he certainly made our lives richer for being in them. I know that he will be at future gatherings in spirit and enjoying it to the max, so next time you see a Letter Car flying by you John could be behind the wheel with a big smile on his face.
God bless you John, Helen and Mrs. Hertog,
John & Christie Lazenby
I was saddened to hear of John's passing at such a young age. We never met but I always enjoyed his articles on Crossram Motors. I was inspired with his story about Golden and it was about the time he finished the article was when I purchased my 300F. It inspired me to track the history of my car. I shared the info with John and he asked me to get it in story format and onto the webiste.
It was great to have corresponded with someone so passionate about these cars, He will be missed!
John was kind enough to sell "Golden" to me. During the process of purchasing the car I was fortunate enough to come to know a person best described as a "class act" who loved 300s. I, like many of you, wish I had spent more time with him.
On behalf of the Chrysler 300 Club, Inc., I would like to extend condolences on the passing of John Hertog. This is truly a sad day for 300 lovers. John was certainly an icon who can never be replaced. All who knew him casually, or more closely as I have had for the past 10+ years, have been touched by his passion and love of the Chrysler 300's. All of our lives have been enriched by these relationships. He will be sorely missed.
May you rest in peace, John, you have certainly earned it.
Bruce A. Toelle
Hello 300'ly to all,
Since receiving Pete Fitch's e-mail regarding John Hertog's passing I am amazed at how many times over the past 5 years that he touched my life. It seemed that he was the first person we would encounter upon arriving in the parking lot at a 300 Meet in the late evening hours. His friendly greeting and handshake always rejuvenated me to forget about the long journey and get with the parking lot group. Numerous times I sought John's advice on a variety of topics about my C or how to go about doing something in the club. I was very impressed with his fund of knowledge, honesty, subtlety, and diplomacy. If he didn't know about something he told you so. As a true director, he had a phenomenal knowledge of the vehicles and corporate memory of our club's history.
I remember him telling me about "Golden" and how he personally put every nut, bolt, screw and fastener together on the car but left the painting to a professional. To witness his restoration work I often wondered what criteria he regarded others as professional. His handiwork was that of a master. John's passion however was not for a G but for an F. Since he sold "Golden", I was under the impression that he was able to immerse himself in the ultimate F project. Sadly I don't think it came to fruition. Mention by various club members of a tribute to John in the form of a judging award has been made. This sounds like a fantastic idea! I would propose that there be two HERTOG AWARDS: one, for a concours judged 300 that becomes a SENIOR car in the eyes of the club , THE HERTOG AWARD ( sounds like a car collecor OSCAR, eh?) and the other would be for identifying a member of the club on an annual basis for emulating John in service to the club or fellow clubmembers, a type of distinguished service award, THE HERTOG RECIPIENT AWARD. Since John factored in not only for the cars but for the people why not create a lasting tribute that will always be queried by new members of John's great contribution to our organization?
Marnie & I extend our condolences to John's Mother and Helen. John truly defined being a GIVER in life.
What to say, soo unfair. Guess you will always be remembered in the 300 family in the US and Overseas.
John, I always enjoyed our email conversations. I will miss you friend.
Like everyone else in the Club, I was stunned by Pete's email this week regarding John's passing. John was extremely special to me. I remember my birthday surprise in March of 2001. My son, Aaron who was in college at the time, bought me a membership in the Chrysler 300 Club and made arrangements for me to visit the Detroit meet that year with my wife, Marcia. Unknown to me at the time, Aaron had been corresponding with John quite a lot and had also made arrangements for me to drive John's red "G" convertible while I was in Detroit. I'm not sure who enjoyed the surprise most, John or Aaron. I do know that no one enjoyed it more than me! When it came time to take the drive from the hotel to the WPC Museum, John handed me the keys and said, "You want to drive?" I couldn't believe it at first, that someone who had only met me that weekend would hand me the keys to his precious "G" and expect me drive it several miles on the freeway. Of course I accepted that offer and so began a very rewarding but too short friendship. Through several meets and emails, and countless messages on the listserver, I became more aware of just how good a friend John was, not only to me but many others as well.
One day, exactly 4 years later in March 2005, it was suggested by a club member, Rich Barber, that it would be nice to make a video documentary of the upcoming club meet in Lake Tahoe. I talked to Aaron about it (by this time he was out of college and running his own video production company) and he thought it was a great idea. After conferring with John and other directors, the plans were made and the rest is history. Not only did John help to get the project underway, but he was one of the "stars" of the show granting us an interview at the Detroit meet that year. It was ironic that John's interview took place with the Automotive Hall of Fame as a backdrop. As we all know, John would likely be one of the first inductees into the "Chrysler 300 enthusiasts hall of fame" if there were such an institution. After that trip to Detroit and trips to Lake Tahoe, Carlisle and several members' homes, we finally completed the project just in time for Rob Kern's Lawton, OK meet a year and one-half later. I spoke to John a week before the meet and found out he wasn't going to be able to make it so I FedEx'd him a copy that he could view at the same time that other club members were getting to see the finished product in Oklahoma.
It was about that time that I started noticing a change in John. While we still communicated, he seemed to be growing distant. Then, I received an email from him just before Thanksgiving of 2006. He was dealing issues in his life and while he didn't explain a lot, he said: "Friends should be honest with each other so here goes: I haven't been myself recently, David... kind of just putting one foot ahead of the other..." Three days later he wrote: "... I do expect things to get better, with some time...one day at a time is good enough for me."
John loved to talk about the cars but as anyone who watched his interview in "The 300 Project" DVD can see, John was just as, or even more passionate about the people that made up the Club. In his words: "The Club transcends the cars...I've often said we could have a meet and not bring any cars and still have a wonderful weekend together..." The club members were truly his extended "family". So, along with the rest of the "family" members, Aaron and I celebrate his life and mourn his passing. God bless you, John.
We talk about our 300's going to the graveyard; so many of them are there now. I personally think there was a huge sigh of relief when they learned John was on his way.
I know Eleanor greeted John in the hospitality room, smiling and asking how his trip was. Marlou was there also, eager for her first trip down the strip in a newly restored 300D ~ courtesy of John.
The cars are relieved to have something else going on besides eternal chrome polishing by my dad, Bob Dupin, who has been doing so for the last 36 years. Heck, even WPC himself and Mr. Exner are stopping by to visit! And for a 4-footed friend, my Beautiful Brute met him with the warmth so well know by Boston Terrier people.
John is in good company; we are the ones missing him so.
John, see you in Maine for I know you will be there.
I only joined the club about 4 months ago after importing my L, and never had the chance to meet or speak to John. From reading all your posts he was a great man with a vast knowledge of the beautiful Brutes, and a good friend to have around.
On behalf of the Hunter Valley Chrysler Club here in Australia, please accept our heart felt sympathies.
Vice President, HVCC
John, you helped us "foreigners" out so many times, your house was the hub for shipping to destinations all over the world, your knowledge, time and generosity were gladly sent to all corners of the earth, your friendship and humor were accepted by so many, and your enthusiasm for the 300 was felt throughout the globe. You were the "International" in the Chrysler 300 Club. We will all miss you so very, very much.
Oh, and you were the only guy I know of, willingly to hand over the keys of a 300 rag to a relative stranger who usually drove on the other side of the road and tell 'em drive her as hard as you like.
The 300 Club will not be the same without you.
Sorry to learn of John's Passing. We will all miss his calm wit and great sense of order. He was surely one of the greatest assets to this group.
I have read all the postings so far about John and everyone seems to have their own special feelings and stories about him.
My wife and I just returned from Carlisle this past week and our fondest memory of him there was trying to follow him in the F coupe as he “smoked” us on I-81 on the way to the fairgrounds in his G convertible. I remember his hair flowing in the air as he sped down the interstate with a smile on his face. Carlisle just wasn’t the same this year.
We all miss him, but most of all, we amateurs to the car restoration process are severely touched. John answered all my dumb questions (even repeats) without a hint of frustration and he was so kind to explain in detail what was obvious to most. I can’t think of another that was so generous of his time and talents, yet so unassuming and considerate.
John, we’ll always miss you and we thank you coming into our lives even for such a short time.
I, too, regret John's passing. He did a lot for the Club and the members. I knew his prognosis was not good according to what some of my doctor friends have said. Apparently, his medical attention was done too late or not done properly. It is also interesting that I do know some close friends and members that are afflicted with lyme. Diagnosis was done promptly and they are living a good life to date with the current medical attention. Eleanor's older sister has had it for 30 some years, but the doctors have it under control. One of the side issues of it is, in later years, even with proper medical attention, it mutates and does attack the joints. It is one of those diseases that can stay in the body for years. She has had both hips replaced and now undergoing both knee replacements.
Goodbye, John. God Speed, keep the pedal to the metal.............
I am so sorry to hear of Johns passing. When I look at my 300F I think of John. All those parts he supplied and shipped to me, if he couldn't supply he would source them somewhere, it was no trouble to him.
I miss the chats on the phone and the emails, but I did have the privilege to meet him.
Thanks John for all the help. I would never have finished the F without it. God Bless You
Ray & Mavis Moodie
In The UK
I can't add much to what has already been said about John's passing. He will forever be one of my favorite "memories" of the Chrysler 300 club and its activities. I met John when we attend our first meeting, many years ago. I didn't own a Chrysler 300 then. But John was gracious, and tried to answer my dumb questions. He was genuine and helpful from that meeting on. John had a passion for all that is Chrysler 300. He loved the people who shared his interest and always tried to preserve the history and cars of the 300 era. It has been a privilege to share time with him over these many years. A true measure of worth is how high in regard they are held by the people around them. To those around John, he was at the top of this list.
Several years ago we took a 300 to a local AACA meeting in Rochester, MN. It was trailered, but much to our surprise (and horror), when we returned home the little stainless trim cap on the edge of the convertible top had blown off during transit and was GONE! We retraced the entire 125 mile trip (each way) the next day, looking in the side ditches for the little piece. But were unable to find it. I was truly sad, not knowing where or if I could replace this scarce ragtop only part. Sometime later I shared this story with John, and within days an original "replacement" part arrived in the mail! WOW, what a friend indeed!
We could tell more stories like the ones already shared by many. A fitting tribute to John Hertog would be to try to model our 300 lives and dealings with others in the same way he did. He was a fun to be around, and a true gentlemen. A special place will always exist in my heart for this man....
Bob Brown 300E coordinator
This is the Epitome of what our club Was, Is and , Will be. John was, and will be, a Catalyst . He will Continue to impact us all, and we will, all ways, Thank John . God Speed, Rest In Peace . Thanks, John .
I've been trying to think of something to say that all of you haven't already said which is hard; so I started to think of something that's always been quite memorable to me about John.
My wife Jennifer and I went to the 300 Club Meet in Phoenix back in 2002; we were in our 1962 New Yorker Wagon. Upon pulling into the parking lot we were met by John; who we had conversed with often via e-mail and the phone. He knew that we were to be there in the wagon and being that he loved wagons ran right over. He had yet to buy the '62 NY Wagon that he once had. He was happy to meet Jennie, as he always referred to her, as I think he reveled in the fact that she owned a '62 300 and built the 413 for the car. Within minutes he was under our dash showing me the exact location of the Astradome Power Pack that I wanted to have rebuilt.
Time passed a bit and I found myself needing a vintage convertible for a day of shooting a Travel Channel show at Coney Island. I decided booking a car through a picture car company was for amateurs and if I could get something other than a '57 Chevy, '59 Cadillac or '57 T-Bird all the better! I called up John and asked if he had a car and a day to kill on a Saturday...in February! John pulled up to Coney Island that morning in his red '61 G convertible. I walked up and held out my hand to shake it when he opened up his arms to give me a hug.
There's the memory. There's the thought. We had physically met once in Arizona. We had spoken on the phone and via e-mail. At our second meeting he gives me a hug. What other "car guy" is man enough to make that move with a semi-stranger? I'd been hugging my pals for years; though didn't anticipate it from a 3,000 mile away resident.
What a guy John was; right? He had forgotten more about all sorts of cars than I can ever hope to learn in my remaining years. He made you feel like you were an important friend amongst his hundreds of friends. He took the time to teach us about cars, parts, maintenance...friendship. So go out and teach someone about cars! Go and trade a part to one who might need it! Help a neighbor with their oil change! Go over and hug a friend or family member, like John would have done.
I agree at the thought of creating a "John Hertog Award" at the future 300 Club Meets. That is a fantastic idea; that he would have loved!
Thank you for your time.
To Jean, My uncle.
You was an extraordinary person, I love you so much and I miss you.
It was a chance to know you and you cannot imagine how much I loved all the moments spent with you. You will always be in my heart.
Love you my uncle.
Your French nephew David Ventura.
John Hertog small of stature but a giant of a man to those of us who knew him as a friend; will long be remembered as a person to turn to when in doubt; he helped me several times. I have known John for several years enjoying all of our infrequent meetings and looking forward to the next meet knowing that I would see him there.
I bought John's 500E Mercedes and in the process spent a few days in Sag Harbor at his mom's house seeing the end of Long Island and taking pictures of the land as John showed me about.
John has left his earthly home but will remain with us for ever.
Being in Sag Harbor to celebrate the life of John Hertog was a most significant event for me. Arriving Saturday night from Arizona - Dave Clelland and Brian Cirillo, fresh from Carlisle for the weekend, picked me up around 10:30 am Sunday at my hotel. What followed in the next 10 hours was very special. Dave made plans with Jim Shelly to spend the next few hours casually at Jim and Julia's before the Memorial service at 4:00 pm. Along the way we met Al Vannice before arriving at the Shellys.
Jim had retrieved John's famous red restored/fins re-attached 'Finless G' earlier and was cleaning it up to take to the services that afternoon when he ran into a problem "under the hood" - we all know to be a very normal occurrence. Between Dave and his team of 300 mechanics a few hours later the problem was solved after running around town and finally back to John's basement where they found the steering wheel hoses organized in a neat row.
In the chapel, at least 100 people plus an overflow in the foyer and doors attended. As sad as it was, was as fulfilling as it felt to be together with people who came to pray, celebrate and share each one's relationship with a very special person in their respective lives. There were many - from animal lovers, to former co-workers, friends, family, and of course his passion for the Chrysler 300s as well as all other automobiles. Other club members were Russ Vaughn, Don Verity, Dr. Robert Blake and Ted Langeira. Sorry if I missed anyone else who was there. A beautiful wreath with the Club logo was done by John's friend Wade. Hopefully someone took pictures of it to complement the many story boards of John's life from childhood. Reminiscing continued at Spinnaker's Restaurant where many gathered after the services.
John's loving family and close friends were very warm and cordial. It was so nice to meet his Mom, Madeline, from the "City" and Aunt from France. John's Mom is a strikingly tall impressive, loving "Mom" with bright white hair and a most delightful French accent to envy! Most of us know of John (Jean in French) speaking fluent French when he was on his cell phone with her wherever he was. Helen Mecagni, John's partner for years, was everywhere to be sure everything and everyone was comfortable. Helen was John's caregiver during his last year. Kudos to Helen for her wonderful care to details!
By the end of that day the fact confirmed was that everyone loved and respected this unique person whose philosophy of life was 'love and service above self'. Seeing the four guys tinker in, under and over with "Finless" was one of the highlights as if John were right there in the middle. Sag Harbor was busy and colorful with crowds everywhere. The beautiful weather helped with the atmosphere. Being with many of the people in his life was a meaningful bonding experience. In this brief time frame of the day, it summed up John's life in the Sag Harbor he dearly loved. It was a touching experience and John was with all of us spiritually and will be forever in our hearts.
Sierra Vista, Arizona
I have been silent on John's passing but that hasn't stopped me from thinking daily about having lost a friend that emulated what friendship was meant to be. Sometime words can't describe one's feelings so I will just say that I truly miss that man.
I found the following link that you may all want to read. Messages may be left at the end.
Thank you 300 times for being my friend, John.
This is Ray Beaumont from Callahan Florida writing tonight, past President of the Chrysler 300 club. I am both dismayed and crushed to find out my fellow 300 mechanic buddy the "Cross Ram" has left the fold.
As the two of us evolved from 300 Club pup's into the "who can fix this 300 senior mechanic's"... We traded "tech tip's" part's and lot's of fun.
John, If I could text you in heaven, you would be my B.F.F. My Best Fixing Friend. I have always's appreciated your humor, insight , and all the cold brew's at Carlisle. I know you are in heaven tonight Cross Ram.
However, I still owe you one...!!
John Hertog approached the Pearly Gate's.
His face was getting wrinkled and old.
John meekley asked Saint Peter for admission to the fold.
John Hertog... What have you done to gain admission here?
St. Peter, I have worked on Chrysler 300's for many, many years.
The gate's to heaven swung wide open as Saint Peter tolled the bell.
"Come In , John My Son"... You have served your time in HELL!
John was also passionate about the care of animals. One of his favorite organizations was
Elsa's Ark, Inc.
PO Box 2900
East Hampton, NY., 11937
The Yardley and Pino Funeral Home tells me the family has requested donations be made to Elsa's Ark.
(Donations to Elsa's Ark are tax deductible).
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Click here for the photo page for John.