Join Newsday's car culture discussion.
In the Garage: 1932 Chrysler CI series roadster
THE CAR AND ITS OWNER
1932 Chrysler CI series roadster owned by Louis and Brenda Sasso
WHAT MAKES IT INTERESTING
While Chrysler built less than 19,000 examples of CI series cars in their single model year of 1932, the stylish and sleek coupes, sedans and convertibles were at the forefront of a movement by automotive stylists to assert themselves in an industry dominated by engineers. Also known as the CI6 because of their six-cylinder engines, the cars featured design cues of the fabled early-thirties Chrysler Imperials, but at a more affordable price. “This car is considered rare, as there were only 474 of this CI6 model produced in 1932,” says Louis Sasso of his roadster. “The stylish details of this vehicle include the trumpet horns, dual side-mounted tires, chrome ‘torpedo’ headlights and colorful spoke wheels. This car has ‘pizzazz.’”
HOW LONG THEY’VE OWNED IT
Since June 2011
WHERE THEY FOUND IT
The Sassos had been visiting family in the Catskills when they spotted the roadster for sale in the local paper. They drove to the owner’s home near Vermont and, after going down “an unpaved, dusty country road to an old red barn,” they found the car under a cover. They bought it as a 50th wedding anniversary gift to themselves.
“The overall condition of the car is good,” Sasso says. “It’s a good driver.” The roadster had undergone a complete restoration around 1980 and needed a good wash and wax, new tires and a complete overhaul of the brakes, which, Sasso says, “went down to the floor when I got it.”
TIPS FOR OWNERS
“If you are looking for a classic/collectible car, try to find one in presentable, good condition,” he advises.
The Sassos say their roadster is “priceless.” The NADA Guides puts a “high retail” value of $43,400 on a 1932 CI roadster.
THE BOTTOM LINE
“We have enjoyed bringing our car to antique auto shows, where spectators admire the classic design and express appreciation at viewing a glimpse of American automobile history. We are having a great deal of fun driving around in our jazzy ’32.”