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GregLaR

1931 Chrysler Phaeton Worth Another Look...

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6 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

 

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

 

This is basically the reason that Auburn is in.  A middle to upper middle class chassis with great styling and fantastic siblings.   And nobody jump on me,  I'm an Auburn lover.

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1 hour ago, alsancle said:

 

This is basically the reason that Auburn is in.  A middle to upper middle class chassis with great styling and fantastic siblings.   And nobody jump on me,  I'm an Auburn lover.

By the way, my AACA membership card arrived a few days ago, did I just get lucky or do they all have an Auburn Speedster on them? Walmart lot members must be impressed. Bob 

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16 hours ago, GregLaR said:

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.

 

My misguided thoughts have always held exclusive and exclude tightly associated. Finally, it is written.

 

At 70 years old, my memories of Chrysler cars are just of the problematic cars in the used car row. Something was always quirky with them. Not as bad as French cars, but something in that vein. They had their own, very unique group of followers.

 

I like a wide range of cars. And my Wife has done many drive throughs of car lots and junkyards in the 43 years she has been riding with me. Recently she was talking about carrying a book to read whenever she got into the car with me. The person she was telling asked her if I ever drove through Chrysler dealerships. She thought a couple of seconds and just said "No".

 

If cars had genre's Chrysler products would be their own.

Bernie

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Matt, I agree your roadster is a great looking car.  I have always liked early thirties Chrysler Corporation styling - with the possible exception of the thin radiator shells at the turn of the decade.  Even my pedestrian 32 Dodge Brothers DL sedan draws appreciative comments, and I’m often asked how much I chopped the top.  Most folks are amazed when they discover it’s dead stock.  It’s also hard to beat the front styling on a 32 DeSoto.  Two things are preventing me from rushing to Cleveland to buy your roadster - the lack of having seventy-five large readily availible, and the color.  I just can’t get past those two-tone brown paint jobs that were so popular a few decades ago.  Just a personal opinion, not a dig at the car.

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This is an issue throughout the collector car hobby that I get passionate about. And I do tend to be on the less populated side. As background and illustration of my point of view, when I was fifteen, and just getting into this hobby (1967), I joined several of the major national clubs to get and read their magazines so that I could find my niche. For a short time, I was a member (non-active) of the CCCA. Frankly, for me, Most CCCA cars were simply too modern. The more I looked, the more I knew that I really wanted Horseless Carriage and into the mid '20s cars. Between that, and the fact that I could not in any way afford a decent CCCA car, I dropped that club after a few years. I still like them, and I very much respect their place in the collector car hobby. If I could afford it, I would probably have a CCCA car and participate in the club somewhat (many of my best friends do!).  At this point, since I cannot afford the cars I really want, I am certainly not going to pursue a car I cannot afford that isn't what I really want.

So why does my opinion matter? 

The HCCA is always debating the flip side of this issue. "Should we allow newer cars as active members in the HCCA?" I am always quick to say a resounding "NO!"  The clubs should be formed around the needs and interactions of the cars. Cars manufactured before about 1916 NEED special attention. They NEED tours designed around their limitations. They NEED experts familiar with how to repair them and maintain them. Some people in the HCCA believe that the '15/'16 cutoff is actually later than it should be. I would say I can agree with that, however today we have to work with what was decided half a century ago. So I argue to keep it as it is, and it does work fine. But if newer cars were allowed? I expect that tours would mostly become too difficult for some of the smaller HCCA cars. The situation is basically the same for the CCCA.

Frankly, I have seen a few clubs before become "more inclusive", only to run off and leave the cars and members they had behind.

Another example of what I see as the error of the thinking. In the San Francisco Bay Area, there used to be several HCCA Regional Groups (most of them are still around). Regional Groups are allowed by the National to set their own cutoff years for local events. What I find interesting, is that the largest and most active of those groups is a "strict pre'16" group. They have good turnouts of brass era cars, very active members, and quite a few member families that are much younger than I have become!

There used to be, just a Bay Bridge drive away, another Regional Group, that allowed cars up to about 1930 for their local events. But they disbanded about twenty years ago because they couldn't maintain an active membership. So much for allowing newer cars to solve the membership problem. 

 

Although I am not a member, and my opinion doesn't count for much? I feel that the CCCA has watered down their classifications too much already. While there were a few marques and models that many years ago maybe should have been added, and I might even agree that certain cars that a 1925 model was an accepted CCCA classic, the '24 or '23 of the nearly the same model maybe should have been allowed. My feeling is that they have stretched it a bit too far already.

As I have said in many such discussions on this subject, "Drawing that perfect-for-all line in the sand is not difficult. It is IMPOSSIBLE!" Both clubs have the same problem. Where should that line be drawn? No place you put it will be right and fair for all.

 

As for the Chrysler model here in question? I do not know the cars well enough to have a meaningful opinion and would willingly defer to Matt H's opinion. Although I do agree that they look beautiful!

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On 3/9/2019 at 11:36 PM, Matt Harwood said:

I do think some cars are truly special and merely being pretty isn't really sufficient to make the grade

I think Matt hit the nail on the head with this comment, regarding being a Full Classic according to the CCCA.

 

I have a good friend who collects and restores early Mopar, and some of the Chrysler's will take your breath away, absolutely beautiful cars, even the "small" series being discussed here.  But, by the original guidelines of the CCCA, being pretty isn't a consideration for inclusion on the Full Classic list.  By default, a lot of Classics ARE pretty, but that's not why they're Classics.

 

It's interesting that the fact of being a Full Classic adds to the value, I used to understand that, but the distinction is getting much more blurred these days.  And, depending on where you live in my opinion, being a member/participant in CCCA activities may not be all you think it is.

 

I used to really like the CCCA when I lived down south, went to many great events in Texas where the participants were down to earth.  Moved to Virginia, went to a Grand Classic in Baltimore, and was treated poorly because all I had there was a production Packard, "nothing special" (1938 Packard Super Eight 1604 convertible coupe, was a CCCA 99.75 point car). We also went on two Caravans, but unlike the ones down south we attended, we never really felt welcome, and the tours weren't geared for a "common folk" person who happened to own a Classic.   I've stayed a member of the club, but only participated in one other Grand Classic since, took my Pierce to Gettysburg last year.  Just my luck, I was a late registration, and when the magazine came out with an article about the meet, my car wasn't even listed as a participant.  When I pointed it out to the editor, the answer was dismissive, saying something like oh well, mistakes happen.  

 

I have three Classics, but the feeling of being "in the Club" sure isn't there, so it's just a side note to my collection now, not a matter of pride.  This is particularly true now, when the club has watered down the whole concept that built it in the first place.

 

Sorry for the rant, I'll quit now!

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Your Chrysler is as much a Classic in my mind as a '47 Cadillac, which is accepted. David, I was also at that Baltimore CCCA event and came away with the same impression as you.

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53 minutes ago, Restorer32 said:

Your Chrysler is as much a Classic in my mind as a '47 Cadillac, which is accepted. David, I was also at that Baltimore CCCA event and came away with the same impression as you.

I have 48 Cadillac Series 62 Convt that is not eligible while the 1947 and older series 62 and 1948 series 75 limo is. Cadillac used the same engine from 36-48 but for some reason they don't like the Harley Earl fins of 1948. Just wonder why? The flathead Caddys from 36-47 are very popular on CCCA tours and events. Why is the 48 Town and Country Convt in but not a ground breaking fin design from the P-38 airplane used in the 1948 Cadillac convt. It has the same drive train as the earlier cars and the 1948 limo that is CCCA eligible. 

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by that logic the 48-50 Senior Packards (same engines, envelope bodies) should also be in.  Should the 41 Caddy Series 61 be out as a lesser version replacing LaSalle?  I think it's difficult to find a hard line, but it makes for a fun debate

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1 hour ago, bryankazmer said:

by that logic the 48-50 Senior Packards (same engines, envelope bodies) should also be in.  Should the 41 Caddy Series 61 be out as a lesser version replacing LaSalle?  I think it's difficult to find a hard line, but it makes for a fun debate

 

Series 61 Cadillacs are not Full Classics. Model Ts are no more related to Lincoln Continentals than a 1932 Packard Twin Six coupe-roadster is related to a PT boat. Classifying what is and what isn't a Full Classic can seem esoteric and exclusionary and even arbitrary, but there is a method to the process and the decisions are not made lightly. I disagree with some of the cars they have let in, but I don't disagree with any that they have kept out, if that makes sense.

 

In the case of cars like the 1946-47 Cadillacs (and 1946-49 Cadillac limousines), they were granted Full Classic status because of the "essentially the same" rule. That is, they were more or less identical to pre-war cars that were already Full Classics. The 1948 Cadillacs, despite using the same powertrain, were essentially all-new cars. They were awesome cars, but they are outside of the club's scope. I suppose the same argument was made for the Town & Country, the 46-48 Lincoln Continental, post-war Bentley and Rolls-Royce models, etc. It is also why, in the time before they moved the window back to 1915, cars like a 1919 Locomobile were Full Classics--they were essentially the same as the 1925 models that were previously granted Full Classic status.

 

If a post-war car was substantially new, it is not eligible. If it is a carryover of a pre-war car that was already a Full Classic, it got Full Classic status. That's the gist of it.

 

The 1941 Buick 70-Series Roadmaster recently got in recently by virtue of using the same body as the Full Classic 1941 Cadillacs. I don't agree with the decision, but that's more of a gut thing than fact-based (the Buick is faster, more powerful, rarer, arguably more attractive, and has more advanced engineering, although it was considerably cheaper and aimed at a different market). The 1940 Buick 80 Series got in on a technicality because Buick renamed it the "Limited" in 1940 even though it was a carryover of the non-Classic 1939 Roadmaster line. All the 90-Series Limiteds have been Full Classics for a long time, and many of the 1930s 80-Series cars were included in that group by virtue of being virtually identical except for wheelbase.

 

There's a consistent slippery slope argument from within and without the club, all trying to increase membership numbers by increasing the numbers of Full Classics that are on the list. They moved the date back to 1915, a decision I am about 70% in favor of, and maybe that will help, but the truth is, the guys who own the expensive cars already own the expensive cars. Moving dates isn't going to change who owns the cars and who joins the club in any significant way. There's always a push to include things like the 1955-56 Continental Mark II, which was certainly a state-of-the-art hand-built luxury car, but at that point there's a good argument to include the Rolls-Royces of the same period (which were also expensive, luxurious, and exclusive). Of course, by the "essentially the same" rule, you may eventually end up with a fleet of 1978 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadows at Grand Classics and on CARavans with the CCCA. The club cannot, has not, and should not go down that path. It gets really stupid really fast.

 

The focus of the club was essentially "the greatest cars of the '30s" and it has been diluted at various stages by members who wanted their other cars to be included. Many of those cars were certainly worthy, some were not. But chasing increased membership by diluting the very thing that makes the cars and the club special isn't the answer.

 

It's like the Corvette club saying, "Membership is dwindling, but hey, there are an awful lot of Ford Mustangs out there--let's let them into the club so we can get more members." It's not the point and it's not a solution. 

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I still think selling my 1928 Packard 443 Roadster project and buying my 1912 Model T was one of my smartest moves. Bob 

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Good post, Matt.

I might add that the Classic Car Club was also not just about the cars, it was about an era that disappeared in the late 1930s ... an era  represented by the type of cars that were built for a specific type of customer, and that customer pretty much disappeared in the mid- to late-1930s. Excluding production cars was the main goal. When I was young, even the early 1940s Senior Packards and Cadillacs were kind of snubbed by the original organizers. Those were the cars that represented the slippery slope of allowing production cars into the fold. I think the club went as late as 1942 only because that was a good breaking point. Had it not been for the break in production during WWII, it's quite possible that the original CCCA organizers would have put the stop on accepted cars at around 1937 or so.

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On 3/10/2019 at 12:40 PM, Matt Harwood said:

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.

 

Matt, I am rarely called upon to make corrections to your very knowledgeable posts.  However, it was not Attorney General Edwin Meese who made that comment, but Justice Potter Stewart of the United States Supreme Court.  Here's the full quote:

 

I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description [hard-core pornography]; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that.

 

From his concurring opinion in  Jacobellis v. Ohio, 378 U.S. 184 (1964).

 

😄

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12 minutes ago, neil morse said:

 

Matt, I am rarely called upon to make corrections to your very knowledgeable posts.  However, it was not Attorney General Edwin Meese who made that comment, but Justice Potter Stewart of the United States Supreme Court.  Here's the full quote:

 

I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description [hard-core pornography]; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that.

 

From his concurring opinion in  Jacobellis v. Ohio, 378 U.S. 184 (1964).

 

😄

 

To be perfectly correct, Meese said it as well. But, some 22 years later.

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1 hour ago, Matt Harwood said:

Classifying what is and what isn't a Full Classic can seem esoteric and exclusionary and even arbitrary, but there is a method to the process and the decisions are not made lightly.

 

Recently, I have found myself using the term "dogma" often enough to notice I do in discussions about the car hobby. I smiled when I read that decisions are not made lightly, just imagining those discussions.

 

I see a bigger issue is looming in the haze as attrition takes the last of the original founders of the hobby. They are the ones, for whatever reasons, believe there was only one war. They stuck us with the Prewar and Post War designations. Prewar, as they saw it, is a 42 year range and fixed. Post war Spans 73 years now and keeps growing. That's a lot of cars and a bit short sighted as a classification identifier.

 

Never have been much of a follower. And I never paid much attention to rules. Those things are OK. I just tend to not have much confidence in the rule makers. Dr. Seuss wrote a book on the topic, The Sneeches. That's a fun read.

Bernie

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, 60FlatTop said:

...the original founders of the hobby.  They are the ones, for whatever reasons, believe there was only one war. They stuck us with the Prewar and Post War designations.

 

The term "postwar" was being used by the public

even in 1946, as demonstrated by old magazine articles

I've seen.  Studebaker proclaimed itself "First by Far

with a Postwar Car."   World War II was so catastrophic

that it left an indelible impression on people, and the

terminology has stayed with us.

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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If there had been wagon collectors the same would have happened in 1865. Bob 

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Posted (edited)

What a special elegant car.  I had the opportunity to see 5 of them all together on the 1998 Glidden Tour.in the White Mountains

of New Hampshire.  We took the steamship M/S Mt Washington on Lake Winnnipesaukee from Central Harbor to Wolfeboro NH,

where we we greeted by dozens of wooden hull Chris Craft speedboats.  There on an the dock were 5 1931 Chrysler Phaetons,

arranged in a starburst facing outward. .  All owned by the same fellow, with their tops down, 5 different colors.  Red, Black, Green,

Blue & Maroon  SPECTACULAR!   

They all  had that sectioned body look that made them sleek and elegant looking.  It's a classic to me.

There were other cars there too, but after inspecting the speed boats and a 34 Ford Phaeton, I spent my shore leave admiring the

Chryslers.  That was a special Glidden Tour because it was in Bretton Woods NH in the White Mountains where the Glidden Tours

began in 1902 at the Mount Washington  Hotel & Resort.

Chrysler2.thumb.jpg.5197119980fdd4dfa71614332f017acc.jpg

Chryslers.jpg

Edited by Paul Dobbin
Added a thought (see edit history)
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They are absolutely stunning Paul.

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An early '30s Chrysler Imperial remains on my short list.

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Reminds me of the time we were at. a Grand Classic in Corpus Christi, Texas....nice display area under a hotel, but only 25 or so Classics showed up. This was early 1980's.

 

The late Jerry Moore asked if they'd like to have more cars.  I was standing next to him when he called an employee in Houston, said "load up the 640 roadsters and bring them"....

 

Next morning, a semi rig pulls up and unloads five 640 Packard roadsters, all near 100 point cars.  All beautiful...to his credit, he did not have them judged, if I recall correctly.

 

We had a 1928 443 coupe at that meet, had some fuel pump issues so rode in a friend's 37 Cord phaeton one night to supper.  I turned to my wife and said "we need one of these".....and six months later we had one!

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I think they are classics. I used one for our Christmas cards one year....

Christmas card 1990.JPG

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I'm surprised some of you on here don't know your CCCA history.   Some of these "middle of the road" Chryslers WERE accepted in the CCCA early on.   Attached are photos of a 1933 Chrysler Imperial CQ convertible sedan.     The black & white photo was taken in 1954, while the color one was taken in 1959.  The 1955 Packard 400 hardtop in the background was a 4 year old used car at the time.  This Chrysler was all original at the time, even the top.   The person who owned it in the 1950's & 60's was president of the local CCCA region for a couple years.  He bought the car from the original owner who received it as a high school graduation present.  Then sometime in the 1960's the CCCA "de classified" the middle series of Chrysler's from the club.  Imagine being the president of your region & having your car "de classified."  I don't think he was too happy about it.  Luckily he had another top of the line Classic to fall back on, but that's another story.    

IMG_4022.JPG

IMG_E4021.JPG

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K8096,

               Very interesting post.  It seems the rules for what is, isn't and was are very fluid and open to more than a little interpretation. Being "in" and then being "out" would certainly be a hard pill to swallow.

G.

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