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The Gregg Zeigler, Daytona Beach Flying Mile Record Holder
This 1960 Chrysler 300 F has enjoyed a dynamic and unusual life. In 1960, a team of Chrysler engineers took aside six 300 F Hardtop models, met in a secret location away from the Chrysler plant, and started working on what was called the “Gran Turismo Project.” They modified the cars to compete on the sands of Daytona Beach in NASCAR’s Flying Mile race, in which a car is already at speed as it enters a one-mile course.
The cars were dubbed “GT Specials.” This 300 F is one of those exclusive examples. It is also the Chrysler that placed first in its class in the race with a record speed of 144.9 mph – a NASCAR record that still stands.
The team began their modifications of the 413 cid V-8 engine by installing solid lifters, special piston rings, a high-lift camshaft, and cast-iron headers. They added Carter 3084S carburetors with manual chokes, cast special short-ram manifolds, installed a French-made Pont-A-Mousson four-speed gearbox that was originally designed for the Chrysler-powered Facel Vega, and enhanced top-end performance by altering the rear-axle ratio to 2.93.
This car was then given to legendary Daytona Beach driver Gregg Zeigler to race. Zeigler drove it to Daytona Beach, where Chrysler mechanic Carl Purse met him and helped tune the car. The 300 F was then fitted with Goodyear Blue Streak tires, said to perform well on sand. All six GT Specials appeared in Daytona Beach, where NASCAR founder Bill France acted as the flag man. It was a remarkable sweep as the six 300 Fs claimed the top six spots – with Zeigler coming in first – making for one of the most exciting races by a marque in auto racing history.
Ziegler drove the car home to Elgin, Illinois, and in 1961 sold it to collector Bob McAtee of nearby Bloomington. The car was kept in a climate-controlled facility and occasionally driven until 2007 when, after Mr. McAtee’s passing, it was sold to the current owner.
According to the consignor, this 300 F GT Special has been perfectly preserved, is in original unrestored condition, has accumulated only 11,000 miles, and shows no sign of damage.
The exterior shows off a dramatic black finish and is complemented by a well-kept tan interior with luxurious appointments. There are four comfortable contoured seats, and the front seats swivel out for easy access. The console, which extends from the instrument panel into the rear seating area, includes a tachometer at the front along with strategically placed armrests, storage compartments, and power-window controls.
The 300 F GT Special’s instrument panel has a futuristic feel. A large half-circle design displays a range of gauges in front of the driver, including a 150-mph speedometer. Dashboard lighting creates a soft glow across the panel.
Included with this car are the original Goodyear Blue Streak racing tires and a wealth of documentation.
This Chrysler 300 F GT Special is a significant piece of racing history and an authentic example of a true muscle car. The 1960 Chrysler 300 F was already a rare car when new, and only two of the six racing Specials are known to exist today, of which this is the winner and quite possibly the most original. This car is a prized example of the 300 model and ready to flex its well-developed muscles.