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BF Success Story: 1961 Imperial Southampton

There’s nothing better than hearing from a happy Barn Finds Reader that listed and sold their classic right here! A little while back, we listed John’s 1961 Imperial as an Exclusive, you can view his ad here. It didn’t take long for him to find a buyer and both parties are happy with how everything worked out. John was so happy with his results that he sent us photos of the Imperial heading off with its new owner to share with his fellow Readers!

From John C – It took a few more days than expected, as the new owner got a brief bug that kept him down on the first appointed day (Monday), but yesterday, he sent a friend up from CT, with a small bag of fresh Franklins, to collect the 61 Imperial. The Barn Finds listing generated twenty (20) responses in just two days (including two from prior car-quaintances!) and sold to the third respondent.  I did take time to call or write back to all, though. Anyway, I spent Monday rolling the car out, rinsing it off, then collecting all the disassembled pieces and packing them into the car.  We loaded it on the trailer last evening and away she went. 

Because I have still my convertible ’61 , the siren that stole me away from finishing the hardtop; the buyer and I – who live just two hours apart – have agreed to get together again when he has the hardtop back together, for a finned reunion of sorts.  Pix of the loaded car (in both senses) and a reminder shot of his soft-top stablemate, are attached.  Also, one of my Soft-top (aka NO XQS). 

Thanks again guys – a real success for the Barn Finds team and me – John & Sue C –

I want to thank John for listing his Imperial with us and for sending us photos of it shipping out! Hopefully, the new owner will keep us posted on their progress as they get this sweet machine back on the street. Personally, I look forward to seeing photos of the Finned Reunion. Congrats to both John and the buyer on this one!

You can list your classic car for sale here on Barn Finds for just $50!


  1. Jose Cantu

    What a beautiful he-she combination.

    Like 5
    • Johnny Gibson

      Now I see where I went wrong in my relationship.

      Like 1
      • Douglas Fournier Member

        I snoozed and I loosed. Wanted this one BAD but didn’t move fast enough. Keep em coming Barn Finds. Frisky Sport ??

        Like 2
  2. John H

    This was so tempting to a lot of people – even if our eyes proved to be bigger than our garages!

    That fortunate new owner now has the largest Monogram kit on the planet. “Step 176…..use a 3 ton jack to insert tab “A” into slot “B”…..”

    Congratulations to everyone and best of luck with that assembly. It’s going to be a show stopper once done.

    Like 5
  3. jmolsn Member

    Well that buyer was me! The barn find guys have found me quite a few cars over the years!! Its the biggest puzzle that I’ve ever attempted to put back together that I didn’t take apart. Had the engine running for a few minutes so that’s huge! Sorting the parts and removing smells of mouse residence has kept me busy. It will be a long process but Im looking forward to it being on the road again. Thanks John and the Barnfind guys!!

    Like 16
    • Josh Mortensen Staff

      Congrats jmolsn! Please keep us posted on your progress with the Imperial!!!

      Like 5
  4. Joe Machado

    My favorite all time Imperials. 1961’s. John, is the convert, the Dick Hamman car from San Diego? The Calif license was 61 IMP.
    If so, when it was finished in the early 80’s, the front end was hit bad. Forgot actual story, but I had a one piece front fender assembly. Sold it at Carlisle in the early 90’s.
    If it is same car, I have a clipping of it featured in Krause publications back in Dec, 15, 1988. Erik Baltzar took pic. Show was 5 miles from me. 166 classics that show. I showed 2 cars. A 61 LeBaron and a 69 Daytona. I would send the clipping if it is yours. I had over 500 NOS Steering Wheels. No Imperial wheels left, except the 1960 black.

    Like 0
    • John Corey Member

      No, Joe. I bought the soft-top in North Carolina in 2004. It was originally a Seattle car, but had been bought about 1996 by a doctor in NC. i still have the early registrations from Seattle. The restoration work was total – every nut and bolt as well as a complete strip to steel. There was only minor damage to the rear panel around the gas filler, nothing bad up front. You may recall my inquiry for a green steering wheel for this Southampton – but you had none.

      Like 2
  5. On and On On and On Member

    Am I being picky but why would anyone load a huge car on a trailer backwards? Looks like a potential dangerous fishtail ready to happen, due to lack of balanced tongue weight. Was the engine in the trunk?

    Like 4
    • John Corey Member

      As Joe noted: this was a car that had not started in more than 10 years. Also, the pavement was too small to allow a turn-around, and horsing these big girls around without power steering active is a real work-out. No, the engine was not in the trunk – it was right where it belongs, and there is no crime to loading forward or backward, so long as the weight is properly balanced. The one added safety concession for this load was to tie the opposing doors together with wire, rather than trust the latches to keep them shut.

      Like 3
      • On and On On and On Member

        I figured there was a good reason, plus as you said it was only a 2 hour drive. Tying the doors was super smart, I will remember that one. Congratulations on a nice buy, many miles of smiles to you.

        Like 4
  6. Joe Machado

    Fair enough question on why its loaded backwards.
    Did not start in garage.
    Too hard or impossible to turn around.
    Or, trailer length dictated to load backwards.
    Tow vehicle would not sit level after loading it with just enough tongue weight. Or, planning ahead to unload so as to slip right into next garage.
    I have had to load vehicles in 55 years with many reasons. Why it would be loaded a certain way.
    But yes, weight distribution is critical.
    There are tons more reasons why it would be loaded a certain way.

    Like 5
  7. Little_Cars

    It’s not easy being green.

    Like 4
  8. TimM

    To many doors!!

    Like 0
  9. Tom Wasney

    Both beautiful Imps, used to try to talk my father in to buying one. Was a mopar man a long time, was getting rid of his 57 Windsor sedan but ended up getting a 60 Windsor sedan instead… Always got used autos, then eventually did buicks… Poor guy finally got his first new car, a 71 skylark, then passed away in 72…

    Like 1

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