Golden Lion Grrrages
1956 Chrysler 300B

1956 Chrysler 300B History
Written by Ray Doern (some time around 1977)

An Army Captain (name unknown) bought the car new in Salt Lake City, Utah for just over $5,400. When he received orders for Germany, he traded the car in on a motorhome and reportedly had it shipped over seas. Erick Lieder bought the car for $2,800 in late 1957 with 7,000 miles on it.

Erick kept the car until 1964 when he planned a trip to Alaska. The car had 19,000 miles on it at that time. He then sold the car to Ron Reeves of Whittier, California. Ron kept the car for several months. Needing money for business expansion, he sold the car to Dr. Marcus Gartner of Los Angeles, California.

Marcus stored the car for one year before he started driving it. Once in use, he went through 3 transmissions and finally ended up putting a Dodge 4 speed in it. A power brake booster was also installed to aid braking.

In about 1968 Dr. Gartner installed a blueprinted 426 Hemi in the car. By 1971, the car was no longer in use, so Marcus traded it for a Corvette to a Mr. Steele (full name and address unknown) from Costa Mesa, California. Mr. Steele got the car for his wife, but she was unable to drive it. He then placed 2 ads in the LA Times one under parts for sale (426 Hemi) and one under cars for sale. A stereo shop owner wanted the engine and transmission for a drag boat, so Erick Lieder went together with the man and bought the car back.

Erick put the 300-B engine back in the car along with a 1965 Dodge 4 speed transmission. On October 6, 1973 I bought the car from Erick. I drove it several months with the 4 speed a strong runner! I then removed the 4 speed transmission and put the 3 speed stick back in the car along with the column shift. Once back in stock form, I decided to restore the car back to original condition. Beginning in about April 1974, I completely disassembled the front end, and had it sand blasted. The engine was removed, disassembled, cleaned, painted, and reassembled.

The frame and firewall were cleaned and painted. The front end was painted, reassembled, and installed. Many, many hours were spent "smoothing out" the sheet metal in preparation for paint. The car has many coats of primer, 4 coats of lacquer, and 2 coat of enamel. It was completed in July 1974 and took first place at the Chrysler 300 Club National meet in Portland in early August. This was its first showing. The car has been in the Portland Roadster Show, the Forest Grove Concours twice, and in several parades. The brute has had about 1,000 miles put on it since October 1973. Most of its time is spent in a garage. It is warmed up and run about once a month.

Around Thanksgiving of 1976, I decided to sell all my 300's and buy back my old 57 300-C (the wife's favorite) and stick to only one Letter Car. This is the only reason the 56 is being sold. I never was able to find out the name of the original owner nor the full name and address of Mr. Steele.

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