1933 Chrysler CL Imperial Dual-Windshield Phaeton by LeBaron
$300,000 - $375,000
- One of fewer than 20 authentic survivors
- Originally delivered to powerboat racer Lou Fageol
- Formerly owned by Turhan Bey, Jack Passey, and Laurence “Baron” Dorcy
- Well-known history from new
After about a year, Fageol had his shop fit the car with a Cadillac V-16 engine, along with associated adjustments to the chassis and suspension. The combination of the more potent 175-hp V-16 with the Imperial chassis and body (1,000 lbs. lighter than the Cadillac) made for what Fageol termed “an excellent high-performance highway automobile,” which suited its thrill-seeking owner and driver quite nicely.
With its V-16 fitted, the Fageol Imperial next passed to Hollywood film actor Turhan Bey, and subsequently to a student at Stanford University, who sold it in the early 1950s to the late, legendary enthusiast, Jack Passey. Passey, in turn, traded the car to Earl Hill and Dick Wells, who sold it to Laurence Dorcy. Such was the colorful “Baron” Dorcy’s passion for the Fageol Imperial that, over the next 50 years, he would come to own the car two further times, always buying it back after he sold it.
The Imperial was restored between 1985 and 1987 by Harold Orchard of California. During Dorcy’s final ownership, the car had the engine hood correctly replaced, and the body was refinished in its present brilliant scarlet, matching the hue it wore when Dorcy first acquired it in the 1950s. Most recently, it has undergone further cosmetic restoration and the installation of a period-correct CH Imperial engine, very similar to the original CL unit that first powered the car in 1933.
The car has been well known to the Chrysler Imperial community for decades. It is described in Christopher Cummings’ book, Cadillac V-16s: Lost and Found, and is pictured in the book on Jack Passey’s automobiles, For the Love of Old Cars by Ken Albert.
Surviving CL Imperial dual-windshield phaetons are widely held as among the most beautiful and desirable American Classics. Few, however, have the rather spectacular, unlikely, and wonderful history of the example offered here, which has been owned and driven since new by utterly fascinating individuals, and has accrued a lifetime of amazing stories.