Only Backs Up: 1962 Chrysler Imperial

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The Imperial was part of the Chrysler portfolio from 1926 until its demise in 1993. For much of this time, it competed in the shadows of both Cadillac and Lincoln, usually ending up a distant third in sales. This 1962 Imperial still has hints of the styling cues of the late 1950s “Forward Look” Chryslers but without the wild tailfins. It’s a running project that all drives only in reverse right now. From Bay City, Michigan, this luxurious Mopar is available here on Facebook Marketplace for $3,900. Our thanks to Jim A for the heads up on this vintage land yacht.

In an attempt to get on an equal footing with Cadillac and Lincoln, Chrysler positioned the Imperial as a separate make from 1955 to 1975. Yet they were still sold at Chrysler dealers alongside similar New Yorkers, so I don’t know what the Chrysler brass really expected to accomplish. The 1962 Imperials were more streamlined in appearance than their recent predecessors. Instead of wild tailfins, the rear fenders were topped off with gun sight taillights like in 1955 and 1956 and the headlights continued to be free-standing up front.  Sales perked up a bit from 1961, selling about 2,000 more Imperials. The seller’s edition may be one of about 8,500 Crown Imperials assembled that year.

A bit of a restoration has already been started on this ’62 Imperial. It already has a new gas tank, fuel pump, and master brake cylinder. But it still needs more brake work and the automatic transmission is “wooky”, only shifting into reverse. Yet the big 413 cubic inch V8 is said to run well at 84,000 miles.

Whether there’s any rust to deal with is yet to be determined, but some prior bodywork was done as evidenced by some Bondo being present. The interior is pretty tired, from the seats to the door panels and likely beyond. A plethora of extra parts will come with the deal, including a spare transmission which may help correct the current problem in that arena. You don’t see many of these beasts on the road anymore, partly because the cost of restoring them can be as big as the cars themselves.

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  1. Big C

    This is a cheap date! A little Trans-Magic, and drive her home.

    Like 7
  2. Maggy

    Drive it home Ricky Bobby style.Neat car. Need more pics of floors,trunk empty,frame etc.

    Like 4
  3. E

    Beautiful car and you can even drive it home as-is…if you’re brave enough!

    Like 3
  4. Steve

    They weren’t called “Chrysler Imperial” then. They were a separate line with just the name “Imperial”. (I know; picky, picky, picky.)

    Like 1
  5. JPR Tomlin

    This is not a Crown but a top of line LeBaron. Interior maybe tired but a good removal clean would do wonders imho. Even with a dodgy trans it still looks like a good deal. I sure miss my long departed 62 Custom.

    Like 2
  6. RexFoxMember

    You could drive it back up the hill, or back to school, or even back home.

    Like 4
    • angliagt angliagtMember

      Take that back!

      Like 1
      • NHDave

        Perhaps back to the future!

        Like 3
  7. Lance

    If I weren’t 84 years old, I’d jump on this one. Very classy car.

    Like 4
  8. That Guy

    This is a good deal. A transmission rebuild isn’t expensive and the rest of the car seems pretty solid. I think this won’t last long.

    Like 5
    • Lance Conkright

      I totally agree.

      Like 1
  9. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac DivaMember

    What is with all these Imperials showing up on Barn Finds? This is like the 5th one in 5 days. Don’t get me wrong, I love them. Wish I could buy them all.
    I like the ’57, ’58 & ’59. The ’64 through ’73.
    So……. next Christmas ya’ll know, LOL

    Like 8
  10. JSBMember

    This is a 1962 Imperial LeBaron four door Southampton according to the brochure, notice the smaller back window.

    Like 4
  11. bone

    Imperials would be at a Chrysler dealership, as there was no such thing as a “Imperial ” dealership. Like some dealerships sold Chrysler /Plymouth, and Dodge / Dodge trucks , Bigger dealerships, would have had Chrysler / Imperial /Plymouth. and would have large signs indicating which lines they sold. Just like Lincoln/ Mercury and Ford /Ford trucks or Buick/ Opel

    Like 0
  12. Robert Lippert

    4 oz of brake fluid down the tranny tube and that thing will run like a top in about 5 minutes the seals they used back then will swell back up again when it comes in contact with that little bit of brake fluid done it before have seen him go 60,000 miles without a problem

    Like 1
  13. William

    When i was little I was horrified that Imperial removed the fins off of there car.

    Like 0
  14. Jim ZMember

    As I’ve opined before…the headlights/tail lights perched by themselves leads me to believe they forgot to incorporate them into the body design.
    Only when production began did someone notice, “Hey, we need to add some headlights and tail lights, let’s rummage through the spare parts shelf and see what we can find!”

    Like 1
  15. John M.Stecz

    Rough crowd today

    Like 0

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