What if you could extract the interior of a luxury car, with all of its luxurious amenities, and everything else that one could dream of, and put them into a boat? Wouldn’t that be cool? These thoughts must have ran through the mind of local Oakland boat builder Don Philbrick as he surveyed the twisted rumble of his recently totaled 1957 Imperial convertible. Don decided his once beautiful Imperial should live again, this time as a boat. The car was towed to his shop at the Philbrick Boat Company in Oakland in 1959, and work began on the creation of one the most interesting and unusual boats ever to hit the water.
As many things as possible were used from the Imperial, including the windshield, the front door vent window assemblies, as well as the door and quarter glass. Also, the complete convertible power top assembly was used and made to work. Not many boats have a power top and power windows, but this one does! The 1957 Imperial was known for its plush interior appointments, and Don wanted it all put into his boat. The dash, gauges, seats and door panels were all made to fit into the boat. Of course the Imperial of boats must have an engine befitting its stature, so the Chrysler hemi engine was transplanted from the car to the boat. Don named his one of a kind 21’ floating Imperial C-Car.
C-car was once part of the late Alan Furth’s boat collection, and was on display at this year’s Lake Tahoe Concours d’Elegance. Former Alan Furth collection boats were featured this year, and C-Car drew crowds of admirers. She is now part of the Lake Tahoe Maritime Museum’s collection, donated in 2004 by Tom and Polly Bredt.