Walter Chrysler established a wide range of vehicles that included the inexpensive Plymouth or Dodge, a mid-level DeSoto, and the top-of-the-range Imperial from Chrysler. The Imperial's were given large wheelbases, mechanical prowess, and attractive coachwork, rivaling the finest vehicles on the market. They were elgant and well appointed and were some of the most comfortable cars ever built.
Chrysler introduced two models in 1931 with straight eight engines, the CD Eight and the Imperial CG Eight. The CG Eight had a nine-bearing engine offering 125 horsepower, capable of carrying the 5,000 pound car to a top speed in excess of 95 mph. Notable features included hydraulic brakes, adjustable seats and steering column, as well as hydraulic shock absorbers. The 'Floating Power' Chrysler engine was paired with a four-speed synchromesh manual transmission and Hydraulic power Vacuum-Assisted drum brakes were located at all four wheels.
The all-new 1931 Chrysler Imperial was long and dramatically low-slung, had a 145-inch wheelbase platform, and drew design inspiration from the front-wheel drive Cord L-29 that Errett Lobban Cord had introduced to the market in 1929. Alan H. Leamy, the L-29 designer, was on hiatus from his employment as chief designer for Auburn and Cord automobiles when he contributed to the Imperial design. Cord design inspiration included the Imperial's streamline, swept-back radiator shell, long hood and cowl line, gracefully sweeping front fenders, and the windshield which was set far back on the chassis.
The Imperial was built in two sub-series, including a standard line with production Briggs-built bodies and the Custom line with semi-custom bodies, finished to order. LeBaron designed and built all but one of the Imperial 'catalog custom' styles. LeBaron Carrossiers Inc. was founded in 1920 by designers Raymond H. Dietrich and Tom Hibbard, after Brewster had fired them for planning on company time. Although they were virtually destitute, they set up shop at no. 2 Columbus Circle in New York City. With inadequate funds to establish their own coachbuilding facility, they developed a new business model, which was to sell ready-made designs to clients and then contract to have them built by outside coachbuilders.
Changes to the 1932 and 1933 models included separated two-piece windshields, door-type hood ventilators, and the overall proportions grew scaled on a slightly longer 146 inch wheelbase. The original CG Imperial was refined into the CL, with new bodies, enhanced front end design, and an extended hood with ventilation doors rather than louvered. Approximately 220 examples of the Chrysler CL Imperial was built in 1932, with 28 receiving convertible coupe bodywork and 49 being convertible sedans. by Daniel Vaughan | Jun 2019
Around 200 Chrysler CLs were created in 1932 and some believe that 28 examples were Convertible Roadsters. It is also believed that less than 10 examples have survived. This LeBaron bodied Convertible Roadster wears chassis number 7803368 and was s....[continue reading]
The Imperial, as its name implies, was intended to compete in the luxury automobile market with the likes of the Packard Six, and certain Cadillac models. The CL series was introduced in 1932 with a 145-inch wheelbase, a good 10 inches longer than th....[continue reading]
Chrysler introduced the CL in 1932 which stayed in production until 1933. It was a replacement for the CG which had been introduced in 1931. Prior to this, it was the 'L' that was produced from 1929 through 1930. These were Chrysler's ultra-luxury....[continue reading]
The Chrysler CL Imperial Series were given large wheelbases and adequate powerplants. They were outfitted with luxurious amenities and beautiful styling. They are considered among the best looking classics of the era. ....[continue reading]
This automobile is a one-of-a-kind custom specifically built to the individual standards of Chrysler Corporation founder Walter P. Chrysler. Mr. Chrysler chose the special exterior burgundy paint, along with many other special features. Some of the....[continue reading]
This one-off roadster body by LeBaron on a Chrysler Imperial chassis with an eight-cylinder engine has had just four owners, and it has been maintained in original condition by each of them. Mark Smith acquired it in 2001. Just nine Chrysler Imperi....[continue reading]
A hearty 385 cubic-inch straight-eight engine coupled to a four-speed transmission gave this Imperial, Chrysler's top-of-the-line model, performance to match its racy good looks. Coachwork by LeBaron is mounted on a 146-inch wheelbase model CL chass....[continue reading]
Chrysler introduced the Imperial in 1926 to challenge Cadillac and the other domestic luxury cars. Intermittently throughout the company's history Imperial has been the company's top-of-the-line offering, represented by many elegant and stylish autom....[continue reading]
This is a rare example of a 1932 Custom CL Imperial Partitioned Close Coupled Sedan. A mere 374 of these cars were produced in 1932 and 1933 on the 146-inch wheelbase Custom CL chassis.....[continue reading]
The first Chrysler arrived on the market in 1924 bowing as a Maxwell-made medium-priced car. With Maxwell reorganized as Chrysler in 1925, by 1929 the company's products included Plymouth, DeSoto and Dodge, all of which encompassed the low- and middl....[continue reading]
LeBaron Roadster by LeBaron
Chassis #: 7803368
LeBaron Roadster by LeBaron
Dual Windshield Phaeton
Chassis #: 7803456
LeBaron Convertible Sedan by LeBaron
Chassis #: 7803426
LeBaron Convertible Coupe by LeBaron
Cabriolet by Bohman & Schwartz
Sedan by LeBaron
LeBaron Convertible Sedan by LeBaron
Related Reading : Chrysler Imperial History
The work of LeBaron is considered to be the most remarkable styling of the CG Series Imperials. LeBaron was one of the greatest design firms of the classic era, and was established as innovative, creative and completely responsive. LeBaron was founded by Wand Ray Dietrich and was later joined by Ralph Roberts, and though Dietrich eventually left the firm to pursue other interests, the company continued.... Continue Reading >>
When these two vehicles won Best of Show honors at major Concours dElegance events, they both were owned by Judge Joseph Cassini III. The green colored Chrysler 4 door Phaeton with tan convertible top...