Aug 27 2014

Chrysler’s Chrysler Chronicle XIII: Completing the Restoration

Over the last year and a half, automotive historian Walt Gosden has been documenting the restoration of the 1937 Chrysler Imperial C-15 Town Car  built for Walter P. Chrysler and his wife Della. The restoration was completed on Saturday,  August 9, 2014 in time to be shipped to California for the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.

In the 13th installment of the Chronicle Series, Walt documents the final rush to finish the restoration as seen on August 6, 2014. 


Howard Kroplick


Chrysler's Chrysler Chronicle XIII: Completing the Restoration

By Walt Gosden

Previous chronicle posts have shown the Chrysler in an incomplete state. With only 11 days to its debut at the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, the car was nearly all together.  With its successful participation in its first concours, we are pleased to show the final phases of the restoration.

The hood has final paint (refer to the last chronicle post to see the hood still in primer).

Fitting the hood, with Steve at center and Mike (mechanical dept) at front.

The massive hinges that hold the hood have been cadmium plated as per original. This was a very authentic restoration done to exact period details.

Mike holds the replated hood side trim pieces.

The headlights work!

Working on the dashboard, the newly created hardware for the fabric top is in place. These attach to the newly created headliner that clamps to the top of the windshield.

Jim and Steve check the fit of the hardware that will hold the fabric top.

The full metal hardtop has been fully restored. This fits as a lid over the front seat for protection from the weather when the fabric top is removed and not used. Note the compound curves of the panel.

Jim at work on the hardware of the soft top.

A close up view of the division window at the B pillar from the chauffeur's compartment.

The microphone in the rear compartment has been installed and is fully functional enabling communication between the passenger and driver.

As seen from the left side, note the carpet and the foot rest. The foot rests were created from scratch.

The cabinetry at the division in its flamed tiger maple is stunning. Photos do not  do it justice. Note the clock at the center of the woodwork with its porcelain enamel surround.

Due to low light condition the true color of the light beige upholstery is slightly off, the whole look of the rear compartment is a model of art deco streamline design at its peak.

Rear interior details.

The front floor carpet is in. The art deco heater is under the right side of the dashboard. All dashboard plated trim is in nickel.

Steve adjusting dashboard details.

Outrageous art deco styling to the steering wheel.

Finished running board detail.

Only two small hinges hold the massive door in place.

The rear of the car with Mike the master body man/painter to the left.

Close up of the art deco tail light.

The car nears completion.


Aug 31 2014 John Hotetz 9:04 AM

What a beautiful automobile! Now the only thing missing is Mr and Mrs Chrysler setting in the back seat..

From Howard Kroplick

Members of the Chrysler family will be sitting in the automobile on September 14th at the Radnor Hunt Concours d’Elegance.

Aug 31 2014 Roger Price 12:07 PM

What can I say?  INCREDIBLE!!!


Aug 31 2014 Ted 9:24 PM

The history of Chrysler’s Chrysler keeps going on as more people find out about it, now that it’s going to be shown and throw the help of Howard

Aug 31 2014 R Troy 11:54 PM


Sep 01 2014 Ken Wiebke 9:19 AM

Before you began this adventure some were of the opinion Chrysler’ Chrysler should remain “original”.  Upon completion you must be so happy about your decision.  Beautiful job. I’ll miss the updates and look forward to the Hemmings article.

From Howard Kroplick

It was an easy decision since the wood frame had deteriorated to the point that the automobile would have collapsed if driven over the next 2-5 years.

Sep 01 2014 Phil 11:02 AM

One beautiful piece of art!!

Jan 13 2015 Mohsin K. 8:09 AM

Old is gold. Nothing beats the sturdiness and panache of this classic Chrysler. Nowadays it’s less about driving experience, and more about ease of use. Take for example this new Chrysler:
When you drive this. You don’t feel you’re in a car. You feel you’re in a spaceship.

Leave a Comment