Reflecting on the past can often be the best way to learn about what the future could hold, which is something we have been thinking a lot about with the New Year approaching quickly and the economy in its current state. When we came across this 1930 Chrysler Imperial Convertible on eBay, which has been hidden away for the past 30 years, it got us think about the Depression era and the great cars that came out of those difficult times. Even though times are tough, we can all still appreciate and enjoy great automobiles, even if we can’t afford them.
The interior of this convertible is mostly original, but the seat covers were replaced at some point in time. While this interior isn’t as luxurious as some of its competitors, it’s still an attractive and comfortable design. This car is surprisingly original, with its original 110 hp engine, chrome work, and Locke coachwork body. The fact it has survived so well can likely be attributed to the fact that its time in storage was under the care of the Harrah’s Collection.
For those who wanted the drop-top, but wanted to be able to seat more than two, it could be had with a rumble seat in the back. While this ones rumble seat is deteriorated, the original leather is still present and could be useful in finding the correct style leather for the front seats. Unlike many of the competitors that came with rumble seats, this one had a side door for easy access to the rear seat.
With the recent increase in popularity of Barn Finds at events such as the Concours d’Elegance, this Imperial would do well on the 18th hole of Pebble Beach. Add in its history and the possibility of being the car in this 1960′s painting done by Harry Anderson for his series Great Moments in Early American Motoring, it could be a show stopper. It will be difficult to prove that this car was the subject of this painting, but given that the covers on the side-mount wheel wasn’t a factory option and was added a later date and the fact that only 142 were made, there is a good chance it is.
This rare Chrysler will make for an amazing project, but it isn’t going to be for the faint of heart. Given how few of these were built, parts can be extremely difficult to come by and are typically very expensive. We would focus on getting it running and driving and leave it otherwise as is, but since we can’t afford it we will just enjoy it from a distance. What do you think should happen with this rare convertible? Should it be fully restored or kept as original as possible?