DECEMBER 31, 2013 (JAN 2014): A 1962 CHRYSLER IMPERIAL CROWN WITH A VERY UNUSUAL OWNER GETS OUR ATTENTION

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Most of us are aware of the old ‘Beverly Hillbillies’ TV show from the 60s.

 

The half hour sit-com was a fish-out-of-water story in which a backwoodsman named Jed Clampett struck oil on his land and ended up as a multi-millionaire in Beverly Hills.

 

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Jed and his family moved to Beverly-Hills swimming pools, movie stars and a banker neighbor who owned a stylish early-60s Chrysler Imperial, complete with a chauffeur.

 

Banker Drysdale was very successful because he held the oil revenue accounts of Jed Clampett in his bank.

 

The upscale neighborhood where Jed Clampett and Milburn Drysdale were neighbors was a good place to show off his Imperial as a sign of success in the business world and most of us always associated these cars with the famous TV banker.

 

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Imperials of any vintage are not particularly common at shows, so we are always pleasantly surprised when we find one at a car event.

 

A 1962 Chrysler Imperial Crown captured our attention at an early June 2013 show and we began to search for its owner.

 

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We did not expect to run into Milburn Drysdale at that small town show, but we were quite certain the owner of the vintage Impy would likely be an older person because these vehicles typically occupy a niche for owners who would remember the early 60s from the perspective of their own adulthood

 

We were very mistaken because the owner of the 1962 Imperial was a young guy whose only recollection of the 60s would likely have come through his parents’ childhood memories as told to him, because he was born long after his car left the factory in ‘62.

 

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The young owner’s name was Bob Ten-Brummelhuis and he loved his unusual vintage car choice.

 

Bob was a huge fan of the giant Mopars from the past and the Imperials were the biggest of them all at Chrysler Corporation for many years.

 

Bob loves everything about his Imperial: its “luxury, attitude, class, horsepower and great ride”, in his words.

The car has 6-way power seats, power windows, power antenna, along with front and rear air conditioning.

 

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Bear in mind this luxury car was sold in an era when an AM radio and automatic transmission filled out the option list for most car buyers. The big Imperials were indeed the car of choice for the rich, successful buyer in 1962 and none of this automotive history was lost on Bob.

 

He found his Imperial in a barn where it had become a large condo for mice and suffered from engine and electrical problems.

 

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In fact, the 413 cubic inch engine was seized on the big car, but Bob is a journeyman mechanic and he cured every problem-even the mice issue.

 

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Bob loves to drive his large luxury car from the past and finds it is very comfortable at 75 mph speeds on the highway.

 

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Comfortable enough for Bob to give us a basic final assessment about his Imperial;  “you don’t drive it, you float”.

 

He has delivered an accurate description of a high end luxury yacht from the days of the Kennedy administration.

 

Jim Sutherland

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