Motor City

25 July 2015

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Lot 128

1932 Chrysler CH Imperial Convertible Sedan

  • Engine no. CH 1959

$160,000 - $200,000

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: 135 in.

  • Very well-preserved older restoration
  • Recent quality engine rebuild
  • One of ten known to survive today

In January 1932, Chrysler introduced what were called “second series” models for the year. There were now two top-of-the-line Imperial series: the 135-inch wheelbase CH and the Custom Imperial CL, which was 10 inches longer than the CH. Features included Floating Power engine mounts and a vee-configuration split windshield with panes that opened individually. Although the Briggs-built CHs lacked the prestige of LeBaron’s CLs, they had excellent proportions that set them apart and an élan that was absent in their upscale siblings. As a result, the CH Convertible Sedan, of which this car is a superb example, was the most popular of all open Imperials. Standard equipment included hand-buffed leather seats with matching kick panels and a leather door, matching carpets in the front and rear, and storage pouches in the rear doors. A top boot, a painted dash with a damascened instrument binnacle, dual side-mounts, and a trunk were standard. In all, 1,393 CH Chryslers were built, with just 152 of them being convertible sedans.

This CH Convertible Sedan was purchased by its previous owner in 1975 from a Rolls-Royce dealer. It had been restored for the previous owner, Donna Shade, for whom it had won its class at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Thereafter, she traded it to the dealer for a Rolls! The restoration was a quality effort, photographs of which substantiate the fact; these photographs accompany the car. It is light cream in color, with brown moldings and fenders that are accented by delicate red pinstripes. The fenders have recently been repainted to rectify the modest evidence of years of use. The interior is done in correct brown saddle leather, and a new tan canvas top was fitted some years ago. The engine is a fresh, top-quality rebuild, and it has been bored out and fitted with new pistons and valves. At that time, it was converted from poured Babbitt to insert bearings.

The car has been the recipient of countless awards in recent decades, the most notable of which was being selected as the Most Elegant Open Car by Senior Judge Andy Granatelli at the Santa Barbara Concours d’Elegance, from a field of some 500 cars. This Model CH Chrysler is one of ten known to survive, and it is ready for show, tour, or any worthwhile activity. It is excellent in all respects, and it will reward its new owner on the road and on the show field.


Please note that contrary to the printed catalogue description, no restoration photographs accompany this lot.

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

+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

+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

+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

+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

+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

+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

+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

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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

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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

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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

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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

+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

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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

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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

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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

+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

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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