Imperial Home Page -> Imperials by Year -> 1953 -> Bob Schoenberg
I'd been watching eBay for an early 50s Chrysler for awhile, sort of a trip down Memory Lane reminding me of a wonderful 52 Saratoga I had when I was at Purdue in 1956-57. This particular 53 Imperial jumped right out at me, actually spoke to me...well thats what I told my lovely wife. I called the owner for more info, was a bit discouraged to learn that he was a dealer, but followed the bidding process & managed to win the car. This was after some very suspicious last minute shill bidding, but it was only about a 2 hour or so drive to southern NJ. With the excellent help of 2 friends plus a sturdy trailer from U-Haul we set off to pick up the beast. Its raining by the time we get there & you know about buying cars in the rain!! Well it doesnt look too bad, the interior is original & quite incredible, it starts & runs, has good glass all around with a brand new windshield, the wide white wall tires look pretty good. Its got a unique additional bumper in the front designed & installed by the original owner which takes a little figuring out how the car looks different. It had been explained to me that the car came from western Canada with only 55,000 miles & had been repaintedthe cream top within the last 2 years, but the main body repaint in brown was over a dozen years old & looked decent. Of course, the dealer had misrepresented the car substantially, but my friends liked it & I figured they only made 7,793 of these beauties & that made it pretty rare. Trailering over 2 tons of Imperial makes for a nerve racking trip & 4 hours later we pulled in to home base.
The dealer is probably now gone from the eBay scene or hiding behind a new ID as he had a majority of negative feedback right after this auction. Even though I've been a sort-of hobbyist for the past 30 yrs, a 68 yr old dentist with no mechanical ability probably shouldn't be turned loose with a checkbook. I don't show cars so I didn't care about the unusual looking extra front bumper, actually its kind of distinctive, & there's a pair of center mounted Lucas driving lights. Additionally, there is a really neat chrome electrical device not small, but mounted under the center of the dash that defied identification. We later figured out it was some type of aftermarket gas saving apparatus that doesn't seem to be working any longer. The car polished up nicely BUT then an even nicer Chrysler came on eBay. It wasn't even a month, but a 54 New Yorker DeLuxe with factory AirTemp air conditioning, PowerFlite automatic transmission & a stunning new paint job came onto eBay. This time I didn't even have the heart to tell me wife because I still had a 56 Packard Patrician in my storage shed. I bought the New Yorker sight unseen from Texas, had it shipped (with much guilt) to my friends place in the next town & immediately put the Packard & Imperial up for sale. Fortunately, the Packard now lives in Michigan, but I haven't had a lot of time to promote the sale of the Imperial. We take it to shows from time to time, more so we don't have to walk in from the parking area & we've been going through the New Yorker mechanicals in great detail. That from someone who is only in charge of chasing down parts!! My friend, Mike, is an excellent retired mechanic whose taken pity on me & is doing most all of the work. I told him it's in my will that the car goes to him...but he says something about making sure I stay alive, even if he has to feed me thru a tube!!
So, here we are finally getting around to registering the beauty in the Imperial Club Registry for all to see. One of these days, it'll find a new home where it can be appreciated fully. I do consider myself a MoPar guy having owned the following examples:
-1939 DeSoto Opera Coupe
-1949 Chrysler Windsor
-1950 Dodge Sedan
-1950 DeSoto Custom
-1953 Custom Imperial Sedan (still lives here)
-1954 Chrysler New Yorker DeLuxe (still lives here)
-1963 Imperial Southhampton ( now lives in Florence, Italy)
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This page was last updated January 21, 2004. Send us your feedback, and come join the Imperial Mailing List - Online Car Club