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Following an extended search for just the right 300 F to restore, the current California owner discovered this hardtop in the care of an Iowa collector. The consignor described the car as an almost totally complete and surprisingly solid example when he took delivery. Soon, it was discovered that this 300 F was one of just three known coupes special ordered in Chrysler’s Sunburst Yellow, and the decision was made to restore it to compete at the highest concours level.
In late 2001, work began with the goal of producing the finest showroom-fresh example possible. Through the Chrysler 300 Club, the consignor met Mark Characky, a third-generation Chrysler devotee and 300 F specialist. Soon the coupe was entrusted to Mr. Characky’s shop near Palmdale, California, and the restoration project began.
The 300 F’s mechanicals have been restored to OEM specifications using proper replacement parts. The engine and ancillary components were all restored with correct finishes to show standards. The body, chrome, and interior parts were sent to experienced, trusted refinishers; and in mid-2003, when all was ready, the daunting process of reassembly began. The owner has a vivid memory of the first time the car ran that fall, prior to final completion, recalling the impressive rumble of the big V-8 as being loud but smooth as silk. As a finishing touch, a set of Coker tires, specially made to the original pattern and specification for the Chrysler 300 Club, was installed.
Once restoration was complete, the concours circuit awaited the debut of “Big Yellow,” as the owner affectionately calls it. Since 2004, the Sunburst Yellow 300 F has amassed numerous first place trophies at prestigious concours and Chrysler meets alike. Best in Show, Chairman’s trophies, and People’s Choice awards have been bestowed on this spectacular letter car at shows throughout California as well. In the years since its completion, Hemmings Motor News and other periodicals have featured this 300 F in more than half a dozen feature articles and pictorials honoring the award-winning work done by Mr. Characky and his team of restorers.
As expected, the 300 F comes with original manuals, broadcast sheets, and extensive documentation of the restoration. Original build sheets and production reports were found beneath the original carpets along with, interestingly, a new 1960 penny, which had been there since the car was built and was returned to the same spot before the new carpets were installed. Always kept in showready condition, the consignor has logged just over 1,000 miles in the eight years since the restoration was completed.
Truly stunning in person, this 300 F stands as one of the finest examples in existence. On any bright show field, the complexities of the design and gleaming trim create an intoxicating overall effect. A modern classic in every sense of the word, it is easy to understand the prominence the letter cars held in their day and why these handcrafted machines are all the more respected today.