BF Auction: 1960 Imperial Crown

Sold for $2,000View Result

  • Seller: Sylvan K irby
  • Location: Dayton, Washington
  • Mileage: 105,977 Shown
  • Chassis #: 9204112615
  • Title Status: Clean

Of all the designs to debut for the 1960 model year, the Imperial Crown might just be the most radical and impressive. The Imperial line was Chrysler’s pinnacle of luxury and they really were impressive machines, but clearly, they felt they needed a car that truly stood out in the sea of luxury cars. If the wild front-end chrome work didn’t get the job done, the massive fins in the back did! Unfortunately, there aren’t many of these give Mopars still around. The example seen here has been hiding in a barn for the past 30 years and just recently emerged from storage. The seller has decided that it is time to part ways with it and has listed it as a Barn Finds Auction! It’s located in Dayton, Washington, and will need to be picked up by mid to late October.

This car belonged to the seller’s parents and they remember riding in it as a child. Sadly, now that their parents have passed away, it simply doesn’t make sense to keep the car any longer. It is in need of restoration work to get it back on the road. The body is said to be solid, but the seller admits there are a few areas starting to show some corrosion. The worst area seems to be along the rear window, which is a common problem area. The doors are also starting to show some rust issues. Thankfully, neither area appears to be rusted through and can hopefully be treated without any major work. The seller was unable to get photos of the underside, but when the car was being extracted from the barn the tow truck operators remarked on how rust-free the undercarriage was. Hopefully, that really is the case.

When this car was built, luxury wasn’t defined simply by covering every surface with leather. To be a luxurious automobile, the vehicle needed to be spacious, stately, high-tech, and well-constructed. These are all words that would describe the Imperial Crown. While you could get leather upholstery, it wasn’t an option that defined it as being luxurious. It was features like cruise control, air conditioning, push-button transmission, and shiny metal trim work that let you know you were riding in something special. This example came with all those features and a grey fabric interior. The cloth was starting to show some wear when the seller was a child and they remember their mother getting out their handy sewing machine to make custom fit seat covers. The covers are still in place and look to have held up to the decades well. There’s no word how the original upholstery looks underneath, but hopefully, it is still in decent condition.

Power was provided by Chrysler’s 413 cui V8. It’s a dependable and powerful powertrain, so hopefully that means getting it running again will be an easy task. According to the seller, it was driven into the barn all those years ago, so there’s a good chance it will run. When new, this engine was good for 350 horsepower and 525 foot-pounds of torque. Given the nearly 5k-pound curb weight, you needed every ounce of that to get this machine up to speed in a timely manner. A look at the engine bay reveals a complete engine, but unfortunately, thieves managed to break into the car and still the radiator. That seems like a rather odd item to steal, but thankfully that appears to be the only item to have gone missing from the engine bay. The seller was able to read part of the engine number but is unsure if the final number is a 6 or an 8. The first six digits are 184554, so hopefully this is the original engine.

While the thieves were at it, they also stole the grille, the badges, and a few pieces of trim. While it’s a huge bummer that the original gille one is gone, since it’s such an iconic part of this car’s look, used replacements are available to buy and will set you back around $400. The badges are being reproduced, so the only pieces that might be difficult to find are the missing pieces of body trim. The tail light lenses, tail light orbit rings, and the remaining side trim appear to all be in nice usable condition. Someone also attempted to break into the trunk but was unsuccessful and left the lock damaged to the point that even a locksmith was unable to get it open. The seller’s father had removed the hubcaps from his cars when he put them into storage and placed them in the trunk, so hopefully those are still present and waiting to be reinstalled.

If you’ve never seen one of these Imperials in person, photos don’t really do them justice. Between their size, unique body lines, and impressive trim work, they really are fascinating to look at. This one is going to need work, but it does look to be solid and should prove to be an interesting project to tackle. The parts supply is surprisingly good, so getting it back on the road shouldn’t be all that challenging. The real challenge will be finding a garage large enough to house it! So if you have the space for it and have been hunting for a unique barn find, be sure to bid. Don’t hesitate to leave any questions you have in the comments section.

Bid On This Vehicle

Sold for: $2,000
Register To Bid
Ended: Oct 3, 2023 10:30am MDT
Winner: Dougdog (Sold)
  • Dougdog bid $1,750.00  2023-10-02 20:46:10
  • LaSalle
    bid $900.00  2023-10-01 07:23:49
  • Andreas1986
    Andreas1986 bid $600.00  2023-10-01 07:07:22
  • LaSalle bid $500.00  2023-09-26 09:13:09
  • Rapternack
    bid $250.00  2023-09-25 11:42:55


  1. Joe S.

    Could be a real blessing to the right, motivated person. Great potential.

    Like 16
  2. Fonkus

    Space age! Looks awesome in black.
    The steering wheel alone might be worth buying the whole car

    Like 7
    • Chuzz Pat

      My dad had a 62 with the 413 and that things would fly. He bought it from a guy who couldn’t get it running for $100. The guy had the distributor wired backwards. Dad told me to swap the wires while he talked to the guy. I did and he cranked it up and drove it home. The look on the guys face was hilarious!

      Like 2
    • RJK

      It’s really a shame for someone else decided to just go in the barn and take what was not theirs.If you have never seen one of these in action check out early episodes of the Beverly Hillbillies. The Drysdales next door always drove Imperials, and I saw this model on the early episodes.

      Like 1
  3. Rex Kahrs Rex Kahrs Member

    The photos cast doubt on the assertion that the car has been hiding in a barn for the last 30 years.

    The photos of the freshly-rinsed (and still wet) car clearly indicate that it has been sitting outdoors for quite some time. I’d guess that it’s been out there for a decade, judging by the sunken tires. It’s a shame that it wasn’t stored in the barn, because fixing all that rust is gonna cost a fortune, to say nothing of the mechanical re-commissioning.

    Like 18
    • Sylvan Member

      To be more specific, this Imperial was flat-bedded with its mostly flat tires out of barn as described and pictured onto the field in August of 2022. True enough, the terms “recent” and “for quite some time” are pretty vague.

      Like 3
      • Sylvan Member

        The tow team had portable air compressor, and we filled what tires we could that would hold air even long enough to help get this one and other vehicles rolled/towed out. That was quite a trick getting them all out in one day.

        Like 3
    • RJK

      You have to pay attention to what you’re looking at and reading. The inside photos clearly show it residing in the barn and the surface rust present is indicative of one sitting in such a place. Clearly the outdoor picture is of a rinse off vehicle.

      Like 3
  4. eric22t

    while i have never been a fan of fin cars, i can see the beauty here. and that 413… omg nearly diesel class power curve. that alone would make her a candidate for me.

    and rex i think you may be right, though to play the devils advocate… maybe it took that much water in the already soft ground behind the barn to get her clean, lol

    Like 7
    • Sylvan Member

      A plug here for Kyle’s Towing of Dayton, WA, their crew managed to extract four vehicles and two trailers including this dusty Imperial from a remote dry barn on August 16, 2022. Will attempt to attach a photo or two, photos may show up later in this thread. (I’m still figuring out what file size/type to use and how to place them in this thread).

      At the time neither the tow crew members or I thought to photograph the undercarriage.

      Like 1
      • Sylvan Member

        Kyle’s Towing of Dayton, WA did the honor of vehicles extractions Aug !6, 2022 – four vehicles and two trailers.

        Like 1
  5. Joe

    The missing radiator is also found in the New Yorker, and this era had a 2 piece metal fan shroud. The best design ever for shrouds.
    The fibreglas fan was so useless in these full size cars.
    The easiest door handles to break.
    That steering wheel, if perfect, could bring almost $1,000. alone.
    Chrome grips at 9 and 3 on wheel, better be pit free. I had these steering wheels NOS before.
    I have the wheel NOS, but the standard almost square wheel.
    60, I am pretty sure, is the only year Imperial offered 2 steering wheels.
    Some people were not ready for the Flat, or square wheel.
    It also has Auto Pilot, the best cruise control system I ever used.
    I have around 400,000 miles driving my 59 and 61 Imperials.

    Like 17
  6. Zen

    Neat car, with knee-knocker A/C, power windows and a big block 413. These were so elegant. Those days are gone forever, now everything looks and feels the same, you can’t tell them apart. I hope it finds a good home, gets restored or what it needs to be enjoyed for what it is. I’d love to cruise around in such style and class.

    Like 9
  7. Steve

    I try to ‘watch’ this auction and get “Your entry appears to be spam.”

    Like 5
  8. Mountainwoodie

    I had the ’63 Imperial in the late Eighties, two tone. Elwood Engel design if my memory serves me. While it was the modernized finless ( more or less) version of the Imperial, it had the 413 under the hood. These are fabulous cars but demand commitment and a hefty bankroll. I hope someone saves it.

    Like 11
    • Tony C

      Actually, ’63 was the last facelift of an Exner design. Although Engel replaced him in CY ’61, the designs for cars up to ’63 were already finalized, after a political upheaval within the corporation that cost Exner and his boss Colbert their jobs (unfairly). But Engel admired Exner’s knack for design. When he arrived at Chrysler, he was given a tour of the prototype showrooms and was overheard saying, “These are good-looking cars. What’s the big deal?”

      Engel’s influence began with the ’64 models, which looked like facelifted Lincolns for several years (naturally, considering the last job Engel held).

      Like 6
      • Rex Kahrs Rex Kahrs Member

        Elwood’s design paradigm persisted at Ford long after he was gone. Just compare a ’64 Mercury Monterey and the ’65 New Yorker…the side profiles are nearly identical, with both cars having the skegs out back. Surprising there wasn’t a lawsuit in there somewhere.

        Even the interior designs have similarities…the upholstery buttons are identical in design and layout!

        Like 5
      • Mountainwoodie

        Interesting. I always thought pre internet that it was a Engel design :) Live and learn :) My ’63 Lincoln was an Engel (I think)(I hope :)

        When you consider the over sized style-less tanks that “important” politicians and celebrities drive today, the’57 Ghia ( Chrysler Imperial) that Governor Pat Brown of California had, really puts a fine point on it.

        Like 2
  9. Rtdreep Member

    What a gorgeous dashboard design, especially the gauge cluster. To me, that’s the mark of excellent automotive artistry.

    Like 8
    • John E. Klintz

      And, Rtdreep, it was Electroluminescent, nearly thirty years before the original Lexus LS 400 gave us such an instrument cluster. WAY ahead of its time!

      Like 3
  10. Bill Hall

    Rust shouldn’t be a big issue. Dayton WA is in a very dry climate.

    Like 4
  11. David Timberlake

    Nice Imperial Radiator theft: a sign of the times. Reason bandit Meth/Drug makers rip them off and use as process heat exchangers in their illicit trade. I looked at a early ‘50’s Packard convertible last month that had been similarly marred. Replacement cost? $1,000.

    Recommend posting this auction to :
    Members will salivate when they see this one!

    Like 2
  12. Doremonger Member

    Isn’t this an Imperial LeBaron? A neighbor of mine has a one family owned 1960 w/ A/C and I saw it on Saturday. The fins rival the ’59 Cadillac for the pinnacle of the fin age.

    Like 3
    • Robert PITTMAN

      The LeBaron had a smaller, squarish, limousine style rear window. It looked classy, but was just the regular wrap around window with a smaller frame attached to the glass and smoothed with filler to meet the surrounding window frame. As they aged, cracking putty revealed the original size of the window.

      Like 1
    • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

      This is the base Imperial 4-door sedan. he LeBaron had a smaller rear window and a more upscale interior, usually all leather.

      Dave Timberlake is likely correct, that radiator was grabbed for it’s scrap value, and because it’s a very large and heavy unit, and all brass & copper, a cheap scrap “no questions asked” price will probably be over $300.

      Like 2
  13. HC Member

    I’d rather have the 4 door hardtop version than this sedan, but she cleaned up nicely. What a shame about the stolen radiator which will be hard and expensive to find., along with condensor and fan shroud. Hopefully it won’t take much to get her mechanically sound and running again. Good find.

    Like 2
  14. Allen Member

    I had one of these – rescued it from a West Virginia barn circa 1980. But mine was a Southampton four-door hardtop – white with green interior. It came out of “storage and fired right up. The 413 could really push you deep into the seats. AND THAT DASHBOARD AT NIGHT was a veritable light show! Absolutely stunning – like nothing I’ve ever seen before or since. I’d go out to the car at night, turn on the parking lights and just gaze at the dash! By itself, easily wortht the 600 1980 dollars I paid for the car. Unfortunately, I found myself in a divorce a few months later and it was the only car I had. While it worked perfectly with only routine maintenance, at 20 years old, it was not exactly a practical daily driver, nor was it very economical to run – at a time when I had t watch my expenses very carefully.

    So the Imperial got traded for a ’73 Volvo 164 – another wonderful car and another great story. But oh how I wish I could have kept that Imperial.

    Like 4

    Electroluminescent instrument panels were used on the 60 thru 63 Chryslers and Imperials. Hidden light bulbs at the front base of the instrument panel projected onto specially painted numbers and hands, resulting in an iridescent glow.

    Like 5
    • Mr. Exner's Ghost

      HA! EL lighting glows in and of itself and has zero light bulbs – works on 400watts. Is a special, space age gizmo that once seen is unforgettable, but no on the light bulb idea.

      Like 2
      • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

        You are correct, each gauge pointing needle had a tiny bare copper wire attached to it’s base. All the wires were run to a special transformer to up the voltage. When I was repairing & restoring cars with this system 30-40 years ago, I used to buy every 60-63 E. L. dash cluster & transformer I could find in junkyards, especially the Moonscape ones, but they were often already gone because people liked to display them on a shelf ’cause they were so cool lookin’.

        As I had an electronics engineering education, I became fairly good at repairing the gauge wires and transformers, as they were not available new or repaired. I have heard that today somebody does repair them, but don’t know the particulars.

        Like 1
      • Chris Roe

        Chrysler used it on the 1966-67 Dodge Charger.

        Like 0
  16. Sylvan Member

    Report that came in this pm from one of the guys on the tow/extraction team is that he was able to hand turn the engine at the time. Yay, good to hear, I believe him.

    This Imp was extracted in August 2022 after decades spent in a dry barn. See the pic with all the fluffy dust blotting out her color! Thereafter in field she was lightly and gradually washed, not scrubbed, of the vast majority of bird droppings, and interior was vacuumed removing decades of dry mouse droppings. That particular locksmith was unable to get into the trunk (he’d owned his business a few years, skill sets can vary) so I expect one will find an island of four neatly stacked hubcaps in a half-inch deep spread of dry mouse poo. This was the case in another of Mom’s/Dad’s other vehicles we were able to get into. She definitely smells a lot better after light cleaning and airing out. My wheels would be sagging, too, if I’d spent 30+ years contemplating with all the critters in a remote barn. I put car cover on for the winter. And yes, she photographed well dripping wet on a hazy day.

    Like 3
  17. Alan R Henry

    When I had my 1963 LeBaron, I went to a car show with a lady who had a ’63 Crown four door. I don’t remember whose car we went in though. I found a ’60 LeBaron identical to this car. Of course that one was like showroom new. It’s a shame this one is a victim of theft and vandalism. Hopefully some Imperial fan will give this a second chance at being a show piece.

    Like 3
  18. Joe

    1960 Imperials last sedan use until 1967. 1961-1966, all hardtops, no sedan configuration except for Limos.
    Of the Imperials I had, I had 2 1959 sedans, a LeBRon and a Crown.
    The Crown, I found some goodies in the drivers door armrest-map compartment.
    The original Monroney Label, (Window Sticker). That was soooo cool to find.
    Plus, old maps marked for various cross country trips. Was a factory Pink car.

    Like 1
  19. HC Member

    Looking again, at least the thieves left the dryer and condenser alone but radiator and shroud will be hard to find. Many factories have stopped making oem replacements. At least the theives didn’t damage its engine and its components. Definitely looks like a dealer installed AC system. There may be some hope getting it running again without too much trouble.

    Like 3
  20. Tony C

    One thing I admired about the “Forward Look” Imperials was their pioneering the use of curved side glass, which gave them a more modernized look, a step ahead of any other luxury competitor. Engel took a cue from that when he designed his T-Bird concept car that ultimately became the clap-door Lincoln. That one piece of styling would help rewrite auto designing to this day. How many vehicles built today have flat side glass…and of those, how many sell well? Point made.

    The year of this car is one of my top-two favorite years of Imperial (’67 being the other), and if I could I’d likely snatch this one up and restore it. One thing that would be hard to get used to, though, would be the turn-signal control, which they mounted on the dash as opposed to the column. Even reviewers back in the day scratched their heads on that.

    Like 3
    • Sylvan Member

      Ahh … if it helps at all to decide on a bid, the reserve price is pretty modest. I’m clearing out an estate in Washington state. Winning bidder would have to pick it up sometime in mid to late October.

      Like 1
    • HC Member

      I agree, the slab sided sharp finned 60s designs of Lincolns sold many cars for Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury. And early/mid 60s Imperials and Chryslers did the same. Timeless classic designs

      Like 1
  21. Rex Kahrs Rex Kahrs Member

    $1750 was the top bid. Now they’re asking $8500. Yowza.

    Like 0
    • HC Member

      The sellers didn’t get what they wanted, at $1750, but now we know that the reserve price really is $8500, when they start another auction. That’s not outrageous for this car.

      Like 2
      • Rex Kahrs Rex Kahrs Member

        8500 for this car isn’t outrageous? Well, I guess you can’t fault a guy for trying.

        Here again is my ’65 New Yorker , exactly as I bought it 2 years ago for $3600. Many of you have seen my ’67 Newport Custom that I bought for $1250 four years ago. And there’s my 63 Riviera I bought 4 years ago for 6K.

        I don’t over-pay.

        Like 1
  22. Sylvan Member

    Just now checking back. I have not authorized BF to post a $8,500 asking price post auction, I’m assuming error by staff member there. Will do what I can to contact BF. When I first subscribed to BF few weeks ago I originally posted classified ad asking for $8,000. BF staff then contacted me asking if I would consider posting this (I assumed instead?) for auction, which I accepted. I assumed this auction option would wipe out the first attempt at placing ad. Could be something automated happened.

    The reserve price set for this auction run that just finished this morning today was $2,000, contingent on buyer completing the deal and hauling Imperial away in mid to late October 2023.

    Yes, from other feedback of enthusers not of this website of undetermined knowledge of ’60 Imperials I get impression that $8000 for this ones particular condition would not be absurdly out of line. However, I am keeping in mind that bidders are offering sight unseen, so I get that caution is heavily warranted.

    Unknown to me how long BF allows this comment thread to continue, I may not be able to make future comments/replies.

    At the moment on the fly I’m considering ‘Make Offer’ responses, but not for long if I do. I am motivated to get the estate closed and keeping the hassle factor down.

    I have really enjoyed all the comments, expert opinions and insights shared, reminisces and the overall upbeat enthusiasm in this thread. The write up by the BF staff was polished and impressive, while reading their draft I was tempted to cancel the whole thing and keep the Imp in the family!

    Like 1
  23. Rex Kahrs Rex Kahrs Member

    Here’s the $1250 Newport Custom, the photo was taken about a month after I bought the car.

    Like 0
    • HC Member

      Those prices aren’t realistic in today’s market IMO. Maybe you bought from someone who was distressed in selling it. But those aren’t average prices or valuations. $6000 for the 63 Riviera is also a little light on price, and a great looking car. I paid ‘6500 for a 65 Mercury Marauder 5 yrs ago and thought I stole it.

      Like 1
  24. Rex Kahrs Rex Kahrs Member

    Finally, the $6000 ’63 Riviera. Opportunity favors the prepared mind.

    Like 1
  25. HC Member

    I regards to this 60 Imperial, the fact that it’s not a running, driving and stopping car, means someone may get for a lesser price because the buyer is gambling how much it will take to get in those conditions and all the work needs to get it there.

    Like 1

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