A fair number of people believe the Mopar muscle era began when they plunked a 426 Hemi into a ’66 Plymouth Belvedere and set the world on fire.


Later on, the E-body Cudas and Challengers became the poster child for the evolution of Mopar muscle.


1960 Chrysler 300 Fs rarely enter into the conversation and that’s a crime against Mopar muscle history.




Mark Hopkins is the proud owner of this pristine 300 F and he admits the relationship came about because he hates winter, “I’m a snowbird so I head south to Arizona to hit the auctions and see what’s there. I’ve been looking for one of these for a long time so it really worked out right”.


This big Chrysler “was there” back in 2012 and Mark found himself on the winning side of a bid. He was the next owner of a very unique car with an extremely interesting pedigree as he recalled, “It was owned by a guy named John Staluppi Jr. His father is a very active collector from Florida”.


Mark is well aware of the history behind his rare Mopar, “It was originally an Indianapolis car and it was originally white. A guy bought it in Reno for 12,000 and then dumped another 42,000 into it in a major restoration. That was back in 1992”.




He’s very impressed with the decades-old restoration, “It’s held up extremely well after a ground-up restoration. It still looks great. It’s all blue and pristine underneath”.


The biggest issue with a Mopar fin car is the visibility factor when they’re on the road and this 300F is no exception as Mark explained, “This is the oldest and biggest car I’ve ever bought so yes, it gets a lot of attention”.




Mark is a dedicated car show guy and he admits, “It’s kind of fun, if I had a dollar for every car show I’ve taken it to, I would have paid it off pretty fast”.


Despite the number of shows he attends in the 300F, Mark hasn’t put any long miles on the car. Back in 2012, a 180-mile round trip was his longest journey, “I kept it mid-range from 50-80 miles per hour because we were in a convoy to the show”.


He defined the driving experience in technical terms, “It was pretty good, it doesn’t float but the steering was pretty light, it wasn’t loose but it didn’t have the direct feel”.


Mark wasn’t complaining because the fin car experience is second to none, “I kept getting thumbs up and people were taking 4 or 5 pictures as they were going by on the highway and when it’s at a show people mob it”.




The car earned hardware in its first year on the show circuit and that’s clearly a tribute to the quality of the restoration back in 1992, but Mark is more impressed with the fact that he owns this long sought-after car.


Maybe that’s why Mark’s final thoughts on the car’s future were straightforward.


This is a keeper-it’s just too hard to find a good one”.


Jerry Sutherland

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