Back in April 2003 I was broadsided at an intersection in a lesser car (77 T-Bird) that I was using as winter transportation. I had stopped using my primary ride, a '69 Chrysler 300 coupe, during winters the year before. Lukily winter was over and I took out the 300. I began in earnest to start looking for another car.
I was looking for something similar to the 300. I just got used to the 440, 727 C-body combo and well they even have the same wheelbase. What can I tell you- I'm hooked. In all their similarities however, they are very different cars inspite of the heritage. But they're both big, powerful and you have to drive to understand the ride and handling. Needless to say, the 300 is a beast and the NYB a chariot.
By the end of May I found an ad on E-bay for this '77 NYB St. Regis in the Phila. area and won the bid. It had been listed by the daughters of an elderly widow. It was her husband's car and it was where he apparently left it- under a huge tree in the circular drive between the two Germantown victorian mansions they owned. Three years had passed since he died, the mansion next door was sold and the NYB had to go. I feel it found me.
When I went to transfer the title, sight unseen, every crevice of the NYB was stuffed with mulched leaves and a green film was overtaking the surfaces. However, it was a 28,400 mile one owner car that had been taken good care of. In PA, title transfer has to be done in person between the two parties. Well, the three of us- the elderly widow with a walker, her private day care nurse and myself pile into the 300 and go off to the notary on a rainy afternoon with the title in the dead man's name and a copy of his death certificate.
On our return, I strapped on a new battery, poured gas down it's gullet and presto- she started right up and kept running. Later that evening my brother and I went to pick her up. He drove her following me to the first gas station for gas and air in the tires.
She needed an inspection and I had to have air. She was in the garage from 6/9/03 through 8/9/03. The inspection was nothing, but the AutoTemp II was an education. We replaced the three parts that made up the brains (potentiometer, amplifier and servo) from used parts I picked up at the Chrysler Carlisle Show. I also had to supply the chapter from the service manual to the technician (printed from the site). While it was there and the dash was out, I asked them to replace the inoperable town and country radio with a CB stereo my brother had from a since defunct family NYB. Well finally I had air and music and we were on the road.
We cleaned her out and water kept pouring out from under the dash on my feet and all over the carpet. The mulch had clogged the drain for the air conditioning condensation. Finally got that all apart and cleaned out. We have since replaced the carpeting, added more insulation and wired for new speakers, 12 disc CD changer in the trunk and a new 1.5 din head unit. We also wired for an additional amp, subwoofer and two more speakers, but have yet to decide where to put the speakers and install the rest of it.
As far as mechanically, she kept running very hot, but not to overheating, so we replaced the clutch fan, water pump and radiator. It now runs too cold in the winter unless I use a 185 degree thermostat and a 150 degree thermostat in the summer. Now that is figured out.
Then the windsheild wipers went. Replaced all the plastic cams- it worked for awhile when suddenly the drivers side arm flew out over the A pillar and stayed there. Seems the tines were worn smooth. Replaced the arms and wiper mechanism with used parts that went the same way as well. Now we are trying desperately to locate a new mechanism, but have drilled a hole through the arm into the shaft and attached with a self tapping screw. We just replaced the passenger side power window mechanism. I also broke the switch to the power antennae, but it still works. In fact everything works except for the clock.
Other than that we had some rust to attend to as you see in the pictures. Weird thing how the rust appears in spots on this one with all the metal around it remaining sound. Before winter last year we repaired the top, rear window area and under the trunk lid where the water runs down. We primed, painted and clear coated the repair with the original formal sunburst black paint. Really pretty gold metal flake black. This year the lower quarter panels! Maybe spray the whole thing as the hood and deck lid need a coat too.
She is now up to nearly 36,000 miles, she has just been inspected again this year and she still needs nothing for inspection! She runs great and I hope she's with me for the long haul.
'77 St. Regis