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Douglas ( -1 )

Posts: 13,371
Registered: April 2008
Location: Woodstock, GA
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1931 Chrysler CG Imperial Rumble Seat Coupe
Quantity Views Date Posted
1 4603 9/18/2008
Asking Price Shipping Amount Condition
$130,000.00 None Auction Results
Description: Offered For Sale at the:
RM Auction - Vintage Motor Cars at Meadow Brook Hall
August 6, 2005, Auburn Hills, Michigan

RM Auctions
One Classic Car Drive
Blenheim, Ontario
N0P 1A0 Canada
Phone: 519-352-4575
Website: www.rmauctions.com

1931 Chrysler CG Imperial Rumble Seat Coupe
LOT: 080
Estimate: $150,000-$200,000 US
Chassis No. 7801159
AUCTION RESULTS: Lot was Sold at a price of $130,000

125hp 384 cu. in. nine main bearing inline eight-cylinder engine with four speed synchromesh transmission, leaf spring suspension with beam front axle and live rear axle and four wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 145"

The remarkable styling of the CG series Imperials was the work of LeBaron, one of the greatest design firms of the classic era. Founded by Thomas L. Hibbard and Ray Dietrich, and later joined by Ralph Roberts, the company established itself as innovative, creative, and responsive. Although Hibbard and Dietrich later left the firm to pursue other opportunities, the company flourished at the hand of Ralph Roberts.

Probably the most striking design in existence at the time was Al Leamy’s L29 Cord – so when Leamy was hired to style the Imperial, it is not surprising that the cars would bear some resemblance to it. Like the L29, the CG was long and low, featuring gracefully swept fenders and a vee shaped radiator. Although, LeBaron improved on the design with a longer hood, a swept back grille, and a more elegant bodyside treatment.

All Chryslers had a reputation for performance, and the CG Imperial did not disappoint. With 125hp on tap and a four-speed transmission the cars were very quick. With Chrysler’s “Floating Power” and well-tuned suspension, the cars were also quite refined to drive. Technically, the cars were interesting as well, featuring a new automatic spark advance mechanism and free wheeling, both firsts for Chrysler.

The Imperial’s powerful new engine, when combined with the lightweight two passenger coachwork – the roadster – created one of the fastest cars money could buy. In 1931 Billy Arnold, a well known racing driver of the period, used a roadster to capture several stock car records at Daytona.

There were a number of customs executed by other coachbuilding firms, LeBaron accounted for the vast majority of bodies on the Imperial Custom Line chassis. While many collectors are familiar with the sport phaetons and roadsters, few are aware that the rarest – and one of the most attractive – styles offered by LeBaron was the rumble seat Coupe.

With its low windshield and compact passenger compartment, the LeBaron Coupe emphasizes the natural good looks of the Imperial Custom Line chassis, with its long hood and graceful, sweeping fenders. The long wheelbase allows for a long, sloping tail that further accentuates the lines of the body.

According to Chrysler records, this lovely CG was delivered new on October 24, 1930. (A copy of the buildsheet is included as part of the car’s provenance.) While the original owner and early history of the car remains unknown, the car was purchased by a Michigan collector in the mid 1960s, who kept the car until the early 1970s before selling it to noted Chrysler collector Paul Stern. Stern kept the car for many years before selling it to a Pennsylvania collector, from whom the vendor purchased the car in the late 1990s.

While the number produced is unknown, only two are known to survive. With the other car currently under restoration, the example offered here is almost certainly the only remaining largely unrestored original car.

This remarkable CG Imperial was in excellent original condition prior to benefiting from a largely cosmetic restoration in about 1970 – following which it was awarded both AACA National First Place and CCCA Senior awards. Originally finished in black, during restoration it was changed to the current combination – a correct original Chrysler color scheme.

Recent upgrades include a new correct Bedford Cord interior as well as new leather to the rumbleseat area. In addition, new tires and exhaust have been fitted, and the carburetor was recently rebuilt. Although CG Imperials were sold fully equipped, options on this car include the attractive radiator stone guard and correct metal sidemount covers.

The quality of the car remains very high today, with the age of the restoration having mellowed into a wonderful patina. The vendor reports that the car is in very good mechanical order; the engine starts easily and runs smoothly, and the car is one of the best driving examples of the marque he has experienced.

With a remarkable 145 inch wheelbase, the CG chassis – Chrysler’s longest ever – provided the room to allow designers to craft bodies with superb proportions. There is little doubt that the CG Imperial Custom Line Coupe is among the finest looking cars of the period, in addition to being one of the best driving cars of the era. With just two surviving examples, the opportunity to acquire one may well be unrepeatable.
Keywords: 1931 Chrysler CG Imperial Rumble Seat Coupe


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