1937 Chrysler Imperial C-14, 15 and 17 Specifications, Equipment and Options

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                                        HISTORICAL NOTES:                                          


The new 1937 Chryslers were introduced in October, 1936.  Innovations this year included built-in defroster vents, safety type interior hardware and seat back padding, fully insulated engine mountings and increased horsepower on the straight eight engines.  There are three series designations this year: the C-14 was the standard eight which was no longer an Airflow.  It looked much more like the Chrysler Royal with a longer hood and cowl.  The Imperial name appears on the nose between the grille and the wraparound hood louvers.  The C-15 was the Imperial Custom and the Town Sedan Limousine, with blind rear quarter panels, was available special order.  Custom coach built bodies included the beautiful Derham Victoria.  And finally the C-17 was the designation for the Airflow.  They had a concealed crank for raising the windshield and the hood was hinged at the cowl and opened from the front; side hood panels were released by catches on the inside.  


A Custom Imperial convertible sedan was used on an AAA Official Car at the Indy 500.  The car was painted silver and black to commemorate the speedway's 25th anniversary.


The Series CW was rejuvenated from 1936 with newly designed bumpers, grilles and trim.  There was a total of 3 produced.  One was built for the Hershey family of candy bar and antique car fame.  A second one was built for Manual L. Querzon, President of the Philippines.  A third car was delivered to radio personality Major Edward Bowes.  Querzon and Major Bowes CWs survive to this day.  One is owned by the government of the Philippines; the other by collector Frank Kleptz of Terre Haute, Indiana.  All of the cars seem to have been specially equipped by Chrysler and LeBaron with numerous features not found in any other CW.  A 1940 Life magazine article put the value of the Major Bowes' car at $25,000.






Inline, L- head Eight.  Cast Iron Block

Bore & Stroke : 3.25 inches x 4.125 inches. 

Displacement : 273.8 cubic inches

C. R.: (Standard) 6.7:1

          (Optional) 7.4:1

Brake Horsepower :   

     (Standard) - 110 @ 3600rpm

     (Optional) - 115 @3600rpm

N.A.C.C. Horsepower : 33.80

Main Bearings : Five

Solid Valve Lifters

Carburetor : Stromberg 2V Model EE-22


ENGINE FOR C-15 and C-17

Inline, L- head Eight.  Cast Iron Block

Bore & Stroke : 3.25 inches x 4.875 inches. 

Displacement : 323.5 cubic inches

C. R.: (Standard) 6.2:1

          (Optional) 6.5:1

Brake Horsepower :   

     (Standard) - 130 @ 3400 rpm

     (Optional) - 138 @3400rpm

N.A.C.C. Horsepower : 33.80

Main Bearings : Five

Solid Valve Lifters

Carburetor : Stromberg 2V Model AAOV-1




Wheelbase :

C-14 : 121-inches

C-15 : 140-inches

C-17 : 128-inches



Manual synchromesh transmission.  Speeds are 3 Forward / 1 Reverse.  Floor shift controls.  Conventional clutch.  Shaft drive. Hypoid rear axle.  Overall ratios: C-14 was 4.10:1, C-15 was 4.27:1 and C-17 was 4.30:1.










  • Single or dual sidemounts (except Airflow)

  • Sidemount cover(s)

  • Fender skirts

  • Bumper guards

  • Radio

  • Radio antenna

  • Heater

  • Clock

  • Cigar lighter

  • Seat covers

  • OSRV mirror

  • Spotlight(s)

  • Trippe lights

  • Whitewall tires

  • Special paint

  • Special, custom upholstery

The final year of the Airflow was styled with a gently raked and rounded front.

Ray Dietrich adopted a new rounded styling theme seen in new grilles, hood vents, moldings and other body hardware.

New, safer interiors were advertised and featured hidden blower fans and defroster vents.

A main philosophic difference between Walter P. and other automotive moguls, notably William C. Durant, came in his business theory that auto makers should be self-sufficient, not depend on second party suppliers.  His philosophy took a bold step in '37 when Chrysler purchased the Haynes Automobile Company's Kokomo, Indiana production factory.  It was earmarked as a transmission manufacturing operation for Dodge.

Information on this page was obtained from The Standard Catalog of Chrysler 1924-1990 by John Lee and Chrysler Chronicles by James Flammang.

This page was last updated on May 8, 2002. Send us your feedback, and come join the Imperial Mailing List - Online Car Club