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Tuesday, August 27, 2013
IMPERIAL PARADE PHAETON
A car that is is very near and dear to my heart the 1952 Imperial Parade Phaeton because I get to drive and care for the car! The above photos show the car doing what it does best Ticker Tape parade prep for the last NY Yankees and NY Giants championship runs down the Canyon of Heros! The story is a long one and often incorrect and it started with a 1940 Imperial Parade Phaeton that is almost forgotten and even this car had some crazy legend like it had dual rear axles, but this car is alive and well in the Henry Ford Museum collection although in storage! Out of the spotlight it had followed the newly built 1952 car in many Ticker Tape parades as seen in these photos, yes that's Winston Churchill in it!
Eagle Eyed Imperial buffs will notice the body was updated to 1955 Forward Look specs by Chrysler and they also rebuilt the 331 Hemi engines, raised the compression ratio,added 4BBL carb with newly designed fully automatic 2 speed transmissions! All 3 cars got new colors at this time. The three, yes only 3 parade cars already had power steering and Ausco Lambert disc brakes at all 4 corners. Here are the definitive facts about the 3 cars= although rumored for years there never was a 4th car that burnt up in a warehouse fire. Car 1 NYC car was delivered Black and painted White in 1955 and later painted Black again as it remains today. This car never left NYC except when refitted by Chrysler and updated and this was to be the NYC car when the President Visited. Car 2 was to be the West Coast car for the President when he was on the left coast and never left the care and ownership of the City Of Los Angeles where it remains today to be seen every year in the Rose Bowl Parade! Car 3 which caused a lot of confusion referred to as the Detroit car was the one slated for the White House to be the main car, but was never (as the other 2) accepted by the Office of the President because of legal restrictions about receiving gifts of high value. Rumored that the cars would often travel around the country by Chrysler transport is only one third true as Car 3 was owned by Chrysler and transported around for such events like the second inauguration of President Eisenhower in 1958 when Vice President Nixon Rode in it as sen in a photo which I examined to verify that all! Car 3 was purchased by Bruce Thomas of Chrysler who is the historian (was? since it closed recently) of the Walter P. Chrysler Museum. Mr. Thomas sold or traded the car to Paul Stern in Carlisle Penn. and then after that wound up in the Imperial Palace collection in Las Vegas.In down sizing was auctioned off and now is fully restored in the Petersen Automotive museum in LA. Trying to find the conduit to document an article of the complete and CORRECT history of the cars.