In Memory of Charlene Quinn
1945 - 2009
The love for Chrysler Products in Charlene Hackney Quinn’s life, started when her parents drove their newborn child home from the hospital in their 1940 P10
Deluxe Plymouth Convertible. You may be asking how Charlene knew she possessed such a passion in her new young life? Stay with us for the ‘Rest of her
Four generations of Charlene’s family have been passionate about their love for automobiles, especially MOPARS. In the 1920’s, Charlene’s Grandfather
Hackney was a mechanic who worked in the pits at Indy 500 and other races in the area.
Her parents met in Sacramento at McClellan Air Force base, when the war started. Her dad was an Aircraft Engine Mechanic and her Mom was working in
the Parts department. Charlene remembers her Mom, Bernice, saying several years earlier, before her parents met, Charlene’s Dad worked in San Francisco
as a Mechanic at a Car Dealership. He spotted his dream car on a ship docking at one of the Piers. It was a brand new 1940, P10 Plymouth Convertible
When he moved to Sacramento and met Bernice; the Plymouth was her parent’s ‘Courting Car’. This car would also serve as Charlene’s transportation in
high school and college. Years later, Charlene would be driving her Dad’s Plymouth, at a registered odometer reading of over 300,000 miles.
Charlene fondly remembers her mom telling the story that when Charlene was 4 or 5 years old, she would hang out in the garage with her Dad while he
worked on his cars. They had given her a toy jeep with which to play. One day while working, and keeping an eye on Charlene, her Dad noticed that she had
her jeep turned upside down. She had taken one of her Dad’s screwdrivers and was appearing to fix her toy jeep’s problem.. Her Dad asked her what she
was doing, and, she answered “I’m putting psychology on the carburetor”. Hmmm… At her tender age, she already knew words like psychology, carburetor,
and aluminum; multi-syllable words for this young child. No wonder, Art Linkletter coined the famous phrase long ago, “Kids say the darndest things”.
In college, Charlene’s Dad suggested that she buy a car of her own soon, as he wasn’t sure how long the drive shaft on the 1940 Plymouth was going to
last. Her first car was a ’65 Dart GT convertible. She traded that in 3 years later for a 1966 Charger 383 4 Barrel, 4 speed…WOW…They are certainly
coveted CLASSICS now.
It has been a Hackney/Quinn family affair with the Imperial Club as well. After, Charlene’s Dad died in 1980, Bernice joined the Imperial Club in 1982. She did
a great job in keeping her husband’s memory alive and well, because Bernice had many opportunities to show her 1967 Crown 4 Dr HT Imperial at many
shows. D.J. Quinn has the privilege of owning Bernice’s ’67 now.
Charlene truly qualifies as an early Pioneer member of IOANC, and along with a few others, she has the distinction of having attended all 25 meets. She is
PASSIONATE and Proud of her beloved ‘65 Crown Convertible. Though she has a perfect State Meet attendance record, she shares that her Imperial does
not have the same record. The first meet in 1984 was in Morrow Bay, and she attended with her Mom, but without a car. At the 1985 meet at Yosemite, her
“soon-to-be” ‘65 Crown belonged to John Vlatch. He sold it to Charlene a few months later, and it has been shown at every Statewide meet except for the
first gathering at Solvang, when it was in the shop for radiator repairs.
She remembers a story told to her by one of the members regarding the paint job on her ‘65 before she bought it. She was told that the paint job was traded
for a shotgun, and, that she should be careful driving around the Chico area because it was rumored that the former owner ran foreign cars off the road with it.
Hmm...a car with a mottled past, but, certainly greatly cared for now.
Charlene has served in many official Club capacities to include, President, Treasurer, Newsletter editor, Membership VP, and currently Historian.
She truly appreciates her families’ love for Imperials and IOANC. Before she took ownership of her ‘65 Crown, she owned two Imperials. Her brother, Ted,
also a mechanic, bought Charlene’s ‘68 2 Dr HT that was affectionately called Yellow Banana, A few years later, he purchased ‘Christine’ the 1968 Crown
Convertible that now belongs to his son, Mike. She remembers that if Ted did not feel good before going to work, ‘Christine’ would also be temperamental. If
Ted felt good, ‘Christine’ ran well. Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.
Charlene’s memories of Ted and her Parents remain close to her heart. Fond memories include Bernice, Ted, and herself attending many of the club
activities together, with Arlene soon joining in.
Charlene is especially proud of her home. It is pictured in the Photo Gallery below. She says of her home “The house was designed by Mom, me, and an
Architect (whom I chose because he knew how to design a Straw Bale house). The material is called RASTRA (actual name is something long that I can't
pronounce!), and is re-cycled Styrofoam and cement. It has a rating of R-30. If you are curious - just Google "RASTRA".
She love glass in all shapes and forms, and has done a few "Custom touches" as she could afford them. The Island top (which is cement with re-cycled
glass in it) will be installed in her home by the you read this. A picture of that glass is also in her Photo Gallery. She says “All the glass in the island top is
my glass. It was all cut or broken up by myself, my daughter, her husband and Kaitlyn. 70 pounds worth!!
Charlene is truly a strong woman, having overcome cancer twice. She is holding the sickness at bay, she feels great, for the circumstances, and continues
to work diligently on her glass art passion when not preparing or attending IOANC events. Her daughter, Janet, also enjoys working with glass art. She grew
up going on Imperial meets and Tours. Her granddaughter Kaitlyn is the real artist in the family, and she makes Charlene very proud.
She shares that the best thing about belonging to IOANC, in all the years she has been a part of the Club, are the valued friends she has made, and the
camaraderie that Imperial owners ‘just understand’. She also would not have seen all of the sites the club has visited, by herself.
Thank you, Charlene for sharing the ’rest of your story’.