Imperial Home Page-> Imperials by Year -> 1956 -> Jerry Farmer's Green Imperial 2-door Southhampton
My name is Jerry Farmer, and these pictures are of my 1956 Chrysler Imperial 2-door Southampton, American made and very much over engineered. The last four digits of its VIN # is 7073, so not sure of production number. We call this car "Green Car" because it is green. It has 2 shades of green on the outside and more green inside to go with the factory green tinted windows. The car has the baby 354 Firepower Hemi and it does have the 3spd pushbutton, not 2 spd and no park button. The radio can be controlled by your foot and it works very well as long as AM reception is out there.
The air conditioner evaporator and blower are in the trunk. The heater is the Stewart Warner Instant Heat Conditionaire, petrol fired unit, which is not functioning due to a couple of missing rare components I am still searching for. The car is by no means a trailer queen or concourse level beauty. The engine bay and under carriage are the real untouched Mcoys, other than a little bit of wiring replaced due to years of rot and mice. The car has just over 13 thousand miles on it and still rides like floating on a cushion of air. It will keep up with and pass just about anything if needed on today's interstates. It would be perfectly happy rolling along at around 100mph all day long.
I acquired the car in June of 1996, prior to that it was housed in a garage for about 10 years. Prior to that it sat behind an auto body shop for about 16 years, who acquired it as a trade to do body work and painting on another car for the original owners. The car has never really been a daily driver at all. It has been to few car shows and won a few trinkets. We love it plain and simple. I know it is not a sought out collector vehicle at all. It is just big old luxury on tires. Oh yeah no seat belts either. Not a bad ol girl for its age. I think the heater parts and the 2 A/C deflectors which are missing disappeared at the body shop most likely.
3 speed pushbuttons - the 3 spd transmission, from what I have found, it came out mid-year towards the new model season from back then.
Odometer - I have no reason not to think that is actual mileage, but cannot say for absolute sincerity. The outside of the car and interior were made fairly "pretty", the engine bay and under carriage are largely original. I have honed the wheel cylinders, and yes, the original cylinder cups are still in there. I have shoes, all 8 of them, relined with organic material so the drums don't wear. The roller ball type wheel bearings are gone and replaced with tapered roller cup and cones. I have the original exhaust tips, just have not put them back on. The grill on one them has a slight split.
Heater Tag - I tried to get as clear as a picture as I could of the info tag on the heater unit. Yes it is a South Wind Heater. The tag shows "Mopar Instant Heat Conditionaire" made by Stewart Warner, Model or series 800.
As to this heater I am starting to wonder IF MY CAR HAS THE ONLY ONE LEFT IN EXISTANCE. I have been searching the web using every search term I can think of. I sent a request to Stewart Warner to which I have not received a reply. I have tried to find detailed pictures of the Heater fuel pump and can't find anything anywhere. I've tried finding schematics breaking down the pieces for this pump... nothing. I have the lower part that mounts to the pump with its innards and "plate" of some kind that mounts on top of the diaphram somehow. I have no idea what goes on the other side of the "push rod". I have seen a picture that is rather vague however. From what I have been told is the gas heaters were more commonly used in the upper east coast of the USA.
Blower motor unit
Close-up of Blower unit
Fuel Pump for Heater
Fuel Pump for Heater
Radio foot control - the radio foot control button is to the right of the dimmer switch. I have no idea how many had this option.
Rear A/C unit. I swear this thing has at least one mile of wiring and around 50 feet of A/C hoses.
Rear A/C unit
Rear A/C unit
Rear A/C unit
Rear A/C unit
I hope these photos work, I could not get the label tag to come out clear. The tag reads: "John R. Mitchell, Dallas Texas Serial number T-17599 Charged with 23 US R-12", Patents Applied For.
Trunk A/C unit
And yes, there are 2 blowers, one on each side. The outside view of the rear deck is where the 2 air deflectors (I need) on each side go. The little wolf pup is kind of fun. I can turn the blowers on and off and he bobs up and down. When kids are in a car behind us and see it, they bust out laughing.
- - UPDATE 2021 - -
We received an update from Mr. Farmer in January of 2021 ... Here is what he says about his 1956 Coupe :
I have found some Imperial items that were missing previously. Namely the heater fuel pump and the rear deck vents. Now they are in.
The fuel pump was beyond a challenge, it was diamond unicorn being sought. I well honestly violate the rules of a car forum as my car is not specific to the forums purpose. Anyway a very nice gentleman from the Upper Yukon region of Canada replied, and indeed he had what I needed. The whole pump. Well the mounting points on the blower are about 1/15th of an inch from my blower mounts. So I used my base and piston and the middle section which I didn't have to make one. I also had to make a little tab to keep the piston crank shaft from "walking".
Looking at the fuel pump and blower from the front of the car...
This photo is taken from the passenger door looking toward the front of the car.
The air tube was another adventure. I needed a flex tube that had 1-1/2" OD and 1-1/4" ID. What I found is a hose from a shop vac that goes from the blower to the "Mopar Instant Heat Conditionaire" and fits like a glove.
Next the rear deck vents. They were a golden unicorn as I had seen ONE other car with this A/C set up, it was the Howard Hughes 1954 New Yorker. I found another gentleman whom happened to be parting out a '56 New Yorker. I contacted him and indeed yes it had the trunk A/C. I got the vents sent to me and I still need to go pick up the rest of the A/C unit I bought. Got the vents all cleaned downed and painted to match the deck. Sure looks loads better.
Something else on a side note is this car has a master cylinder set up like I have not seen on any other. If someone has seen one I would love to know. It has a little reservoir sitting out to the side of the master cylinder connected by a tube. Possibly a motorcycle brake reservoir. The cap on the master cylinder is not like any I have ever seen. And from the looks of it, it is not aftermarket or homemade.
We hope Mr. Farmer is enjoying his very unique '56 Imperial and we hope he will send more pictures, and write-in and keep us informed about his ongoing fixes and restoration.
This page was last updated January 2021. Send us your Imperial Mailing List - Online Car Club