A Big Presence: 1964 Imperial


Pat L found this interesting Imperial listed on craigslist in Weatherford, Texas near Dallas. The $2,750 asking price sounds reasonable if the rust isn’t too bad. This is the second generation Imperial although it was restyled several times, including new styling for 1964 by Elwood Engel, the designer of the Lincoln Continental. This Imperial was last started a year ago so it might run, but the transmission and brakes don’t work. The pictures don’t reveal much but it looks complete and original except for the paint. The interior is said to be in nice shape, but there are no pictures. There’s also rust by the rear window.


That’s a busy layout of buttons, switches and gauges but there’s something missing above the speedometer leaving a bulb and wires hanging. The steering wheel is a different color and is missing the trim between it and the steering column.


The engine looks to be all there. It’s a 413 cubic inch with a pair of four-barrel carburetors and 375 horsepower. That’s a bunch of ponies but it has to haul over 5,000 pounds of car.


There’s a lot of surface rust showing underneath. Hopefully it’s all surface rust and that’s just undercoating pealing away.


This picture is out of focus and the car if covered in dirt, but the front looks complete and solid. This just might be a car that could be cleaned up and repaired as a great driver. It would take a close inspection to see if this Imperial is worth saving, but it’s an exciting prospect. More pictures would certainly have been nice. This Imperial is not for most people but for some it would be a grand old sled for the weekend trips and car shows.


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  1. Royal Ricci

    Any Mopar is worth saving. Especially an Imperial!!!

  2. The Walrus

    Is that a typo in the write up about a ‘pair of four-barrel carburetors’? Pretty sure it’s a standard, single 4-bbl 413.

    Like 1
  3. Ed P

    A pair of 4 bbl carbs must have made for a very hungry engine! The rust underneath needs further inspection, but this looks like a good car for restoration.

  4. Dave Wright

    I am doing a 1966 convertible right now and have owned many of these cars. Used a 65 Crown Coupe as a daily driver for most of the 80’s. Dual (cross ram 4bbls) carbs were never an option on the Imperials, but the 375hp rating is correct for the standard 413. I think my 66 440 is rated at an extra 5HP. These are magnificent cars that were rated as the best in the world by the top automotive writer at the time, Tom Cahill. They were also the last of the body on frame cars.

    Like 1
    • M B

      Normal 413s of that vintage were 340 horsepower, 360 with dual exhaust (and a marginally-warmer cam). The 440 (new for 1966) was 350 horsepower for the normal one and 365 horsepower for the Chrysler “TNT” with dual exhaust, which didn’t exist in Imperiai-land. 375 horsepower happened in 1967 for the 440 HP engines, but that one was not in Imperials, either.

      This car looks interesting, but has some questions.

      Respectfully . .

      Like 1
    • El Supremo

      I believe that was Tom McCahill.

      • Dave Wright

        I think you are correct………..

    • Bill McCoskey

      Dave — I’m so jealous — You’ve got a 66 Imperial Crown Convertible! I’ve always wanted one. Over the years I’ve had a ’64 convertible, a ’65 & ’66 Crown coupe, and a super rare 1965 Imperial Crown Limousine by Ghia of Italy [# 10 of 10 produced – the last Ghia Imperial limo], and also 2 ’67 Crown Coupes, one with mobile director’s seating.

      The next time you are watching TV and the Elephant Insurance commercial comes on [the one where the Elephant walks into the service facility with his female assistant following behind him], note the row of cars to the left in the picture, the one closest to the camera, and a little bit out of focus, is a gold colored ’64 to ’66 Imperial. I’ve been wondering why they picked that car to include in an insurance commercial for modern cars!

      • Jim Hegge

        I’ve got a couple 64 convertibles and a 65. Supposedly only about 200 64 convertibles left in the world. My dad was a very successful demo derby driver and that got him started collecting imperials!

  5. Pontiactivist

    I had one of these when I was young. Black w/ black top and maroon interior. Mine was single 4 barrel. Not many of these left anymore. Demolition derby ate up literally tons of these.

  6. Chas

    I have a much nicer example of this particular model which is available for sale at a reasonable price.
    My Imperial is the more elegant and more desireable 1966 model with the more beautiful headlight assemblies behind a clear rectangular lense. It is black with a red leather upholstery.
    It has no rust, and is a running, driving car that looks fabulous, not perfect, but very, very nice. It is currently registered and drives and stops great. It is extremely reliable, and is ready to enjoy driving immediately.
    If you wanted to make it perfect, there are a few things that could be done, but it needs nothing except an enthusiastic drivert o enjoy as is!
    I also have an incredible 1962 Crown Imperial in white with black leather upholstery. This amazing car features Virgil Exner’s “Forward Look” with huge fins, huge wraparound front and rear greenhouse winscreens, push button automatic transmission, and electroluminescent instrument panel.

    Like 1
    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      Please don’t post your for sale cars in the comments Chas. You can submit it to be featured on the site though if you like. Thanks.

      Like 1
      • Chas

        Sorry Jesse,
        I didn’t realize that this was inappropriate. I apologize and would be happy to delete the posts but I don’t know how to do that. Can you delete these posts for me.
        I did get two inquiries, and if I were to sell to either of these parties, I would be happy to pay an appropriate commission to the site. However, the more I look at the photos and read the comments, I am thinking that I may prefer not to see my Imperials.
        If I do decide to sell them, I will list them here and I will do it in the proper way.

      • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

        That’s alright Chas. Just think how much interest you’d get if the car was on the homepage! Thanks.

  7. Chas

    Photo of my two Imperials available for sale!

  8. Chas

    One more try! How do you post photos on this site?

  9. jeff6599

    Hi guys! Remember me from last night? Dual four barrel carburetors were not available that year and a quick look at the air cleaner shows that this is only a single four barrel carburetor engine, which, by the way, is rated at 340 HP, not 375.

    Like 1
  10. That Guy

    This car is actually priced a little on the high side for its condition. It doesn’t seem like that should be the case, but the market price for these cars is oddly low, especially by comparison with comparable Lincolns and Cadillacs. Maybe that will change eventually. Imperials are arguably better-built cars, and certainly more rare. I really don’t have any explanation for why their values are so low.

  11. Bryan

    This A/C Imperial has tilt wheel and AM/FM radio…both new options for 1964. Another first year option for the coupes and convertibles were headrests (which this car doesn’t appear to have).

  12. Chas


    Like 1
    • Ed P

      Now that is my kind of car!

      Like 1
  13. Chas

    Finally figured out how to post these photos of our 1966 and 1961 Imperials!
    See my post above for dscriptions of these two imcredible Imperials.

  14. Chas

    And one more with both cars in it!

    • Dave Wright

      My 59 was much like your 61. Next to the convertibles, I love the 4 Door hard tops.they are wonderful formal people movers. There were very few changes undercarriage in these years even though the body went through the big redesign in 1964.

    • Tom Driscoll

      Please share prices?

  15. Bingo

    We need the thumbs down…PLEASE?

  16. Richard Douglass

    These old imperials are grand old cars that were top of the line in their day,and still are!! Why they are so underpriced compared to Cadillac or Lincoln, I don’t know,but I’m enjoying my 1960 I picked up last spring (for $4000) like it’s worth a million. I put over 2500 sweet miles on this cruiser.

    Like 1
    • Dave Wright

      It looks like a sedan…….I think they are a bit more rare than the 4 door hardtop’s

    • Ed P

      I think the Imperials low sales were due to them being perceived as an “also ran” and of poor quality due to their association with Chrysler Corp. Chrysler built high quality cars until the ’57s hit the street and put an end to that. I don’t think that CC’s reputation ever completely recovered from that period.

      • Dave Wright

        Imperial sales were low because they were very expensive compared with there competitors

  17. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Owned 1956’s up to 1974…..put many a mile on my 1968 crown coupe…..a little over 50,000……..sadly a lawyer got it as partial payment for fighting code compliance…..had a covert – 1965 – had to buy all his cars to get it….one owner….but still hard to sell a mopar over a bowtie or fomoco….

  18. ChasJustGottaComputer

    @Chas – the giant red button at the top of the page that says “Sell Your Car” is how you go about posting your cars for sale *and* letting the person hosting the site get something for putting you in touch with your buyer. This is how it works everywhere. Welcome to the internet.

    • Chas

      I am so sorry. I didn’t realize that it was inappropriate to post this in the coments section.
      I am happy to delete these posts but I do not know how to do it. If the moderator can delete them, I am fine with that.
      I am also happy to pay the site if I sell to a buyer through the site.

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