The Mythical Mopar

The Mythical Mopar

Ventura, CA

By C.J. Ward

Any car story that involves baseball legend and classic car collector Reggie Jackson must be a good one.

Jackson played a role in shipping a special 1970 Chrysler 300 Hemi Convertible to California in 1995. And that’s where our story begins...

Ventura County hot rodder and mega car guy Steve Faist is the current owner of that special 300 Hemi. It’s one of dozens of classic cars once owned by his grandfather Jim Johnston, a well-known car collector in his own right before his death in 2011.

Faist contacted West of Tulsa in 2022 hoping we could investigate and find out more about the cars from his grandfather’s collection. 

One of the first cars that caught my attention on his sprawling commercial property was the 300 Hemi Convertible and it was under a cover at the time. In fact, he also had a 300 Hardtop covered up right next to it. I pulled the cover off both and knew there was something special about each, but the convertible popped out at me.


I started digging by going through Johnston’s extensive and well organized files tucked away in a dark upstairs office on the property.

The file on the 300 Hemi Vert started in 1995. That’s the year Johnston bought the car at an auction in the midwest. Reggie Jackson was at the same auction and had room on his transport truck for Johnston’s new cars, including the 300 Hemi.

Once in Los Angeles, the car was transferred from Jackson’s garage to Johnston’s warehouse in Ventura and there it sat, out of public view, for 28 years. 

You would think the world forgot about the car, but as we found out,  that wasn’t the case. And there’s a great reason for that. Some devoted Hemi fans refer to this '70 300 Hemi Convertible as a rare and valuable ‘One of None car’ and others say it’s just a good clone. Either way, the story fuels curiosity.

Johnston’s files had the history of the car after 1995, but now it was up to West of Tulsa to figure out who had it before ‘95. It took several weeks of digging, but here’s what we came up with and we passed the information along to Faist for his records.

It’s believed that New Jersey businessman Anthony Boccaccio wanted a car just like the iconic 1970 Chrysler 300 Hurst Hemi Convertible used as a promotional vehicle with Miss Hurst, Linda Vaughn.

Chrysler only built one of them. However, there are some who believe two were built and a Chrysler executive totaled the second one during a joy ride.

Boccaccio reportedly approached Chrysler and offered to pay a hefty price if Chrysler would build another one. But, Chrysler declined.

So, Baccaccio ordered a Chrysler Newport 300 ‘Special Edition’ Convertible from a dealer in New Jersey and had a Chrysler dealership in Bristol, Tenn. convert the car from the 440 V8 it came with from the factory to a 426 Hemi with assistance from Hurst Performance. The conversion was reportedly quite difficult and complex and required true experts to pull it off - which they did! 

Boccaccio eventually sold the car in the early 80's. 

We've tried to contact Mr. Boccaccio or members of his family to verify information about the Hemi conversion. So far, we have not been able to verify the story. If you have any direct knowledge about this car please contact us at West of Tulsa.

The second owner, Steve McCloud, purchased the car from Boccaccio. He lived in Knoxville, Tenn. McCloud, a well known Chrysler collector, also owned the famous 1 of 1 factory built 1970 Chrysler 300 Hurst Hemi Convertible known to exist. Yes, the car remembered by many as the 'Parade Float' with Linda Vaughn standing on the platform next to a huge Hurst shifter. 

At this point, McCloud owned both cars. But, he only kept the "Special Edition" conversion for a short time and sold it to focus on his collection of 'Factory Built' Chryslers. 

McCloud reportedly sold the car to the third owner Dr. Guy Reed around 1990 who started a six month restoration of the car at Buck Herron's Collector's Restorations, Inc. in Tulsa, Oklahoma. 

Johnston purchased the car on June 4, 1995 from the Dr. Reed Collection through Leake Auction in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Leake promoted the car as a "One-off custom by Hurst."

During West of Tulsa’s research into the car, we found a Mopar blog where Hemi enthusiasts had questioned for years whether this car really existed. In some respects it seemed to reach mythical status. And who could blame them? It spent nearly its entire life in private collections and spent the last 28 years covered up in a warehouse. 

We posted numerous photos of the car and the documentation on the blog and eventually convinced them that the car does exist and it runs great with less than 32,000 miles on the odometer.

Now the debate has shifted to the car’s authenticity. Is it a real 1970 300 Hemi Hurst Convertible or just a clone? Some argue, since Hurst did the conversion and the 426 Hemi is period correct, it should be considered the real deal and the story behind it adds value.

But, others argue it’s just a well done clone and nothing more.

Faist tells us he plans to sell both 300’s. If he does, the hammer price on the ‘One of None’ Hemi Convertible should be a very good indicator of what collectors think of this mythical Mopar.

You decide, what do you think it’s worth? We’d love to hear your take on it.

Watch Steve's episode on Youtube...

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