1931 Chrysler CG Imperial Roadster SOLD

RM Vintage Motorcars in Arizona - Biltmore Resort & Spa, Friday January 19, 2007

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ESTIMATE: $150,000 - $175,000

$159,500 Sold

125hp, 384 cu. in. nine main bearing inline eight-cylinder engine, 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. LeBaron improved on the design, however, 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 125 horsepower on tap and a four-speed transmission, the cars were very quick. With Chrysler's "Floating Power" and well-tuned suspension, they were also quite refined to drive. The cars were technically 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 very light roadster coachwork, created one of the fastest cars money could buy. In 1931, Billy Arnold, a well known race car driver of the period, used just such a car to capture several stock car records at Daytona.

The 1931 Chrysler CG Imperial Roadster pictured here is a very presentable running and driving example with a very nice older restoration that, when fresh, was awarded a CCCA National First Prize badge, number 0903. It is thought that the CG Imperial was not originally fitted with the Roadster body, but was converted to faithfully recreate this most desirable body style. The car is equipped with dual side mounted spares with mirrors, a chrome radiator stone guard, and twin front-mounted Pilot Ray driving lights. The interior, finished in dark brown, has remained very well preserved, as has the tan Haartz cloth top. With its remarkable 145-inch wheelbase, the CG chassis provided the room to allow designers to craft bodies with superb proportions. Many consider the CG Imperial roadster to be among the finest looking open cars of the period, in addition to being one of the best driving cars of the era.

Reference Number 5858

as of 1/10/2007

Car 1931 Chrysler CG Imperial Roadster
VIN 7802053 
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