Last updated Jul 9, 2008
My 2001 300M is hands down the finest car I have ever owned and is completely irreplaceable.
I’d been struggling for years to support a large family, and was finally enjoying a little financial success after years of hard work, but not enough to get crazy. Last year, at over 200,000 miles, my 1994 Concorde was literally falling apart, as was our 1995 Dodge Caravan. I was tired of having the most embarrassing car at work and it was time for a car that showed some class.
I saw a gorgeous 1974 all-original Roadrunner in an auto-ad publication and went out to take a look. Despite the car being more awesome than I expected, I realized that it would be an irresponsible purchase. I looked at what else they had and was drawn to a 2001 300M. I liked it immediately but it was a little rough. The previous owner didn’t take very good care of it. The carfax was clean but I had concerns.
I did some more shopping around for M’s but within the week returned to keep it overnight pending a final commitment to buy it. Despite the split dash, check engine light on, and generally worn appearance (which can be expected with a car quickly approaching 100,000 miles), It felt like the right car for me, and I was willing to invest some money in cosmetic repairs, within reason. To help, I was hoping I could succeed in one final attempt at having them lower the price from $7,995.
My plan for the day was to have my mechanic look it over for assurance that it was free of any serious defects, and then return to the dealer to start the paperwork. First, I contacted a body shop and asked if they could provide an estimate on repairing the split dash.
They put me in touch with a specialist in interior repairs, who to my disappointment, recommended I not buy the car because the reason for the split was likely a partial air-bag deployment. Furthermore, a call to a couple of Chrysler dealers estimated the cost of complete dash replacement at $1,500, and my total car budget was no more than $8,500.
On the way to keep my appointment with my mechanic, I saw it. A 2001 Bright Silver Metallic 300M with moon roof and premium chrome wheels sat on a Chrysler lot. It gleamed in the late morning sunlight as if it were trying to get my attention. The price on the windshield was over $10,000, which is why it didn't show up on my Internet research for M’s under that amount.
I stopped in just to look. When I opened the door, the wood-trim, including the steering wheel, radiated for more class and beauty than I could have expected. The interior was flawless, and the exterior was just as nice.
It wasn’t long, of course, before a salesman was coming over to assist me. I explained my situation, that the car was a little out of my league, but he urged me to drive it.
It was absolutely amazing. The other 300M seemed to drive okay, but not like this. I felt like I was floating. I realized that this was the car I wanted and I needed to look no further if the history checked out and I could get the price down to $9,000, now willing to exceed my cap a little.
The mileage was actually close; this one had 93,000 miles, but had also been through an extensive quality check and was completely free of any defects.
To my complete amazement, I was able to negotiate a price of $8,100.
It is now approaching 118,000 miles and is every bit as awesome as it was then. Not one single mechanical problem, other than replacing an axle seal.
3.5 liter 6-cylinder
Luxury package, wood trim and steering wheel, leather, moon roof, 12-spoke chrome wheels
-Replaced the stereo & 4-disc CD changer with a single-disc -Pioneer stereo (satellite ready) with remote control
-Replaced door speakers with Pioneers
-Installed green l.e.d.’s under the dash (both sides). My wife hates them.
-Replaced floor mats with larger mats embroided with the 300M logo
- Added vinyl lettering to the front doors (300M)
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