(by CC reader Steve Sicklick) The owner of this automobile (who does not use the internet) has asked me to place this ad and handle inquiries for him. I have become very familiar with this automobile because I have a personal connection to it. My family has been in the automobile business in Central Connecticut since 1920 and my family’s automotive history is of great interest to me.
During the 1930’s my grandfather and each of two great uncle’s owned new car dealerships in New Britain, Ct. and during the years before WWII collectively sold Chrysler, Plymouth, Hudson, Essex, White Motor Cars, Packard, Pierce Arrow, Reo, Willys, Dodge and Terraplane. For years, at local car shows I would ask owners of the above car brands from this era if they knew the name and location of the dealership that sold their car when it was new, hoping to find a car that originated from one of my family member’s dealerships. I must say that if I ever found a car sold new that many years ago by my grandfather or great uncles, I would expect that at very best, it would be a restored car. In June of 2013 at an auto concours event, I finally did come upon a car that was sold new by my great uncle Edward Honeyman’s Chrysler-Plymouth dealership…New Britain Motorcar Co.. And that brings us to the car advertised here.
To my complete amazement, the car I came upon, this 1937 Chrysler Royal is totally original with 10,700 original miles!!! It may seem unusual that I would be involved in the sale, but after first finding this car 3 years ago, I have become friends with the 80+ year old gentleman who is the second and current owner of this ’37 Chrysler Royal.
As the proprietor of an automobile service and towing business for many years just down the street from where the original owner resided, he serviced this car in the 60’s and into the 70’s and when the original owner passed away in 1972 he bought the car from his family. Still in the auto service business to this day, the second owner has kept this car inside at his service garage, but during the winter months it was moved to his home garage or, for a number of years, was displayed on the showroom floor during Christmas season in the 1990’s at Tufano Motors, the local Chrysler-Plymouth dealer. It has also been displayed at a number of antique car shows over the years by the current owner.
It has won a number of awards at events for its extraordinary original condition (photos are included showing the current owner with the car and trophies and show display signage back in the 70’s as well as today.) Even though the car has only traveled 3000 miles in the last 60+ years (see photos of repair records), it has not gone for long periods of time without being started or moved.
That being said, the original owner, living on a bus line, put it up on blocks every winter and used public transportation. This accounts for the extremely clean under-carriage. As the story goes, the original owner was known to take his wife shopping in town and if it looked like it might rain, he would immediately drive home to put the car in the garage and leave his wife in the store to fend for herself to get home.
This auto comes with a number of original documents including the original owners manual and other printed material presented to a first owner on delivery (owners identification card, owners service policy-see photo). There is even an In-Transit document showing delivery to the area Chrysler Distributor in Hartford, Ct. It was not uncommon up until the early 50’s that larger city dealers could appoint dealers in smaller cities and towns (with factory approval) and also be their source of new vehicle inventory.
Original repair orders showing the vehicle service history from day one also come with the car. The top one is for an inspection, chassis lubrication, and oil change. Total: $2.70.
The second owner being in the service business himself and putting less than 2000 miles on the car over the last 44 years did change fluids and properly maintain the car but since he did it for himself as compared to a paying customer, he did not create paperwork for oil changes, etc. Also included are expired Ct. registration documents for almost every year since new.
Among these documents is the very first registration issued upon new vehicle delivery and dated Sept. 2, 1937. This document references the selling dealer as New Britain Motor Car Co. which as mentioned above was my great uncle’s dealership and it was through this document that I was able to verify for myself that this was the car I had been searching for…one sold by that generation of family members who were car dealers before WWII (see photo).
An interesting feature of this car is the crank-out windshield. There is a crank handle at the center of the dashboard that when operated pivots the bottom of the windshield outward to provide ventilation directly into the passenger compartment (see both exterior and interior photos).
The second and present owner had seat covers made and installed by an auto upholstery shop about the time that he purchased the car in 1972. He has told me that the original fabric was very heavy and clingy making it difficult to for him to get in and out of the car. The original seat fabric is presumably in excellent condition underneath these covers.
The current owner did replace the auto glass all around in the ‘80’s which suffered from the common problem of cars from this era of becoming foggy and discolored with age. The original wheels and hubcaps (currently not on the car) are to be sold with the car.
The original owner, Albert B. Carlson’s initials ABC are still present, painted in small gold leaf, on the driver’s door(see photo).
The car drives extremely well and has no operating issues. Everything inside the passenger compartment is in perfect operating condition. There are no rips, tears or loose pieces to the headliner, door panels or floor covering. There are no trim pieces missing inside or outside the car. The car is 100% complete. The paint is 100% original and in excellent condition with just a few minor blemishes. The paint on the body holds an excellent shine. The paint on the fenders is a little thin and the finish there has become somewhat flat. To my eye, it should be left as is because overall, the car is an extraordinary example of a totally original automobile from this era. More photos here
Price: $27,000 Contact the seller at firstname.lastname@example.org