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Car Guy DVDs

Owner: Mel Watson

Reno, NV

Yes, it’s a “Hemi!” This wonderful Chrysler Crown Imperial is one of 1543 built. It’s where the Hemi started out, not in Hot Rod coupes, but in beautiful luxury sedans that just happened to have a lot of power.

Mel’s mother bought this car new and it still lives in the same garage she kept it in. I understand she liked to drive fast. Back in the fifties the speed limit, when you left the city limits in Nevada, was “safe and reasonable.” Once she was pulled over for passing a line of cars that just happened to include a patrol car, at about ninety-five miles an hour. As you might guess, the patrolman wasn’t altogether happy about the situation, but she explained that packs of cars are dangerous and she wanted to get away from the pack. Since she had not endangered anyone and hadn’t actually broken any laws, the officer let her go and turned to Mel, then just a young boy, and said “do you think you can get your Grandma to slow down a bit?”

In 1956 it was possible to order cars in many different color and option combinations. Both colors on this car were designated as top colors, but they worked nicely as a two-tone. The car has 183,000 miles on it and has always been serviced according to the Chrysler service contract. The engine has never been apart!

It appears the apple didn’t fall from the tree. Mel also likes fast cars. He has three Corvettes: a 1972 with a beautiful blue custom paint job; a 1978 Indy Pace Car, which was the first year a Corvette was the pace car for the Indy 500; and a 1984 Corvette with a prototype custom body package. The package is named “CC31,” which stands for the fact that it’s a Custom Corvette built on a car that was made 31 years after the first Corvette.

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