1939 Chrysler Durham

Built on a 144 inch wheelbase, nineteen inches longer than the C-23 Imperial, Chrysler's limited production Custom Imperial C-24 model was the essence of exclusivity. Only 307 are known to have been built. Among them, a single Parade Phaeton was constructed for the 1939 New York World's Fair as its official greeting and parade car. When England's King George VI and Queen Mary visited the Fair it was the Chrysler Parade Phaeton which conveyed them. Returned to Chrysler after the Fair, it saw limited parade and official use including carrying President Roosevelt on a secret tour of Chrysler's war plants in 1942. In 1952 it was given to an American Legion post and was acquired from them with only 20,000 some miles on its odometer in 1984 by its immediately preceding owner, a former Chrysler engineer and company archivist, only its second owner from Chrysler. While some sources indicate there were two C-24 Parade Phaetons, the bullet-resistant enclosure shown in some photos of King George's visit to the World's Fair was installed on this car. Aside from mechanical maintenance over the years it has had only a single bare-metal re-spray, new interior and new chrome. Its dramatically sculpted front fenders, enclosed side-mounted spare tires, flag stands and prominent 1939 Chrysler hood, grille and headlights inset into the front fenders are complemented by a raked vee windshield and unusual crescent-shaped rollup front windows to give it an elegant and distinctive look that shares many cues with the famous Chrysler Newport phaeton show cars. Selected as the Most Significant Chrysler at the Meadow Brook Concours, it is one-of-a-kind, a significant unique design which enjoys a supporting role in the dramatic events of the late 30's and early 40's and is largely unmolested, carefully maintained and lovingly preserved.

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