1931 Chrysler CG Imperial Dual Cowl Phaeton

The remarkable styling of the CG series Imperials was the work of LeBaron, one of the greatest design firms of the classic era. Founded by Thomas L. Hibbard and Ray Dietrich, and later joined by Ralph Roberts, the company established itself as innovative, creative and responsive. Although Hibbard and Dietrich later left the firm to pursue other opportunities, the company flourished at the hands of Ralph Roberts.

Probably the most striking design in existence at the time was Al Leamy’s L29 Cord, so when Leamy was hired to style the Imperial, it is not surprising that the cars would bear some resemblance to it. Like the L29, the CG was long and low, featuring gracefully swept fenders and a vee-shaped radiator. LeBaron improved on the design, however, with a longer hood, a swept-back grille and a more elegant bodyside treatment.

All Chryslers had a reputation for performance, and the CG Imperial did not disappoint. With 125 horsepower on tap and a four-speed transmission, the cars were very quick. With Chrysler’s “Floating Power” and well-tuned suspension, the cars were also quite refined to drive.

The stunning example pictured here is finished in maroon and dark red with black fenders, with a black top and dark red leather interior. It has benefited from a comprehensive professional restoration to the highest standards, and remains in near show-ready condition today. The odometer indicates 485 miles, which may well reflect the distance traveled since restoration. A CCCA National First Place winner, it wears CCCA Senior badge #1116.

The car is equipped with chrome wire wheels, wide whitewall tires, dual sidemount spares, chrome stone guard, wind wings, dual Pilot Ray driving lights and a rear-mounted trunk. The car was acquired by the Kughns in April of 1986 from Jim Quinlan; prior to that, it was part of Harrah’s collection in Reno, Nevada.

Many consider the CG Imperial dual cowl phaeton to be among the finest looking cars of the period, in addition to being one of the best driving cars of the era. Only a handful of these cars exist with known provenance and history, and the opportunity to acquire one is consequently extremely rare.