Cheap Luxury: 1968 Chrysler Imperial

1968-chrysler-imperial-convertible

Brian BirknerBy Brian Birkner

Sleek and luxurious, with plenty of style, this 1968 Chrysler Imperial convertible was not a cheap car when it was new, and 1968 was the last year for the convertible Imperial. Although after 48 years, this Imperial looks fairly solid, and the best part you ask? Well, this Chrysler runs and drives needing some tlc, but the best part is the price. Offered at $2,900, this would be a great winter project to flaunt next spring. Find it here on craigslist out of Marysville, Washington. Thanks to reader Jay B for the submission!

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The big 440 cubic inch V8 is a runner, but like the rest of the car needs a solid looking over before returning to street duty. So we would assume it is in need of a tune up, fresh gas, and perhaps a worked over carb. Although, running is a good start for this cheap Chrysler project. For those of you that want modern features in a classic car, this Chrysler may be what you are looking for. With luxurious features such as air conditioning, cruise control, power windows, and power locks this Imperial is the perfect cruiser with plenty of space, and a power drop top.

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Covered in a dark green color, the interior is by no means perfect, but is certainly manageable. The seats front and back look pretty good, with some obvious wear on the driver side seat, and some wear on the arm rest area. The dash doesn’t look too bad but we would love better pics of the interior to get a better idea of what we are looking at. The steering wheel looks to suffer from some minor cracking, but for a cruiser, it is not all that apparent. We think the worst looking item of the interior is the carpet as it has faded out a bit to a greenish-brown type of color. A good cleaning and a re-dye may save the carpet though.

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The exterior flaunts all of the cool 1968 specific features for the Imperial. Examining the exterior reveals a pretty a decent paint job, but there are some minor rust issues developing in this two door street boat.  Right off the bat there is some rust developing on the driver front fender, but it appears to be surface rust. There are also some rust bubbles developing on the rear quarters of this convertible, but it is in the beginning stages where it does not take away immensely from the cars appearance. The rockers look good, and overall this looks like a solid 48 year old convertible. Although the top is present, and operates, it is looking a little long in the tooth. The future buyer should plan on doing a top on this Imperial. Ready to be revived, this drop top would make a great fair weather cruiser. Would you bring home this classy drop top?

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Comments

  1. Motrbob

    Rare, Rare, Rare 1 of 474 produced Did I mention it is rare?

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    • S Ryan

      Yep. Rare.
      Anyone care to wager how many are left?
      Not a trick question, but can’t be many.
      Washington is a long haul for another car I don’t need, but want.

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  2. Joe Muzy

    Fun cruiser car. It’s too long for my garage.

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    • Alan (Michigan )

      Many garages were not built with road cruisers like this in mind.

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      • russell spreeman

        I knew a guy once who had a house built in a new development (back in the early 80’s). He owned a big old Cadillac and something else, maybe a Riviera or something. Neither car fit in the garage with the door closed.

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  3. Steve B.

    She could be fixed up. She could. Oh, she could be really tough

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  4. Jeffro

    My 11 yr old daughter said she wants this when she starts to drive. She says it has a “pretty” front end and it’s a convertible. Warms my heart. Some hope for this crazy world after all.

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    • Glen

      If that isn’t the PERFECT excuse to buy this, what is? And it could be a Father/ Daughter project. I want you to buy this!

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      • Jeffro

        Glen, I would love to, but as usual this car is on wrong coast

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    • Ck

      What would be cooler than a father daughter ROAD TRIP to pick up a sweet father daughter project car.

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    • Pete

      My daughter found out my daily driver ( Jaguar XJ6) from when she was much younger was off the road. So she wanted me to buy it back and fix it up till she was 18 and she would have her license. That was two years ago when she was 16.

      She is the owner driver now.

      So go for it 😊

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  5. James

    Had one many moons ago. Powerful and smooth and built like a tank. Beautiful taillights too with brushed copper dash accents. I would love to have another.

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  6. Flmikey

    …bargain of the month! This is one of those cars that will be worth 10 times the investment in 10 years…

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  7. Dave Wright

    Undervalued unique car sure to appreciate at a faster rate at some point. I have a 66 Convert going to the shop after the first of the year…..should be done in a year or so. This is an early unibody car built after Imperial was reassimilated into Chrysler. They were expensive. Great American car. Many of these were well cared for rather than being run hard like a hot rod.

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    • cyclemikey

      Not so. Imperial was a stand-alone brand from 1955 until 1975. I had a ’67 convertible (also quite rare) that I restored about 20 years ago; I sold it at the Palm Springs auction in 2006. We used to drive it all over California to Imperial Club meets and it was a great cruiser. At one point I had a ’56, the ’67, and a ’75. Still have the ’75, with 41K original miles, but the paint has failed and it’s looking shabby. My bad.

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  8. Richie C

    I have this great 41k mile 1967 Imperial for sale at my dealership and can tell you from experience that they are incredible road cars.

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  9. erikj

    Ok , I like this mostly because the g-parents had a 68 also that I got my drivers lic. in. and many memory’s of us kids playing around in it. What a big boat.
    I just talked to the guy and the rust is a bit to worry about as are the brakes. What worries me are things like the top- do they make those and int. stuff ,is anything available for this car? Its not like coronets,darts,ect. that there are books full of parts.
    I am possibly going over the mountains this weekend and will look at it, I,M bringing some cash with me. I will take more pics-maybe one with the car on my trailer!!!

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    • Dave Wright

      Yes and Yes……..there is an interior guy in Spokane that is doing mine……with top. 10K et all original. The interior is usually pretty heavy cow hide…..he even does the original embossing. An original fabric interior might be more problematic……they used a special brocade that may be difficult to source.

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  10. Kent Pearson

    I want this bad. New white top; red leather seats and red carpet. Redie on the carpet might work with a deep red.

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  11. WLB

    Tilt/Telescopic steering wheel.

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  12. "Cousin Jim" Mitchell

    As a kid, the first time I saw a 1968 Chrysler Imperial convertible wasn’t out on the street….It was at the old “Hill-Top Drive-In” in Bartlesville, Oklahoma-that would have been in 1969. (I was sitting in the back of my parent’s white, 1964 Rambler “440” station-wagon that evening.) The movie playing that night was called “The Big Bounce”, which starred Ryan O’Neal and Leigh Taylor-Young. The car in the film (which was olive-green in color) belonged to James Daly’s character-Leigh Taylor-Young played his secretary…She smashed up that car TWICE in that film-which shocked me at the time as a kid-couldn’t imagine ANYONE destroying a convertible, which were always coveted items in Oklahoma! Anyway….After seeing that film, I made two resolutions in life. I was going to drive convertibles-also go to Hollywood to become an actor…(Eventually moved to Los Angeles in a restored, 1973 Chevrolet Caprice “rag-top”, although I still have my home, farm and oil production in Oklahoma.-the best of both worlds!!!) http://www.IMDB.com: Jim Mitchell (XXXII)

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  13. PaulieB

    My kid brother had a ’67 hardtop and it was really sweet. I think he paid $500 for it in 1975. One winter’s day he hit a small patch of ice trying to turn onto a street and slid into the corner of a Knights of Columbus bldg. The collision fractured the wallboard inside of the place.. the car sustained a minor dent in the bumper.. and yes he wishes that he still had the car…and the GTO Judge that he owned prior to that car..

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  14. charlie

    Another great way for a young person to get into the hobby – and drive it on the open highways at 75 mph – and enjoy it – and not spend so much that it just sits in the living room to be looked at.

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  15. stillrunners

    Put a little over 50,000 fun mile in a 68 Crown Coupe…..a little under 2500 on production – sadly let it go in the 90’s….even then even the A/C was a workin’……..good buy there on that convert !

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  16. Tom Driscoll

    Seems like a no-brainer to me for anyone on the left coast…but with a few missing parts, it could be a long haul to the finish line? Hope to hear of a BF member pulling the trigger…if closer, I would!

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  17. Geoffrey

    My parents had a 68 Crown Imperial 4 door hardtop when I was a kid in 1982. I loved that tank.

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  18. HeadMaster1

    erikj, if you don’t buy it, I might……it’s a 4,000 mile round trip through some very cold areas this time of year from my home in KS, but a 68 conv’t Imperial is worth the trip in my eyes….I used to have a 68 Crown Coupe, great cars, awesome motor. IMHO the 440 is the is big block of any manufacturer, it pulls like train and does’t feel like it will self-destruct above 4,000rpm…..Please buy to save me the trip, or maybe buy it and flip it to me in the spring time 🙂

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  19. Bryan

    The color combo of this Imperial suggests it may be one of the Omaha Shriner convertibles….they were white with green leather and green top that year. The Shriners of Omaha bought a fleet of Imperial convertible’s every year from 1959 to 1968.

    The 67 through 69 Imperials had Budd brakes which can be problematic on these old cars (the calipers leak and the rotors are specific to this model because of the 5 on 5 bolt pattern). The turn signal switches are specific to the GM sourced tilt/Tele steering column and are rare and expensive. The headlight switches are also rare and prone to failure because of the considerable electrical load presented by the rather large taillights. Otherwise, these really are wonderful cars…beautiful and rare!

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  20. erikj

    headmaster, relax I just pulled the trigger. at least it runs and not to much rust. I,M in Spokane, about 275 miles over the mountain. I’ll be there Saturday. I will try to post it on b/f. I have bought 3 other car featured and this one I will follow through to let all know. Thanks Erik

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    • Dave Wright

      I think you got a very good buy……even if you paid the asking price. My 66 was cheaper but we have to do the engine…..it is rust free and a good color. I was coming to Spokane this weekend to pick up my Quatroporte from my brothers shop but it looks like we will be weathered out. I used to have 10 imperials, all 2 door hardtops or convertibles from 1955-1966, never owned one as new as yours. Now I think my 66 is enough unless I find a deal on a 63. Good luck with the car and Snowqualmie.

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    • HeadMaster1

      Can’t wait to hear about the car. If you’re not happy with it, let me know and I’ll take it off your hands…..This time of year I really prefer to pick up cars in “warm areas”, but ten I remember that my Dually is 4X4 for a reason 😉

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    • PRA4SNW

      It is still listed, 5 days later. Did the deal fall through, was it messier in person?

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