7,979 Original Miles: 1966 Imperial LeBaron

Barn Finder Pat L is certainly spotting some interesting cars for us to look at, so thank you so much for that Pat. This 1966 Imperial LeBaron is one such car, and if the claimed 7,979 genuine miles is correct, then this would be an extraordinary car. The Imperial is located in Colton, California, and listed for sale here on Craigslist.

As usual, I will make my standard statement about hoping that the owner holds documentation to verify the mileage. Leaving that claim aside, the Imperial does present very well. The black paint has a nice shine to it, and the chrome and trim look to also be in fantastic condition. When I first looked at the photos of the car I thought that there were a couple of pretty decent scratches in the paint, one on the deck-lid, and another to the right of the rear window. It turns out that these are reflections of something in the immediate vicinity of the car, that’s how well the paint reflects its surrounds.

Under the hood are a 440ci V8 engine and TorqueFlite transmission. You also get power steering, power brakes, and air conditioning. What we can see under the hood looks very clean, with no sign of any rattle can work, or use of detailing sprays and polishes. What you get is a clean and tidy engine bay that looks exactly as it should on a well cared for, low mileage car. One interesting item that the owner points out is the fact that the original tires were still fitted to the car until only a few years ago. These were updated, but he still retains the original tires and will include them in the sale if the new owner wants them.

There isn’t much to fault with the interior of the Imperial. This car is 53-years-old, and those pearl white leather seats would be the first place that you would see any signs of dirt or wear. They look to be virtually faultless, as does the rest of the interior. Being an Imperial, you are never going to want for anything. Six-way power seats, power windows, power vent windows, air conditioning, and an AM/FM Electronic Search radio are all present and accounted for.

With only 1,878 Imperial LeBarons built in 1966, finding them for sale today is not terribly common. If the mileage on this one can be verified, then this vehicle will represent a pretty extraordinary find, and would probably be the lowest mileage ’66 LeBaron in existence today. When these do come onto the market, a nice example will usually sell for around the $32,000 mark. If this particular car checks out, then an asking price of $35,000 seems to be about right.

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Comments

  1. DayDreamBeliever Member

    Wow.
    I just can’t help but admire the look and elegance of this car! What a great ride. I’d be happy to own a cruiser like this, especially to take to those few black-tie events that come along once in a blue moon for me.
    Can’t help but wonder when the Green Hornet and Kato will open the doors and step out…. :-D

    Like 17
  2. Howard A Member

    We’ll give Adam the benefit of the doubt, but this car got Milburn Drysdale all over it. Seriously, what in tarnation do you need a car like this for?

    Like 7
    • Mountainwoodie

      True and as DayDream said.. The Green Hornet. Still I always liked this years styling. Used to build AMT or whatever models of this……very expensive but at least I can’t complain about the condition :)

      Like 3
  3. David Rhoces

    how about …” just for fun “

    Like 25
  4. mlm

    This baby would sure stand out in a sea of Tri-Five Chevys,Camaros,Corvettes,and Mustangs at a car show.It would draw some attention especially from a young person who has never heard of a Imperial.

    Like 12
  5. Tiberius1701

    “Does Kato come with it?” – Britt Reid

    Like 3
  6. Doug B Member

    I wish I could find something interesting about this car. Believe me I’ve really tried.

    • TimS

      Some of us would be curious about what you call an “interesting” car.

      Like 27
    • imperialist1960

      How about : Asymmetrical license plate rear bumper with a giant eagle gas cap in the center, 24k gold leaf pinstripes inside of the headlight covers, 5000lbs of downforce, even at parade rest?

      Torsion-bar front suspension (no leaf or coil springs up front), auto-pilot (NOT cruise control), first year of the 440 dynasty, transmission that was made in the bazillions with never a recall notice, exhaust so muffled that when running you have to touch the car to see if it’s running, frame so thick that these cars are outlawed in polite demo derby circles.

      Who was an innovator in air conditioning? Chrysler Building was world’s first office building with AC, and the AC in this car will have your wife wearing sweaters driving around Las Vegas in July. “Yawn”, you say?

      What’s uninteresting about this car? Perhaps you’re looking for a 1903 McLaren F1 car or a 1969 Russian Mobile Missile Launcher with working ordinance aboard?

      Your ship will surely come in someday.
      Keep watching.

      Like 33
      • W9BAG Member

        This may be the most beautiful Crown I’ve ever seen. I could see loading up myself and the wife, packing that cavernous trunk, and taking her for a 4000 mile tour of America every year. This car was meant to be driven, regardless of fuel economy, and enjoyed by everyone.

        Like 5
    • Dave

      What do you mean ? This car is magnificent!!! Wish that I had it !!

      Like 1
  7. FordGuy1972 Fordguy1972 Member

    This is a real stunner! Absolutely beautiful in every respect. I agree with mlm, this Imperial would be a standout at any show and shine. These are the types of cars that really draw my attention at a cruise in or car show; something you rarely see. I don’t recall if I’ve ever seen one but I sure would like to. The ask seems fair for a car in this fantastic original condition with the low miles, especially when you consider this was one of the top most elegant cars offered by any American automaker at the time.

    Like 22
  8. Dave

    How about the 413 V8 or the huge eagle gas cap or the push button shifter or the glass covers on the headlights.And remember this is the imperial that was banned from destruction Derbyshire because they were indestructible. If you try harder as a car guy you can find somthing interesting about an old car……….it’s not like this is a tri chevy. This is an Imperial much more car.

    Like 15
    • span ky

      Vin says 440

      Like 3
    • Ken

      1964 was the last year for push button in an Imperial. 1965 was the last year for the 413 in an Imperial. The other items are correct for this car.

    • Tony, Australia.

      When you look at pic 24 of the underside on CL, with a chassis rail that big is it any wonder they were banned from demolition derbys? I notice it doesn’t have the Auto Pilot, strange for a car as well outfitted as this one is, especially a Le Baron ?? My 62 2 door isn’t even a Crown and has it, but back in those days everything was an option so it all depended on the buyer’s priorities I suppose.

  9. BarnfindyCollins

    This car may have come from Bill Pettit’s 100 plus car collection, it bears his dealership in Louisa, VA label. I sold my ’66 Imperial in 1989 after spending $1,000 to get the rear A/C working again making the car perfect. I always worried the glass headlight covers would get broken and they were hard to find. My ’69 Fleetwood kept me company after that.

    Like 7
  10. Wayne

    OMG! What a magnificent car! I used to think the sun rose and set on Cadillacs till I got a 65 Imperial Crown. That changed my mind forever! At one point I had 30 Imperials by trying to save them from the derby crowd. Sadly, a lot of them went under water from the flood of 13 but I still have a 60 Custom Coupe, 64 Crown convert and a 68 Crown convert.

    Like 10
  11. RichOne

    This is a gorgeous automobile! It features among the best possible of color combinations, in my opinion–elegant, sophisticated and timeless! What a magnificent piece of American luxury car history! I would love to have this car and a 1966 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham–both true examples of American luxury sedans. Current designers of Chrysler and Cadillac automobiles should be required to study these greats from their heritage–but build them smaller, safer and with more quality–but keep the luxurious styling and design features!

    Like 11
    • Mike

      Hey RichOne! I drive a 1966 Fleetwood Brougham during the summer months! It always amazes me how nimble the car really is, and the attention to detail. This Imperial is just beautiful and I’d love to own it too. WHAT A CAR!!

      Like 8
  12. Del

    Last year for 413 was 1965. Next year it
    was 440.

    I love Imperials. This one is lovely.

    Not sure he will get asking price but it will command a good price.

    Like 4
  13. bowmad

    It would take a few years to pay off (depreciate) as a photographers business expense but this would be great for weddings/graduations.

    Like 3
  14. ben Burks

    Pristine

    Like 2
  15. Bill McCoskey

    I had one of the last Imperial Ghia limousines, [#9 of 10 built], equipped with a 1966 grill. I found it in 1992, it had done only 5700 miles, and was truly a silent car when at idle.

    This car’s leather seats, at under 10,000 miles, should look “as new”. The seating surfaces show wear patterns that suggest 20,000 to 25,000 miles. I suspect this was a trade in after a few years, and the dealer did a total refurbishment of the car, and as was the custom at the time [and not illegal] they reset the odometer to 0 miles.

    That said, this car is beautiful, and I wish it could be in my garage! [I miss my limo!]

    Like 2
  16. Chris R

    Absolutely pristine! Just want to say that I currently own a 64 Imperial Crown sedan with 32,000 original, documented miles….absolutely beautiful machine that drives like a dream….413 4 barrel, push button transmission….last year for that. Previously owned a 66 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham – purchased from the original owner with under 12,000 original miles. Both wonderful cars…..prefer the Imperial !!

    Like 2
  17. That Guy

    Ultra-low mileage claims need to be documented, especially when they are the basis for an OTT price tag.

    This is a gorgeous car, and based just on condition I’d guess a Barrett-Jackson price would be 20 G’s. Real world, $15K. I love Imperials of this era.

    Like 1
  18. Wrong Way

    Sorry guys, but I see one fault! It’s a Chrysler! Didn’t like them then, and don’t like it now! It’s just a piece of trouble to me! I have never owned a Chrysler product that didn’t have or wind up having to replace the tranny! They couldn’t build a tranny then and still can’t get it right! The car itself looks very nice! I see more miles on this car than claimed! Remember how easy it was to unhook the speedo cable on these early cars, and with the claimed mileage it darn sure wouldn’t already have stretched that leather seat! Just look at the driver seat! Sorry, but I am just being truthful! Most all the cars in my stable have leather! JMHO

    • mlm

      I have read several articles stating that the Torqueflite transmission was one of the best( if not the best) transmission in the auto industry hands down!

      Like 4
  19. Bill McCoskey

    Wrong Way,

    The Chrysler series 727 aluminum case Torqueflite transmission was one of the most bullet-proof automatic transmissions ever built, even with huge amounts of abuse they still didn’t go into total failure.

    I ran a large restoration shop for 30+ years, and did our own trans rebuilds. Over those years we never had a Torqueflite that needed a rebuild. NOT ONE. The only time we rebuilt one was if the owner wanted it done to a perfectly operating trans.

    That said, I have to add that Chrysler products of that time did have a couple of minor common problems: Starter motors, ignition ballast resistors, and the original Electronic Ignition modules tended to go with little warning, so I always kept one of each in those cavernous trunks. And on high mileage 318 V8 engines, the vinyl cam gear usually needed replacement at around 125,000 miles.

    In the 1970s & 1980s, most of the people I knew in the older car repair business, when towing a large travel trailer with a car instead of a pickup truck [due to having kids], used big MoPaR vehicles like Imperials or New Yorkers.

    If you owned a front wheel drive MoPaR minivan, that’s a different matter, as those early minivans had tranny problems. But the 727 transmission – It’s another reason why big Chrysler cars were in demand for demolition derby cars. I’ve seen those transmissions with a cracked & broken case that were still running in competition.

    Like 5
    • Ed P

      Bill, you are absolutely correct. I’ve had several 727 transmissions. I never changed the fluid and none of them ever failed.

      Like 1
    • Tony, Australia.

      Bill, you quote the aluminum as being the best 727, does that also apply to the cast iron case as well, in the earlier models, or did they have problems. Mine is a 62 with the cast iron case, never had a problem with it so far other than a minor fluid leak at the shift shaft seal ??

      • Ed P

        The cast iron Torqflite were a488.

      • Bill McCoskey

        Tony,
        If the alloy case 727 would be rated at 100, I believe the cast iron version would rate at about 98! The major difference is [of course] the weight. It’s damn near equal in performance and longevity in my opinion. And on the earlier versions it’s got the e-brake on the tailshaft, I never did like that arrangement, but that’s just a personal view, it still lived up to the famous high quality Chrysler engineering.

        The only one I ever had a problem with was in my 1956 Imperial sedan. The car was the actual Paris, France auto show car for Chrysler, assembled in France by Facel, and it had a pre-production 3-speed cast iron unit, and finding internal parts was almost impossible. So I had to fit a 1957 unit instead.

        I drove that car as my every day transportation all over Europe in the early 1970s. An interesting side note was the headgaskets; it had 3 headgaskets per head, to lower the compression to deal with poor quality fuel in 1950s Europe! And they NEVER leaked!

        Like 4
    • theGasHole

      +What Bill said. I have had many, many Chryslers over the years, never an issue with the 727, ever…whether at 10,000 miles or 120,000 miles.

      Like 2
  20. Del

    727 torque flite ruĺes !

    Best tranny ever

    Like 2
  21. Gordon & Jenny

    We own the orange 62 Crown 2 door Hardtop in the Related Finds page above. What a find! We’re getting a custom new interior, leather seats and wool carpets plus new door cards and vinyl, new hood lining etc. We’ve had the very minor rust spots removed with newly fabricated panels in 3 places (rear sill sand one front lower guard section). No rust anywhere else! It already had new Wilwood brakes, Edelbrock Carb, Wheel spacers ( to lose “pizza cutter” tyres look) and other upgrades. We had the steering box professionally rebuilt as it was shot.
    This car has massive character and the lines are stunning. We’ve “fixed” the stance so the front is lower than rear. Can’t wait till she’s finished.

    Like 2
  22. theGasHole

    What? No Mobile Director option? PASS. Just kidding this is an amazing car, if this is your type of ride (and I know it doesn’t suit everyone’s taste) then you know that to find one in this condition, at this price, saves you so much $ over getting one into this condition. Trim pieces and such are unobtanium these days. Price may be a tad high considering the (sad) lack of demand for IMPERIALS, however this one is a beauty.

    Like 2
  23. Bill McCoskey

    TheGasHole;
    As you probably know, but I’ll say it here for the GM, Ford & foreign car guys, The Mobile Director Chair option didn’t come out until 1967, and only on the Crown Coupes, not the sedans. In order to rotate the seat 180 degrees, it had to be a 2-door car, as the 4-door center post was in the way. To change the seat direction, it had to be done with the right door open.

    I found a wrecked MDC optioned Crown Coupe in the mid 1980s and tried my best to make the seat work in a New Yorker 4-door hardtop, but it was not possible. It was either mount it facing forward, mount it facing rearwards, or put the crown coupe rear fender and the right door on the sedan.

    Like 2
    • TheGasHole

      Hey there Bill long time no talk! Good to see/hear from you again. I always like to throw the Mobile Director thing out that just because most people don’t know what it is.
      I have seen a Mobile Director optioned Crown Coupe pop up for sale now and then on CL over here near Philly, but that’s the only one I’ve seen recently.
      I give you kudos for trying to fit a MD option into a New Yorker! Too bad that didn’t work out!

      Like 1
  24. DayDreamBeliever Member

    Drove by one of these on a 2-lane highway in central Ohio today. Shoe-polish “For Sale” in the windows.

    I didn’t have time to stop, but will be heading back that way later in the week…..

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