There was a time when the Chrysler Imperial was every bit a match for the finest from Cadillac and Lincoln. In the early 60s, Chrysler was battling tail fins and convertibles with four doors, and fought back with outrageous styling of their own. This 1963 Imperial represents the pinnacle of the Imperials evolution, complete with free-standing headlights and the famous trunk-mounted spare tire, not to mention the most fantastically glamorous interior ever conceived. Make no mistake, this is a big, full-sized American luxury car, and looks like automotive royalty in every conceivable way. We probably have to start with those headlights, which were Chryslers attempt at re-creating the luxury of the 30s. Does it work? Well, theres certainly nothing else like it anywhere in the automotive kingdom, and where cars are concerned, unique is always a strong selling point for collectors. Beyond that, however, the body is conservative, even subdued, with just a single strip of stainless running from the eyebrows to the rear bumper in a dramatic sweep. The ivory paint is elegant and upscale, befitting a car of this stature and its easy to imagine this one pulling up outside the Sands hotel in Vegas with perhaps Dean Martin at the wheel, the lights glittering on the massive windshield. Fit and finish are quite good, and the hand-built quality of the Imperial is still tangible in the way it fits together. Inside, its a spectacular tour-de-force of 60s design and futuristic style, and the instrument panel might border on modern art. Clearly influenced by aircraft instrumentation, the wide gauge panel is two-stories high and flanked by control pods for the pushbutton TorqueFlite and HVAC controls. The bar-graph style speedometer works properly and visibility is unhindered by the squared-off steering wheel. The seats are a combination of leather and brocade fabric and in wonderful condition, and everything was standard, from A/C to power windows. The original AM radio remains in the nicely padded dash, and youll probably never get tired of all the wonderful details you find scattered throughout the interior. Just check out those vents atop the dashboard and the delicately sculpted door handles! Fortunately, the spare tire isnt affixed to the massive deck lid, and instead sits under its own cover in the spacious trunk. Power comes from the same 413 cubic inch V8 that powered the nastiest racers on the street in 1963. Towering torque was the order of the day, and the big engine moves the Imp effortlessly under all conditions. It wears Chrysler Turquoise paint has not been modified or altered from original specifications. It feeds an indestructible TorqueFlite 3-speed automatic and rides on a cushy torsion bar suspension that glides down the highway. A fresh dual exhaust system sounds suitably muted and muscular, and while its a little dirty underneath, its solid and rust-free. The original wheels and hubcaps are framed by a set of 235/75/15 whitewall radials that look great and have a lot of life left in them. Can a car be both elegant and outrageous? This Imperial makes a great argument, and if you want to arrive in high style, theres not much that can top it. Call today! This vehicle is located in our Charlotte showroom. For more information, please call (704) 598-2130 or toll free (866) 542-8392.
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