Sign in to follow this  
GregLaR

1931 Chrysler Phaeton Worth Another Look...

Recommended Posts

Yesterday I was getting my truck smogged and had a little time on my hands. So I walked across the street to McCormick's Classic Car Auction to have a look around. I'm pretty sure someone posted a link to this car last year. It is a real beauty so I just had to share a few pics here. I have no connection with the car or the business. I just like to drop in from time to time and view the stock. Asking price is $110,000. How realistic is that?

Greg

 

 

20190308_132325.jpg

20190308_132357.jpg

20190308_132410.jpg

20190308_132426.jpg

20190308_132434.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WOW! I am in love with it already. I don't think I would consider that price out of line.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Find a better looking car for ten times the money!

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

One of my dad's friends in our local Southern Ohio Chapter of AACA restored a 1931 Chrysler Imperial LeBaron roadster, when I was young. Worked on it for years and years. It was gorgeous when he got it done (at least, to my teenage eyes). He drove it around for a year or two, and then traded it for some cash and some Packard project cars to Leo Gephart, who used to be from our region near Dayton, Ohio. The car was blue with black fenders. It was a spectacular car, and reminds me of this one. I'll have to dig around and try to find some old photos. 

 

Edited by lump (see edit history)
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do not know my Chrysler products, what year/model are we looking at?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Greg ! Does the car look as good "in the flesh" as the pictures portray it ? If so, and if it runs as good as it looks, my feeling is that at a  "C-note" and change that would be a good buy. On one hand, though, I am no where near as good as an automotive appraiser as I was a boxing judge. But, on the other hand, since that is a large, high quality DCP out of the High Classic epoch of automobile design, I really can't imagine doing any better than that. Also, the color looks quite good to me. The apparent blue-green is close to the color of my 1927 Cadillac. The ladies love it. I don't know if you are hitched, man. I say, a single wolf ought to make 'em an offer they can't refuse.   - CC 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem with that car (appears to be a '31 CD8 sport phaeton--very, very rare) is the same problem that plagues my '31 CD8 roadster. It's not a Full Classic, but it's expensive like one. They live in a kind of no-man's land where the CCCA guys with the money won't touch it but the rest of the hobby has trouble justifying it. This roadster is a gorgeous car, beautiful restoration, and drives extremely well, but I can't get anyone to bite and I've had it for a long time. I sometimes get offers from people that say, "It's just a Chrysler, not a Packard, you're asking too much, I'll give you $25,000. You should take it." I don't agree that it's too expensive, only that the buyers are too narrowly focused. I suspect 93 out of 100 enthusiasts with this much money to spend would buy a somewhat ratty Packard instead of a really nice non-Classic Chrysler. I hate that this is how it is, but it certainly seems to be the case.

 

$110,000 is probably way too much for that car, especially since this one isn't selling at $75,000.

 

017.thumb.JPG.e7f98cfd1ecb6abcd7af6482b09fea8b.JPG

  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Matt Harwood said:

The problem with that car (appears to be a '31 CD8 sport phaeton--very, very rare) is the same problem that plagues my '31 CD8 roadster. It's not a Full Classic, but it's expensive like one. They live in a kind of no-man's land where the CCCA guys with the money won't touch it but the rest of the hobby has trouble justifying it. This roadster is a gorgeous car, beautiful restoration, and drives extremely well, but I can't get anyone to bite and I've had it for a long time. I sometimes get offers from people that say, "It's just a Chrysler, not a Packard, you're asking too much, I'll give you $25,000. You should take it." I don't agree that it's too expensive, only that the buyers are too narrowly focused. I suspect 93 out of 100 enthusiasts with this much money to spend would buy a somewhat ratty Packard instead of a really nice non-Classic Chrysler. I hate that this is how it is, but it certainly seems to be the case.

 

$110,000 is probably way too much for that car, especially since this one isn't selling at $75,000.

 

017.thumb.JPG.e7f98cfd1ecb6abcd7af6482b09fea8b.JPG

 

 

A thought concerning the non Imperial 8cyl Chrysler’s. With the CCCA letting virtually everything in now... has anyone taken a recent shot at applying to get them added as full classics?  A few years ago I barely understood why they were not included.... there is now really no reason not to let them in. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, gossp said:

 

A thought concerning the non Imperial 8cyl Chrysler’s. With the CCCA letting virtually everything in now... has anyone taken a recent shot at applying to get them added as full classics?  A few years ago I barely understood why they were not included.... there is now really no reason not to let them in. 

 

I don't know if anyone has applied recently, but if so, I bet it will be denied again. As much as I love the car and as attractive as it is and as well as it drives, I don't think it's really in the same category as the Imperial or other Full Classics. I would liken it more to an 8-cylinder Oldsmobile or maybe a Buick 50-Series. It's rare, they didn't build many of them, it's incredibly attractive, it has great road manners, but it's not very big, it wasn't super expensive, and the engine is only 284 cubes. It's not Full Classic material, and I'll be the first to admit that I think they've been letting in too many cars that are on the bubble. Lovely car, but not really Full Classic material. I know that makes me sound like a snob, but that's not intended so please don't make it seem as if that's what I'm saying. I do think some cars are truly special and merely being pretty isn't really sufficient to make the grade. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Matt, I wasn't aware that this car is not considered a full classic. Can you tell me why that is? I don't think I understand the yardstick they use. This phaeton makes your roadster look like a bargain.

 

C Carl, the car shows very nicely in person. The color actually suits the car quite well. My wife loves it. As completely impractical as this car is, I've seriously considered selling a Corvette (or two) and making a deal on it. I really need to stop thinking about it. 😄

Edited by GregLaR (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

The problem with that car (appears to be a '31 CD8 sport phaeton--very, very rare) is the same problem that plagues my '31 CD8 roadster. It's not a Full Classic, but it's expensive like one. They live in a kind of no-man's land where the CCCA guys with the money won't touch it but the rest of the hobby has trouble justifying it. This roadster is a gorgeous car, beautiful restoration, and drives extremely well, but I can't get anyone to bite and I've had it for a long time. I sometimes get offers from people that say, "It's just a Chrysler, not a Packard, you're asking too much, I'll give you $25,000. You should take it." I don't agree that it's too expensive, only that the buyers are too narrowly focused. I suspect 93 out of 100 enthusiasts with this much money to spend would buy a somewhat ratty Packard instead of a really nice non-Classic Chrysler. I hate that this is how it is, but it certainly seems to be the case.

 

$110,000 is probably way too much for that car, especially since this one isn't selling at $75,000.

 

017.thumb.JPG.e7f98cfd1ecb6abcd7af6482b09fea8b.JPG

Interesting, I didn't know they were Non Classic. Being a Ford guy I judge things based on Ford values and a 1932 Ford in the same condition Stone Stock or nicely Rodded would bring that or more. Bob 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

If it became a CCCA full classic over night, what would the value be?

Edited by maok (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well in that case, I guess the next step would be for the two of you to test drive the CD8. You really have to enjoy the feel of these old things under way. Some really take to it. For example, the first "ancient" car I ever drove was a fairly low mileage 1918 Cadillac. Somehow very different from what I expected. I was amazed by how heavy, stable and solid it was.  I call my two '20s Cads cheap psychotherapy. You also have to enjoy entertaining the throngs of people who are attracted to such rolling artistry. I am a very inactive CCCA member. I could not have imagined a Chrysler CD8 is not considered a "Classic". I think it is more of a true representative of the short glorious "Classic Era" than my "Full Classic" 1924 and '27 Cadillacs. I think that my old junk should be regarded as "Late Pre-Classic". But as inactive as I am, I don't make the rules. But hey : if terminology knocks 30 or 40 grand off the price of a very cool car, that opens up possiblities for the mere "common man". But for 100% sure, you can take Matt's advice/information to the (I was just about to say "bank", and then thought about the literal implications and held my................... whatever).       -    Carl 

 

P.S. We had a fine run of sunny dry weather here as Spring is just about with us. I drove the '24 Cad through the park down the hill from us. A beach bird gave me a pass, so I got in such a good mood that I started giving people rides around the park. Cheap psychotherapy, I say. And my old Cadillac is no where as expensive, and stylish as that Chrysler. 

 

B77F95CB-1F9B-450B-A1D8-4E5F1B49B114.jpeg

78FC5822-0E64-4869-A5A4-EB0B9EA5E86C.jpeg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

 

I don't know if anyone has applied recently, but if so, I bet it will be denied again. As much as I love the car and as attractive as it is and as well as it drives, I don't think it's really in the same category as the Imperial or other Full Classics. I would liken it more to an 8-cylinder Oldsmobile or maybe a Buick 50-Series. It's rare, they didn't build many of them, it's incredibly attractive, it has great road manners, but it's not very big, it wasn't super expensive, and the engine is only 284 cubes. It's not Full Classic material, and I'll be the first to admit that I think they've been letting in too many cars that are on the bubble. Lovely car, but not really Full Classic material. I know that makes me sound like a snob, but that's not intended so please don't make it seem as if that's what I'm saying. I do think some cars are truly special and merely being pretty isn't really sufficient to make the grade. 

Matt is correct, someone would have to apply and the person doing such better be on their game and properly plead the case as a slipshod effort would set the effort back for many years into the future (ie when something is rejected the next application that comes in 10 minutes later does not generally revive the effort). 

 

As to such as an 8 cylinder Oldsmobile or 50 Series Buick - you probably not going to see acceptance as the 1934 -1936 LaSalle was pretty thoroughly vetted as a no (and I want to say a moratorium was placed on revisiting such).

 

By the way, I will always recall asking a friend what was the fatal flaw to a Chrysler that I see so few Chrysler in CCCA and also in general - his response was that they are well built and engineered cars and people literally drove them into the ground.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, gossp said:

 

 

A thought concerning the non Imperial 8cyl Chrysler’s. With the CCCA letting virtually everything in now... has anyone taken a recent shot at applying to get them added as full classics?  A few years ago I barely understood why they were not included.... there is now really no reason not to let them in. 

A ggod argument to accept the CD-8 as a Classic Car of America is a Auburn 8 that is a classic. Auburns are great cars but I dont think on the level of the Chrysler in quality. If Chrysler had made a boatail speedster , they would of been on the CCCA list. (Just my opinion)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, mikewest said:

A ggod argument to accept the CD-8 as a Classic Car of America is a Auburn 8 that is a classic. Auburns are great cars but I dont think on the level of the Chrysler in quality. If Chrysler had made a boatail speedster , they would of been on the CCCA list. (Just my opinion)

 

It also helps to have your big brothers, Cord and Duesenberg, put in a good word for you.

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Matt Im curious what is a comfortable road speed for your CD8?  Will it run 65 without to much labor?  I always wanted one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
57 minutes ago, Matt Harwood said:

 

It also helps to have your big brothers, Cord and Duesenberg, put in a good word for you.

By that logic, post war continentals should be dragging the Model T across the finish line!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, gossp said:

By that logic, post war continentals should be dragging the Model T across the finish line!

 

Well, I dont know if THAT particular analogy holds water...

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, mikewest said:

Matt Im curious what is a comfortable road speed for your CD8?  Will it run 65 without to much labor?  I always wanted one.

 

It's really more of a 50-55 MPH car. It's quick and nimble for 1931, but it still has rather short gearing so it gets busy at speed. However, removing that limitation, it is otherwise sublime to drive. The brakes are notably better than any other 1931 vehicle in my experience. Torquey and smooth, and the size--to me--is just about right. It's not giant but it's not a little car, either and full-sized people can get comfortable in it. A good size that looks impressive from any angle, has plenty of room for front and rumble seat occupants, and fantastic proportions that are exactly right. I'm not joking when I say that I love looking at it and keep it outside my office so I can look at it every day. It's about three inches lower than anything else of the era except an L29 Cord (which, incidentally, was also designed by Al Leamy, hence the resemblance). 

 

As for the criteria required for Full Classic status, that's always kind of been a gray area and is why there's an application and approval process (I suspect it's also why the club got such a bad reputation for snobbery--it appears exclusionary). The actual goal was to create a club that celebrated the very best cars of the pre-war era. Not just interesting cars, not just cars that weren't built in large numbers, not just cars that had advanced engineering, but cars that represented the best of the best in every way. They are cars that offer cost-no-object engineering and design, built for people for whom cost was indeed no object. In the years since, there has been some watering-down of that ideal and in some cases I agree and many I don't, but the goals have always been to focus on quality, engineering excellence, and exclusivity (which goes beyond mere rarity and touches on cost), plus that intangible quality that I call "exquisiteness."

 

While this Chrysler may appear to have those factors in its favor, it doesn't really. Yes, the CD8, with the benefit of hindsight, may be rare because they only built it for one year. But they aren't going to approve just the "pretty" versions--if the CD8 were approved, the 95% of them that are 4-door sedans would also qualify. It was a mid-priced car, like a top-of-the-line 8-cylinder Olds or low- to mid-range Buick. The engineering was certainly advanced (mechanical fuel pump, hydraulic brakes, 4-speed transmission, etc.) but it wasn't really designed to be "the best possible car in the world, built without regard for cost, for people who can afford anything." It was a really high-quality mid-range car for a guy who was maybe a dentist or accountant, but not a captain of industry. It's a BMW 3-series but Full Classics are the Bentley GT and Rolls-Royce Phantom. And while the CD8 is pretty, it's not ground-breaking or especially unique or game-changing in its specifications. 

 

I love the CD8. I think it is superior on the road and there's nothing this side of a Cord L29 that is prettier. Period. It's comfortable and competent. But I must also agree that it isn't a Full Classic. It's maybe intangible and subtle, but it's just not. A good analogy might be the Packard 120: great road car, mechanically advanced, exceptionally well built, handsome like its big brothers, but not quite there. With all due respect to my friend Earl Beauchamp, I don't agree that the 70 Series Buicks should be included as Full Classics (although the fact that they are is a wonderful testament to Earl's exceptional preparedness and presentation when making the argument in their favor in the past--a perfect example of where an excellent case was made and it was very hard to argue against it on anything other than a "well, I don't know..." gut feeling basis).

 

Ultimately, what a "Full Classic" is seems to boil down to the way Edwin Meese described pornography: I can't define it, but I know it when I see it.

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The above cars don't make the cut but the postwar T&C does.  Maybe that will drive these fantastic Classic era Chryslers over the finish line at some point...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

Interesting, I didn't know they were Non Classic. Being a Ford guy I judge things based on Ford values and a 1932 Ford in the same condition Stone Stock or nicely Rodded would bring that or more. Bob 

 

32 FORDS HAVE BEEN DROPPING LIKE A ROCK IN PRICE................................!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Matt,

             Thanks for the explanation. It does seem a little vague but I suppose can understand the originator's want for exclusivity.

And, as the saying goes, in order to be exclusive, ......you must exclude.

I see now, using this additional criteria as a factor, where this phaeton is over priced. Too bad. Because, like I said, it's a real beauty.

G.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I could be wrong but I believe CCCA is loosing active members and by increasing their span of Full Classic criteria may help solve the problem temporarily as we age. I see also that CLC and Chevy clubs have already done the same. It is a fight for survival one might say. Up north here clubs are having the same problem with dwindling memberships.  

 Saturday I was out on a HCCA garage tour seeing what other members projects  were hidden in their garages. I was surprised by the numbers of members that were in there 40 in the group.   

Edited by Joe in Canada (see edit history)
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this