Languishing in a garage at Long Island's Vanderbilt Museum, Mansion & Planetarium, this Art Deco masterpiece was rescued in 2012 by noted enthusiast, author and historian Howard Kroplick and is being shown in its newly restored state.
The Chrysler sports hand-formed aluminum coachwork by LeBaron and luxurious custom interior fitments. It had been donated to the museum in 1959 by a local collector. Kroplick, of East Hills, New York, bought the car in early 2012 for $275,000 in a sealed-bid auction that drew inquiries from enthusiasts in eight states. He commissioned renowned New Jersey restorer Steve Babinsky to bring the Chrysler back as close as possible to its original state upon delivery.
The 8,000-lb., seven-passenger Town Car is 19 feet long and has no factory-produced body panels. Under the hood is a 130-horsepower, straight-eight engine coupled to a three-speed manual transmission. At the time of the auction sale, the odometer read 25,501miles.
At Kroplick's excellent enthusiast site, Vanderbilt Cup Races, you can read all about the restoration of this fantastic Chrysler as chronicled by another classic car luminary, Walter E. Gosden. (While you're there, spend some time looking at rare photos and learning more about Long Island's historic auto races and rides, including Kroplick's rare Alco "Black Beast" racer, which won some of those events and competed in the first Indianapolis 500.)
We have personally observed Kroplick at work, spreading the joys of car collecting to young and old from the perch of his running Alco at a host of shows and concours. The Chrysler is magnificent in itself and if the judges at Pebble take into account Kroplick's devotion to the hobby and his commitment to this unique car, perhaps a trophy is coming back with the C-15 to Long Island.