Motor City

25 July 2015

The Howard & Norma Weaver Collection

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Lot 173

1931 Chrysler CG Imperial Dual-Cowl Phaeton in the style of LeBaron

  • Engine no. CG 2002

Sold for $148,500


125 bhp, 384.8 cu. in. L-head inline eight-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission with overdrive and freewheeling, solid front and live rear axles with semi-elliptical leaf-spring suspension, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 145 in.

  • Offered from the collection of Howard and Norma Weaver
  • One of the attractive CG Imperial body styles
  • Well-presented older restoration


Chrysler’s Imperial had grown from simply an upmarket version of lesser models into something truly unique and special by 1931. It had been graced with classically beautiful styling, which was inspired by the Cord L-29, and was noteworthy for its massive 145-inch-wheelbase chassis and smooth 125-horsepower straight eight. This car was not only big and powerful but also a superb driver with advanced steering geometry that made it shockingly easy to swing through wide corners at speed. The term “driver’s car” is seldom applied to American Classics of this era, but it is apt for the Imperial.

Drivers with funds to spare could opt for “semi-custom” bodywork that had been supplied by the LeBaron imprint of Briggs and styled by Ralph Roberts. With aviation in the forefront of American culture, the open LeBaron custom body styles adopted aircraft-like leather interiors that wrapped around the cowl and over the doors. Riding in one of the 85 dual-cowl phaetons built in 1931 was like coasting along the ground in one’s own biplane.

The car offered here, serial number 7801805, was restored in the 1980s with a well-crafted dual-cowl phaeton body in the style of a LeBaron original and carrying a reproduction body tag of 147-32. The front fenders are original, but it appears that the rear fenders were reproduced or modified as needed to fit the new coachwork. The restoration has held up well over the years and continues to show good panel fit throughout, with fine red paint showing few signs of use. The older brown leather interior, tan canvas top, and reproduction dashboard gauges show some signs of driving enjoyment. Period chrome wire wheels are fitted, along with dual side-mounts with cloth covers and mirrors, dual trumpet horns, tail lamps, wind wings, a radiator stone guard, a rear luggage track, a trunk, and the classic Gazelle radiator mascot.

Underneath, the chassis is complete and well detailed and features many of the regularly overlooked or missing items, including correct grease fittings, metal spring gaiters, and correct hydraulic lines. The engine is fitted with the correct Delco-Remy ignition system and Stromberg downdraft carburetor. Mileage showing at the time of cataloguing was 1,232, which is likely the mileage since the restoration was completed.

This is a striking representation of one of the rarest and most sporting CG Imperial body styles. It is ready for continued enthusiastic enjoyment.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more