Dec 22 2015

Rare Photos of Chrysler’s Chrysler at the Vanderbilt Museum in 1986

Back in the summer of 1986, 29-year old Tom Gibson decided to take a journey to William K. Vanderbilt Jr.'s "Eagle's Nest" estate in Centerport on Long Island. Little did Tom know that day he would provide important documentation of  Chrysler's Chrysler with his black and white camera.

Almost 30 years later, Tom has tracked me down and provided this story and his photos:

Tom Gibson: "I lived in Manhattan in the summer of 1986, and decided to escape the city's heat with a visit to William K. Vanderbilt Jr.'s "Eagle Nest" estate. On that particular day, your 1937 Chysler Imperial Town Car was on display in the courtyard. Although there was no signage,  I knew it was an impressive and important automobile. I could not resist taking pictures of this lovely car, heretofore unknown to me. I then filed the pictures away for 21 years!

In 2007, I posed the question on the AACA Forum as to the whereabouts of the car and did not receive a response. In 2011, I asked again in Antique Automobile and discovered that Chrysler's Chrysler was being sold by the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum. I sent them copies of the photos which they used to promote the auction I then lost track of the town car again.

So fast forward to 2015, and it's time to finally add these images to the car's files. She looked pretty good, if somewhat tired 30 years ago. But her beauty and importance shone through my 29-year-old eyes back then. I look forward to seeing her anew, and hopefully will do so in the near future. In the meantime, congratulations for giving her the life she deserves."


Howard Kroplick

Note: Chrysler's Chrysler was displayed with a removable hard top roof over the driver and front passenger.


Dec 23 2015 Ron Ridolph 2:32 AM

Hi Howard:

  I cannot thank you enough and in just simple words the great job you have done with information, data, photos, history and research in our beloved automobile field.
The enjoyment is just out of this world !!!  My best regards to you always !!!  Happy and safe holiday season to you and your family.

          Cordially and Fraternally,  Ron Ridolph

Dec 23 2015 Mike Cain 9:37 AM

The car looked remarkably good in 1986. What a nice find this is! Due to poor storage during the 1990’s and early 2000’s the car really took a beating as you told us Howard at your presentation in Riverhead this year. Do you think you would have restored it if you owned it in 1986? I think that would be a much more difficult decision at that time. Wishing you Happy Holidays!
From Howard Kroplick

Mike, I likely would have just preserve it!

Dec 27 2015 L.M.K. 9:14 AM

Was the car running in 1986?

From Howard Kroplick

Yes, it was!

Dec 27 2015 Phil 11:49 AM

Once again I’m asking why was the front license plate moved from the passenger’s
side to the driver’s side?

Dec 27 2015 Tom Gibson 12:09 PM

Hard to recall from so long ago, but I don’t think I took pics of the interior. It may be ‘cause it was too rough, or there was too much glare. I’ll check when I find the negatives, but it was right on the cusp of restore vs. preserve.

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