60-dsc 0112

60-dsc 0112


Chrysler letter cars were built for the brute force, blunt object crowd when they debuted back in 1955.


The C-300 or 300A letter cars were designed to be a strong presence on the NASCAR tracks and they delivered in a big way.


Letter cars were built for speed but these cars were also built for style so the earned a nickname –the banker’s hot rod.





Merv Pidherney is a huge fan of 1950s and early 60s iron so he had to acquire one of these letter cars and he found a Chrysler 300F. The 300F is the Holy Grail of fin cars because this was the first year for the unibody construction in these big Mopars.


These 300F convertibles are rare because they only built 248 of them and most people estimate there are fewer than 100 left in the world. Merv had a pretty simple reason for buying this classic old Mopar muscle car as he explained: “I just liked what I saw so I bought it and hauled it home”.



300Fs were still a real deal performance car because they had the 413 375-horsepower cross ram under the hood. They were built for speed and one of them crossed the line at 144 miles per hour in the annual Flying Mile test run to set the record that year.




That particular 300F was built up from factory but the tweaks like the short ram intake and 4-speed were available on these letter cars so technically it was a factory car. They were built to handle too because the steering and suspension was upgraded significantly from the base Chryslers.


Merv’s car was at a show earlier in the summer and his son was behind the wheel. It was a hot night and the car was chugging along like it wanted to quit and he eased it into a spot at the show. He explained how the car was pulled out for the first time that night and that it needed a little more time to clear out the winter cobwebs. Despite the temperamental entrance, there was an instant crowd around this incredible 1960 300 F convertible.




Later that summer, Merv rolled in behind the wheel of the same car and it was running significantly better thanks to more time on the road and a little adjustment on the cross ram setup. He was far more comfortable behind the wheel than his son thanks to this pronounced uptick in performance.


Merv’s mini dog was the only passenger in his large 300F convertible so the little guy had plenty of room. Merv is inseparable from his little buddy over the car show season and this big Chrysler gives him enough room for a mini-dog run.




These letter cars were designed for the track and Merv’s 300F is no exception as he explained, “It’s heavy but it’s really easy to handle”. You can take the car off the track but you can’t take the track out of the car—that’s the secret to Chrysler letter cars.




Merv is the kind of owner who knows what he likes and he respects the effort to acquire this car so he summed up its future in one sentence:


“I’m definitely not getting rid of it”.


Jerry Sutherland

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