1965 Chrysler 300 convertible

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My car in Phoenix, Az (USA)

In december ’98, I was on a three weeks vacation with some friends in Phoenix, Az. These friends bought two ’65 Chrysler 300’s for $500.- from a DemoDerby-fellow who ‘just’ needed the engines… One was a Hardtop and the other was a Convertible.
Here the convertible is towed onto the yard. This is the first time I ever see the car…

Being a Mopar guy, I took some photos of the car. Up to now, I hadn’t thought about buying the car, because it obviously needed a lot of work. But a couple of months later, back in the Netherlands, I did decide to buy the convertible from my friends. Upon their next trip to the USA, I asked them to get the car re-upholstered, and with their next trip, to bring it to the Netherlands.
This is how it arrived back from the upholsterer…


First time in the Netherlands

This is the first time my car sees ‘Dutch’ daylight. The photos below show how the car was unloaded from the container.
The trunk was loaded with parts which had been shipped on the same trip as the car made. The car also has no engine, that’s why it’s so high upfront.

At the shop of my friends I was able to completely overhaul the brakes. New masterbrake cilinder, brakecilinders and linings were put one the car. I sandblasted the backingplates and painted them. The result was they looked like new…


To the Paintshop…

Last thing before going to the Painter was checking if the convertible topmotor worked…. And it did… !! The upholsterer had loosened and painted the roofframe.
Car was pushed outside, and hooked up by a towcable to a HotRod Chevy… Ok, I know it’s a Chevy, but at least it’s a kinda cool Chevy… :o)
Of course I had to steer with the top down… My first ‘Cruise’ with the top down…


At the Painter…

Some ‘funny’ things were discovered while stripping the car. Seems the upholsterer had to fill a hole in the floor… He used the sheetmetal of another car’s door to fill the hole. Otherwise the carpet would have fallen on the street… :-/

Paintshop progress pics;

Finally some paint on the car, more progress pics;

Installing the rebuilt engine.


Almost finished… at the painter…

Almost finished? Well, the painter was almost finished, but I wasn’t… I had planned to drive the car out of there. No way of course… One day we pushed the car outside so I could the start the engine and break in the new cam. But due to some electric problems, I wasn’t able to start it that day…

First day at my garage. It just got dropped off by the transporter. The fenderskirts are still at the paintshop. They will be painted later. The paint gets really bright when shown in the sun. It’s a ’94 Chrysler-paint called “Light Turquoise Metallic”.

April 8-2001
I took out the car to get some fresh air.
Later that day I took off the leafsprings for sandblasting and installation of polygraphite rubbers and new shackles. After this the whole front-suspension was rebuilt with sandblasting, painted and new bushings everywhere.


Engine rebuild

As the car came without an engine, I had to find one myself. That wasn’t too hard, because I could buy a low-milage, but bad running 383 engine from a friend.
I opened up the engine and found a lot of “goo’d-up” pistonrings. I cleaned all the internal engine parts, installed new rings, honed the virgin unbored cylinders, and installed new main-, rod- and cambearings. The crank didn’t need turning, so everything went back together. Also installed a new cam and lifters from Crane Cams with 272/284 adv. duration and .454/.480 lift.


The transmission Story…

Well, my first attempt to start the engine and break-in the new cam didn’t work, but the 2nd try wasn’t much better either… I toasted my transmission with the 2nd try. The engine did start and revved, but sounded a bit tame to me, not much throttle response… Anyway, I kept the revs up for the cam, but after 5 minutes, the engine puked all it’s coolant over the floor…. It obviously felt a bit sick. :o/
I thought it maybe was because the timing was too late, so I adjusted the timing, filled the radiator with water and proceeded further. Again, 5 minutes after engine start, it puked all it’s coolingwater all over the floor…. Now I knew for sure that there something was not right yet. I also started to smell a very unpleasant burned oil odor…. :o(
What happened was that the transmission gearselectcable had come loose and left the trans in Drive position all the time. But the parkcable still held the trans in Park…. You can imagine how hard it must have been for the transmission. So, there was a new task for me to do… a Transmission overhaul! joy!


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7 Comments

  1. Thanks so much for the photos and accompanying story! Your car is beautiful. Thanks for taking the time, effort, and money to save this classic beauty from the bone yard. I love the car and am considering buying one for myself. I currently own a ’66 Buick Electra convertible, but am considering purchasing an additional classic. The cars on my short list are: ’65, ’66, ’68, or ’69 Pontiac Bonneville convertible, ’65 Chrysler 300 convertible, ’65-66 Oldsmobile 98 convertible, or a ’65-66 Plymouth Fury convertible.
    Take care and may God bless you,
    Bill Rutecki
    Hanover, Maryland, USA

  2. Absolutely love your work! i bought a 65 Newport convertible when i was 17, im 25 now, cant wait until my income becomes disposable enough to fix my Boat

  3. hi , i was cheking your pics and your web and i just want to tell you that you did a great job your car looks beatiful, i have a 1965 300 too and i am working a lot too . so i can drive it , i just have a question to you if you dont mind . my car transmition work forward but the not the reverse, do you know if is ajustable or i have to pull out the transmition ? if you can answer is going to be really helfull for me , and if you cant i understand thanks so much and have fun with the 300

  4. Great job. I got a 1965 300 con. as well . Looks identical to yours. Needs a complete overhaul like you did. love to send you pics

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