1931 Chrysler CM Roadster
Chassis no. 6528008
Engine no. CM 17694
Produced at the old Chalmers plant in Detroit and introduced in January 1924, Walter P Chrysler's first automobile was an innovative, medium priced, six-cylinder car of better-than-average performance, as numerous motor sport successes would soon demonstrate. Offering a $5,000 specification for under $1,500, the Chrysler featured hydraulic brakes, aluminum pistons, full-pressure lubrication and a tubular front axle, and was able to reach 70mph comfortably. Not surprisingly, it was an outstanding success, 32,000 being sold in the car's first year of production. The original Chrysler Series 70 six remained 3.3 liters in capacity until 1926 when it was enlarged to 3.6 liters. A smaller, 3.0-litre Series 60 six was introduced for 1927 while the 70 grew to 4.1 liters for 1928, becoming the Series 72. Further iterations of these models continued through the 1920s.
As the decade turned Chrysler updated its sixes more substantially and in doing so altered the name series from its numeric designations which signified a model's top speed to an alphabetic listing. The first of the new range was christened the 'CJ', it featured a new low slung chassis, hydraulic internal brakes and hydraulic shocks, as well as rubber spring shackles and engine mounting. This in turn was substantially updated when the 'CM' was announced in January 1931 for arrival in the middle of the year. At this point the Six gained the new wide profile radiator, so associated with this era of production and deliberately echoing Cord's super elegant L-29. This aspect, combined with a new double drop chassis, provided an extremely sporting and low slung look, arguably never more so than on the Roadsters as evidenced by this car. Competitively priced at just $885, Chrysler would move some 2,281 roadsters, only a fraction of the CM production, which would nudge 40,000 units that year.
This well presented example has been set-up to provide a good and usable road touring car, and benefits from a few sensible upgrades to smooth such use. These include the fitting of a '34 Chrsyler-Desoto overdrive to improve road comfort at highway speeds and removable oil filter cartridge system.
A sympathetic older restoration, its color way makes the very best of the car's lines with rich maroon paint heightening the body moldings and then handsomely offset by the same choice of color for the interior upholstery, fenders and radiator grill, which are in turn heightened by red pin-striping. The car is equipped with a host of correct period options including cowl lights, front and rear bumpers, wire wheels and side mounted spares with metal covers, trunk rack and trunk. The fold down windshield also has wind-wings. Completing its presentation is an appealing Gazelle ornament on the radiator cap.
Offered with an original period sales brochure for the model, this good looking Chrysler is ready to be toured, and these models are well known both for their reliability as well as their ease to work on and for their availability of spares. All told this makes a very compelling package.