Aug 14 2014

Hemmings Classic Car Announces Plans to Feature Chrysler’s Chrysler

In a recent Hemmings Daily Blog, Editor-In-Chief Richard Lentinello announced plans to feature Chrysler's Chrysler in a future Hemmings Classic Car magazine issue.

Note the 27 comments to the original blog post.


Howard Kroplick

Restoration of Walter P. Chrysler’s Imperial Town Car nears completion

Written by Richard Lentinello

Aug 8th, 2014 at 4pm

Hemmings Daily Blog

On Sunday, August 17, the 1937 Chrysler Imperial Town Car once owned by Walter P. Chrysler will make its first post-restoration appearance at California’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

With enthusiastic owner Howard Kroplick by its side, along with restorer Steve Babinsky and renowned Classic car historian and Hemmings Classic Car columnist Walt Gosden, this one-off gem will be proudly be displayed on the lawn for all to admire.

As noted by Howard on, Walt has been documenting the car’s rebirth during their regular visits to Automotive Restorations, Steve’s shop in Lebanon, New Jersey. Walt’s photos are quite comprehensive, and show the extensive and detailed work that has gone into bringing back the beauty that this one-off Chrysler once possessed.

For well over a year this historically significant Town Car has been undergoing an incredible ground-up restoration to exacting, factory-correct specifications. Upon its return from Pebble Beach, we will be photographing the car for an upcoming feature in Hemmings Classic Car magazine. Watch for it.



The 1937 Chrysler Imperial Town Car once owned by Walter P. Chrysler, in mid-restoration.


Aug 14 2014 Howard Kroplick 1:02 AM

Bob says:
August 8, 2014 at 4:22 pm

I got to see this one in person in its run down condition. I can say that I am astounded with the work that’s been done. Great job!
autobug2 says:
August 8, 2014 at 4:44 pm

I nearly forgot about this gem being restored! Im going to have to look up some info. on this town car, like where was it all these years, and what did it look like when found?
Richard: PLEASE tell us you folks plan on doing a spread on this majestic beast in CAR COLLECTOR?

  Ed says:
  August 9, 2014 at 9:11 pm

  A few pictues here:
      Wm Bergmann says:
      August 11, 2014 at 1:35 pm

      Thanks for the link. This will be a real treat to see when it is done.

      Thanks to Hemmings for making this possible.

Scotty G says:
August 8, 2014 at 4:55 pm

I can’t even imagine the work (and, money) that goes into a restoration like this. It’s mind-boggling to me, and I’m so glad that owners are willing to spend the money and that there are folks that can do this sort of unbelievably detailed work to bring something back from the condition that it was in. This will be exciting to see in the magazine; I wish that I could see it in person at Pebble Beach.
Richard Lentinello says:
August 8, 2014 at 5:00 pm

After this Chrysler comes back from Pebble Beach we will be photographing it for a future feature in Hemmings Classic Car magazine. The car owner is currently scouting sites in Brooklyn and Queens so we can show the Chrysler building in the background. The feature on it is going be quite in-depth, with all the details about the car’s history and its restoration. Historically significant automobiles such as this don’t come along very often.
Christopher says:
August 8, 2014 at 6:59 pm

Super! Great to see this classic car by a true automotive pioneer being resuscitated after so much neglect.
August 9, 2014 at 5:11 am

Saw a strange ’39? Dodge convertible hearse built on the same lines as this car.
Howard Kroplick says:
August 9, 2014 at 5:41 pm

Thanks Richard for the fun article and everyone for the positive comments!

CC (Chrysler’s Chrysler) is currently on the truck and headed to Pebble Beach!

  Toivo K says:
  August 11, 2014 at 12:04 pm

  Whew! I was wondering if the car in the pix was going to be on the lawn as a work in progress! I’ll look for it Sunday!

Ken Wiebke says:
August 11, 2014 at 10:12 am

Have been following this car restoration on

Mr. Kroplick is a a very solid citizen in LI car hobby circles and here’s wishing him all good luck with this fabulous project at Pebble Beach and beyond.
michael Williams says:
August 11, 2014 at 10:48 am

Incredibly detailed restoration of an incredibly disgusting display of ostentatious wealth. This is the sort of vehicles that would have enraged someone down and out in the 1930′s, as it floated by.

You have lost your job ,your being evicted from your home and Walter P Chrysler drives by in a 30′s version of a pimpmobile, I love Chrysler products but I have to wonder about persons logic who would ride in something like this in those terrible financial times. nothing has changed.

  Paul T Cheshire says:
  August 11, 2014 at 10:59 am

  I’ve been following the restoration, it is a master piece.
  Ostentatious wealth building this helped quite a few families with food and shelter. P T Cheshire
  THGDriver says:
  August 11, 2014 at 1:29 pm

  Walter Chrysler was an extremely wealthy man who created work for others. He was a self made millionaire if not Billionaire who inspired many in America to do the same. If some spend every dime they make then those same folks did not save a dime for that RAINY DAY. That is still very true today.

  All my life I never owned my own business I always worked for others. I knew as long as I worked to keep them in business I was in business too.

  I personally never worked for somebody that was poor, I don’t know anyone who ever did.
  Walt Gosden says:
  August 11, 2014 at 7:36 pm

  The wealthy stopped ordering and buying custom built cars in the Depression years, that’s why most all of the custom body builders closed shop. With them closing up their business many craftsman lost their jobs, other businesses that were suppliers to the coachbuilders also closed up , and their employees went jobless. At one point a few years prior to the depression the Willoughby Body Company of Utica, N.Y. employed 300 people. So yes those beautifully crafted and designed custom built cars did display ostentatious wealth, but at the same time also supported an industry that employed a lot of people.

Jim Benjaminson says:
August 11, 2014 at 11:26 am

I wonder how much use Della Chrysler – or even Walter P. – made of the car. Della died in 1938 and Walter in 1940. Wasn’t the car used more by their daughter Thelma?

  Walt Gosden says:
  August 11, 2014 at 7:51 pm

  The car was given to Bernice Chrysler Garbisch after her mother’s death and used by her and her husband. The car remained mostly in Manhattan for use to attend the theater and social events . With such a formal body style the car didn’t receive much use for other activities. The initials BCG were affixed to the rear doors after Bernice got the car. All total the car was only driven a little over 25,000 miles to date. As Richard mentioned the car will receive in depth coverage of its history in a future issue of Hemmings Classic Car.
  Howard Kroplick says:
  August 11, 2014 at 10:14 pm

  Jim, the car was delivered to Walter P. & Della Chrysler in September 1937. It was likely the last automobile that they purchased.

  Eight months after delivery on May 26, 1938, Walter had his first stroke. While he was recuperating, Della suffered a cerebral hemorrhage on August 19, 1938 and died that night.

  On August 15, 1940, Walter suffered a second stroke and died three days later.

  The car was inherited by their daughter Bernice Garbisch Chrysler. Her initials (BGC) remain on both sides of the car.

Andrew Franks says:
August 11, 2014 at 11:46 am

Richard, I’ll look forward to the feature in the magazine, which , by the way, is simply excellent and had provided many hours of enjoyment and knowledge for all us car nuts.
Patrick (pjmk65) says:
August 11, 2014 at 1:21 pm

WHAT NO HEMI? Just kidding…
Barry Thomas says:
August 11, 2014 at 1:51 pm

Ah, the good old days when the car companies made custom cars for some of their execs. Wonder what Mary Barra drives. My guess? An off the showroom floor CTS or Escalade with not even a custom color. Any thoughts?

  Kurt Ernst says:
  August 11, 2014 at 2:06 pm

  Barry, I once had the opportunity to ask Ford’s VP of design, J Mays, what car he drove. Expecting a reply like “an Aston Martin DB9,” or at the very least “a Taurus SHO,” I was astonished to learn his daily driver at the time (2011) was a Ford Focus ST.
      Barry Thomas says:
      August 11, 2014 at 2:12 pm

      Neat little car, but disappointing to hear nonetheless. What happened to those custom Vettes or Mitchell’s Riv or Edsel Ford’s Continental? I guess that the shareholders are watching how their money is being spent.

THGDriver says:
August 11, 2014 at 4:19 pm

I think the car is fabulous and it probably was his dime that built it. It was his own dime that built the Chrysler Building that he personally owned. If I had the bucks and lived back then would I be driven around in this? The answer is No.

I would prefer a nice expensive custom built PACKARD but I’m not related to Walter Chrysler either.

  jug says:
  August 11, 2014 at 9:42 pm

  His dime?
      THGDriver says:
      August 12, 2014 at 12:14 pm

      My reference to his dime means —His own personal money as opposed to corporate money—-when you use your own funds to build/buy something, in your will (for instance) you own it personally and can decide who, what ,when, inherits it.

      On the other hand if you use your corporation funds to buy/build something the corporation owns it and after you die or lose control of a corporation the corporation own that property. You don’t have to be a lawyer to figure that out It’s why folks incorporate in the first place. I hope this clears what I was trying to project in my post.

Patrick (pjmk65) says:
August 12, 2014 at 1:11 pm

The true town car was an opulent luxury that really does not anymore.

I am impressed with the styling and how well the town car style fits with the late thirties chassis.

There are very few cars built after the mid-thirties that I feel would look right as a town car.
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