We bought our 1964 Imperial about 3 years ago. This has been a dream car of mine for 30 years and I finally found one that was the Sequoia Green color I wanted – and a Crown Coupe. The car was reasonably priced and belonged to an older gentleman who lived in Northern Minnesota some 2,500 miles away from our home in California. After I hired a local inspector to see the car, and worked out an amicable price, we decided to buy it. Now we had to decide how to get her to California.
We decided to take a chance, fly to Minnesota and make a trip out of it. We don’t regret our decision as it was quite an adventure but certainly not without trials and tribulation. We did make it all the way home and saw some amazing sights along the way like Mount. Rushmore, Yellowstone National Park, and the Grand Tetons.
We flew into Minneapolis late one night, rented a car and went to a hotel. The next morning we drove two hours north to a farm community that was far from any city. When I first saw the car, all reason left my head. I was smitten. I could see no flaws, although there were many up close. This was the longest production car you could buy in 1964 and it showed. I was finally getting the car I pined for after all these years. This was also the last year of Chrysler’s push button automatic. That was an important factor for me when I made my search.
We decided to name our Imperial Mrs. Drysdale. If you ever saw the show ‘The Beverley Hillbillies,’ you may know that the banker family next door, the Drysdales, always drove Imperials. That’s how we named her.
Since Mrs. Drysdale’s arrival to California much work has been completed including a new front end, vintage oil-charged shocks, brake work, and much more. Cosmetically, the heavily textured vinyl top was showing its age and was cracking pretty badly. Much to my delight, I was able to find the exact same NOS Chrysler vinyl top material. The texture is like a fine alligator skin. A badly done second paint job was also failing. I finally got around to getting a decent paint job on her just last month, June, 2014. She proudly shines now even up close.
She is a pleasure to drive especially with so much suspension work done to her. The famous Chrysler torsion bar suspension allows for surprisingly flat turns on windy roads and takes road imperfections fairly well without floating like some big American cars of this era. Of course, she draws much attention wherever we go. Many think it’s a Lincoln coupe just like when this version of the Imperial was introduced in 1964. It’s an understandable mistake since Elwood Ingel had designed the famous 1961 to 1969 Lincoln Continental and then moved over to Chrysler and put his touch on the 1964 to 1966 Imperials.
I have owned many classics over the years and often regret having sold them. When I was growing up, my first cousin and I were very close and still are. We could name every car we saw by the age of 5 and were fascinated by large American luxury cars. Now that my husband and I have finally found the right Imperial for us, we are determined to keep her for the long haul.
SpecificationsÂ and Facts:
Imperial Crown Coupe
Base Price: $5718
Engine: V8 413 cubic inch
Torque: 470 lbs
3-speed TorqueFlite Automatic with dash-mounted pushbutton controls
Overall Length: 227.8 inches (about 19 feet)
Width: 79.9 inches
Curb weight: light as a feather at 4950 lbs
Production of Crown Coupe: 523