John Lazenby's 1955 Imperial Newport, Page 1
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John Lazenby's 1955 Newport
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Photo by Klaus Kindor
John & Christie Lazenbyís 1955 Imperial Newport
Serial # C5512169
Some years ago after collecting our four Letter Cars and doing some minor and major restoration
work I had the urge to do yet another car. There were four different makes that had my interest.
They were the 1963/64 Buick Riviera, 1959 Ford (square) Thunderbird, 1956-57 Continental
MK II and last the 1955 Imperial Newport.
After sorting though these vehicles I realized I knew most about the Imperial as it was just
another version of Chryslerís that I had spent much time with, so I started looking for a car.
Almost immediately I thought of our long time friends John Lloyd and John McClay as they had
many of these cars pass their way.
Sadly John McClay had recently passed away, but none the less I contacted John Lloyd. Most of
their Imperials had moved on to other owners, but there was one Newport left. This car was
pretty much apart, but John assured me that it ran well and he had used it often prior to taking it
apart for restoration. This was the final car that John McClay worked on just prior to his passing
the same day as the story was relayed to us.
Click any image below for a larger version.
We purchased the Newport from John Lloyd and had it transported from his home directly to the
body and paint shop, Uptown Auto Craft located in Upland, California. Kevin
Holme, the owner
and I had become friends and he had done by this time three or four cars for me. He knew I was
picky and I knew he could get the project accomplished.
The front clip, trunk lid, doors were all removed and completely dissembled. Each part was
painted off the main body. I know for a fact that the inner fender panels were painted three
different times to get them to the finish that Kevin and I both wanted. While this was being
completed the finished body still on the chassis was transported to KAB, Ken & Brad Brodyís
shop for mechanical issues. The engine pan was removed and bearings checked. A new timing
chain was installed; the water pump and carburetor were rebuilt and installed. Brakes were
addressed as well as the balance of the drive train. The Brodyís also installed a new wiring loom
provided via YnZís Yesterdays Parts in Redlands, California and had a complete new exhaust
system built and installed. Brad Brody also was of great assistance on the finally re-assembly of
the car as I had developed a complete burn out after over five years into this project.
John Lloyd had laid a plan down and we basically carried it out. Originally this was an all black
car with white leather and gold inserts and carpet along with a white and gold dash. Johnís plan
was to paint the top an Antique White. Black V-Cloth material came with the car than John had
ordered and waited the better part of a year from SMS. There was dark gray
wool carpet included as well. I take no credit for the idea as we simply executed the Johnís visions.
While the Imperial was at Uptown Auto Craft I started taking stainless, bumpers and assorted
diecast items to Sihilling Metal Polishing located in Santa Ana. Iíve used this shop since about
1970 and always had good results. Their talent with stainless is amazing and if there was ever a
questionable part it was taken care of by Charles Sihilling.
Five factory Imperial 52 spoke wire wheels by Motor Rim & Wheel (Chryslerís original supplier
of wire wheels) were sent out to Borrani in Los Angeles for a complete restoration which
included stainless steel spokes. New center caps from Bob Bornstein were purchased along with
five B F Goodrich Silvertown 8x20:15 tires from Coker. Hey folks, this is starting to get
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