Imperial Home Page -> Mailing List & Club -> Member Spotlight -> Paul Wentink
Here is a brief interview we recently had with IML member Paul Wentink. All the pictures displayed on this page are from Paul's impressive Imperial collection.
Question: When did you purchase your first Imperial?
Answer: bought my first Imperial on January 18, 1972. It was my 1956 Southampton Four Door. I learned to drive in my parents 1960, which they bought new and turned over to me in 1985.
Q: Do you still own it?
A: Yes, I still own it, though it hasn’t been out of the garage since the summer of 1997.
Q: What, if any, restoration did you do to that car?
A: I did not do any restoration to the car, just kept it clean and waxed. I drove it 101,000 miles before it was parked in 1976.
Q: What is your favorite year Imperial?
A: I have no favorite year. I really enjoy them all. My favorite one at any particular point in time is the one that I am driving. Currently I am driving my 1963 Crown and I like it a lot..
Q: Why is it your favorite? What do you find appealing about that particular year?
A: The reason I can’t pick a favorite is that I would have to choose one over the other of my cars, or even one that I don’t currently have. I really do enjoy them all.
Q: Do you have a favorite Imperial gadget or styling feature?
A: My favorite Imperial feature is the torsion bar front suspension. I realize that this was on all Chrysler Corp. cars of the period, but it adds the most to the handling and safety of the vehicle. To me, there is still nothing like driving a well maintained Imperial out on the open road.
Q: Any other automotive gadget or styling feature that you like or would like to own?
A: I really like fully automatic climate control. It is real nice when the fan speed and temperature changes to suit the conditions all by itself.
Q: What does your Imperial collection consist of?
’55 Sedan Dove Gray Nice Orig. 115,000 ’56 4dr.HDTP Dark Blue Original 193,000 Southampton
’60 Sedan Bronze Original 91,000 LeBaron ’60 Sedan White Outstanding Orig. 68,000 Custom
’62 4-dr. HDTP Gold Nice Original 136,000 LeBaron
’63 4dr.HDTP Blue Excellent Orig. 75,800 Crown
’65 4dr.HDTP Beige Excellent Orig. 186,000 Crown
’68 Convert. Green Nice Orig. Almost mine Crown ’68 4dr.HDTP Black Apart Dad’s 99,900 LeBaron
Q: What other collector cars do you own today?
A:’76 Pinto Lt. Green Excellent Orig. 175,000 mile Wagon
’80 Lincoln White Excellent Orig. 356,000 Continental
’80 Lincoln Dk.Blue Excellent Orig. 132,000 Mark VI
’81 Buick Beige Excellent Orig. 279,000 Park Avenue
’84 Buick Silver Outstanding Orig. 81,000 Park Avenue
’86 Lincoln White Outstanding Orig. 91,000 Town Car
Q: What other collector cars (at least 20 years old) have you owned in your lifetime?
A: ’40 Linc. Zephr Silver Modified Continental Coupe’
’55 Imperial Blue Rough Sedan
’65 Chrysler White Nice Orig. 300 Coupe
Q: Which car has been your favorite and why?
A: I really like the ’65 Chrysler because it drove very well. It was tight, firm, and powerful.
Q: What are your future plans for your present collection?
A: I plan to keep all of my vehicles roadworthy which is a huge effort with this many cars. Until recently many of them were not. As of now they all are except the ’56 Imperial. It is the next on the list and will be roadworthy in a couple of months.
Q: Do you have any, "I can't believe I let that car get away from me" stories?
A: I once was in love with a 1936 Cord Westchester Sedan that was only $1,000. I also have always been sad that my parents didn’t keep their ’48 Chrysler Town & Country Convertible 8. I have several funny stories about purchasing an old car, but I will save those for the stories that I send to the Website with the pictures of each of my cars.
Q: Are there any other collector cars (besides Imperials) that you would like to own?
A: I really don’t want anymore collector cars. I suppose that I wouldn’t mind owning a ‘60s Lincoln Four Door Convertible.
Q: Do you belong to any other antique car clubs?
A: I belong to the Walter P. Chrysler Club National, The Lincoln Continental Owners Club, and The Way of the Zephyr.
Q: What was the best car show you ever attended?
A: The best show I ever attended was the 1995 Harold LeMay Cook out in Tacoma Washington.
Q: What was the best Museum you ever visited?
A: The best museum I ever visited was Harrah’s in Reno, spring 1974
Q: Do you have a favorite car related book or movie?
A: I guess my favorite car related movie would be “It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” because it was the first time I remember actually seeing an Imperial on the big screen. I had probably seen others before, but that one was the most influential.
We would like to thank Paul Wentink for sharing his wonderful Imperial collection with us!! Please check back next month when we will be spotlighting another Imperial Club member.