1 Of 12 Custom Limousine: 1968 Chrysler Imperial LeBaron

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Where’s Kato when you need him? If you are going to have a Black Beauty whammer-jammer like this stretched 1968 Chrysler Imperial LeBaron you’ll need a competent and resourceful chauffeur. And this Imperial is special as it is one of twelve modified by Stageway Coaches, and it is impressive! Let’s check it out, the Imperial is located in Evans, Georgia and is available, here on eBay for a starting bid of  $52,000.

The Imperial was a model, and a brand, that always seemed to get short-shrift compared to its competitors at Cadillac and Lincoln. How unfortunate! Founded in 1926, it was Chrysler’s top drawer car through 1954 when it was elevated to separate brand status under the Chrysler Corporation umbrella. It was discontinued at the conclusion of the ’75 model year only to return in 1981 as a two-door coupe. In 1990 it got K-car’d, actually, it was stretched out onto what was known as the Y-body platform and placed back under the Chrysler brand but the Imperial’s best days were behind it at this point. My favorites were the mid to late ’60s versions, such as our subject car, and I always felt that Cadillac and Lincoln had nothing on the Imperial. Buyers thought otherwise as 1968 sales were 230K at Cadillac, 46K over at Lincoln and Imperial bringing up the rear with only 15K examples. There were three trim levels available in ’68, the LeBaron four-door, such as this example, the Crown which came in a two and four-door hardtop as well as a convertible, and finally, new for ’68, the standard Imperial Sedan.

The seller claims that this beauty experienced a seven-year “on-frame” restoration that was completed in 2013 and has experienced just 1,900 miles since that date. It is long and straight with nary a ripple or wave that can be spied. Ditto the brightwork, all of the chrome and stainless trim are flawless. The Elwood Engel design, with its razor-sharp angles, is evident in this version of the Imperial and the stretch, performed by Stageway Coaches, maintains that character with balance. It’s an entirely different ballgame than the Imperials penned under Virgil Exner’s oversight.

The hubba-hubba under the hood is courtesy of a 350 gross HP, 440 CI “RB” Mopar engine, working through a Torqueflite, three-speed automatic transmission and probably spinning the Imperial’s standard 2.94 final drive ratio. The seller adds, “The original driveline was rebuilt and upgraded at the time of restoration to include the brake system and suspension“.

Inside is “partay” time for you and several of your best friends, or maybe just your acquaintances. However they fall, you’ll feel enraptured in “the highest grade of leather and carpet” and be entertained by “2 stereos, Ipad, USB ports, phone, custom cabinetry, intercom, dual air and much more“.  Hopefully, there’s a refrigerator in there someplace. It’s a beautiful environment and looks like big fun (as long as Kato’s doing the driving).

You get double green stamps with this limo, it is a stately and rarely seen Imperial – a huge improvement over that Stageway XTS-70 which is eyeball hurting, but it’s updated with a modern sensibility so you won’t actually feel like you’re stuck in a 1967 episode of the Green Hornet. The seller is asking for a pretty strong opening bid and he may need to reconsider – as nice as this Imperial limousine is, the appeal will probably be contained. Still, it’s fun to think about it along with all the places that you and your friends/family could go, right?

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Comments

  1. angliagt angliagtMember

    Now that’s a proper limo! Looks incredible in black.
    If you can afford it,then you can afford a place to park it too.

    Like 22
  2. leiniedude leiniedudeMember

    Thanks for the link Jim, I was pretty much out of tune on the newer stretches. This limo is sweet!

    Like 15
  3. Bluetec320 Bluetec320

    My uncle had a black on black leather 68 Imperial back in the mid 70’s, but it wasn’t a limousine. The car was in great condition and it had the deepest black paint that I had ever seen. It was definitely the luxury car of the day, too bad my Uncle was a weirdo!

    Like 9
  4. Fred W

    Probably had to be an “on frame” restoration because no rotisserie could handle that massive body! This one is a beauty that Kato would be proud to drive.

    Like 13
    • Dave

      You mean Kato Fong, manservent of Chief Inspector Clouseau? This car would have been correct if featured in “Revenge of the Pink Panther”.

      Like 3
    • Will Irby

      Well, it would be difficult to do a “frame off” restoration since it doesn’t have a frame.

      Like 10
  5. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac DivaMember

    I love the rear end of these. Those huge taillights. That trunk, big enough for a family of 6.
    Another of my favorite land yachts.

    Like 24
  6. Howard Kerr

    I had often thought over the years that the Imperial was a poor imitation of a Cadillac, poor in both senses of the word, but Chrysler hit a homerun with the 68 in my book. And incredibly, the 69 wasn’t too bad either, no mean feat with a nearly new car.
    While I would never own one of these barges (limousine or ” civilian ” model) they are strikingly good looking big cars.

    Like 6
  7. Joe Sewell

    Buy and rent it out as the Lottery Car, for when people want to ride in style to the state lottery office and pick up their grand prize!

    Like 8
    • Jerry

      Not quite. If you win the lottery you hire a armored car to take you to the lottery office. (would you drive in traffic with two, three million in cash?) Have the limo there and ready to bring you back.

      Like 2
  8. HoA Howard AMember

    Milburn Drysdale,,

    Like 12
    • Mountainwoodie

      LOL! He was such a pr*** that he should have been driven around in this. On the other hand it’s beautiful and understated..not tacky and look at me enough for todays internet zillionaires. Certainly no rapper gonna be buying this. No spinners on the hubacaps with LED inserts!

      I would be happy to have this though. I had a ’63 Crown Imperial two tone….I love the earlier Imperials. I think Pat Brown when he was guvnor of Kalifornia had a ’57 Ghia built Imperial……

      Just stunning though I would have down the rear cabinetry in a dark mahogany,,,,whats in there looks like it came out of a furniture outlet that advertises late at night,

      Like 7
  9. DeeBee

    Kind of reminds me of an old Soviet era ZIL!

    Like 3
  10. Dave Brown

    I used to walk to school all those many years ago and saw a new 1967 Imperial parked along the way. I remember how great the rear tail lights looked. There was also a new Eldorado along the way. All of the Eldorado was amazing. Also, I believe the owner of this limo needs to drastically reconsider his asking price. Not many people wanted an Imperial new, let alone now.

    Like 1
  11. charlieMember

    And “rare”, even the rest of the models since they are the king of the demolition derby type events, although the trademarked “Demolition Derby” has banned them since nothing compares to their tank like indestructiblity. They almost always prevail in our local “destruction derby” event, Ford full sized wagons do well, as well.

    Like 2
    • Steve Clinton

      I’ve heard that only the ’64, ’65, and ’66 Imperials were banned from demolition derbys because they were built like a truck.

      Like 0
  12. Jimmy H.

    Actually eleven made over two model years (67-68) by Armbruster-Stage Corp (ASC) of FT Smith Arkansas. One more was built by another company. On the IMPERIAL-Club website it appears 7 of the 12 still exist. I strongly believe this particular car was used in the docu-movie “The Doors” made in the early 90’s. If that can be proven true, it adds to its value a bit.

    Like 5
  13. dwcisme

    My college years landlord had a 68 Imperial. He used it for towing his company trailer (he was a metalsmith). Even with a ton of wrought iron behind it, it moved off without a fuss. The thing needed to be as bullet proof as it was since his driving habits (and drinking habits) were less than stellar.

    Like 4
  14. Imperialist1960

    Price is relative, and it only takes one buyer to agree with the seller.

    None of these Limousines were kept in climate controlled mortuary basements for 50 years, so when you go in, you go in deep. Driveline? $20k Body & Chrome? $20k. Interior? $10k?

    There is easily $50k in obvious restoration investment in this car.

    Value will depend upon whether or not there’s someone collecting who would like a car like this for airport rides and to “arrive” in at the Opera or whatever one does when they have a lot of money and a commercial building filled with car collection.

    That’s obviously the target market – not your usual middle-class collector who keeps one car in their suburban garage or whatever.

    Good luck with the sale says me.
    I hope they get it and that someone starts making the restoration work return the investment in enjoyment.

    Like 3
  15. James427

    I drove a yellow 1968 Crown Coupe for two years just after high school. What a great car. Like driving butter. One of the coolest aspects of the car was it has brushed copper accents on the dash and door panels that really went well with the brown interior. Great cars and one of the most beautiful taillight and gas caps of all time.

    Like 5
  16. bull

    Nice car that is vastly overpriced.

    Hard car to sell when there are so few buyer’s for this type of vintage vehicle.

    Like 1
  17. Fireman DK

    Nice car but in my eyes, that wood work looks very out of place . I think this is one case where covering it with the black seat material would be a plus . I would drive it ( or ride in it ) !

    Like 3
  18. Barry Traylor

    Better have a really big garage.

    Like 0
  19. John

    This car has been on the market for quite awhile. The same owner listed it in the April 2019 Hemmings (which I am now just reading) for an asking price of $130,000.

    Like 1
  20. GG

    With all due respect, this is an Imperial. It is not a Chrysler Imperial.

    Like 2
    • Jim ODonnellAuthor

      You are technically correct!

      JO

      Like 0
  21. bone

    They did a great job of restoring this , but why did the stick on a early 1970s engine sticker on the air cleaner ? Its nit picky ,I know but it sticks out like a sore thumb to me.

    Like 1
  22. Tirefriar

    This jewel will easily do $52k and beyond on BaT. Might even hit $130k if a couple of elephants get into a bidding race to see whose pockets are deeper. Wouldn’t be surprised if BaT is it’s next stop.

    Like 0

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