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A Red 1932 Imperial CL

Imperial Home Page -> Imperials by Year -> 1932 -> A Red 1932 Imperial CL

We recently saw this Imperial CL for sale. Here's what the owner had to say about this wonderful car:
1932 CHRYSLER CL 1184 CUSTOM IMPERIAL DUAL WINDSHIELD PHAETON, The exterior is a two tone cranberry with a beautiful tan leather interior accented with wood grain trim. The full restoration on this car is about 19 years old and still in very nice condition. Engine is 384 cubic inch straight 8 ('red head') coupled to a three-speed manual transaxle.

The car was delivered originally as a closed coupe on June 15th, 1932 in Milwaukee Wisconsin and remained in the greater Milwaukee area for several decades. In what is believed to be the late 1940’s, the car was the victim of an interior fire that destroyed the seats, and much of the rest of the interior in addition to causing serious damage to the body. The frame was solid and undamaged, however. The car was placed into storage for many years and was eventually purchased in the 1950's by a private collector; a Mr. David Soper of Wiota Iowa.

The car remained in Mr. Soper’s hands largely untouched until 1981. Mr. Soper, now retired, was selling his cars and this one along with three others (including the one just sold by RM Auctions) was sold to Mr. Bob McGowan of Branford, CT in 1980. Mr. McGowan, along with his brothers, owned a shop in Branford, CT. and began the process of conducting a complete rebody of the car. The restorative work would last most of the decade under the tutelage of two fastidious owners.

The car was then sold in 1985 to a well known and highly regarded collector in Piscataway, NJ who has owned many Packard’s, Chryslers and several other Grand Classics. He completed the restoration of the car including an engine and transmission rebuild at considerable personal expense and eventually sold the automobile in late 1991 to a private collector from Southeast USA. He was the owner until it came into my hands a short time ago.

When Mr. McGowan purchased the car, he set out to restore this car to the highest standards. In 1983, he first retained the legendary Mr. Edward Perkins to produce the body. Ed Perkins was known for restoring and rebodying Cadillac V-16 automobiles, and producing bodies for the cars that were considered masterpieces in the automotive community. Several examples of these cars are out on the show circuit today and winning major awards. This is believed to be the one and only Chrysler Imperial Dual Windshield body that he would produce.

He worked with the McGowan’s shop to produce a body that met every exacting LeBaron specification of even the most discerning collectors of these cars.

As a testament to his work, the car garnered an AACA 1st-in-class award at the Hershey PA. Show in 1991. This was during the time that rebody classes did not exist for these shows!

With the body and other heavy metal work now complete, the car was purchased by the aforementioned collector from New Jersey. He completed the restoration including a complete driveline rebuild and restoration as well as numerous finish items on the interior and instrumentation with input by owners of two of the other remaining Imperial Dual Windshield cars.

Once complete, the car won numerous awards including the AACA 1st place award in 1991.

This beautiful Chrysler is still in very presentable condition. The motor and engine bay are very nice, as is the paintwork, which shows some signs of aging, as is to be expected of a twenty year old restoration. The brightwork is in very good order with only some polishing needed. The interior is still in show condition needing just about nothing.

This car is fully eligible for Pebble Beach and Amelia Island and could be ready for either show with only some minor re-detailing work. This car is also recognized as a Full Classic by the CCCA.

If you're the new owner come and join The Imperial Club and tell us more about this beauty!

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This page was last updated 2 December 2006.  Send us your feedback, and come join the Imperial Mailing List - Online Car Club