Dieter Ketelhut's 1955 Imperial Newport

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A brief quote from Dieter about his wonderful Newport:

I fell in love with the 1955-56 style a long time ago but had an old '53 Nash Rambler station wagon which I brought back to show room condition and enjoyed for 17 years.  Then this '55 Imperial showed up in Hemming's last March.  Only problem was, it was in Texas and I live near Philadelphia.  The ad made the car sound nice so I asked for pictures.  They looked even better.  I sold the Nash real quick and flew down to Texas and test drove the car for 15 minutes.  I liked the way the engine sounded, nice and smooth, no oil burning or valve clatter.   It showed 60,000 miles on the odometer but the owner told me it went around once. We made a deal, signed some papers and off I went back home.  After 4 uneventful days I was back in my old neighborhood.  The car is very sluggish at the startup but rolls just fine at 65-70.   It did take me home with not even a pound of air leaking from the tires.  Because it's a Chrysler!!  Mr. Miller in San Antonio, a previous owner, informed me that the car originated in Joplin, Missouri and he was the 3rd owner.  Mr. Nick Taylor of Coleman, Texas was the 4th and yours truly the 5th.  Also, Mr. Miller sent me receipts from the engine rebuild he had done in 1988 which totaled $6600.  I am now at the re-chroming stage  LITTLE by LITTLE.   I would like to purchase a set of step plates, so please contact me if you have any information regards a set for sale.

(Click on the small image to see a larger picture.)

This gorgeous Newport is Jade Green over Platinum...a wonderful and stunning look for this newly restyled Imperial.  50's automotive styling had arrived with a bang!  This car's options include air-conditioning and power seats.  Notice the extra treatment on Dieter's hubcaps...

Dieter has made a few "minor" repairs to his Imperial: a single 4 barrel carburetor to a two 4 barrel setup, rebuilt the radiator and starter, repaired some of the electrical window switches and rebuilt the front brakes because of a wheel cylinder leak.  He has also added polished cast aluminum valve covers to his 331 Hemi...COOL!! 

The egg-crate grille was new for 1955 and carried over into the 1956 Imperial.  This grille is unique to the Imperial...the Chrysler had the plainer, horizontal bar only grille. 

This page was last updated November 25, 2003.  Send us your feedback, and come join the Imperial Mailing List - Online Car Club