Albert Landsberger
It is once again our pleasure and honor this issue to do a spotlight on an IOANC Member. Albert Landsberger is from Bismarck, North Dakota. Albert took us up on the offer to share his Imperial story with the IOANC members. We also received a very welcomed email from his niece Ellen, who wrote that her Uncle wanted to share a special photo of his four older brothers and his Father with their new cars. (available only in the newsletter) We jumped at the opportunity, and here is the ‘rest of Albert’s story’ in his own words. We have been very impressed with Albert, because in the age of computers, every correspondence that we have ever received from him has been meticulously TYPED on his letterhead. THANK YOU, Albert, for sharing the history of your beautiful ‘55 Imperial and your life. What a legacy!
In the Fall of 1954, my father, John B. Landsberger, bought a new 1955 Imperial from the Bismarck, North Dakota Chrysler dealership. Corwin-Churchill was so proud of their sales to the family that they had them bring their cars into their showroom, shined them, and hired a local photographer to come in and photograph the group. The photo appeared in our local newspaper, the Bismarck Tribune. (see page 4)

My father drove his Imperial from 1954 until he died in 1961. The car then passed to my mother, Elisabeth Landsberger, and myself. Mother did not drive so it passed to me. I was still living with my parents but I was not driving yet so I had to get a special driver’s license. You can imagine the thrill it was for me to have my first and only car an Imperial, the top of the Chrysler line.

The Imperial had about 60,000 miles when I started to drive it. It now has a little over 200,000 miles. I have been driving it since 1961. It is the only car I have ever owned. To my knowledge it is the only 1955 Imperial in Bismarck or the area. I get requests to enter car shows but I decline because I think the public sees it enough on the local streets. I’m fortunate that I live near the center of town so I can walk when the weather is bad and don’t have to take the car out. When I’m home, the Imperial is always in the garage. I don’t drive it unless the streets are dry and rain or snow is not in the forecast. I constantly get offers to buy it.

My car is a four-door sedan, black, Custom Model C69 with four-inch white-wall tires that I bought from Sears. The motor is an eight-cylinder Chrysler FirePower 331 cubic-inch, and the gear shift lever is mounted on the dash which is very handy. The electrical system is 6-volt positive ground. In 1956, the Imperial switched to 12-volt negative. In the 1970’s, a friend of mine installed an eight-track tape player below the dash with four speakers. Because of the 6-volt system he mounted a converter
under the hood. The converter changed the 6-volt to 12-volt. I was fortunate in finding a player that allowed it to be switched from negative to positive ground. It has power steering, brakes, windows, and seats. I have air-conditioning when I open the windows! The body is original except for the tires and windshield. I had it repainted many years ago but no major work since 1961.

Through the years, I have been lucky in finding needed replacement parts from around the country including New Jersey, North Carolina, Louisiana, Arizona and California.
My father and brothers were life-long farmers. My father was a pioneer in raising flax in the area. He was known as the “Flax King of North Dakota.” The family hometown of Hazelton, North Dakota was known as the “Flax Capital of the Nation.”

Our family had eleven children: six boys and five girls. Five of the boys were farmers in the area of Hazelton, North Dakota, a small town of about 400 people, 50 miles south of Bismarck. My parents helped all of my brothers to acquire their farms. My five sisters also received farm land.

In 1945 my parents, John and Elisabeth Landsberger, moved to Bismarck along with myself and a younger sister. I have retired after 32 years of working in the Administration and Engineering Divisions of the Federal Bureau of Reclamation, Department of the Interior.

I can’t say how much I enjoy driving the Imperial. I never take it out unless it is shiny and clean. I get many “thumbs up” and endless compliments.