1931 Chrysler CG Imperial Convertible Victoria

This 1931 Chrysler CG Imperial Custom Convertible Victoria by Waterhouse was produced on June 15, 1931. The known history dates to 1939, when Calvin Collins of New York purchased it from the McCormick garage.

The Collins family enjoyed the car for several years, but it was almost lost to the scrap metal drives of World War II. At the insistence of Collins’ young son, Scott, the sculpted Imperial was spared, but in the balance of patriotism and patronage, the Chrysler gave up the single heaviest piece of metal that could serve as war material — its engine. The car was salted away in the family barn, and the younger Collins dreamt of restoring the old car; he collected original parts over the years to serve a future restoration.

In 2009, Scott Collins sold the CG Imperial, after it was in the family for 70 years, to noted Canadian restorer Richard Grenon. Richard stated the car was in excellent condition — even though it had been exposed to the elements — but the aluminum body and the chassis had fared remarkably well. The majority of the wood framing required replacement, but only three inches of the lower quarters required replacement. Many of the original wood pieces and smaller chrome elements still bear the “163” stamping, which was the Waterhouse job number.

Between 2009 and 2011, 6,000 hours were spent restoring CG 3843. It is finished in the original color of black with caramel coachline. Notable features include an interior light and full rear window, both of which are Waterhouse trademarks. The result is, in a word, stunning.

Carl Bomstead

Carl Bomstead - SCM Senior Auction Analyst

Carl has been writing for SCM for 19 years. His first article appeared in the February 1997 issue, and at least one of his articles has appeared in every issue since. When he’s not writing, he serves as a National Director for the Classic Car Club of America and tends to his extensive collection of automobilia. He has been a judge at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance for the past 20 years, and he also judges at Amelia Island and other major concours. An extensive number of collector cars have passed through his garage, and a 1947 Cadillac 62 Series convertible and a 1968 Intermeccanica Italia are current residents.

Posted in American