HomePick of the DayRare, elegant 1931 Chrysler Imperial convertible coupe

Rare, elegant 1931 Chrysler Imperial convertible coupe


The great American marques of the classic era included Duesenberg, Packard, Cadillac and, of course, Chrysler, which built many beautiful high-end motorcars in the 1920s and ’30s.

The Pick of the Day is a luscious 1931 Chrysler Imperial convertible coupe that the Clarksburg, Maryland, dealer advertising the CCCA Full Classic on ClassicCars.com described as an “elegant and desirable” car in a “very seldom-seen body style.” 

The Imperial rides on wire wheels mounted with wide whitewall tires

“The 1931 CG Imperial was a bellwether of where Chrysler’s top-of-the-line models would be heading, as they were now entering the Classic Era at full steam,” the seller says in the ad. “Earlier Imperials had been well-built, quality cars, but they were somewhat, dare we say it, dull.

“This new model was wonderfully different. It was a grand 145-inch-wheelbase beauty that had a bold radiator shell canted back at a rakish angle and a long hood that emphasized the great power lurking below it, which was a 384.8-cubic-inch nine-main-bearing (straight-8) unit that could produce 125 horsepower.”

The convertible stretches over a 145-inch wheelbase

The Imperial is fully equipped with wire wheels, wide whitewalls, dual side-mount spares. Trippe driving lights and a rumble seat.

The Imperial has a known ownership history that the seller highlights in the ad.

“The authenticity of the rare convertible coupe offered here has been verified by noted Chrysler Imperial historian Joe Morgan, who himself owned this car over a decade ago, having acquired it from David Buck, of Arizona,” the ad says. “According to Mr. Morgan, the car retains its original body, frame and engine with which it was delivered in San Francisco, and in its present restoration, it is finished in the same attractive colors as when new: Abbott Gray and Tonawanda Green.

The straight-8 engine generates 125 horsepower

“Remarkably, the car eventually made its way through unknown parties from San Francisco to West Africa, from which it was repatriated to the U.S. by Mr. Buck. Following its restoration, the car was purchased from Mr. Morgan by Alfred Wallace, of Rhode Island, and was acquired, in turn, from him by its present owner.”

The restoration of this well-traveled Imperial “has mellowed significantly with age, with the lacquer finish showing much patina throughout, cracking on the cowl, and chipping around the panel gaps,” the seller says. The Chrysler still shows well, the seller adds, and the interior is in very presentable condition, with clean upholstery and clear gauges.

“The odometer records 12,378 miles, presumably since restoration,” the seller notes. “As the car has been maintained in storage for the last few years, a proper servicing would be recommended to the new owner.”

The single-bench interior looks like new

Some of the recommissioning was done in 2010, the ad says, including rebuilt brakes and hydraulics, and the ignition and transmission “were sorted at the same time, receipts for which are on file.”

This rare and magnificent veteran, which would be eligible for CCCA events and rallies, commands a serious price tag of $192,500.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.


  1. I am largely not knowledgeable of automobiles from this time period. I do have enough sense to know that this car is a quality vehicle and Concours worthy.

    • The extensive design treatment on the automobiles from the 30s is without question the best of any single decade since the beginning of automobile comstruction! These automobiles are nothing short of some of the greatest works of art work and design originating mostly from the United States!

  2. Appreciate the information. Thanks again My first car was a 1966 IMPERIAL bought it when for 600 dollars in 1974. Ever since e I love and follow all IMPERIALS when I can!!! THANKS Rich

  3. I actually "Exercise" this car occasionally and she performs as well as she looks. This car is a "True" Classic and highly collectable. The current owner is downsizing his inventory


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