Imperialista—production Imperial Continental?
C H O P S — I've always loved the Chrysler Imperials of the fifties and sixties, both the flamboyant Virgil Exner designed fifties flagships and the slightly more tailored Elwood Engel sixties versions. This is a 1964 Imperial coupe, Engel's facelift based on the same chassis Imperial had used since 1957. Engel had been hired away from Ford in the early sixties to replace Exner, and this is his first 'real' Imperial. Fresh off the classic '61 Lincoln, Engel really brought as much of a Lincoln Continental feel to the Imperial that he could, with cleaner bodysides, a squared off Continental trunk 'bulge' and a tasteful use of chrome highlights. Far from a fresh-sheet-of-paper design, needing to use the same wraparound windshield and 'hard point' from the formerly finned wonders, I think this series of Imperial is as striking as Exner's. There were awkward parts of the design, an overly tall roof and greenhouse, and the equal-length hood and taillights don't work for me, but overall they were quite tasteful and luxurious looking.
For the first chop above, I moved the cabin backwards on the body, to create a longer hood and shorter deck. I shortened the front overhang a bit as well, lowered the roof a bit and created Continental-type C pillars. This would be the 'volume' production version of an Imperial Coupe. The bespoke Crown Coupe is below. Much more drama to be had there!
A not-very-common 2 door limousine, the Crown Coupe.
This Crown Coupe takes the Imperial back in time in a way, creating an ultra luxurious Limousine Coupe, a bodystyle last seen (and very rarely at that) in the Thirties. The C pillars are huge, providing privacy for the two very special rear seat passengers. I've fared the bumpers into the body in a much more custom way, deleting much of their chrome and replacing it with mere outlines, also enhancing the 'propeller' motif and squared off Continental bulge of the Exner rear bumper. The rear bumper side 'bombs' are lengthened to balance out the C pillar, and I've slammed the roof down as much as possible to enhance the 'sinister' feeling. The LeBaron's already-small rear windshield was widened a bit but narrowed in height, better in keeping with the overall roof shape. Small 24KT gold "Crown Coupe" nameplates add the de rigeur snob appeal, tastefully, well as tasteful as gold nameplates can be. I've parked the Crown Coupe in front of a Frank Lloyd Wright home I found online, which is exactly the clientele Chrysler would have been striving for.
N O T E — I'll be done with the book project by tonight. Back to work now!