1930 Imperial Convertible Coupe by Locke on Ebay

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This rare 1930 Imperial was offered for sale on Ebay in October of 2012.

Here's what the seller had to say about this early Imperial:


Year: 1930

Number of Cylinders: 6

Make: Chrysler

Transmission: Manual

Model: Imperial

Body Type: Convertible

Trim: - Custom bodied by Locke -

Engine: 310ci

Drive Type: RWD

Options: Leather Seats, Convertible

Mileage: 37,384

Fuel Type: Gasoline

Exterior Color: Yellow

Interior Color: Black

Rare, one of 142 made

Ex William Harrah collection

Excellent restoration candidate

Here up for bids on eBay is this rare 1930 Chrysler Imperial. At the start of the Great Depression, few people had the means to purchase expensive cars, and Chrysler's Imperial was near the top of the list. Coachbuilt cars, such as this example, added to the price. As a result, only 142 of these Locke bodied cars were built from 1929 to 1930. Locke and Co. were based in Manhattan and later opened an assembly plant in Rochester. In the 20s and into the 30s they built custom bodies for a variety of manufacturers including Cadillac, Packard, Duesenberg and Mercedes.

Formerly part of the Harrah's Collection, this car has just emerged from a 30 year hibernation. Although not running, the motor turns freely. The car is exceptionally solid and complete, an excellent starting point for a full restoration.

The scalloped hood was a design feature of Locke bodied cars. The grill shell is in good condition, crank hole cover is in place. Radiator mascot has a broken tip on one wing. Headlights have some small dings but good chrome and silvering inside.

The 1930 Imperials had smooth bumpers instead of ribbed. This car is missing the luggage rack. Convertible top is of unknown age, back window is in good condition. All of the glass on the car is good with no cracks or delamination.

Hall Lamp Co. tail lamp with the Imperial logo. This logo is also seen on the head lamps and rear deck. The glass lenses on this car are all in nice condition. In the 3rd photo you can see a dent on each fender, this is the only area on the car with damage, the rest of it is remarkably straight. The gauge of this sheet metal is very heavy, I have inspected the car top to bottom and have found ZERO filler anywhere.

The side mounts (and wire wheels) were an option for this model. The side mount wells are in super condtion with no areas of rust through. All mounting equipment is intact.

The only rust issue I've found on this car are some pinholes on each of the lower doors. The remainder of the car is impressively solid. In the 4th photo, where the paint has chipped away, you can see that the bare metal doesn't even have surface flash.

A hallmark of Locke's design was the side door entrance into the rumble seat compartment, probably pretty unique in 1930.

Behind the footrest is where the tools are stored. Although deteriorated, this car presents many original details.

The wood framing in this car is in excellent condition, still solid and tight with no rot. A body number is stamped underneath the rumble seat door, as well as on a plate just inward of the passenger side sill.

The interior is original with the exception of the seat covering, done in vinyl instead of leather.

The ignition system is operable and the oil gauge shows pressure as the engine turns. The car has fresh oil in the motor and transmission.

The doors latch closes securely, the window winders are stiff and I have not tried to move them. Convertible top frame is all intact, but again, I have not attempted to move them.

Good floorboards with no rot. The clutch operates freely but the brake pedal does not. The transmission shifts freely, a 4 speed was offered in 1930 which this car has.

2 photos show the area beneath the bottom seat cushion.

The car is still on its title from Harrahs, signed off and free and clear. Included with the car is much paperwork and reference literature relating to this car, as well as research notes by Clyde Wade of Harrahs.

The motor turns freely, it has fuel, spark and compression but needs someone who has the time to get it running smoothly.

Original radiator and dual point distributor. Motor number is L6545.

Original Stromberg UX4 carburetor. I have 6 Firestone 7.00x18 tires with tubes, from Coker. If the winning bidder would like these I will sell them for 50% off current retail price.

Solid and original undercarriage, this car has never been off the frame. The exhaust shows all original hangers, the springs are still wearing their original gaiters.


Click on photos to see larger versions


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This page was last updated September 13, 2012. Send us your feedback, and come join the Imperial Mailing List - Online Car Club