1932 CHRYSLER SERIES CL CUSTOM IMPERIAL CONVERTIBLE COUPE
COACHWORK BY LeBARON
Chassis No. 7803316
Engine No. CL1022
Cream with orange piping and dark brown leather interior
Engine: in-line, eight cylinder L-head, 384.84 ci., 125bhp at 3,200rpm; Gearbox: four speed manual; Suspension: semi-elliptic front and rear leaf springs; Brakes: four wheel hydraulic brakes all around. Left hand drive.
In 1910 Walter Percy Chrysler held a modest job working as the Plant Manager for the American Locomotive Company in Pittsburgh. In less than a year his talent had been recognized and the former farm hand and grocery boy was managing the Buick plant in Flint, Michigan. Within the next nine years Walter P. Chrysler would move all the way to the top, leaving his post as Buick's President in 1919. Following his departure, Chrysler briefly worked for Willys and then Maxwell, leaving both jobs feeling unsatisfied and even more driven. In 1923 Chrysler teamed up with former Studebaker engineers Fred Zeder, Owen Skelton and Carl Breer and by January of 1924, the first Chrysler was introduced in New York. By December of the same year, Chrysler stunned the industry with record sales totaling an outstanding 32,000 units sold. The in-line, six cylinder engine of Walter P. Chrysler was a smashing success and he was swiftly moving toward making his name a permanent fixture in the automobile industry.
By 1927 the Chrysler Company had gone from an industry standing of 32nd place to an unbelievable 4th place overall. Walter P. Chrysler had managed the impossible - he had gone from the bottom of the barrel all the way to the top by producing a quality automobile that possessed sexy and creative syling in addition to being practically engineered and strikingly inividual.
With the arrival of the Chrysler Straight Eight came the powerful performance many buyers looked for in the coachbuilt cars of the time. Chrysler kept up with his competition by continually introducing competitive automobiles that always utilized the innovations of the industry. The new CL Series was a testament to the efforts of Walter P. Chrysler as truly one of the most specatular models the company ever produced. They were lavish and sexy, with a potent increase in overall performance compared to all other Chrysler models produced. Total production of the CL Series reached 220 cars, most of which were fitted with sedan and limousine bodies. Out of the 220 CL Series cars, 28 special LeBaron Convertible Coupes were built with only 12 examples surviving today. William Lassiter's is one such example as verified by its chassis and engine numbers.
It is believed that this particular Chrysler was the property of the famed Woolworth Family, and spent many years under the family's ownership. William Lassiter added the Chrysler CL to his collection in 1988. The car has been regularly maintained by Jack Dietz since its superb late 1980s restoration by specialist, John Griffin. The exterior cream and orange distinctive paint scheme appears to be in excellent condition. The CL is finished with whitewall tires and orange wire wheels. The underbody and chassis appear very clean and indicate virtually no road wear or use. The CL features the high quality C.M. Hall headlamps, thermostat controlled louvers, dual horns, a rear trunk rack, a well kept rumble seat and of course, the hidden golf club storage compartment. The interior seats and fabric trim are upholstered in a fine oak colored leather with light tan carpeting. When folded down, the convertible top, in true LeBaron fashion, is nearly invisible from sight. However, when fully utilized for cold or bad weather driving, the brown top with dark brown trim handsomely matches the CL's overall appearance. Also equipped with Waltham and Davis gauges, the dashboard looks to be in well restored condition showing 28,413 miles on the odometer. The thoughtfully designed engine compartment and motor appear to be in good condition and, in keeping with the rest of the car, show almost no signs of road use.
In 1990 Mr. Lassiter's Chrysler was chosen to be one of the cover cars featured in Beverly Rae Kimes' book The Classic Car. This 752 page masterpiece was devoted to superb cars and their respective owners, those collectors who have kept the classic car tradition alive and transformed it into what it is today. In 1991 Lassiter's Chrysler was bestowed with National First Prizes from both the Classic Car Club of America and the Antique Automobile Club of America with scores of 100 from each. This rare Chrysler is recognized as a full classic, and is eligible for all CCCA club events.