Auburn Fall | Lot 6064
1932 Chrysler CL Imperial Convertible Sedan
$137,500 USD | Sold
| Auburn, Indiana
4 September 2021
- Offered from single-family ownership since 1947
- Never before offered for public sale
- One of 11 known survivors with this elegant coachwork
- Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classic
The Classic Era in America brought about many beautiful automobiles, but the Chrysler CL Imperial of 1932-1933 was hard to beat for overall greatness. It featured a potent inline-eight-cylinder engine, a sweet-shifting transmission, and handsome LeBaron bodywork with a hoodline extended back to the windshield—emphasizing the car’s length and the size of the motor lurking beneath the sheet metal. Each body was meticulously constructed to the highest standards. The result was an automobile that was smoothly powerful, easy to drive for its era, and built with quality as the foremost consideration. It was a superb car—and it looked terrific.
Just 11 1932 CL Imperials are known to remain extant with the handsome Convertible Sedan coachwork, a style offered only that year. Few can boast the proud history of this example, which until very recently had lived a quiet existence, lovingly preserved and enjoyed by the same family that has continuously cared for it since 1947.
That year, the consignor’s late husband acquired the Chrysler when he was but 16 years old—and his new automobile just 15. In fact, it is worth noting that when this car was acquired the Classic Car Club of America had not even come into existence; his prescience in appreciating the Imperial well ahead of its time is impressive! He kept it for the rest of his life, treasuring its presence. It remained closely held and, for many years, its existence was not known to Imperial registrars.
The Chrysler’s owner always dreamed of getting it back on the road to enjoy. To that end, in his elder years he undertook a gentle cosmetic restoration, which the Imperial still wears today. The car was refinished in a rich maroon, very similar to the original color, with a complementary white interior and tan cloth top. His son notes that when the ancient World War II-era vinyl seat covers were removed for the work, original cloth upholstery, a rare option on this style in 1932, was discovered beneath. Inspection of the Chrysler factory sales records by noted marque historian Joe Morgan indicates that engine number CL1072, equipped with the Silver Dome cylinder head, began its life in a sedan, and so this is likely a replacement unit fitted at some point relatively early in the Imperial’s long life, and certainly before 1947.
An ideal basis for continued freshening and then further driving enjoyment, this CL Imperial has almost certainly remained in single ownership longer than virtually any other—and awaits a new caretaker who will love it as has the present family, now for almost 75 years.