Like many people, I fell in love with the Chrysler 300M the very first time I saw the commercial on TV. The styling of the 300M was simply beautiful and the thought of a 250HP, “North American-made” family sedan was just too good to be true. Yes, there was the Pontiac Bonneville or Grand Prix and such, but none had the great looks of the 300M.
In early 1999, I began my search to find and hopefully purchase my 300M. Unfortunately, I failed to take in consideration the cost of this fine looking machine. To make a long story short, I settled for the Chrysler LHS. Although, not exactly the 300M, I really enjoyed driving it for three years. Needless to say, I never could get the 300M out of my system.
In the spring of 2002, I decided to visit the Chrysler website and see what they had new for 2002. To my total surprise, I found not one version of the 300M, but THREE! The original, the Pro-Am and the SPECIAL. If I had not just bought a new set of golf clubs, I probably would be driving the Pro-Am, but as fate would have it, I read and re-read the details regarding the 300M Special.
Not only did the lower profile and larger wheels attract me, but also the fact that it would be 5HP faster than the original was enough for me. I then began my quest to hopefully be the first in Topeka to own a 300M SPECIAL.
From Topeka to Wichita and back to Topeka, I checked the Chrysler dealerships and no one had the 300M Special. Of course I was told that they could order me one, but it would take at least 4 – 6 weeks. Well, the Special bug had bit me and I could not wait that long. Finally, after extensive Internet searches, I took a drive to Kansas City, Mo. On a sunny, Saturday afternoon and after checking 3 dealerships, I decided to check one last dealership in South KC.
When I pulled up to the lot, I parked right in front of a black 300M. Of course a salesman quickly approached me and asked if he could help me. I stated, that I had been searching all day for the 300M Special and no one seem to have one or even seen it. To my amazement, the salesman says, “well here’s one right here. We just brought it out and parked it an hour ago”. Talk about fate! It was the black 300M I parked in front of!
The pictures on the web and in the commercials just did not do the car justice. This was one of the sleekest, best-looking luxury sports sedans on the road today. Now I had been a big Lexus fan, but even the Lexus did not hold a candle to this beauty. The Special’s low profile, 18″ Wheels with high performance tires, dual exhaust with chrome tips and interior (pretty much the same as my LHS), simply set this car off.
Now, this Special did not have a sunroof nor did it have the rear spoiler. Also, because of the 18″ wheels, this Special did not come with chrome wheels. All three of these items were essential to having a complete 300M for me. When, I mentioned this to the salesman, to my added surprise, he said no problem, if I wanted them they could be added.
Now here’s the last part. The salesman told me that when this car arrived, it had some minor damage to the roof and driver’s side door. Of course the repairs had been made, but they could not sale the car as new! To make another long story short, I finally received my 2002 300M Special, with sunroof and rear spoiler for $5k+ less than sticker price of a new 300M. By the way, I settled for not having 18″ chrome wheels, just so I could get the car. Those will come this Spring.
This has truly been a marriage made in heaven. I simply enjoy everything about the 300M Special except the fact that it doesn’t have 300+Hp, but 255Hp isn’t anything to sneeze at. It’s such a great car to drive and the “head-turning” and the ..”man, that’s a great looking car..”, never gets old.
I’m glad that Chrysler worked out most of the bugs that the earlier 300M’s had. After 12K miles, I continue to find reasons to leave the house, just so I can get in the Special and cruise the town.
The 300M Special has truly been a Special car for me.
Dr. Hawk (aka Dracy Jenkins)