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1932 Chrysler
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CH Imperial Cabriolet
1932 Chrysler CH Imperial Cabriolet
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1932 Chrysler
CH Imperial Cabriolet
1932 Chrysler CH Imperial Cabriolet

Historically significant as the first car crafted by famed coachbuilders ...
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1932 Chrysler CH Imperial Cabriolet

• Historically significant as the first car crafted by famed coachbuilders Bohman & Schwartz
• Immense history and presence in Concours-level condition; Original engine, chassis, and body
• Former Pebble Beach Best in Class Concours winner, poised to join the Concours circuit once again
• The catalyst of a movement from old-world craftsmanship to the ignition of the unquenchable flames of hot rod fever
• Originally owned by noted Hollywood actor, Lincoln Perry
• A vestige of automotive history; Featured in The Classic Car, published by the CCCA and edited by celebrated historian Beverly Rae Kimes

384.84 cid L-head inline eight-cylinder engine, 125 HP, four-speed manual transmission, solid-axle front and live axle rear with leaf springs suspension, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes; wheelbase: 135"

This one-of-a-kind 1932 Chrysler Imperial Cabriolet, bodied by Bohman & Schwartz, is poised at the intersection of superlative old-world craftsmanship and the bellwether spark that would ignite the unquenchable flames of hot rod fever. The first known car crafted by the celebrated, European-born duet, Bohman & Schwartz, this collaboration would kick off a fifteen-year partnership that would see them ascend to unrivaled coachbuilders for the stars. This is not merely a one-off custom done well. It is the catalyst of a movement that would influence automobile history on our shores. For a one-off with this much historic weight that also drives as incredible as it looks is truly something special. One of them, chassis #7900825 is a high-water mark for the Classic Era.

To put the provenance and artistry of this singular car in perspective, it's crucial to understand the scope and importance of the Bohman & Schwartz legacy and the history of their origins. Maurice Schwartz was born in Austria and gleaned his knowledge of old-world craftsmanship through a formal apprenticeship. He then was employed with the prestigious Viennese firm that crafted carriages for the Kaiser. Royal coachwork was quite the resume builder, and it wasn't long before the opportunity came knocking. He left the shores of Europe behind in 1910, armed with world-class knowledge of woodworking, patternmaking, and casting, for a position at the Springfield Metal Body Company in Massachusetts. He served as a craftsman there for a while then moved on to upstate New York's Willoughby then Detroit's Fisher Brothers before finally settling in 1918 at what would be his life-long home, Los Angeles, California. He studied under Harley Earl, the future head of design for GM, then worked for an early coachbuilder to the stars, Walter M. Murphy Company, known for their Duesenbergs. It's here where Maurice Schwartz first met Christian Bohman, who was then the chief body assembler for Murphy.

Like Schwartz, Bohman hailed from the old world and was schooled in traditional European craftsmanship. Christian Bohman was born in Sweden and worked as a coachbuilder's apprentice in Stockholm where he gathered secrets of the trade that had been passed down through generations. He moved to New York City and immediately began working with interior woodwork and hardware for multiple Manhattan coachbuilders. He developed a reputation for excellence. Murphy landed Bohman when he purchased rival coachbuilder and Bohman's employee on the East Coast, Healey & Company. Bohman was quite an asset at Murphy's operation, but he soon grew eager to start his own firm and left not long before Murphy was forced to close due to the increasing strain of the Great Depression. Free to pursue his own dreams after the shop's closure, Schwartz joined forces with Bohman in late 1932. And man was the force with them.

Before the talented partners could become the biggest name in Hollywood, Bohman & Schwartz had to drum up some business first. They started out offering repairs and repaints to pay the early bills, but they both knew that it was going to take something special to attract the clientele they were hoping for. This car was their answer. They crafted this 1932 Chrysler Imperial CH Cabriolet on spec to showcase their prowess as coachbuilders. The tactic proved successful, and it wasn't long before Hollywood royalty came calling. This was the first automobile Bohman & Schwartz crafted as partners and it brings with it a compelling history in its own right. Once Bohman & Schwartz worked their inimitable magic, this Imperial landed where most of their cars inevitably would – in a celebrity's garage.

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Justin Sheehan