Chryco did a wonderful job on the handling, even on this scale, but having to dip in behind parked cars to let oncoming traffic go by was the norm. Love. (I was party and witness to this one ) . Not too many new Caddys, but some Chrysler 300C’s. The only Imperial that ever saw up close was the one the cook owned at my first job in 1967. Count me as a huge fan of these! However, I do like the ’63’s taillights better. We forget how from year to year the manufacturers changed grills, taillamps and such so often that a particular one year model could be quickly and easily forgotten. Now if you want ugly dashes you need look no further the the BOP offerings of the late 50s…. ’63 front, ’60 rear. 1963 Chrysler Imperial Description: Up for auction is a 1963 Imperial Lebaron by Chrysler. And your second picture shows how there is not a single exposed seam to show where the front fenders attach to a header panel over the grille, making a single, unbroken expanse of surface surrounding the grille. It's in number 3 condition and is a well maintained A lot has been written about the failure to create a separate brand identity for Imperial from 55 onward (folks still called them Chryslers as I was growing up). Chrome was not pitted. Two photos of him stand out in my memory: 1) Swearing in as President moments after Kennedy’s death; 2) Showing off his gall bladder scar; 3) Towering over and standing real close, in the face of another politician; He was a character all right. The color of the sticker may have been an indication of the status of the owner. For no obvious reason this is one of the best stories I have read on CC. I’d prefer the 64-66 or even the 67-68 unibody cars…The fuselage cars are awful again…ugh. They don’t make ’em like they use to. Also: That dashboard, ugh. The combination of Jet Age styling and classic cues such as the free-standing headlights and prominent grille is distinctive, to say the least. A photo of Him, (LBJ), is said to be circulating somewhere in the world. For his part, Engel would reveal his faux-spare tire desires in 1964, when he simply slid the whole affair down the trunk, thus replacing a horizontal throne with a vertical hump. 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. The encouraging sales numbers never materialized, 1957 being an anomaly, so the Imperial was kept in production so the corporation could field a full line. Dual A/C cars had an extra evaporator in the trunk with a set of vents on the package shelf. Your email address will not be published. I didn’t know that. Also, good point about how some of its retro and space age styling features didn’t mesh quite well together. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Imperial offered no less than eight interior color schemes: Alabaster, Claret, Cord Blue, Fawn, Formal Black, Holiday Turquoise, Madison Gray, and Mayan Gold. Several Lincolns were there, no Imperial though. Sad, yet fascinating at the same time. Still, that’s a beautiful example and is certainly worth a gentle restoration to keep it around for the ages. ” 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.”. And the best description I’ve heard for the ’62 taillight design was “eveready flashlights with red lenses bolted on to the top of the fenders”. Well, yes…but here it’s known as Auto Pilot, and is controlled via a dash knob and a somewhat complex series of taps on the accelerator. And so Cadillac is “the luxury car” with Lincoln second. . Having said all of this, as a kid, I found Imperials to be totally unique and fascinating and a very rare sight on the roads of the Midwest. Befitting of its luxury car position, Imperial Crowns featured standard power windows, 6-way power front seats, air foam padded seat backs and cushions, and illuminated front and dual-rear cigarette lighters with ashtrays, among other convenience equipment. My god, look at the thought that went into that front end. Exner . Even the mechanicals designed to be unobtrusive in an Imperial were not ignored. Given the substantial leather wear and cracks, there’s no doubt in my mind this Imperial’s interior is all-original. 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! I assume that only dealers saw this and not customers. In Hayward Ca. He also had an Amphicar, in which he would amuse unsuspecting passengers by driving full speed into a nearby lake. It would no doubt crush a Corolla in a low speed collision. Or was it simply an airman who scored a screaming deal on a slightly-used Imperial in 1965? This 1963 Imperial Crown 4-door hardtop was the last of the Virgil Exner-designed “Forward Look” Imperials that first debuted as 1957s. I had a ’62 Lincoln a few years ago. Another car from the year of my birth that would find a home in my dream garage. This 1969 Chrysler Imperial LeBaron is an original. . (I love these cars very much BTW). Bizzaro styling (cartoonish fins in 1960-61) a strange dash layout and square steering wheel were some of the main reasons Imperial fell way behind Cadillac and Lincoln. Well, that’s just like, your opinion, man. 15 results per page. Although there are no substantial rips or tears, some restoration might be something to think about in the near future to preserve its beauty. Shame that nobody could save this one. 1963 Chrysler Imperial Crown Up for auction is this 1963 Imperial Crown Coupe. American Brands: AMC, Jeep and All Others, Tractors, Lawn Mowers, Off-Road Equipment, Carshow Classic: 1963 Imperial Crown Four-Door Hardtop – America’s Most Carefully Built Car. This is one car that needs to be restored to its former glory in order to showcase its era. The imperial dash with its electroluminescence lighting is beautiful when viewed at night and very functional. Totally amazing stuff; these guys were having fun, obviously. Since Imperial was defunct when I bought my first car at 16, my choice was a 1977 New Yorker. that the thought process was turned 180 degrees, that it was safer for occupants to remain inside the vehicle in a crash, and that’s when seatbelts and crumple zones came into effect. And the interiors, with a dashboard that a guy could sit and stare at for hours at a time. (Imperial Light if you will.). They are really gems of history of the period. Of the two I have driven, they drove differently, but both were fitted out with top quality pieces everywhere an owner would look or touch. he had several as his personal cars and talked about how great they were for the many coast to coast trips he used to take. It should also be mentioned that there was a significant shift on the theory of the best place for vehicle occupants to be during a crash. Unlikely one was hauled into a wrecking yard I worked at it had been in a nose to tail so hit at both ends the doors had burst open and would not close, they might go ok in a derby at low speed but crash one at highway speed and the crumple pretty bad. I think he owned a few as his personal cars. I didn’t know the year, but this was a favorite Imperial of mine. I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony…….. That was the comeback of free standing headlights they were out of use since the 30s then consigned to the trashcan of history. 999,999 gasoline … I might need to research this first though, as I recall reading that they will only fit on certain rims. Vintage Review: 1989 Mazda MPV – The Different Minivan – Or Is It A Crossover? What buyers in this class cared most about though was luxury, and the 1963 Imperial certainly didn’t disappoint. Backseat passengers get warm too, you know. Thanks for letting me know! Watch the video. 61-63 I think the Imperial is fun in a kitschy kind of way. If a guy had luxury car money to spend in 1963, he would have certainly had a tough choice between three very nicely done cars. To be fair, the 63 was a quick attempt to update a very old design before the release of the new 64 body (I agree with Brendan that the 64 was not a total success). HOWEVER…all the plain black plastic dash knobs and trim are of no better quality that the average Cavalier. Add that to the TorqueFlite and optional Sure-Grip, and any ’63 Imperial will pull like an ocean-going tugboat. Be sure to follow me @Saabkyle04LLC for future video, channel, and life updates! Agree with Jim Grey’s comment on the dash – ugh. Who’s idea was it to do free-standing headlights? . Very Impressive IMHO. Of the 61-63, I liked the 62 best for its overall balance of front and back designs, for the wonderful gunsight taillights, and for not having those god-awful fins of the 61. Today we just have those annoying male models with their designer stubble, greasy hair and sloppy clothes, as if anyone would believe they even own a car. I much prefer the sleek lines of the original Exner design as shown on this 62 coupe and the earlier models. The Continental was by comparison very fresh and contemporary, and timeless even today. . I. In fact, this Imperial–while firmly a late refresh of the 1961 model–clearly shows the influence of newly-installed head designer Elwood Engel. It’s been de-based too many times. Very nice! I can’t believe how tiny that hood is! But Imperials by then were based on the Chrysler unibody, not a separate design. 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. 4 vehicles matched Now showing page 1 of 1. I always thought the Lincolns & Imperials of this era were a cut above GM’s finest. Click through for the full lyrics to this sea chanty…. Neat car, I like the ’63 better than the ’64 too. 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. and IMHO did a masterful job disguisingt the ’57 model upon which it was based. Uhhh…no you don’t. This ’63 Imperial got the morning off to fine start. . The Imperial looked like a leftover from the gaudy late 50’s by 1963! Love the ‘beep’ in the soundtrack when it’s time to go to the next slide – I remember that on slideshows at school, before we got a movie projector! All of my dad’s cars (literally every car he owned in his lifetime) wore similar stickers for NUSC (later NUWC) in Newport, RI. Ah yes… LBJ = “Low Blow Johnson”. Following Exner’s ousting, former Ford designer Elwood Engel took over as Chrysler’s design chief, and the 1964 Imperial would display his substantially different tastes. Radio? Edit. The car back in its day was a luxury car. Well, after 1955, Packard-minded luxury car buyers had to go ‘somewhere’, and I would imagine a lot of them (along with a few Lincoln and Cadillac people) gave the new 1957 Forward Look Imperials a try, which would explain the big Imperial sales jump anomaly for that one year. 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? “Imperial” is an absolutely perfect name for this car isn’t it? About the same price class as Big 3 luxury cars of the time. An old time body man (at the auto trim shop I worked thru college at) Standard, and expected. Perhaps these clues will take us down the proper trail of ownership. As much as we ooh and aah over these, they were usually only purchased by “Mopar people”, which only consisted of about 15% of the car buying public. 15" diameter wheels with 7" width. Also, Exner really didn’t seem to know what he wanted Imperial to be in 61 – a space age interior and 1930’s headlights didn’t go together all that well. The 1963 Chryslers were the last of the Virgil Exner-designed cars to come from Ma Mopar. I was going to mention that, but you beat me to it. Think of your academic reputation! One of these came through the scrapyard last year — it was complete. Both are very handsome. 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. The car back in its day was a luxury car. I don’t think so. It shared the same trim, but had a canvas-covered roof and leather and broadcloth Imperial upholstery. Cruise control? First, the sticker: It reads “DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY…NAS DALLAS…DALLAS, TEXAS”, and is flanked by small stickers with dates possibly ranging from 1967 (according to the top sticker) to as far back as 1965 (as seen beneath the top sticker). A careful going over showed gold where only the factory could put it, but there was bright red underneath. And much better looking that the Continental. I don’t think they taught this skill to the future educators of children in their college curriculum. I love the front end styling of the ’67 Imperial. Once that word association has been established in the public mind, its nearly impossible to break. The ’60 through ’63 Imperial boasted of a “one cut” hide of leather, which only they and Rolls Royce did at the time. I would strongly applaud you for so doing, Impalamino. Another idea is that someone bought a luxurious 2 year old car for cheap. cars aren’t engineered to perform well in crashes by remaining “strong”. An Imperial-Mercedes Hybrid 1963 Chrysler Turbine Car. Even though the current Cadillac ATS is better than the BMW 3-series, people will still want the BMW for its recognized name as the ultimate driving machine (even though it isn’t). In the 1970s enlisted had red stickers, officers blue and I believe retired military had black stickers. The only problem with the Imp was its size; most of my collector car driving is done on tight, small town streets with short blocks. I’m totally with you on the outrageous I. Photo taken in Cambridge, Ont about 5 years ago. Chances are it was bought used by the owner of that base sticker. A shame I know! I find it fascinating that Chrysler churned out these sales training films year after year for Imperial. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. The pristine beauty was at a specialty car dealer in Santa Monica, CA in 2011. I’m sure that the Lincoln and Cadillac folks quickly returned to their home products but I would wager that those who had in the past owned (or were of a mind to consider in the future) Packards, kept on buying Imperials, and that was enough to sustain the marque until those people died, lost their fortunes, or Chrysler’s dilution of the Imperial to being nothing more than just a high-end Chrysler finally killed it off. They occasionally flew off on their own. Only give away was the a pillar and windshield (again – I loved these) and there is a common belt line shared with the ’57 all the way through the ’66 model. 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