Big Bargain: 1964 Chrysler Imperial

The memories that go with old cars are often as interesting as the cars themselves. And any car that has been in the same family for 50 years will have some great memories attached to it.

Preston Brashear, the current owner of this well used 1964 Imperial four door, for sale on the Imperial Club classifieds, acquired it in 1974 when his father, who had himself purchased it as a used car in 1967, passed on.

Evidently unfazed by the high gas prices of that period, the Imperial was the owner’s daily driver for about 10 years. As he says in his ad, he met his wife in 1976, this was the car he drove on all their dates. They drove the car regularly until 1984, when it was parked and put away.

The car has been in North Texas continuously from 1967 to now. Mr. Brashear intended to restore this car, but points out that “Life got in the way.”

Mr. Brashear provides many photos and a lengthy description of the car’s current condition. A black on black car, the leather upholstery is in remarkably good condition for having been stored for so long.

Imperials were Chrysler’s top of the line luxury cars and had many modern features in the sixties. This car is powered by the standard 413 CID engine, features push button automatic transmission, and has the dual air conditioner.

It is also equipped with power steering, power brakes, auto pilot (cruise control), power bench seats, power windows, electric trunk release, and an AM FM radio.

According to the seller this Imperial has been repainted once in the early eighties and has very little rust showing. In my opinion, these mid-sixties Imperials are among the best looking cars of that decade, and carry their large size very well.

At the time it was parked the engine was running fine, but the transmission was inclined to slip before it got warmed up a bit.

The seller will include in the sale some extra parts pulled off a 1966 Imperial, including a front bumper, some extra glass and power window motors, and much more. While this car is solid and evidently quite complete, its many years of storage mean it will need quite a bit of work.

Mr. Brashear would like to see this car in the hands of someone who loves these big Imperials and wants to see it restored to running and driving condition.

As the seller says, “this is a complete car — nothing missing inside or outside.”

The car shows 96,317 miles on the odometer, and there seems no reason to doubt that claim.

Preston Breshear’s nice black Imperial, full of family memories, is currently garaged in Garland, Texas, a suburb of Dallas. While putting this car back into as new condition will be very expensive, this is a great starting point and the asking price is a very reasonable $700! Will one of our readers be getting a trailer ready for a drive to Garland sometime soon?

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Comments

  1. Jeffro

    Nice car. Hope it goes to a good home!

  2. Rock On Member

    Seems like a very fair price.

  3. Blyndgesser

    From the impeccable pen of Elwood Engel.

  4. Sam W

    Hope it goes to a good home and not to an idiot that will use for a mindless match of demolition derby.

    • Gary charlton Member

      Funny you mention demolition derby. Back in the 1970’s 4 people showed up at a demo derby in Abilene Kansas with Chrysler Imperials. The story goes that sometime in the wee hours of the next morning they declared all 4 of them winners and split the purse. Since then Imperials were banned at demo derbys in central Kansas.

    • Steve B

      Fortunately, the body on frame Imperials have long been banned from most demo derbies. I understand the dipsticks who still do the derbies mostly use Crown Vic’s nowadays. This Imperial would be the perfect vehicle to ride out the next apocalypse, in style.

  5. Bingo

    I’m tearing up from the story. I’m such a whimp. I have a similar story but 20 years newer. I’ll be talking to the seller tomorrow.

  6. Fred W.

    Have always loved these, and I’m not even a Chrysler guy.

  7. Kenny

    Seen a lot of these end up in demolition derbies. They’re built like tanks.

  8. grant

    Maybe nothing missing. I don’t see an air cleaner and a few other bits but maybe they’re in the car?

  9. Jerryl

    The Green Hornet mobile!

  10. Ed P

    $700 sounds like a bargain. Imperials never sold in big numbers, making this solid example very desirable for restoration.

  11. Stang1968

    I would think with this car being at complete as it is, with extra parts included, that the $700 entry point would leave plenty of room for a profit if you didn’t enjoy the car yourself. Only drawback to the resaler is it has four doors but to a family guy like myself that’s a plus.

  12. chad

    Finally, back to true BFs!
    Thnx 4 the post, David.

    Yes, a nice car, good project (& I do mean project!) but the price is right 4 da right guy. Start/clean/safety ck, drive as U restore…

    • Dave Wright

      It seemed to me there has been a run of junk lately……….

  13. stillrunners

    Had a running 65 Imperial covert in this condition – 1 owner – hard to sell even at $1500…think converts were somewhere around 450 made…..

  14. Gear Head Engineer

    If this was within 300 miles of me, I’d be on my way to pick it up now. And preparing to ask for forgiveness when I got home.

    – John

  15. Bill McCoskey

    Says the car has an AM/FM radio, however the first Mopar to have an AM/FM was the 65 Imperial & Chryslers. The 64 is a different face plate from the 65, so it won’t fit the 64. Perhaps they are confusing the signal seeking [with foot control] for an AM/FM. Or it’s an aftermarket radio.

    • Imperialist1960

      Bill, I disagree.

      I owned a 64 with AM/FM – it was introduced first across all lines in Imperial late in the model year.

      64-66 dashes interchange, and so do the radios. Doc Bullock had 150 Imperials on his property that he dis-assembled and hid in the stables out of spite regarding the building department’s decree that he get is cars off his property.

      The frames left, and some of the body parts too, but not much else until I got there.

      I had over 100 big blocks to sell, and wound up welding a boom with a winch, pulley, and grappling hook into the bed of my work truck to move and load them into customers’ trucks.

      I cleared that property on ebay 10 years ago over the course of 3 years, and sold through 150 cars’ worth of parts, making me a blackbelt on this arcane topic after getting wrung out by folks who inadvertently got the wrong parts due to my not knowing. 64/65 is gray dash – 66 is black, etc. 66 had revised trim, rear decklid, rear bumper, tail lights, and grille, for example. They changed the little stuff, but the body shell remained and that entire run 64-66 were well executed and seem to be about the most available for both surviving numbers and reasonable price because nobody’s hunting them – they all want Moby Dick, the finned whale version from a few years prior.

      You can see story and photos here – my apologies for the text formatting:
      http://imperialclub.com/Articles/DocsPlace/index.htm

    • Dave Wright

      Bill, There is a 56 Ghia limo ex presidential car for sale on the San Jose craigslist. Not bad looking…..3500.00

  16. CarNut from Winnipeg Member

    This one appears at Winnipeg area shows, if pic attaches.
    This Imperial is a couple years later, I thought 1968. Has a Viper V10 and there is a blower hidden in front of the motor, under the massive shroud. Modern interior, massive wheels, Wilwood brakes, tubbed rear, sounds insane.

  17. CarNut from Winnipeg Member

    Photo?

  18. Imperialist1960

    The 64’s are a total revision of the styling for Imperial, and since they were crisper and more “modern” in 1964 than the 1963’s had been in 1963, they sold “a lot” of 64-66 cars. Since they don’t have fins, they’re also undervalued and relatively uncollected. Had this been a finned Imperial 55-61, it might command a price ten times what this one is.

    These are rugged, high-quality cars that were one step removed from bespoke at the time. You could order all sorts of options and colors, and they were also well engineered, yet only sold about 10% of the sales volume in most years in comparison to Cadillac.

    If you’re nutty for an Imperial, and you’d be OK dropping $10k to bring this one out of the grave, you may be amazed to find out just how far that $10k will take you if you front load your expenses. This isn’t to say anything negative about today’s car – it’s actually my favorite color – the black really makes the chrome pop.

    Check out the club website that is attached to the classifieds link listed above. That website has 100,000 pages and is beyond anything else I’ve seen for any other marque. Lots to look at, and 20 years old, so it’s actually been called “retro” regarding its design and formatting.

  19. EU Broker

    Love this car, if I still lived in the states I’d be wiring the cash to one of my friends in Texas.

  20. Jubjub

    Classy. Lady up the street had one. She ran an interior design business housed in a totally funky building with a bubble window, fountain etc etc. The Imperial and her son in law’s Jeepster Commando looked appropriate in the parking lot.

    I’d be worried selling it. Still some all Imperial derbies.

  21. Governor

    I can picture Mr. Drysdale and Ms. Hathaway riding in this car!

  22. Harold Wood

    I’m about 50 miles away but just not a chrysler guy. But the price sure isn’t bad.

  23. Bryan

    Looks like a white Imperial hiding under that old black respray! Not surprising as a lot of Imperials were white…can’t blame the guy for changing the color.

    This car has lots of options (tilt, power locks, and power wing windows not mentioned); everything except autronic-eye, passenger side mirror, and vinyl top.

    In response to the comment regarding Imperial convertible production for 1964…there were just 922 made.

    I have a few Imperial convertible’s and prices can get steep depending on the quality of the restoration. I sold this rough 64 a couple of years ago for $5,000…rust free (some surface) but non running and needing everything; it was off the road for more than 30 years. The car was originally turquoise with black leather buckets and white top.

  24. erikj

    I got my drivers license in 1978 with g-mas 68 imperial. Never thought I would say I liked it. But now, proud to say I got a story to say!! I think it had a 440 in it, moved pretty good for a big car.

  25. Ryan Richards

    I now own this car. It will be put back on the road! Thanks Barn finds!

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Terrific, Ryan! We look forward to an update with pictures!

    • Dave Wright

      I have owned over a dozen of these and am doing a 1966 Convertible now. Great cars in every way. Good luck with the project. Values are on the upswing and will continue to increase. The yahoo imperial group is a good resource with lots of experianced old grey haired guys glad to help.

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