The Lefty - Lobstah Forum, Volume 1
by Doug Mayer and Larry Jett

Good Morning Larry,

It’s kind of snotty here on the top far right coast this morning.  Breezes 20-25 with gusts to 40, coming from the NE across Belfast Bay;  wave heights likely 6-8’ in the 7 mile fetch from Sears Island to our shore.  Gale force winds out on the water.

As I was listening to the breeze before arising I recalled the idea that we talk about cars we’ve known and loved from amongst the list of 300’s.

I recalled your first meet in Newark, with day trips around the bay.  One in particular had me riding in the back seat of your ’55 with Alan Moon at the wheel.

Coming home there was an unkindly noise from forward.  Alan and whoever else was in the front seat (I don’t recall who that was) were concerned the everything ahead of us in the car would somehow disintegrate and that you would have a huge motor job to do. Being located further aft, I was not as concerned, and since I was the youngster in the car, 

I obviously didn’t know very much, so I enjoyed whatever view there was going south on whatever freeway we were on. But I didn’t think the noise from forward amounted to very much. 

My judgment came from owning a similar vehicle—a ’56—and concluding that the noise was not, as you might say, heartfelt, but more like a 3 year old just angry about not very much.

In the parking lot, with the hood up (as far as those first generation 300’s could put their hoods up) there was some vehicular bodily fluid from up high. The power steering reservoir clamp that holds the cover to the pot had become loose and was rattling. A single bladed screwdriver fixed it right up after the addition of some vehicular bodily fluid.

Fast forward a few years, when I drove the ’56 from Maine back to New York State where it served as the wedding conveyance for a young couple.  I spent the morning of the wedding detailing the engine compartment, since—obviously—everyone at the wedding would want a detailed engine compartment.  I neglected to replace the screw in the very same clamp, and the result was the same—great noise as I drove the newly married couple from the church to the reception some 4 miles distant. (They weren’t paying very much attention.)  A quick look and then a short length of #12 electrical wire threaded through the clamp and twisted sufficed for the rest of the journey and the return.

I asked on the list server if anyone had the correct screw—and you did.  You promptly sent me the screw, and as far as I know it still sits in the PS clamp of the ’56 wherever it is today.

Doug Mayer

Northport, Maine

Good Morning Doug,

Your mail is a good reminder of the 1999 300 Club Board concern querying if a west coast national meet could be successful (too far out west?) Texas maybe, but who would be willing to drive old iron that far?

Your mention of "Gale force winds out on the water" triggered teen-aged memories of Jett Marina on Lake Washington in Seattle.  Each year Seattle used to go nuts hosting the Unlimited Gold Cup races of hugely powerful hydroplanes from all over the US.  The Gale Electrical Co from Michigan had the Gale V at my uncle's marina and I was given a test run on the Allison motored beast.  We only got up to 125 but the ride is punishing to the extreme. Even in the 50's they were capable of 170 mph on the lake.  One boat had a pair of extensively reworked Gen One Hemis but against Rolls or Allison aircraft engines?  DNF

 The C300 you mentioned made even more front-loaded noises a bit later when I took my company's banker out to lunch in it and went to show off the full throttle downshift at 35 mph.  About a mile later a car in the next lane shouted that we were leaking green fluid which was expensively true.  A pin not thicker than a nail that holds the fan on the water-pump sheared and flung the fan deeply into the radiator.  Puts a new understanding of how quiet a fan noise can be when declutched.

Chrysler was not the only car company to add a power steering pump tied to the back end of the generator.  Too much activity from too little geography could cause the bearings to be overstressed as Kreszock and I learned driving his 300B back to NC from Macungie PA.  The memory of those hundred's of miles which were mostly dark and raining without either power steering or fresh electricity was told in a previous Club News and is the secondary reason that a bottle of Hennessy VS  arrives each week by courier. 

That is good use of F.E. (Field Expedients) on the PS clamp. I learned about F.E. in the Army. MacGyver must have been in the military.

Lefty was pleased that the 1955 car and the 1956 were similar enough that when he was breathing life back into C300 3N552462 in the late 90's, Roger Schaaf sold him the take-off leather from his award winning 300B at a steep discount from new cowhide.

I am thinking Daimler Chrysler  Corp didn't know the difference when they bought back the C300 in May of 2000.  It is rare to see seller's remorse from a car company.

Larry Jett

Newark, California