Imperial Home Page-> Imperials by Year -> 1964 -> Bernie and Lisa Rae's Imperial Crown Convertible
Bernie and Lisa Rae McBain are the current owners of this unique Celebrity Imperial. We hope they will take the time to provide us with many more historic details, and many more close-up detailed pictures.
Bernie writes: "Wisconsin Badgers vs North Dakota Fighting Sioux College Hockey Game" and
How I came to own Don Draper's Imperial Convertible ...
How well do you remember Dec 12th 2009? ... If you were in Grand Forks, North Dakota you would not forget... It was cold. I mean really cold, scary cold. The temps over December 9 - 13th had dropped to as low as -23 below zero with a wind chill of -52. The reason I was in Grand Forks was to see my son. He was playing hockey for the Wisconsin Badgers Men's Hockey team and they had a weekend series against the North Dakota Fighting Sioux.
It was then that it all started, I watched my first episodes of Mad Men. I don't sleep much and rarely do I sleep when in a hotel room. So sometime in the very early hours of Saturday December 12th while channel surfing I came across the show "Mad Men". I watched 2 1/2 episodes all before 5am. I was intrigued. The TV series had already been running for some time and had completed its third season. My wife and I returned home after the weekend in Grand Forks, I went out and purchased the DVDs of both season one and season two. That was it, I was hooked.
I burned through watching the first two seasons in no time. I was fascinated by the show. It was a unique look at the 1960's. Most TV shows that are set in the 60's often only portray the decade of the psychedelic era and Vietnam. Rather than being a cliche', this was something new. Having been born in 1964 myself (same vintage as the Imperial) I am only one year older than the show's creator Matt Weiner. Every episode it brought me back to the earliest part of my life. With every season on DVD, my little "field trips" back in time have lasted long after the shows last episode aired May 17th 2015.
Fast Forward to July of 2015. "Screenbid" held the first of three auctions to auction Mad Men Props. The auctions were held July of 2015, June of 2016, and March of 2018. Don Draper's 1964 Imperial convertible was first auctioned in June of 2016. I was determined to be the winning bidder. Over the 20 days the car was on the auction block, I watched the auction daily. When the bidding was finally complete, I was the highest bidder but unfortunately the reserve was not met. The car went unsold.
The announcement was made in late February of 2018 that there would be another auction and that the 1964 Imperial convertible was again going to be on the block. I would have a second chance at the obtaining the car. After a late push by additional bidders, that drove up the price, I was the winning bidder. After contracting with a shipping company, the car arrived in Minnesota to its new home on April 25th 2018.
The car now resides in a heated hangar in Minnesota with about eight other classic cars and a Cirrus airplane. I did not initially drive the car. I wanted to make the conversion from a single brake master cylinder to a dual master cylinder before driving the car. I did that work a few weeks later. I also made a trip to the Minnesota DMV and was able to get a personalized collectors license plate that read "Mad Men". All was done just in time for the Minnesota car show season.
With a display stand informing people of the cars celebrity and the top down, off I went to my first show. From the start the car was a big hit. It is great fun to see the reaction of people when they realize this is the very car that was used in the TV series. This brings even more interest and questions about the car. They love to hear the story of how I got the car. The next most commonly asked question is, "if they can sit in the car for a photo". I am more than happy to open the door for them.
I do not have the looks of Mad Men's Don Draper, ( but my wife kind of looks like Don's wife Betty ) I also do not have his style, but I do have his 1964 Imperial Convertible. This "Incomparable Imperial" is a favorite in my collection of cars, with the hope that we will be partners on the road for many years to come.
Bernie also notes that the lovely "real" model in the photos is actually his wife Lisa Rae.
Click on photos to see larger versions
We hope Bernie and Lisa Rae will send more pictures and descriptions, and keep us posted on their Imperial adventures.
This page was last updated March 2019. Send us your feedback, and come join the Imperial Mailing List - Online Car Club