John G. Napoli's '52 Crown Imperial

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This lovely 52 Crown Imperial Limousine belongs to John G. Napoli.

1952 Chrysler Crown Imperial four door sedan Limo.

Here are some pictures of my 1952 Chrysler Crown Imperial Limousine.

These cars are fairly rare. I believe that only 111 were produced in 1952.

This car was given to me by my wife on our first wedding anniversary. I had once seen it sitting forlornly in the weeds behind a repair shop, and had remarked how sad that was.

She, unbeknownst to me, returned to the shop and negotiated a price with the shop owner. She had it flatbedded to our home - what a nice surprise!

The odometer shows only 15,000 miles. This is not too surprising, since way back when limos did not see the same duty that they see nowadays. Today, it is airport service all week and weddings on the weekends - they rack up mileage quickly.

In the past, a limo was usually in service to a private owner. For whatever reason, though, this car has spent most of its life in storage. When I got the car I changed the oil and filter, filled the radiator with fresh coolant and connected a fuel siphon for the carb. I cranked the engine over, and the Hemi started right up! It sounded good, too. Many years of storage have taken their toll on the cosmetics of the car. It seems that at least one point in its life the car was poorly stored, and perhaps with its nose out in the open, as the front fenders and hood are faded and the rest of the body is not. There is some rust in the sills, and the interior is motheaten. Fortunately, the interior metal and plastic parts are in very good shape, including the woodgraining, which seems perfect. The door panels all seem salvageable, but the headliner, dash pads and seat coverings need replacement. When I got the car, I had a heavy-duty custom car cover made. The limo is very happy to remain asleep under this cover in a nice, warm, dry garage.

While the chrome is somewhat pitted, it is in better shape than many 'Korean chrome' cars. (These cars were produced during the Koren War. There was a shortage of nickel, and as a result this step was omitted from the chroming process. The top layer of chrome was clearcoated. Over the years, the clearcoat wears away, and the top layer of chrome - lacking a plating of nickel underneath it - pits and rusts. Even perfect 'Korean chrome' is never as deep and shiny as conventinal triple layer (copper/nickel/chrome) plating.)

This car is HUGE! We joke that it is so long that they had to account for the curvature of the Earth . I have it stored in a standard garage bay, and had to remove the front and rear bumpers in order for the car to fit. It's also really difficult to get a picture of the entire car inside the garage. I really love the suicide doors (and I wonder why they are called that, since with forward motion it would seem harder to fall out of a suicide door).

The car is 100% complete, down to the special vented hubcaps for the Ausco-Lambert disk brakes. It is finished in black, with black leather in the drivers compartment and grey mohair in the rear. This car is an 8 seater. There are two jump seats that fold into the center divider. I've included a sequence of photographs that show how the jump seats unfold. With the jump seats folded, there is a staggering amount of room for two rear seat passengers. I've owned this limo for over a dozen years now. It still has all its cobs in tribute to future automotive archeology and, ultimately, restoration. What a great vehicle this would be to drive to family events! With only 15,000 miles, mecahanically the restoration should be very straightforward. The bulk of the work will be on paint and interior. John

This page was last updated on Fri., Dec. 15, 2002. Send us your feedback, and come join the Imperial Mailing List - Online Car Club