<b>1932 Chrysler CL Imperial Custom Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. 7803380<br />Engine no. CL-1080

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Lot 121
1932 Chrysler CL Imperial Custom Convertible Sedan
Coachwork by LeBaron

Sold for US$ 181,500 inc. premium
1932 Chrysler CL Imperial Custom Convertible Sedan
Coachwork by LeBaron

Chassis no. 7803380
Engine no. CL-1080

385ci Flathead L-Head 8-Cylinder Engine
Stromberg 2V EE-3 Carburetor
125bhp at 3,200rpm
3-Speed Manual Transmission
4-Wheel Leaf Spring Suspension
4-Wheel Hydraulic Power Vacuum-Assisted Drum Brakes

*One of only 49 LeBaron Convertible Sedans built
*The only survivor of the 12 example further equipped with artillery-style wheels
*Well documented history since the 1960s
*A CCCA™ Full Classic


THE CHRYSLER IMPERIAL

Chrysler joined the multi-cylinder "club" in 1931 with the introduction of two models with straight-eight engines: the CD Eight and the Imperial CG Eight. The latter's nine-bearing engine produced 125bhp, which was good enough to propel the 5,000-pound car to a top speed of more than 95mph, truly world-class performance for the era. Notable features included hydraulic brakes, adjustable seats and steering column, as well as hydraulic shock absorbers. Chrysler's "Floating Power" engine mounting and a 4-speed synchromesh manual transmission contributed to the powertrain's smoothness and flexibility.

Long and dramatically low-slung, the all-new 1931 Chrysler Imperial drew obvious inspiration from the front-wheel-drive Cord L-29 that Errett Lobban Cord had sprung on the market in 1929 to widespread acclaim. Reportedly, L-29 designer Alan H. Leamy actually contributed to the Imperial design, during a hiatus from his employment as chief designer for Auburn and Cord automobiles. The Imperial's streamlined, swept-back radiator shell was overtly Cord-like, and as with the L-29, the Imperial windshield was set far back on the chassis, permitting a very long hood/cowl line and gracefully sweeping front fenders. With its 145 inch wheelbase chassis being even longer than the L-29, the Imperial's proportions were all the more breath-taking.

For 1932 and '33 the progression of the model was largely aesthetic with more pronounced separated two-piece windshields, door-type hood ventilators, and the overall proportions grew scaled on a slightly longer 146 inch wheelbase.

The new Imperial was offered in two sub-series, a standard line with production Briggs-built bodies and a more prestigious Custom line featuring semi-custom bodies, finished to order. LeBaron designed and built all but one of the Imperial "catalog custom" styles.

LeBaron Carrossiers Inc. had been founded in 1920 by the two legendary designers Raymond H. Dietrich and Tom Hibbard, after Brewster had fired them for planning on company time to start up on their own. They got themselves a fancy address at no. 2 Columbus Circle in New York City, but being virtually destitute, had no funds to establish their own coachbuilding facility. So they developed a never-before-seen business model, which was to sell ready-made designs to clients and then contract to have them built by outside coachbuilders.

THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

This Imperial is among the rarest of the breed. Fitted with lithe and elegant Convertible Sedan coachwork, it is one of only 49 examples built in 1932. Of those 49 cars, only 12 were further fitted with artillery style wheels. It is believed that only about 16 of the '32 Imperial Convertible Sedan still survive and this is the sole survivor with artillery style wheels.

The early history of this car is yet unknown, but it was discovered by the penultimate owner—Fresno, California-based collector and restorer Benjamin Gostanian—about 50 years ago. Likely put away shortly before or after WWII, it was found in California in complete, serviceable condition but with a top largely in tatters. Photos on file show the car shortly after it was discovered. An avid enthusiast and among the most dedicated collectors in the valley, Mr. Gostanian set about restoring the car back to showroom condition shortly after acquiring it.

The initial restoration appears to have been largely sympathetic with the car finished in what appears to have been its original color scheme of burgundy-hued Everglade Red with cream coachlines and red leather topped with a light tan convertible roof. A selection of photos show the car in this configuration. The California blue plates fitted to the car date this initial refurbishment to the 1970s. Understood to have collected numerous trophies in this color scheme, the Imperial would later go in for another restoration in the early 1980s. Documented extensively by photos, the car was torn down, repainted its current paint scheme of creamy white with coffee coachlines and an interior redyed beige.

As completed, the car would continue to win awards. Photos show the car crossing the podium at a 1987 Concours d'Elegance as well as on the field at The Quail Lodge.

Gostanian would keep the car in his collection until his passing in the spring of 2006, at which point it was acquired by the current owner. Still showing well today, the car's now more than 30-year-old restoration has held up well. Some crazing in the paint speaks to its age, but the interior presents very nicely. Showing 66,653 miles, it is believed that this could be original based on notes from Mr. Gostanian's file. Equipped today with niceties such as an auxiliary Ha Dees heater, overdrive, freewheeling, power vacuum assisted brakes, and a vacuum assisted clutch, it would no doubt be a lovely tour car. Perfectly fine as is, or welcome to a sympathetic restoration to return the car to her former glory, either way, this rarely seen and handsomely

Footnotes

  • Please note this vehicle is titled under its engine number
Contacts
<b>1932 Chrysler CL Imperial Custom Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. 7803380<br />Engine no. CL-1080
<b>1932 Chrysler CL Imperial Custom Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. 7803380<br />Engine no. CL-1080
<b>1932 Chrysler CL Imperial Custom Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. 7803380<br />Engine no. CL-1080
<b>1932 Chrysler CL Imperial Custom Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. 7803380<br />Engine no. CL-1080
<b>1932 Chrysler CL Imperial Custom Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. 7803380<br />Engine no. CL-1080
<b>1932 Chrysler CL Imperial Custom Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. 7803380<br />Engine no. CL-1080
<b>1932 Chrysler CL Imperial Custom Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. 7803380<br />Engine no. CL-1080
<b>1932 Chrysler CL Imperial Custom Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. 7803380<br />Engine no. CL-1080
<b>1932 Chrysler CL Imperial Custom Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. 7803380<br />Engine no. CL-1080
<b>1932 Chrysler CL Imperial Custom Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. 7803380<br />Engine no. CL-1080
<b>1932 Chrysler CL Imperial Custom Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. 7803380<br />Engine no. CL-1080
<b>1932 Chrysler CL Imperial Custom Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. 7803380<br />Engine no. CL-1080
<b>1932 Chrysler CL Imperial Custom Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. 7803380<br />Engine no. CL-1080
<b>1932 Chrysler CL Imperial Custom Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. 7803380<br />Engine no. CL-1080
<b>1932 Chrysler CL Imperial Custom Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. 7803380<br />Engine no. CL-1080
<b>1932 Chrysler CL Imperial Custom Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. 7803380<br />Engine no. CL-1080
<b>1932 Chrysler CL Imperial Custom Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. 7803380<br />Engine no. CL-1080
<b>1932 Chrysler CL Imperial Custom Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. 7803380<br />Engine no. CL-1080
<b>1932 Chrysler CL Imperial Custom Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. 7803380<br />Engine no. CL-1080
<b>1932 Chrysler CL Imperial Custom Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. 7803380<br />Engine no. CL-1080
<b>1932 Chrysler CL Imperial Custom Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. 7803380<br />Engine no. CL-1080
<b>1932 Chrysler CL Imperial Custom Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. 7803380<br />Engine no. CL-1080
<b>1932 Chrysler CL Imperial Custom Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. 7803380<br />Engine no. CL-1080
<b>1932 Chrysler CL Imperial Custom Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. 7803380<br />Engine no. CL-1080
<b>1932 Chrysler CL Imperial Custom Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. 7803380<br />Engine no. CL-1080
<b>1932 Chrysler CL Imperial Custom Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. 7803380<br />Engine no. CL-1080
<b>1932 Chrysler CL Imperial Custom Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. 7803380<br />Engine no. CL-1080
<b>1932 Chrysler CL Imperial Custom Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. 7803380<br />Engine no. CL-1080
<b>1932 Chrysler CL Imperial Custom Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. 7803380<br />Engine no. CL-1080
<b>1932 Chrysler CL Imperial Custom Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. 7803380<br />Engine no. CL-1080
<b>1932 Chrysler CL Imperial Custom Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. 7803380<br />Engine no. CL-1080
<b>1932 Chrysler CL Imperial Custom Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. 7803380<br />Engine no. CL-1080
<b>1932 Chrysler CL Imperial Custom Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. 7803380<br />Engine no. CL-1080
<b>1932 Chrysler CL Imperial Custom Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. 7803380<br />Engine no. CL-1080
<b>1932 Chrysler CL Imperial Custom Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. 7803380<br />Engine no. CL-1080
<b>1932 Chrysler CL Imperial Custom Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. 7803380<br />Engine no. CL-1080
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