Lincoln Fighter: 1964 Imperial Crown

1964 Imperial Crown

It’s understandable if you initially mistook this car for a Lincoln. The resemblance is uncanny, but there is reason for that. See, Chrysler had just lured Elwood Engel away from Ford and he was the man responsible for the design of the fourth generation Lincoln Continental. The Imperial was Chrysler’s top of the line luxury machine and while earlier models had been adorned with big fins, the 1964 redesign was a bit more subtle. This particular example is claimed to have been in the hands of the original owners until just recently when it was purchased from their grandchild. The new owner had plans to build a Green Hornet car, but luckily they changed their mind. It’s not perfect, but if you are in the market for a classic luxury car, then it is definitely worth a look. Find it here on eBay out of Gilbert, Arizona.

Luxury accommodations

Ford had Lincoln. Chevy had Cadillac. And Chrysler had Imperial. They all fought fiercely for market share in the luxury automobile market and although the former brands may have won the war, these Imperials were quite impressive. Some features here include power windows, power locks, AM radio with power antenna, air conditioning, push-button automatic transmission, power bench seat, and the list goes on and on. Chrysler’s own version of cruise control, called Auto-Pilot, was available on these cars, but it looks like this one is fitted with an aftermarket setup. The Auto-Pilot option may have just looked like a dial, but it was actually pretty trick. It could be set to maintain your cruising speed and would cancel out when the brake was applied, but it could also act as a speed limit warning! You can read more about all the available options here on Imperial Club.

Chrysler 413

This car may make a great driver, but it’s not as original as the owner suggests. The upholstery has been redone in a red velour and there’s ample evidence of a respray. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth picking up though. You could always focus on the mechanicals and drive it around as-is. Current values probably wouldn’t justify a full restoration anyway. And as long as you’re okay with the large quantities of gasoline that the engine is likely to consume, I can’t see any reason why this couldn’t make a very comfortable daily driver. You wouldn’t have any problem keeping up with traffic because that 413 cubic inch V8 put out 340 horsepower and 470 foot-pounds of torque! You might want to upgrade that puny master cylinder to something with dual circuits though.

Then again, you could just build yourself a Green Hornet car…

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. Alan (Michigan )

    The cars which were banned from many demolition derby venues. Just too big, and so nearly indestructible. They were way too difficult for competitors to disable.

  2. David G

    Uh-oh, this car’s talking to me. Very substantial solid cars, have done lots of work on them for others lately and have noticed that they’re pretty impressive to work on AND drive, truly a Chrysler Corp flagship-quality automobile. But you’re right about the use-it-as-is thing. It’d require REALLY-amazing passion for the car itself (not its market value) motivating you to endure a full cosmetic restoration of it and i’m not sure i have all of that. Still, a pretty neat example here..

  3. Charlie G

    I love these cars. I grew up on them in an ALL MOPAR family. Imperials; Newport’s; Road Runners; Chargers; Satellites, 1939 Plymouth ‘C’ series pickup. It didn’t matter. If I can ever afford another one of these, the list would be simple, but not cheap;

    UPGRADE the brakes from DRUM to DISC.

    UPGRADE the A/C to R134 specs. By dumping that RV2 compressor, you’re losing almost 35 pounds of weight. Running a newer Sanyo setup also reduces the drag on the engine.

    UPGRADE to an ALL ELECTRONIC firing system. Chrysler has had these kits in their inventory since the late 1970’s. Look under the MOPAR Performance label or the ORIGINAL ‘DIRECT CONNECTION’ from someones NOS attic storage.

    Beef Up the rear spring assembly for a little better ride. Add an additional MAIN leaf with the mounting ears removed.

    Over the past 53 years of working on and driving MOPAR’s, I’ve learned the little tricks to make them that much better.

    And a big advantage. Try and locate a copy of the YELLOW Chrysler Performance Racing Manual from the 1970’s. The data gleaned from that book can be used on a streetable car or truck.

  4. The Walrus

    Imperials are king! I liked how you referred to GM as ‘Chevy’, too! ;)

  5. JW454

    Nice car but I don’t care for the fabric used on the seats in the reupholster effort.

    I wonder what this land yacht weighs? I’m also thinking it would get about 7~8 MPG on a good day running with the wind.

    • Ed P

      About 5,000 lbs.

  6. skloon

    Just what I need to haul my Airstream, oh yeah the Airstream too- I seem to remember that these used CV joints in the driveshaft for smoothness I love it the way it is, except the dash and seats

    • JW454

      Yes, the seats remind me of those “Elvis on velvet” paintings from the seventies.

  7. Wayne

    I used to think the sun rose and set on Cadillac till I bought my first Imperial, a 65 for 100.00! The owner said it was the crusher or me. I’ve been hooked on these boats now for over 205 years. While many consider the 66’s the last of the great Imps because of full frame, I do like the 67’s and 68’s.

  8. Err....

    205 years? Wayne, are you a vampire, or just in possession of the Elixir of Life?

    • krash

      Errr,,,,

      ….Funny!

    • tony

      Vampirism was a main feature of the mid-60’s Mopar line.

  9. PaulieB

    My brother had a ’67 and it was gorgeous.. well sorta. He paid very little for it back in 1975.
    One day while driving in an ice storm he slid off a two lane road and into the corner of the Knights of Columbus building. The impact damaged the corner of the building..which had just been remodeled.. and it split the sheet rock inside the building. The car suffered minor bumper and fender damage.. To this day he regrets getting rid of it… that and the 1969 GTO Judge convertible..yeah he had one of those too.. sheesh..

  10. John C Cargill

    It’s about up to it’s money. God save me from idiots who want to clear coat over the “patina”, As if these cars were meant to look bad. Same taste obviously who chose the seat material.

    • Ed P

      John, I think we agree. I want them to look good, like God and the Automakers intended.

  11. Woodie Man

    I love this model.When they were new I used to make the AMT (I think) model. Loved the way they looked…….. seemed like a thumb print in glue always ended up on the roof!

    The velour has to go. Who uses velour anyway other than Vatos?

  12. pontiactivist

    My grandmother gave me a black w/ red interior one of these when I was in high school. 413 push button auto. Wish I still had it now.

  13. Allen Member

    Back in the late ’70s I rescued a ’60 Southampton four-door hardtop out of a barn in West Virginia – for $500. ‘ Don’t know how long it had been sitting but it started, ran, and drove beautifully. Totally different model than this one, but still an incredible piece of machinery. No part of it ever failed in the two years I had it. The biggest thrill was just going out to my driveway at night and turning on the panel lights. What a blinding display of color! First wife packed and joined the other team, and the “I-Bird” became my only transportation. I could squeak 13 mpg out of it on the open road if I held it to 55 and gave it a gentle mile to get there from a stop. Problem is it was so much fun to punch that 413 and watch everybody else’s doors blowin’ in my wind. Like all you guys, I’m so sorry I let it go.

  14. Dan D

    Relisted!

  15. Bryan

    I have a soft spot for these mid-sixties Imperials; I’ve had two 64 converts, a 66 convert, and still have two 65 Imp converts! I like Imperials of the 50’s and 60’s especially, but the 64-66 vintage are incredibly over built (derby guys call them box-cars for a reason). The tilt wheel, which this car has, was first offered in 64. Also worth noting that the 64 was the last with the supremely reliable push button shifter. Here’s a pic of my Mist Blue 65.

  16. Woodie Man

    Another beautiful Imperial , Bryan. Great! Always wanted a 59 Ghia Imperial. Once saw one that I believed Gov.Pat Brown of California used as an official car. Might be wrong on its provenance. But it was beautiful

  17. Bob

    This car is great. It has been under-estimated in the past. This car was Roll Royce quality in the 1964 change. My father bought a new all black LeBaron. I took my drivers test on it and the “State Trooper Examiner” was blown away with my ability to pararell park it the first time. The engineering in that car made it quite easy. The car was a dream to drive. It would out perform other cars that were considered sports or performance cars during that time while being a top luxury car. Read some of Tom McCahill’s articles in Popular Mechanics magazine from that era. I still have this car in our family.

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