The ’64 models were much better but it was really too late and they now looked too much like Lincolns anyways. Brendan, if you’re ever in Oklahoma City, drop me a line and we’ll go for a ride. You actually see the rust and Bonda dust explode out of the car on impact. And the Imperial’s bird iconography comes through in spades, with no less than two Imperial eagles on the front end plus another on the trunk, each of them highly stylized. If I’m paying the kind of money required to own something considered “premium”, I expect something above and beyond what is standard on a “lesser” car. craigslist find! Still, those old battleships have a PRESENCE that ANY currently-available automobile cannot match, and the subject in question appears to deserve a second life and restoration for posterity “just because” it symbolizes what magnificent chariots once ruled the road! With this car, Engel’s influence is best seen in the roof line, which recalls his earlier Continental and is more formal than on the ’62 Imp. The car back in its day was a luxury car. And, those square steering wheels – double ugh. I’ll say that the price was far less than five figures…which, considering what it would cost to get her in good shape, is probably about right. It’s hard to understand how a car with such low volume could support 16 exterior color choices, eight interior color choices and three interior styles. Of Imperial taking up where Packard left off: only anecdotally but even back in the day, it was commonly talked about that many Packard owners traded for a new Imperial for their next new car. Probably the basic problem is that the Imperial is not an old luxury make. 1961 Imps had an eagle in the grille but no hood ornament. In traditional ChryCo fashion, the torsion-bar front suspension enhanced handling. Chrysler really did have a knack for poking itself in the eye in the early ’60s. The dashboard and steering wheel could quite happily sit in any 1970’s Citroen. The Lincoln is elegant in it’s beautiful simplicity. I just hate the seller’s claims of history they cannot prove. I’ve had the pleasure of several Imperials, A 1962 LeBaron being my favorite. Great write-up as usual, Brendan! The air conditioner in this one is a Mopar aftermarket unit. My god, look at the thought that went into that front end. luminescent dash. Absolutely will drive you nuts!! Chrysler 300 Sport 4-Door Hardtop Firepower 305 (man. He told me, as well as others, that it was a car owned by the government and that the car was “driven” by LBJ. I would have to say this car and everything about it screams “PREMIUM”! white paint chalky from oxidation; interior not too bad – a definite TLC restoration candidate. > Pardon me as I wipe the drool from my keyboard. Uhhh…no you don’t. Building a car like a BMW does not make it better, and sorry it really is not better, magazine tests aside. Hey, anyone see the humpy old Dodge panel in the background of one of those shots…? Learn how your comment data is processed. Could have given birth to the 64. You know, I never made that connection to the ’78 LeBaron’s headlamps (which have always bothered me, even when they were new)…but you know what? These are among my all time favorites, it’d be a real shame if this was still sitting there sinking into the ground. NEW . Dual A/C cars had an extra evaporator in the trunk with a set of vents on the package shelf. Lyndon Johnson had a least one Imperial – a 1957. >> A rear-view mirror that adjusted itself to high-beams by detecting their heat. By 1963, that definitely was not a good thing. I’ve heard this explanation for why Imperials dominated demolition derbies so many times that I believed it. The new Continental will sell because middle Americans will aspire to its glitz and glamour. Combined with the short-looking front doors it made for an awkward profile. In fact he owned 11 1966 imperials..all of them white with blue interior …I know because I worked on them at Jay Smith Chrysler Plymouth in Austin Texas..they had skid plates under them because he drove them like jeeps around his pasture ..drinking Lone Star or Pearl beer..he drove up in one as I delivered another…with a lone star in hand..unshaven and in a kaki pants and a wife beater T shirt ..threw me the keys and said…Take this one back with you Timmy…it needs some work. 15" diameter wheels with 7" width. Quality control issues, production figures, and details broken down by model for the 1963 Chrysler Imperial. Engel would substantially redesign the Imperial for 1964, drawing heavy inspiration from his own 1961 Continental, though I’ve never found the ’64-’66 Imperial quite as attractive when compared to the 1957-63 and 1967-1968 Imperials, or the Continental for that matter. The gunsight taillights tucked into notches on the back edges of the fins instead of sitting on top is a cool look. The 440ci engine wasn’t offered until 1966 but I agree the late 50’s/early 60’s Imperial’s and other Chrysler models were really nice cars. I agree about the turn signals on the 63 – very nice design. To me the 63 Lincoln is boring compared to the Imperial. In fact, had it been up to Engel, the “FliteSweep” deck lid almost certainly would not have been available. Join millions of people using Oodle to find unique used cars for sale, certified pre-owned car listings, and new car classifieds. So it was probably “inspired” by the Imperial, though I’ve never read anything to confirm that. 3) specs. Another idea is that someone bought a luxurious 2 year old car for cheap. The freestanding headlamps could have been fared in to match the tail end, but the car’s character would have changed too much for a last year of bodystyle. I again have hope that the new Connie will make American style luxury relevant again. And the interiors, with a dashboard that a guy could sit and stare at for hours at a time. 1963 Chrysler Imperial Crown Up for auction is this 1963 Imperial Crown Coupe. I actually forgot I photographed this stunning ’62 at the same show at the beginning of this summer. The color of the sticker may have been an indication of the status of the owner. These. 20 spoke wheel honeycomb/snowflake design with 5 lug nut holes and a 4.5" bolt For no obvious reason this is one of the best stories I have read on CC. This ’63 Imperial got the morning off to fine start. Edit: Now that I think about it, weren’t they actually Green Hornet cool? The build quality on the ’60 through ’66 Imperials was impeccable. . Uncle Tom McCahill switched from Lincolns to Imperials in the late ’50’s and that’s all he pretty much drove (Imperials) from then on. Why don’t you step on it a bit and see what happens!”. 1967 Chrysler Imperial Crown Coupe VIN: YM23K73129556. A silver 1967 Imperial was actually the first “Curbside Classic” I ever photographed, in 2009, long before I was part of CC and before it even existed! What’s more is that this body style was Imperial’s most popular for 1963. I’ve been looking for pictures of him in it to no avail. Love this car–when they say, “they don’t make ’em like they used to,” this is how they used to make ’em. Kinda wish I had it now for occasional cruises, but not a daily driver. There is a level of luxury in these Imperials that is just not available anymore. Revised sheetmetal but the same hard points. Obviously there wasn’t an effort to sell a million of these. This 1963 Imperial Crown 4-door hardtop was the last of the Virgil Exner-designed “Forward Look” Imperials that first debuted as 1957s. I didn’t know that. You raise some very good points, particularly about how a good majority of Imperials were probably purchased by Chrysler executives. I believe the car is now in the Henry Ford Museum. The beep is for manual ones. . From the back end, it’s hard to tell it’s been crashed. The way the Imperial was presented certainly seems to be the type of old-world, baroque craftsmanship that would appeal to a Packard buyer (as opposed to the modern, au currant appeal of Lincolns and Cadillacs). Body shop repair after an accident? HOWEVER…all the plain black plastic dash knobs and trim are of no better quality that the average Cavalier. I vote for freestanding headlights making a comeback. My favorite part of the car is the beautiful Imperial script! The Imperial looked like a leftover from the gaudy late 50’s by 1963! It’s the only iteration of Exner’s gunsight taillight that looks designed-in, not like an afterthought stuck onto the top of the fender. Having to go to the Chrysler store to buy an Imperial only served to make it seem like a model, not a marque. I too like the original “canopy” roofline, particularly when two-toned. The Packards of 57 and 58 were Studebakers with Packard clothes in 57 and in God know’s what in 58. I’m real weird about cutting wires & snapping off pieces…even when the victim is at its final resting place! So who, then, was the owner? That’s an interesting theory on how Engel sacrificed the Imperial’s styling for the good of the general Chrysler model line-up. Thats my car alright. . Your email address will not be published. I believe that if you look at the leather seating surfaces in a 1960 through ’63 LeBaron . but somehow, in 21st century eyes contradicts itself in the overall “space age Googie” rocket themes. So it must have been AMC copying Imperial. No, but I’ll have to check it out! To me, this is what a premium car is supposed to be – the materials used. The Imperials were still quite attractive cars in their own right, but with curves, flowing lines and a wraparound-style windshield, the design was beginning to show its age. OLDER PAINT-NICE TEN FOOTER. Proof of the latter is the miniscule numbers of convertibles built each year, absolutely money-losers, essentially factory custom-builds. A base Imperial model, simply called Imperial, returned for the first time since 1963, complementing the Crown and LeBaron levels of trim. Also, good point about how some of its retro and space age styling features didn’t mesh quite well together. As far as the body is concerned, the ’63 is, in fact the same body as the ’57, there’s no argument about its pedigree. What a neat slideshow! To each his own I guess. Certainly it hasn’t rusted away. “Imperial” is an absolutely perfect name for this car isn’t it? The car reportedly was acquired by the seller’s brother in San Francisco, California following a refurbishment, and in 1992 it was transferred to their father, relocated to Michigan, and eventually was passed along to the seller in 2012. If I’d been shopping all three cars back in 1960 and saw this, esp. I wish I had the money, time, and skill to redo that wonderful car. Imperial’s styling was so quirky – fun for us car-crazed kids but not as marketable as the other two brands. This is one car that needs to be restored to its former glory in order to showcase its era. When the rest of the big Mopars went Unibody in 1960, the low-volume Imp kept it’s older BOF design all the way through 1966. Great piece, Brendan – thanks. . The ATS may be an excellent car, however I own a 335 and would not replace it with a Cadillac ATS. most likely towed away by the City of Oakland and sold off for scrap. When the 1957 model came out, it was the same basic BOF design as every other Mopar line. And really emphasizing the Engel concept of vertical walls and a body shape in between. Classifieds for Classic Chrysler Imperial. [Welcome our newest Contributor Mike Burns, also known hereabouts as Impalamino]. Focus On Quality Control For those of us old enough to remember Fall 1962, it was a very different time for the world. A gripe among many reviewers was that like other Chryslers of this era, the Imperial’s steering wheel was not perfectly circular, making for a somewhat awkward steering experience. Here’s the ’59 Chevy Bel Air as it looks today. Strange that all 3 of the eagles are completely different. My 1958 Imperial was the only one I ever owned. Exner . Description for Chrysler Imperial 1963 Up for auction is a 1963 Imperial Lebaron by Chrysler. It may be urban legend or not but the Kennedy death limo is said to have remained in presidential service until 1973, serving LBJ and Nixon. I saw a picture recently of a 63 Imperial that someone had painted in a two-tone white and red scheme, separated by the chrome strip along the body side. (I was party and witness to this one ) . While this was unfortunate for the brand, thankfully Chrysler kept up with the annual styling tweaks that were once standard practice across the industry. and IMHO did a masterful job disguisingt the ’57 model upon which it was based. The main reason Imperial was never accepted as a stand-alone make was its long association as the top Chrysler model before 1955. It’s what the 1960 should have been. Imperials of this era were notorious for poor resale value compared with Cadillacs. Technowiz options, standard, just ain’t the same thing. Edit. But you do understand, don’t you, that the hypothetical alternative you mentioned… would bring you a lot more dough at selling time.. and sell faster! The Continental was by comparison very fresh and contemporary, and timeless even today. I like these better, too. I’m totally with you on the outrageous I. Once that word association has been established in the public mind, its nearly impossible to break. I always thought the Lincolns & Imperials of this era were a cut above GM’s finest. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Yes, and those flight decks. Check. These were not unibodies in any sense. So far we’ve focused far too much on the “N” in NAS, and too little on the “A”. I like the split grille of the ’62s best, although I’m torn between either the fins on the ’61s or the integrated taillights on the ’63s. Here’s an anomaly, how did this convertible come to be? Mar 13, 2017 - VERY NICE CAR-----TWO DOOR HARD TOP FACTORY AIR. The wheel covers and wheels on a couple of good looking cars………..(and suddenly, I wonder if the ’78 LeBaron’s somewhat odd headlight arrangement was inspired by the Imperial’s freestanding headlights!). Stately summer cruiser today best of the taillight lenses “ got away ” and believe... 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