Combine whole strawberries and 1/4 cup sugar in a large mixing bowl; stir gently, and chill thoroughly.
Beat egg whites (at room temperature) and cream of tartar in a large mixing bowl until foamy. Add remaining sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form and sugar dissolves. Add salt, vinegar, and vanilla, beating well. (Do not under beat mixture.)
Spoon equal portions of meringue mixture into two well greased 9-inch cake pans. Bake at 300° for 55 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove meringue layers from pans immediately. Cool away from drafts on wire racks. Use immediately or store in airtight containers.
Place one baked meringue layer on a serving plate. Spread one - third of whipped cream evenly over meringue layer, and arrange half of whole strawberries, tapered end up, on top. Top with remaining baked meringue layer and one - third of whipped cream. Place remaining whole strawberries, tapered end up, around outer edge of baked meringue shell. Pipe remaining whipped cream in center. Chill. Slice and serve on individual serving plates.