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28k Mile One Owner! 1960 Chrysler Imperial

Even though the nameplate had been around from 1926, the Imperial was not technically a Chrysler from 1955 through 1975. The company had carefully registered it as a separate make to help it compete on more of an equal footing with Cadillac and Lincoln. The 1960 Imperials were all new cars, the only one of the three main competitors to have fresh styling. This Imperial Crown Imperial 2-door hardtop was acquired by the seller in a package deal from the original owner. Although a thorough detailing should help, a restoration may also be in order. Located in Santa Barbara, California, this beauty is available here on eBay where the bidding has reached $3,550, but the seller has set a reserve. Thanks for the spacious tip, Larry D!

Chrysler’s marketing campaign for 1957-59 was “Suddenly It’s 1960!” and had worn out its welcome by the time 1960 rolled around, so their automobiles needed a fresh look. The Imperial was the only full-size Chrysler product not to go with unibody construction, yet the all-new sheet metal still had a Chrysler feel which may have kept Imperial in third place in the 1960 sales game. But some cool things came with the new cars such as the instrument panel, which was a work of art in design and execution yet would be dropped after a single model year. Total Imperial production was just 17,707 units, with 1,504 being the Crown 2-door like the seller’s car.

With only one prior owner, this 1960 finned wonder (dig the bullseye taillights) is said to have just 28,000 miles. It may have sat for some time, so it still wears the dust and dirt the seller found it with. While the seller says an easy restoration is in order, I will detail it inside and out before making that determination as it may be solid overall. The car is said to run and drive, but more mechanical attention may be needed to do much more.

Besides painting, we’re told it needs new tires and mufflers, at a minimum. The previous owner retained most of the paperwork going back in time, so this should be a decently documented survivor. The seller believes only 25 of these cars still exist, though no source for that assumption is offered. The seller is open to trades as the car was part of a small collection that he/she bought and didn’t plan to keep the Imperial. If the reserve isn’t crazy, this could be one cool cat to have in your garage!

Comments

  1. Moparman Member

    (IMO) Nothing looks sadder than a once grand luxury car sitting on black wall tires. These cars were designed in an era when white walls were the standard for moneyed buyers, bw’s were cheap for the masses. This one looks to have good potential. GLWTA!! :-)

    Like 23
    • Will Fox

      I whole heartedly concur! Blackwalls make cars of this class and age look like taxis. It begs for a period-correct set of cokers. And for 28K miles, the interior could use a good going over.

      Like 12
    • Paul

      Just out of curiosity, how many inch white walls came on this era of car?

      • B.J.

        Paul, probably none, in that era they were nearly all wide whites, the narrower ones came along later.

      • Phil Maniatty

        2 1/2 inches should be about right.

  2. Chris

    Nice looking car but my budget could not return it to its natural glory.

    Like 4
  3. Joe Haska

    This may be one of the ugliest cars I have ever seen ,so why do I keep looking at it. Is that the thing where something is so terrible and outrageous that you just can’t help it, you have to look. Or you think you could help, it is your obligation to try and make it better, you just have to right this wrong.

  4. John

    I would love to know what color it actually is? The interior looks to be pearlescent White which makes me think it may have had some good color to it and been quite the showstopper in its day. I hope somebody will buy it and return it to its Glory, including the wide whites that hit so deserves.

  5. JimZ

    I had one of these in blue, purchased from a 1-family-owned estate.
    Mine didn’t have the front swivel seats which are kind of novel.
    Wonder why they used rain-soaked pics rather than shining it up and showing it proudly?

    Like 5
    • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

      JimZ,

      While I initially thought those paint streaks were simply rain left on the surface after a car cover was removed, there is no evidence of moisture/rain anywhere else in the photos, not even under the car.

      I’ve bought a couple of cars over the years that had been left out in the sun under plastic tarps, and where the plastic touched the paint, it left marks like what I see in this car. A car left out in the blazing sun is tough enough on the paint, but add a plastic tarp that traps heat, it can ruin paint, and I think that’s what we are seeing here.

      Without seeing it up close, I cannot tell for sure, but it might be possible to wet sand the paint and apply a clear coat of new paint.

      And I agree, it’s likely 123k miles, but the miles were probably lovingly driven and the car kept maintained and clean. At 23k miles, it should look almost factory fresh for a car from the Santa Barbara area.

      If I wasn’t in my 70s and trying to get rid of vehicles now, I would love to own the car, I’ve had many 1950s & 60s Imperials, and never had one I didn’t like and enjoy.

      Like 4
  6. Oregonman

    Rain is poor man’s wax job…..

    Like 1
  7. Duaney Member

    I’m another sceptic of the 28K orignal miles. The car could have had 128K within 4-5 years of being new. Would have to see documentation

  8. Johnmloghry johnmloghry

    My oldest brother Bill (RIP) bought one of these in1961. It also was a 2 door model, in triple black. One of his close friends was a salesman for the dealership and sold it to him at a greatly reduced price as it was a holdover that hadn’t sold the year before and was a demo car. He drove it for about 7 0r 8 years before it caught on fire going over Siscayou mountain in 68 when he was moving to Seattle. The car was totally destroyed and it took him a few years to get to the point he bought a 65 4 door model as a low mileage used car from a local dentist. He loved that 413 wedge power it delivered and was known to street race it a few times. I hope this car finds a good home.

    God Bless America

    Like 2
  9. Emel

    This car looks like some mad (as in crazy) car designer designed it.
    So much bizarre-ness……. don’t know where to start.
    Therefore I won’t. lol

    Like 1
  10. John N Chaney

    I would love to have it, I have been looking at it for some time trying to decide how to go about somewhat modernizing it and still keeping it’s original charm and appeal I have a couple of 1970 Plymouths that I am almost thru with now, I am sure that this would be an expensive venture no matter which way I went with it. I asked the seller about the color an he says it is a Gunmetal gray not sure what that was called in 1960. It is a striking machine no matter what.

    John

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