<b>1933 Chrysler Imperial Model CL Dual Cowl Phaeton  </b><br />Chassis no. 7803639 <br />Engine no. CL1345

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Lot 162
Originally owned by Marjorie Merryweather Post
1933 Chrysler Imperial Model CL Dual Cowl Phaeton
Coachwork by LeBaron

US$ 550,000 - 675,000
£ 410,000 - 500,000
Originally owned by Marjorie Merryweather Post
1933 Chrysler Imperial Model CL Dual Cowl Phaeton
Coachwork by LeBaron

Chassis no. 7803639
Engine no. CL1345

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

*Unique tailor-made Chrysler Imperial
*Lovely Dual Cowl Phaeton coachwork
*Detailed in the CCCA The Classic Car feature on Post
*CCCA Classic


THE CHRYSLER IMPERIAL

When Walter P. Chrysler's up-market Imperial model made its debut in 1926, the marque he founded was just two years old. Nevertheless, by the end of that year, Chrysler would be the seventh-ranked US automaker. Produced in the old Chalmers plant in Detroit, the first Chrysler was an innovative, medium-priced, six-cylinder car of better-than-average performance, as numerous motor sport successes would soon demonstrate. The range soon expanded to encompass a four, a smaller six and the Imperial, a larger and more expensive automobile that was intended to compete with the likes of Cadillac, Lincoln and Packard.

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. Displacing 384.84cid (6.3-liters), the latter's nine-bearing engine produced 125 bhp at 3,200 rpm, which was good enough to propel the 2.5 tonne Imperial to a top speed in excess of 95 mph, 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.

In 1924, Edsel Ford had lured Ray Dietrich to Detroit as he wanted him to design bodies exclusively for Lincoln. Hibbard had departed for Paris in 1923, and designer Ralph Roberts had been made partner in LeBaron. In 1927, the Briggs Body Company in approached him to acquire LeBaron. Roberts sold out and moved to Detroit to manage LeBaron from there. The captivating lines of this 1931 Imperial Custom are therefore the work of Ralph Roberts, and as such must be ranked as one of the most pleasing and graceful designs ever to come out of Detroit. Both beautiful and practical, the dual cowl LeBaron Sport Phaeton features front and rear compartments that are essentially individual "cockpits". The effect is evocative of sporty mahogany speedboats of the period. A wind-up rear-compartment windscreen is mounted in the slim panel that forms the rear cowl.

But 1933 would be a dire year for sales for Chrysler, with deliveries of this model numbering a mere 151 units.

THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

Marjorie Merryweather Post was one of the wealthiest of her generation and if her finances are scaled by inflation, perhaps ever. If one contextualizes her success within an era pre-dating the acceptance of women as business people, it is nothing short of staggering.


Each year, a select few car collectors get a sense of the grandeur of her lifestyle with the second day of Concours events surrounding the Cavallino Classic at her Palm Beach Island home Mar-a-Lago. This extraordinary home has been sympathetically restored and since the 1980s has been part of the Trump empire, being run as a Club.

Merryweather Post appreciated style, design, and quality of workmanship. This was reflected consistently in her collecting of Decorative Arts from around world. It is not surprising that she owned a series of fine automobiles, and that they too were individually tailored for her. In the Roaring Twenties, those vehicles are known to have included an exquisite Hooper bodied Coupe de Ville Rolls-Royce, and of course, a Brewster bodied Phantom would follow in its footsteps- two very Gatsby-esque cars.

As the Thirties commenced, Marjorie was more supporting of home market automobiles. A series of Packards were delivered to her and at least two Chrysler Imperials. This is the second of those cars. A characteristic not unique to her but a trait of others of her financial strata particularly on the East Coast and in the depression era, was the quite common practice to upgrade one's car while retaining the coachwork. Whether this reflected a preference of the old style while wishing to get the latest performance, or that in these austere times, it was done to replace one's car while hiding the change, it must certainly have been down to the inclination of the person concerned. Post was certainly one who did this a number of times. A Rolls body of hers was married to a Packard for example, and this Chrysler is another example of this.

Writing in The Classic Car during Spring of 2012, Robert D. Adams states that she was very fond of her 1931 Imperial CG Le Baron Dual Cowl Phaeton, such that when the 1933 Imperial series CL was offered and the closest style to this was a Dual-Windshield version, she simply had the body moved from the earlier car to the later model. Correspondence from Post's office in the 1950s confirms the switch which they state was carried out by Simons-Stewart Company Inc. in New York, who were of course the Chrysler agents. The cost of the project is understood to have been $6,000, a huge sum of money at the time.

As the decade progressed, Post parted company with her then husband E.F. Hutton, and in 1936 would marry for the third time to Joseph D. Davies, an attorney who later became an ambassador in the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration. Marjorie post would keep the Chrysler CL for a number of years, eventually giving it to Davies' daughter Eleanor Davies Tydings

From Miss Davies Tydings, the car was acquired by an Army Officer who saw it on her driveway and thought that it looked sad and unused. He kept the car for the next decade using it as his everyday transport, and in doing so, it came onto the radar of Chrysler aficionado Bruce R. Thomas, who ultimately purchased it in 1956.

Mr. Thomas fondly recalls his acquisition today, and he was responsible for a comprehensive rebuild of the car. He toured, used, and thoroughly enjoyed the CL until he was persuaded to part with it by prominent collector of his day, Paul Stern. From Stern it passed to a Mr. LaRusso on Long Island in the 1970s. Mr Fafard was equally fascinated by the tale of Marjorie Merryweather Post when he discovered the car mid-way through restoration by Mr. LaRusso's grandson approximately a decade ago. He quickly negotiated to secure the car and then to manage its restoration. Its color choice was a scheme favored by Post.

This work has been completed for many years now and Howard Fafard had the great pleasure of enjoying and showing the car. Appropriately in 2011, this car returned to that very location where it may well have spent some time previously, Marjorie Merryweather Post's Mar-A-Lago.

A rakish and striking statement of Chrysler and LeBaron, this Dual-Cowl Phaeton has been a special car from day one. Its creation reflects the refined tastes of Marjorie Post, a truly legendary American character, and it is very clearly an important and museum worthy collectible car.

Contacts
<b>1933 Chrysler Imperial Model CL Dual Cowl Phaeton  </b><br />Chassis no. 7803639 <br />Engine no. CL1345
<b>1933 Chrysler Imperial Model CL Dual Cowl Phaeton  </b><br />Chassis no. 7803639 <br />Engine no. CL1345
<b>1933 Chrysler Imperial Model CL Dual Cowl Phaeton  </b><br />Chassis no. 7803639 <br />Engine no. CL1345
<b>1933 Chrysler Imperial Model CL Dual Cowl Phaeton  </b><br />Chassis no. 7803639 <br />Engine no. CL1345
<b>1933 Chrysler Imperial Model CL Dual Cowl Phaeton  </b><br />Chassis no. 7803639 <br />Engine no. CL1345
<b>1933 Chrysler Imperial Model CL Dual Cowl Phaeton  </b><br />Chassis no. 7803639 <br />Engine no. CL1345
<b>1933 Chrysler Imperial Model CL Dual Cowl Phaeton  </b><br />Chassis no. 7803639 <br />Engine no. CL1345
<b>1933 Chrysler Imperial Model CL Dual Cowl Phaeton  </b><br />Chassis no. 7803639 <br />Engine no. CL1345
<b>1933 Chrysler Imperial Model CL Dual Cowl Phaeton  </b><br />Chassis no. 7803639 <br />Engine no. CL1345
<b>1933 Chrysler Imperial Model CL Dual Cowl Phaeton  </b><br />Chassis no. 7803639 <br />Engine no. CL1345
<b>1933 Chrysler Imperial Model CL Dual Cowl Phaeton  </b><br />Chassis no. 7803639 <br />Engine no. CL1345
<b>1933 Chrysler Imperial Model CL Dual Cowl Phaeton  </b><br />Chassis no. 7803639 <br />Engine no. CL1345
<b>1933 Chrysler Imperial Model CL Dual Cowl Phaeton  </b><br />Chassis no. 7803639 <br />Engine no. CL1345
<b>1933 Chrysler Imperial Model CL Dual Cowl Phaeton  </b><br />Chassis no. 7803639 <br />Engine no. CL1345
<b>1933 Chrysler Imperial Model CL Dual Cowl Phaeton  </b><br />Chassis no. 7803639 <br />Engine no. CL1345
<b>1933 Chrysler Imperial Model CL Dual Cowl Phaeton  </b><br />Chassis no. 7803639 <br />Engine no. CL1345
<b>1933 Chrysler Imperial Model CL Dual Cowl Phaeton  </b><br />Chassis no. 7803639 <br />Engine no. CL1345
<b>1933 Chrysler Imperial Model CL Dual Cowl Phaeton  </b><br />Chassis no. 7803639 <br />Engine no. CL1345
<b>1933 Chrysler Imperial Model CL Dual Cowl Phaeton  </b><br />Chassis no. 7803639 <br />Engine no. CL1345
<b>1933 Chrysler Imperial Model CL Dual Cowl Phaeton  </b><br />Chassis no. 7803639 <br />Engine no. CL1345
<b>1933 Chrysler Imperial Model CL Dual Cowl Phaeton  </b><br />Chassis no. 7803639 <br />Engine no. CL1345
<b>1933 Chrysler Imperial Model CL Dual Cowl Phaeton  </b><br />Chassis no. 7803639 <br />Engine no. CL1345
<b>1933 Chrysler Imperial Model CL Dual Cowl Phaeton  </b><br />Chassis no. 7803639 <br />Engine no. CL1345
<b>1933 Chrysler Imperial Model CL Dual Cowl Phaeton  </b><br />Chassis no. 7803639 <br />Engine no. CL1345
<b>1933 Chrysler Imperial Model CL Dual Cowl Phaeton  </b><br />Chassis no. 7803639 <br />Engine no. CL1345
<b>1933 Chrysler Imperial Model CL Dual Cowl Phaeton  </b><br />Chassis no. 7803639 <br />Engine no. CL1345
<b>1933 Chrysler Imperial Model CL Dual Cowl Phaeton  </b><br />Chassis no. 7803639 <br />Engine no. CL1345
<b>1933 Chrysler Imperial Model CL Dual Cowl Phaeton  </b><br />Chassis no. 7803639 <br />Engine no. CL1345
<b>1933 Chrysler Imperial Model CL Dual Cowl Phaeton  </b><br />Chassis no. 7803639 <br />Engine no. CL1345
<b>1933 Chrysler Imperial Model CL Dual Cowl Phaeton  </b><br />Chassis no. 7803639 <br />Engine no. CL1345
<b>1933 Chrysler Imperial Model CL Dual Cowl Phaeton  </b><br />Chassis no. 7803639 <br />Engine no. CL1345
<b>1933 Chrysler Imperial Model CL Dual Cowl Phaeton  </b><br />Chassis no. 7803639 <br />Engine no. CL1345
<b>1933 Chrysler Imperial Model CL Dual Cowl Phaeton  </b><br />Chassis no. 7803639 <br />Engine no. CL1345
<b>1933 Chrysler Imperial Model CL Dual Cowl Phaeton  </b><br />Chassis no. 7803639 <br />Engine no. CL1345
<b>1933 Chrysler Imperial Model CL Dual Cowl Phaeton  </b><br />Chassis no. 7803639 <br />Engine no. CL1345
<b>1933 Chrysler Imperial Model CL Dual Cowl Phaeton  </b><br />Chassis no. 7803639 <br />Engine no. CL1345
<b>1933 Chrysler Imperial Model CL Dual Cowl Phaeton  </b><br />Chassis no. 7803639 <br />Engine no. CL1345
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