Dave McDonnell writes:
Hello. Maybe you gentlemen can help me.
For many years I have been searching for the white G coupe I owned in 1963. I have no Serial number but I
think this car should be easy to find because
it had a dealer installed, working Auto-Pilot!
Everybody I have contacted in both 300 clubs have told me it is IMPOSSIBLE to install on a "G".....
Here's what history I have on the car.
It was ordered by George Ward & Son Chrysler Plymouth dealer in Auburn, NY (20-28 Water Street) sometime in early 1961 for the dealer's wife....(George's wife's car from its arrival in Auburn, at the dealership). George and his mechanics tried very hard to make her happy with the operation of the car but one problem persisted...her right leg was not strong enough to keep constant pressure on the accelerator pedal....for even normal driving.
The car was equipped with swivel bucket seats and 6 way power controls...but she needed more help George concluded. He had his men in the shop install the Chrysler auto-pilot control and unit on the car. This was accomplished by changing at least two things from the factory set-up. The possible changing of the radio to a five button model vs 7 from the factory. (Golden Touch vs Golden Tone). This could have provided necessary room for the auto-pilot I was told by an expert radio repair service owner that hooked up two rear speakers for me, under the dash, in 1963 at their shop in Syracuse NY. (DeMARCO Radio SVCE. was it's name) further....as the car was not equipped or it was not utilizing the antenna control....the auto pilot control was installed in its place, to the right side of the steering console in the astrodome dash position where a power antenna control switch (may have been mounted originally).
I used this auto-pilot switch on and off for ten or 11 months...no problems! It worked very well and was easy to set with the accelerator pedal and twisting the dial control. Back to now 1962....George's wife still disliked the car and George finally gave her another car (I once, ONCE let my Mother drive this car for three miles from town one day.....NEVER again was she ever behind the wheel again....verified by our local Chief of Police)!!....and after several months spent trying to retail the "G" he decided to send it to Manheim, PA. to the wholesale car auction company in early 1963. The man he sent got word that I was looking for an "F" or "G" and drove the car BACK to NY to Baldwinsville (30 miles from Auburn!!) and brought it to my house on a Sunday morning. I was 20 and ran a retail dairy farm with my dad and brother.
Guess what I traded him that Sunday morning for the "G" hardtop. My 1957 DeSoto Adventurer Convertible - Gold and white and included the 3rd tranny we had installed in it plus the record player!! My Dad (Bought Mom a 1948 Chrysler Town and Country green convertible years back)....was furious with that car...He used to swear that he finally figured out what a DeSoto really was: A car with a Chrysler hemi motor hooked up to a Plymouth transmission!!! HaHaHaHa
Actually I believe they were both cast iron 3 speed Torqueflite units....not too different. I got $800 trade in on the Adventurer that Sunday morning.....(Richard Carpenter got 400 thousand plus for a not so rare 1957 black and gold Adventurer convertible at auction a few years back!)...but the "G" was ten times the car the Adventurer was.....and always will be.
In summary, I find it hard to believe that even the most purist 300 restorer would undo this auto-pilot set up I have tried to explain to you. Even though I am almost 75 and no longer drive the crap we have on the roads today....I could keep you in stitches for hours if I related all the funny stories/happenings I had for almost 12 months with that Banker's Hot Rod.
Thought you might appreciate this story about the Birthing of my "G" to me and the fact someone accomplished the IMPOSSIBLE according to some club members I have discussed it with.
Would love to know my car is a survivor....before I pass on.
I expect they have plenty of them in Heaven.
Yours Truly and very 300rdly....
1042 Highway 251 Pocahontas, AR. 72455-8710