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Bill Salisbury's C-15 Custom Imperial

Imperial Home Page -> Imperials by Year -> 1937 -> Bill Salisbury

Bill Salisbury recently wrote in and shared some photos of his beautiful 1937 C-15 Custom Imperial Survivor. Here's what he had to say about this car.

This car has had an interesting history, although I know only parts of it. There are some blank spots in the middle where the owner trail disappears.

The car was delivered to Chrysler New York Co. Inc. after assembly on May 21, 1937 and shipped on May 27, 1937. My understanding is that it was then sold to the first owner, whose name I do not have, and the new owner gave this car to his daughter who was graduating from high school. I suspect that these people were of substantial means and that the car was chauffer driven and maintained.

The original owner then sold the car to Mr. John Howard, a Chrysler Sales/Service representative who acquired it in New York area. Apparently the car was driven very little by Mr. Howard. I don't know when this transaction took place.

Mr. Howard then sold the car to Mr. Bruce Thomas, who is a Chrysler Corporate Historian, in 1958. The car had approximately 17,000 miles on it then. Mr. Thomas would drive the car to work on nice days and to car shows, etc. He then sold the car in 1960 to the fourth owner, whose name I do not have. From there, the ownership trail tapers off. I do know that eventually Mr. Arthur L. Haer of Lakeland, Florida owned the car for a good number of years. I have been unable to contact Mr. Haer or any of his family. He eventually sold the car and it ended up in the hands of Mr. Adam Thomas of Atlantic City, New Jersey. I purchased the car from him in March 2004.

I contacted the Chrysler Archives after I had the car in my possession and was able to speak with Mr. Bruce Thomas. We began talking about the car and he mentioned to me that he had. once owned a car just like that and asked me if I knew the engine number of my car. I told him I did and gave him the engine number. There was a long silence and then he said to me, "I used to own your car!" This created much joy between us and from there we discussed the car in quite a bit of detail. I received a copy of the original build card from Mr. Thomas which contains all the details of this car.

This car has 48,000 miles on the odometer and I have to assume that this reading is close to actual. The car runs and drives well and will cruise comfortably down the highway at 65 mph. The overdrive works as advertised. The engine uses a small amount of oil, but does not smoke at all. The car was repainted somewhere along its life, but the interior is original, showing some wear. Everything works. It is unfortunate that somewhere along this car's life, the original fender skirts were lost. They were with the car when Mr. Bruce Thomas sold the car.

Thanks to Bill for sharing photos of this beauty!

(click on small images to see larger ones)


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