1926 Chrysler Roadster G70 Series
In 1926, Walter P. Chrysler decided to improve the automobile production cars and to complete with Cadillac, Lincoln, Packard, Pierce Arrow, Cord and Duesenberg in the luxury car market of the time. Of several body styles made available in 1926, one was a Roadster 4-passenger (counting the rumble seat) convertible coupe. The engine, called a “Red-Head Six” was improved from the previous year and provided 10 more horsepower than the standard Chrysler engine offered in 1926.
This Roadster was purchased by current owner in 1991 as a completely deteriorated car, requiring rebuilding essentially from the wooden body frame to the convertible top and from the front bumper to the rear. Thus, the frame-off restoration process was begun by the owner with many (51) different parts (including 150 separate pieces), having to be machined new as replacements for worn out parts no longer available. From 1991 until 2013 the owner invested over 3,400 hours and considerable financial resources to rebuild this beautiful, rare and historically accurate automobile which comes with a clear Washington title in the owner’s name.
This Roadster is powered by the original Red-Head flathead-L straight six (rebuilt) and the power is transferred to the road via the original 3-speed transmission (rebuilt). The car has been driven only 12 miles since restoration but drives and rides as would a brand new 1926 Chrysler Roadster.
The sheet metal has been restored and is painted an original Midnight Blue with black fenders. The rumble seat is completely functional. Period-accurate bolts with thicker than normal heads were manufactured new for use in the restoration.
All bright work has been brought back to its original luster. The flooring and running boards have been replaced with meticulous care for accuracy. For the 1926 year, Chrysler offered an available up-grade split-rim steel wheel. While not original to this specific car, they are extremely rare but a set was found and restored. However, the original wooden spoke wheels will accompany the car as will a collection of spare parts. Door gaps are uniform and accurate Antique Gold pin striping on the body has been redone.
The original leather seats had rotted away but the seat frames were in good shape. All new black leather now covers the seats and side panels. They show as new, no cracking or blemishes for either the interior or seat or the rumble seat. The convertible top is also new and since the car is always stored inside year-round, it hasn’t been exposed to any foul weather.
Driver controls, the steering wheel with controls and the foot pedals all function as new, as do the dash gauges. The Roadster model included a “golf club” door. Accompanying the car is an early set of wooden clubs and golf bag and a set of original mechanical tools.
The original Roadster had leather covering boots on the face of the master cylinder and two on the driveline. All three have been replaced with new leather boots. The underside of the car is immaculate. Several photos of the underside of the car and others accompany this write up.
The car has been shown seven times at northwest regional events since completion in 2013. In two notable shows, “Lost in the 50’s” and Portland’s “Concourse D’Elegance”, the Roadster was awarded “First Place in Class”. In total it has received three “Best in Show” and four “First Place in Class” awards. As one judge stated, “the car has been restored as close to original perfection as I have ever seen.”
The owner, Tony Dinatale, is a former R & D Technician at Lockheed and retired from the U.S. Bureau of Mines. Prior to this car, he had also restored a 1931 Chrysler CM Coupe which was found buried in the dirt up to it’s axle. After restoration it took “First” in the Chrysler Nationals in Victoria, BC , 1986. The car was sold to purchase the 1926 Chrysler.