Lot 116

St. John's 2011

1931 Chrysler Imperial Close-Coupled Sedan


$74,250 USD | Sold

United States Flag | Plymouth, Michigan



Chassis No.
Engine No.
Body No.

Model CG. 384.8 cu. in. eight-cylinder L-head engine, four-speed manual overdrive transmission with free-wheeling, solid front axle and live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 145"

- Offered from the Estate of Don Kizziar

- Attractive Close-Coupled Sedan

- Believed to have been delivered new to Walter P. Chrysler

- Ex-Paul Stern Collection

Although the first car bearing Walter Chrysler’s name was a medium-priced six, within two years he had introduced a prestige model, the E-80 Imperial. Selling for $2,645 to $3,695 for production styles, it competed directly with the Packard Six and the lower-priced Cadillacs. Chrysler applied distinctive touches to the Imperial to set it apart from other models, including bullet headlights and a scalloped radiator and hood reminiscent of Vauxhall.

In July 1930, Chrysler introduced the Series CG Imperial. Larger than its predecessor, its appearance had been completely transformed. The radiator shell had become a grille, boldly set out and canted back at a rakish angle, and a long hood gave extra prominence to the nose. Fenders were given flowing curves, the visual cue replicated in the Duesenberg-like bumpers, and headlights became sleeker. In place of the old six was an all-new straight eight. The Imperial line had been expanded to four production bodies and four cataloged custom styles by LeBaron. Most popular was the five-passenger Close-Coupled Sedan with blind rear quarters, in which race driver Harry Hartz set a number of speed records on Daytona Beach.

According to Chrysler experts, this Chrysler Imperial Close-Coupled Sedan was shipped new to New York on May 10, 1931. It is widely believed this car was delivered new for use at Walter P. Chrysler’s hunting estate, Pokety Farms, on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. After Chrysler’s death in 1940, Chrysler’s car was inherited by his daughter, Bernice Chrysler Garbisch, and her husband Edgar. Years later, when Mr. Kizziar bought the car in the early 1980s, he interviewed the Garbisch’s groundskeeper and chauffeur, who remembered the car well. The audio recording of this conversation comes with the car. Although original Chrysler records do not specifically mention Mr. Chrysler by name, the evidence to support his ownership is certainly quite strong, and a large binder accompanies the car with supportive documentation.

Discovered in the late 1960s, the car was purchased by renowned Pennsylvania collector Paul Stern for his stable of noteworthy Chrysler Corporation cars. Stern had it restored soon after acquisition. The next and most recent owner was Mr. Kizziar. An older restoration, it presents well in beige and tan, with a tan cloth interior. Certain cosmetic imperfections are visible on closer examination, but these are generally minor.

The brightwork is generally good as well. The car has wide whitewall Lester tires all around, dual side-mount spares and an external rear trunk, original to the car.

The car won National First honors from AACA in 1973 and a National First in CCCA competition at Scottsdale, Arizona while in Mr. Kizziar’s collection. A powerful and prestigious CCCA Full Classic, it is one of 1,195 Imperial Close-Coupled Sedans built. None other, however, can claim the provenance of Walter P. Chrysler ownership.