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1952 Chrysler Imperial Parade Car

1952 Chrysler Imperial Parade Car

[Scroll down to see the video]

Only 3 of this 1952 Chrysler Imperial Parade Car were made, and  they were based on the Chrysler Imperial Crown limo, powered by the 331cub inch V8 engine.
Chrysler custom-built them to be used as parade cars, one went to New York, another to Las Angeles which is the one ion this video, and the third to Detroit.
The third one was intended to go to the White House but was refused as this went against the ‘no gift’ rule.

After three years of service, the cars were brought back to the factory in 1955 to be updated to 1956 Imperial appearance, in which form they continue to exist to the present day. The front and rear, including grilles, bumpers and trim, were replaced. Internally, the engines were updated with 4-barrel carburetors, and fully automatic Powerflite transmissions were installed. The cars were all repainted. After the rebuild, the cars were donated to the respective cities.
See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chrysler_Imperial_Parade_Phaeton

Each car was originally painted a different colour, the L.A. car was cream, the New York one black, and the one kept in Detroit which was also used for parades in other cities, was painted a metallic green.
When recalled in 1955 and updated 1956 specifications both the L.A. and New York cars were repainted white, and the Detroit car a light sand colour. It seems New York city later painted theirs black again.
Both the New York and the Las Angeles cars are still in use today as official city parade cars, but the Detroit Chrysler was sold to a private collector who later sold it to the Imperial Palace in Las Vegas who put it on display in their collection.
The Imperial Palace later got into quite a lot of strife with a long running court battle over guest security, Nazi theme parties, Nazi memorabilia displays and staff claiming victimization. It was sold off and renamed.
In 2001 this 1952 Chrysler Imperial Parade Car was sold to the Petersen Auto Museum in L.A. and as far as I can ascertain is still on display there today.

Coming back to the video Jay discusses much more information about the Imperial Parade car  then has a lot of fun both driving it, and being driven around the city streets,  while talking on the cars PA system.
Certainly a great car appearance wise and now 64 years old it is pleasing to see all three of these rather heavy and thirsty custom cars in such great original factory condition.  Long may they stay like that.


Special thanks to Jay Leno’s Garage for the video, and the screen shots taken from the video.