Only three Chrysler Imperial Parade Phaetons were produced in 1952 by the Chrysler Corporation for use as ceremonial vehicles for US Presidents in New York, Detroit and Los Angeles.
One of them is still in great shape after all these years, thanks to a recent restoration and generally the good care it received from the City of Los Angeles, the sole owner of the car since it was delivered.
The city’s automotive dispatchers Mark Barrera and Art Flores brought the car to Jay Leno’s Garage for a proper presentation and a drive.
Still used for official service today, the Chrysler Imperial Parade Phaeton was based on a stretched (to 147.5in/3,746mm) 1952 Crown Imperial Limousine chassis and featured completely custom bodywork – except the 1951 Imperial grille, bumpers and front and rear trim. Striking details for a post-war car include the separate front and rear passenger compartments, each with its own windshield.
There are no side windows, and when the rain starts only passengers in the rear compartment are protected by a Dacron convertible top. It really is a special car and of all its features Jay Leno’s favorite ones were the speakers and microphone, which he really put to use on the streets of Burbank.