Rust Free? $125 With No Reserve? 1963 Imperial

b1

Ok, while the headline is true, don’t think this 1963 example of the widest non-limousine American car ever built (true, at 81.7″!) doesn’t need any help! There’s no title, and most of the panels have some sort of dent or scrape in them. It’s located in Milford, Ohio and is up for sale here on eBay, where bidding as I write really starts at $125 with no reserve!

b2

You can see in this picture that I’m not kidding; this is the passenger side front door. By 1963, the hand of Elwood Engel was starting to be felt in the Mopar styling department, but this is still mostly a Virgil Exner design. The perimeter frame is still present in these cars; as a matter of fact this same basic frame stuck around from 1957 to 1966, despite the move to unibody construction by most of the industry. As a matter of fact, these cars are so solid that I remember them being banned from local demolition derbies when I was a kid, and I found references to that being done in other places as well.

b3

There are parts, however, that look pretty straight and there are even some under car shots in the ad that have convinced me this is a lot more solid than one would expect. The seller tells us that it came from Arizona five years ago and has been stored in a dry location ever since. Apart from the wheel covers, the car appears pretty complete trim wise, and we’re told both they and the jack are in the trunk.

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How could you not love an interior like this, that was such a product of its times? With that distinctive steering wheel (do you still call it a wheel when it isn’t round? I guess I should ask an Allegro owner) and pod type dash instruments and controls, you certainly aren’t going to mistake it for anything else! Unusually, the rear seat is not in as nice shape as the front one–maybe this was used as a limo after all?

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The 413 V8 is said to run well (!) with no smoke, odd noises or leaks. With factory air conditioning (non operational, but the belts still being installed is a good sign!) and all kinds of power options, this car must have been something when it was new. I’ll tell you, rust free and running are two of the best thing in the world for me when it comes to classic cars, and I could overlook a LOT of other things if a car has those two down pat. Are you going to watch this auction with me?

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Comments

  1. DrinkinGasoline

    Like any of us would venture into this with blindfolds on.

  2. Roselandpete

    Ouch.

  3. Kevin

    The styling of these cars is way too far out in left field for me. I think in their quest to be distinctive the designers crossed the line into gaudy. I’m sure there are people who love them though and they were very solid cars and extremely large.

  4. Chris A.

    From the windshield back, it is attractive, but the front end with the pod headlights is jarring. Much more going on in the design compared to the same year much cleaner lines of the Lincoln Continental 4 door and GM’s Cadillac. But as a car, it sure is solid and probably a great ride. Can’t be many of these left.

  5. Rando

    Did the designers hit the dash and steering wheel with an ugly stick, thinking it was futuristic? Ughhh, I like old cars a LOT but this may be too over the top. I like the front. Taillights look like a Dart – or maybe that’s vice versa? Not wild about the tail. THe back of roof line looks like hte mid 70s Monacos? Maybe that particular profile hung around that long? I dunno. Maybe if it had a title…and I could drive it later this week…

    • Tony

      In 63 Imperial brought back the ‘toilet seat’ trunk lid because the customers wanted it as part of the cars ‘signature’, it was dropped in 62 but the dealers fitted 61 trunk lids to make the sale, they installed more than the factory did in that year. The 62 coupe rear window glass matched the curve top to bottom of the rear roofline.

  6. Howard A Member

    Yeah, gonna be a tough sell. Struggling at under $500 bucks. Just way too much to fix on these. Since they’re outlawed at demo derby’s now, unless they’re clean, not a big market. Nice, if for no other reason, to show future generations, we drove big cars like this at one time. Many years ago ( early 70’s) the old man rented a warehouse and a car like this ( maybe a ’62) was in there. It had an engine fire.The body, inside and stainless roof were still ok. I remember it had every option you could think of. That ( and this) was a big car. Didn’t Mr. Drysdale drive one of these on the Beverly Hillbillies?

    • CATHOUSE

      Yes, there were a couple of those pod style headlight Chryslers on the Beverly Hillbillies show.

    • Dave Wright

      Brought 1025.00…….,…….

  7. packrat

    *Someone’s* idea of a good time, and maybe put up high and dry enough to do a roomy poor man’s ikon-style restoration–redo the interior, update the brakes and electricals, epoxy coat for the underside, backs of the bumpers. Make sure all doors and hatches close smooth as a bank vault and have a very powerful and distinctive Mad Men era ride that you can load all your friends up in, a la the B-52s song, park anywhere on the strip downtown without worrying about a belt buckle scratch or a door ding. ‘The Firefly is an old ship, but she will fool ya.’

  8. 68 custom

    I remember being fascinated looking at the front end of one of these as a kid, with those crazy headlights. I kinda dig the steering ellipse as well. :)

  9. Rick

    These cars were so unbelievably solid…had my dad’s 1962 Crown Imperial out on some icy roads one long ago winter, guy misses a stop sign (due to said icy road) needless to say I… ‘T’-boned that ’66 Pontiac (another very solid car) and it wasn’t pretty afterwards…the Crown Imperial? nary a scratch…small crack in the turn signal lamp…literally as solid as any tank

    • Dave Wright

      I had the same experiance with my 1959 crown, a car slid through a stop, I hit him so hard that he was sent flying over a 4 foot drift of solid plowed ice……I can’t remember for sure what kind of car it was but it had to be a Ford of some flavor……..it took out the entire side of the other car and only put a 2″ scratch on my chrome bumper. I bought that car to tow my Lotus 11 race car and it performed flawlessly. Room for the hole crew, tools and spares in the trunk and 90 MPH down I 90 over Snowqualmie pass to race in Seattle.

  10. HeadMaster1

    Worth thousands……………..IN PARTS

  11. Snotty

    1960 Ford Galaxie was a wide body as well coming in at 81.5″.

  12. Chris A.

    Over on Bring A T… site under the New Bern AACA auto show there is one of these displayed in fully restored condition. Truly “Detroit Iron”.

  13. Bryan

    Designer Virgil Exner was inspired by prewar classic car design; the headlight pods on the 61-63 Imperials were his interpretation applied to a modern car (including the Flight Sweep deck lids from 57-63).

    I recently purchased this 1963 Imperial Crown convertible that has been off the road since 1973! I’m thinking the Arab oil embargo played a roll (gas prices doubling in late 1973) in the retirement of many old gas hogs.

    I love these cars because of there incredible quality and luxury; built to the hilt!

  14. Bryan

    Here’s a pic of my 1963 convertible (about 550 built); I won’t be repainting this car white!

  15. Bryan

    Don’t know why the pic wouldn’t load on that last try; Here it is!

  16. Tony

    When I sit in the drivers seat of my 62 2 door Imperial it gives the impression of driving an aircraft carrier with that huge mass of flat hood and square corners in front of you but it corners more like a big sports car, the suspension gives an unbelievable ride.

  17. Woodie Man

    I owned one of these in the 1980’s….Crown…….two tone copper over beige. I had a blast with it, Original through and through. Should never have sold it!

  18. harit

    The beauty of this car lies in its ugliness. Soooo beautiful.

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