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1936 Chrysler Imperial C-11 Airflow

Imperial Home Page -> Imperials by Year -> 1936 -> C-11 Airflow

This rare '36 Imperial Airflow C-11 came up for sale recently. Here's what the owner had to say about it.

This is a very significant car! It is an absolute show stopper and has won the top honors at each and every class in concours events all over California- including Preservation Classes and Airflow Classes. This is the only C-11 seven passenger limousine in existence. As a C-11, it is a Custom Imperial and is built as a LeBaron on a 137 inch wheelbase. Many features are unique only to the C-11, including details such as the engine color. It has a front section similar to a coupe and the rear section similar to the sedan.

This motorcar was so well preserved because it has always been treated as a highly special car. It was sold new in February 1937 by the large Chrysler dealer and distributor, James McAllister, in San Francisco, CA. Please note that the photos include a James McAllister maintenance decal that dates back to 1949, registering approximately 55,000 miles.

Jim Weston (a noted SF collector and previous owner of this car for about 35 years) recounts seeing the car for the first time in 1951 in San Francisco. It was owned by two old ladies who were chauffeured to their bank. Mr. Weston fell in love with the car the moment he saw it!!

Although Mr. Weston attempted to acquire the car several times, it wasnít until 1968 that he was successful. It had never left the San Francisco Bay Area. Included with the car are an album of receipts dating back to 1968 and California registration verification from 1937.

Over the years that Mr. Weston owned the motorcar he drove it every few years. Such trips include: to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge in 1987, the Classic Car Club of America Grand Classic in 1990 and the annual meeting of the Airflow Club of America in the 1990ís held in Sacramento, CA. The Airflow always ran strong and was the utmost in elegance and luxury. Typically it was just parked in his spectacular collection in the heart of San Francisco.

Upon obtaining the Airflow from Mr. Weston in April 2001, I commenced a thorough cleaning and mechanical freshening. This included 250 hours of professional cleaning of the undercarriage, exterior paint, engine compartment and interior. The mechanical freshening included dropping the oil pan and cleaning the inside of the engine (the bearings and crankshaft were beautiful). All of the brakes were rebuilt and radiator flushed. All of the accessory components were rebuilt such as the generator, carburetor, waterpump, fuel pump, etc. I installed new blackwall tires.

Chrysler used enamel paint. You can see that the original paint is in amazing condition and the only blemishes are related to the lead filling where the body seams were welded together at the factory in 1936.

Most of the chrome is original, but some pieces were replated back in August of 1986 (yes, the receipts are included).

Since the car was acquired it has been driven all over California adding about 2,000 miles to its history, for a total mileage of 61,000.

The condition of the car is fabulous. Every concours event it has won its class, even when up against restored cars. People love this car (as do I). Events include CCCA Annual Meeting (Best Original), CCCA Grand Classic (Best Original) and the Ironstone Concours (1st Place Airflow Class). It was invited (but not shown) at the Pebble Beach Concours.

There are no other C-11ís on the road anywhere in the world. This is the only C-11 limousine in existence and one of the nicest Airflows and one of the best preserved Airflows in the world. This is a very important piece of automotive history and an excellent addition to a collection of classic motorcars. In addition, this is a car that can be driven anywhere.

We hope the new owner will write in and tell us what it's like to own and drive this unusual car!

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This page was last updated September 13, 2011.  Send us your feedback, and come join the Imperial Mailing List - Online Car Club