Many celebrities owned 300-letter series cars, but none brought as much recognition to the marque as Richard Carpenter.
Born in New Haven, Connecticut, USA, Richard on October 15, 1946, and his sister Karen on March 2, 1950, the Carpenter siblings moved with their parents to California in 1963 and settled in the Los Angeles suburb of Downey. Carpenters made their progress in 1970 with the release of Close to You, which climbed to # 1 and remained at the top of the charts for four weeks. Although Richard and Karen were not the first performers to record the song, Carpenters ’version was by far the most popular, and the song became synonymous with the duo.
The next recording, We’ve Only Just Begun, reached number 2 to become the duo’s second big hit in the fall of 1970 and helped catapult the album containing both hits (titled “Close to You”) to bestseller status. Sadly, Karen passed away in 1983. Her death at the age of 32 shocked the world of music, but her legacy lives on.
Richard began collecting 300s in the mid-1970s, at the height of the singer’s duet’s popularity. Using the talents of upholsterer Gary Goers, Richard has restored and owned many 300s over the years, including a 300D convertible featured in the 4 Oscar-nominated films Quiz Show.
Richard’s automobile collection numbers 25, mostly MOPAR cars. The collection is housed in a commercial building appropriately named “Yesterday Once More”. All the cars were spotless showroom condition cars. Not a car that had rust on it in the bunch.
His zeal for the brand led Goers to produce a line of 300 interiors and related items not previously available. Without Richard’s interest in the 300s, it is doubtful that the beautiful Goers interiors would have become a reality when they did.
Richard continues to collect fine cars and currently has three 300-letter cars in his collection, including an air-conditioned 300B, a 300E convertible, and a 300F convertible with a white interior. He has owned all three since the 1970s.
You can watch the video below. It is a black and white film from the collection of Richard Carpenter’s car.