David Frye's 1955 Imperial Newport

Imperial Home Page -> Imperials by Year -> 1955 -> Frye

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



How the car was acquired:

Saw the ad for it in June issue of Deals On Wheels, a private estate sale, made a call, asked the typical questions and got very explicit, honest answers not necessarily glorifying the automobile. Some time in late August I decided to call again, having not seen the ad again in July or August, figuring quite well that it had been sold. A few days passed and no return phone call, again figured it had been sold and so I called again and left another message, after yet a few more days, I finally got a call saying it was still for sale and they were going to store it away for the winter and try next spring to sell it again. After a very lengthy talk, I asked if they needed a deposit to hold it as I was going to fly out to see it. They said, no, if I'd made that many phone calls they would hold it until I got there, which they did. Really great, honest people with a very sad story attached to the car and the main reason they'd kept it for so long. It belonged to their son, he bought the car about 25 years ago from a lady school teacher, I assume in Great Falls or at least nearby, as the car still has the original dealer sticker on the back from the Great Falls Chrysler/Plymouth Dealership in somewhat faded condition, however, still readable. the spare keys came with the original paper key tag from the dealership with the VIN and colors written on it. Michael, being their only son, was killed about 16 years ago in a tragic train accident. I'm not quite sure I should put this in with my story, however, I feel it's part of why I now own this fine automobile. If I can maintain and continue to improve the condition of this vehicle I fully intend to do so, not only for the experience and enjoyment that the car hobby offers, but for the rare beauty of the 1955 Imperial Newport model and for Michael...


The car's history:

After purchasing the car, it was another 2 weeks before the transport company picked it up. It was a very difficult day for the sellers, I'm sure. It was said that it would take 10 days to get to Louisville, Ky., try only 3 days! Arrived before we were ready, it arrived in good condition and had intended for a mechanic friend to change out all hoses, belts, shocks, etc. Well, that was a waste of time and money, but thanks to another friend, the car was transported to it's final home in Atlanta, Ga., by covered trailer in the middle of the night to find it already unloaded off the trailer in the parking lot of the OK Cafe with a small crowd gathered around looking it over! Jason and I drove up not believing our eyes, it was actually here, in Atlanta, and now, what were we going to do with it! One, large, black, steel and iron responsibility!!!


Features of the 1955 Imperial:

The taillights are pretty high on the list of "likes". And, the tailpipes through the bumper is another along with the chrome headlight trims and all the other chrome accents and the round wheel-wells and the 2 door hardtop and the 2 tone interior, way over the top!, and the egg-crate grill and the somewhat rounded, lengthy lines of the car altogether. It's just the best!!! One of the quirkiest standard features is the gear shift on the dash! And, of course, with all the power options, the only thing missing that we'll really miss about next July, is air-conditioning. Wish it could be added somehow. Maybe some kind person in the IML will be kind enough to tell us what our options are for air-conditioning!


A gangster's car! Personally, I don't see it that way, but knowing people in all age ranges, I find their reactions quite different, if they were of driving age in the fifties they might remember someone owning an Imperial, usually the wealthiest person in their town, or if it's someone born in the 70's, they can't believe the size of it. I was 5 when it was new, we were too poor to own one, but we did have a Kaiser!



This page was last updated November 3, 2002.  Send us your feedback, and come join the Imperial Mailing List - Online Car Club