22,457 Miles: Barn Find 1962 Chrysler Imperial

This 1962 Chrysler Crown Imperial coupe is a recent discovery, as it has sat in storage since 1985. Like so many other stories about the self-storage facility hiding a forgotten classic car, it’s difficult not to imagine the slightly cliche moment when the metal door was hurled upwards to reveal a long-ignored project. The rest of that story could be up to you, but only if you check out the Imperial coupe here on uniclassiccars.com

The Imperial was intended to be the best of Chrysler’s luxury car offerings. Designed to compete with the likes of Lincoln and Cadillac, the Imperial line was marketed as its own separate brand, which is similar to what Chrysler has done in the modern era with its Ram trucks lineup. Whether that actually drives more consumers into the showroom is up for debate, but the Imperial did outsell Lincoln for a short time. This Imperial is largely untouched, with only a set of new rear tires added since its discovery.

Interiors were equal parts luxurious and comfortable, with the privacy of passengers and the comfort of the driver factoring heavily into different generations of the design. The Imperial was often a testbed of sorts for features that would trickle down into other models, but unfortunately, sales continued to decline for the Imperial line. The dedicated manufacturing facility was shuttered and Imperials were built on the same assembly lines as other Chrysler models. Condition of the seller’s Imperial is said to be better than expected for a vehicle that’s been stored for years.

Slab-sides were a central part of the design, but the nuances of the front and rear end caused consternation for different generations of the Imperial. Some years it was considered handsome while other years critics called it too busy, or unattractive. This particular car, with its 413 V8 and pushbutton transmission, would make an outstanding cruiser provided we can take the seller at his word regarding condition. There’s also no mention of rust, which may be a real possibility given the Imperial’s location in Camp Verde, Arizona. With only 22K miles, it’s certainly worth a phone call.

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. terry

    Storage facility looks suspiciously like a junk yard to me. No price listed. Pass.

  2. Andy

    You call it a Chrysler in the headline, and admit Imperial was its own brand in the text. You’re confusing me.

    • Erich

      From 1926 until 1954, the Imperial was a Chrysler model. From 1955 until 1983, it was it’s own make.

      So in 1962, this was an Imperial made by the Chrysler Corporation and not a Chrysler Imperial.

      Like 1
  3. Vince Habel

    Great driving cars.

    Like 1
  4. phil

    Gotta love the funky steering wheel !! But like Terry said no price in a junkyard and listing “for a friend” don’t just walk RUN !!

  5. Rick C

    Mr. Drysdale always drove an Imperial…

    Like 1
  6. Warren

    More times than not, I pass on cars that do not have a price listed. Confusing write up, is it for sale or auction? Your bids are binding? Is it also on eBay? Pass.

  7. Warren

    Looks like one of those eBay mirror websites that pirate your eBay listing. Look on the other listings and they mention eBay also. I had some guy call me on a truck I had sold on eBay 6 months earlier due to my listing showing up on a site like this.

    • Ikey Heyman

      These sites always seem suspicious, I wouldn’t want to supply my email address, which you have to do to get a price on a vehicle. Who knows what kind of junk email, “deals”, and outright scams you’ll be targeted with.

  8. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    From the story and photos at the auction site, It seems to me the Boneyard bought it for scrap and is flipping it. Its good work if you can get it.

    • Dave Wright

      Happens a lot………not a bad thing, would you rather have it crushed?

  9. RoKo

    That’s a ’63!

    Like 1
    • Dave Mikulec

      Yup. The taillights give it away.

      • Woodie Man

        Yup had the same year only a two tone 4 door…creme over copper…..

        Like 1
  10. PaulG

    The ad states that the car is in Cottonwood, AZ. I live nearby and it’s high desert that’s very dry. Car looks solid, and a good candidate for a good cleaning, update the systems, and make safe. Then drive it like it was intended!

  11. rustylink

    I often wondered with these finds how the car gets titled since I doubt most of the cars who come into the hands of the storage owners have titles to them. How do you legally sell a car that you essentially have taken because of the owners lack of storage payments? It sounds messy – as even though the storage owner has the right to keep contents if the leasee defaults on the payment – what’s to stop some pissed off owner from providing the title and reporting it as stolen?

    • Sam

      ….process would be like a “mechanic’s lien” from a repair shop but would not “prime” a senior lien holder….so says Perry Mason and Paul Drake

  12. RNR

    Non stock two tone paint – very suspicious for a 22K mile car.

  13. ACZ

    Rather have this than that yellow Vette.

  14. Howard A Member

    IDK, if this is original, ol’ pops beat the crap out of it before he got sick. The 2 door is indeed rare, fact is, I don’t ever remember seeing one. This was a road car, probably the best road car in the early 60’s, and I believe the old man could have easily drove this car 122K miles in the 20 years it was on the road. Extremely costly to restore, and when done, you have a tank that gets 8 mpg. Nice cars for the time, but ridiculously out of date for today.

    • Eric

      They drive like a modern car,not out of date..

      They get better than 8 mpg,they average around 15 – 16 mpg..

      I do agree it has 122,000 miles,5 digit odometer after 99,999 they go back to 0..Tired of all the cars saying they are under 100,000 miles…its not true,closer to 222,000 would be what these cars had in 1985..

      **I had a 1964 2 door Imperial I bought because price was right and it was pristine and 180,000 verified miles by the original owner,She had all the paperwork.

      413 4bbl had great performance,would leave rubber on the road when floored from a stop,that was a bonus lol.I out ran my 2013 Eco Boost F 150 ,and thats a quick truck about the same weight as the car.

      I did drive it properly as it was to fix the minor issues and sell it..Mainly 2 power window motors didnt work properly,and was missing..Points/carb rebuild is all it needed compression was all 130-135 on all 8 cyl..I put electronic ignition and did the carb up a little,better jetting..I did repaint the car,it still shined up but rock chips and door paint chips from other cars hitting it..So I repainted it (I do that as a hobby anyways)…I got 15.3 mpg the best average city hwy mpg ! I had a 68 New Yorker 440 and it got up to 21 mpg ,mostly 17-18 combined,unless I hammered it.

      Imperial was sold 1 year ago,and got near top dollar for it..I cleared $12,000 net profit ! Thats pretty darn good ! Better than my 66 Mustang fastback 289 I just sold !

      Like 1
  15. Boris

    Definitely a 1963 model, not a ’62. And it’s an Imperial Custom (base model), not an Imperial Crown (see the code 912 on the data plate?). Still, it’s a two-door hardtop and a great starting point. Nice car, and could be a great one. Oh yeah, and it’s got the 413!

  16. Wayne

    Can always check the year by looking closely at the tailight and parking lights. They are all year stamped in the glass.

  17. Eric

    25,000 miles ..BS !

    125,000 or 225,000 miles it actually has..

    5 digit odometer,after 99,999 it rolls back to 0.

    Some people on e Bay are honest and they show pristine examples of 125,000 mile or more cars that look just like new,no rips,no fade on either interior or paint,chrome,interior etc all look new,even engine bay and engine paint looks new on a 125,000 mile car..

    All these restored cars and they all have under 100,000 miles,no kidding the odometer does as once it hits 99,999 it goes to 0…

    Some have a number at the end in white with black numbers and it changes every 10th of a mile..But still goes to 99,999.9 then to 00,000.0 ..after 99,999.9 miles !

    I just am tired of these so called low mile cars,it was on the road until 1985,thus 125,000 or more than likely 225,000 or even 335,000 miles…These cars had 125,000 miles by 1971 !

    • GP Member

      I don’t think people in 1963 drove over 15,000 miles a year on average anyway. Not that I think this mileage is correct, But I don’t know if you can get a 15,000 mile per year on a lease car in todays world of driving.

    • Keith

      Have you ever seen an Imperial with 225k miles on it? I’m thinking not….not one from the 60’s anyway. They would have rusted away long before that. I have had many Imperials, great cars, but they were not good for 225k miles. I’d say it’s more likely the ODO got stuck and stopped working.

      • RNR

        I’ve seen a ’64 Imperial make it through two demolition derby heats, win the final, and have a grille that could have been sold for parts at the end of it all!

  18. Bill McCoskey

    Back in the early 70’s I found a 1959 Imperial Crown Coupe, fully loaded [including dual A/C if I remember correctly], in the underground parking garage of one of the most prestigious apartment buildings in Washington, DC: 4000 Massachusetts Avenue, NW. The Imperial had a total of 157 miles on it. Not a typo, 157 miles. The whitewall tires still held air, but were now brownwalls. The car’s once beautiful maroon paint was covered with dust and it was clear the car had not been moved in many years.

    I spoke with the building manager, he smiled before telling me an incredible tale: He said the owner of the car also owned one of the penthouse suites on the top floor of the huge building, had the place fully furnished when he came to DC in 1959. He bought the Imperial and parked it in his assigned space for the penthouse.

    The manager said the owner was at the penthouse for only a few weeks before heading off to Europe, and he never returned. He paid the monthly bills for the penthouse and car space, but it all remained unused. He said the penthouse was like a 1959 time capsule, but I was never able to get him to show it to me.

    I went off to Europe courtesy of the Army, and on returning in 1975, I found the Imperial gone. The new building manager gruffly told me to get the f***k out of his building, and I never did find out what happened to the Imperial.

    Like 1
  19. RoselandPete

    Well worth saving.

  20. jtnc

    The partial vinyl top is not factory original. Some other years had the “Crown Landau” top treatment, but not a 1963 2-door.

  21. Sam

    I dig it…looks reasonably solid and very complete. Clean it up, drive and enjoy…banker’s hot rod. Worth a phone call.

    This would be part of my “dream” personal luxury car collection. 65 Riviera, 66 Toronado, 67 Eldorado, 65 Marauder….

  22. grant

    No way it’s got 22k, and I’d plan on wiring it at the very least. Probably take a good look at the upholstery that’s hidden under the blanket. Surely I’m not the only one who noticed all the mouse turds on the floor.

  23. Bryan

    I bought this 1963 Imperial Crown convertible last April….had been parked since 1973! Looking forward to restoration of this very deserving car.

    Like 1

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