1933 CHRYSLER CUSTOM IMPERIAL DUAL WINDSHIELD PHAETON CL
COACHWORK BY LeBARON
Chassis No. 7803604
Engine No. CL 1300
Body No. 172-26
Dark red with burgandy fenders and tan leather interior
Engine: in-line L-head eight cylinder, 384.84 ci., 125bhp at 3,200rpm; Gearbox: four speed manual; Suspension: front and rear semi-elliptic leaf springs; Brakes: four wheel Lockheed hydraulic drums. Left hand drive.
The irresistible growth of the Chrysler Corporation through the 1920s is often cited as a textbook example of the miracle of American industrialism. Walter P. Chrysler's own rags to riches career could have been written for Hollywood. He began as a floor sweeper, went on to a locomotive company and joined Buick, rising rapidly to become the company's president. By then a proven troubleshooter, he was retained for two million dollars to re-organize the Willys Motor Car Company. He went on to perform the same service for both Maxwell and Chalmer, and from there Walter P. Chrysler created the Chrysler Corporation in 1924.
From the beginning the new Chryslers were different, with added features like standard Lockheed hydraulic brakes. The new cars came equipped with mechanical options that were found on many of the most luxurious marques of the era. The first Chrysler six cylinder, side valve engines were given pressure lubrication and were followed shortly with improvements like rubber engine mounts. Buyers got plenty of performance for their money. The cars were among the most handsome in the middle price market and as a result, sales climbed rapidly. Chrysler ranked eighth in the American market in 1925 and seventh in 1928 and 1929. In 1930, with the purchase of the Dodge Brothers Company, their combined sales brought Chrysler up to third place trailing Ford and General Motors.
By 1933 Chrysler had secured themselves a comfortable place in the luxury market by producing high quality, dependable cars that demonstrated unique styling with an occasional dash of flamboyance. The perfect example of this combination is the 1933 CL series car. They are considered to the be richest of all the Chrysler series' on account of their sloping dual windshields, cowl-less extra long hood with door-type ventilators, single bar bumpers and external chrome trumpet horns. All CL series cars also featured Delco Remy ignition, Lockheed hydraulic brakes and the trademark 'Floating Power' automatic vacuum clutch. Phaetons, being the most deluxe model offered, even included a standard touring trunk.
In 1933 series production of the Chrysler CL totaled only a meager 151 and was the lowest production year for the CL series cars. Chrysler records show that only 36 of the 151 CLs were Dual Windshield Phaetons, of which the example in the William G. Lassiter Collection is one. This 1933 Chrysler is believed to have spent much of its life with an Iowa collector until it was purchased by an East Coast buyer, who in turn later sold the car to the McGowan Brothers of Connecticut. After Bill Lassiter purchased the car from the McGowan Brothers in 1982, he committed to having his new Chrysler restored to concours standards. Specialist and restorer, John Griffin, was commissioned to execute the frame off, no-expense-spared restoration. Following the completion of the arduous and costly restoration, the Chrysler was awarded a National First Prize from the Antique Automobile Club of America (#1405). And less than a year later, it was judged at the Boca Raton, Florida Concours achieving an impressive 100 points.
The overall condition of the car is excellent. The Chrysler displays virtually no trace of road wear. The engine compartment, motor and underbody are nearly spotless. The interior is finished in a light tan leather with matching carpets. The well detailed dashboard features amperes, clock, water, gas and oil gauges. William Lassiter's Chrysler Model CL Dual Windshield Phaeton has also been featured in the Classic Car Club of America book, The Classic Car on page 202, where it is displayed as one of the finest of its kind. This Chrysler CL is regarded as a full classic by the Classic Car Club of America and is eligible for all tours and events.