In the June 1975 issue of the Club
News, Volume II Number 11, we printed a letter from a member about the
first 300 built having been destroyed by the crusher. It had been
reported in the April 1975 issue of “Car Classics”
magazine. But. . . was the story true? Steve McCloud of Tennessee
has a white C300 with serial number 3N551001. Here is his story.
I had been looking for an H and a
club member called to tell me that there were two advertised in a
magazine near me in North Carolina. I called and the Hs had been
sold; but the man invited me over to look at a K and to talk. So, in
a couple of weeks we made the trip to High Point, NC. During the
course of the conversation, this man tells me that he knew where the
first 300 ever built was. I chuckled under my breath and told him
about the newsletter article that had the car crushed. He stood by
his story. I came back to Tennessee hell bent to prove him wrong. I
sent copies of that newsletter to him and later I called. He had
been back to check it and stood with his story. So, I journeyed back
for a look. There sat the 300 at a service station, locked up. I
looked under the hood and to my dismay the plate had 1001. He said
that it might be for sale and I told him, if he would help me acquire
the car, I would give him something for his help. He worked on this
for a couple of months and finally called for me to come and get it.
It was the next day that I went
after it for fear of losing the chance. The owner related this story
to me. The car was sold in Daytona beach, Florida for testing there
(here may be where the engine went). Later the owner went to
Michigan, where the car was sold to an officer in the navy. He was
then transferred to Norfolk, Virginia. The car was either sold to
someone in Taylorville, NC (near High Point) or this was the original
home of the navy officer. The car was given to a son in North
Carolina to drive. It was driven for a few years and then parked in
1970 in a shed. Later, it was found by High Point’s Jim Davis.
Davis and the others were aware that the car was the possible #1001
(first). It took two months to get him to sell the car. I brought
the car over the Appalachian Mountains to Johnson City; where Bob
Dupin saw the car as I brought it in. He helped me take the car on
The car sat for a while before I
tried to start it. It does run and I drove it about 100 miles to
Knoxville, Ten. Now she sits, waiting for me to get panels and begin
a long process of restoration. That’s the story as I know it.
I need help to get started on it. The problem is, I have only found
one lower quarter panel. The inner panel and trunk are really bad.
I also need rocker panels, I prefer not to use caps; but if I can
get some parts now, I could get it to the meet. Do you think
members would like to see it there fixed or not fixed?