Streetside Classics - Nashville
6000 Reliance Dr
You could be forgiven for thinking that this massive 1966 Chrysler Imperial Crown 4-door hardtop was a Lincoln; after all, it was designed by Elwood Engle, the same man responsible for the suicide door Lincolns of the 1960s. The Imperial is every bit an equal for the Lincoln, and perhaps out-performs the Blue Oval on the road, offering superlative handling and a great deal of horsepower under the hood.
If you're going to drive a giant luxury sedan with the exclusivity of a country club, then you really need to paint it black. Black looks better on Engle's work than almost any other color and it makes the already gigantic Imperial look about the size of a locomotive. In truth, the styling is restrained and conservative, but you can see the elements that make it familiar: the slab-sided bodywork with minimal ornamentation, that long strip of chrome running from nose to tail, and, of course, the unique design of the trunk lid. If you want to make a grand entrance, few cars can do it better than this. The paint is in very nice shape, and shows only minor signs of age and use, but it doesn't seem to diminish the car's impact and we'd urge just leaving it as-is or maybe giving it a buff to bring up the shine a bit, because it really is that nice. All the original chrome and stainless trim is completely intact, from the imposing grille up front to the heavy door handles to the cool eagle medallion on the trunk that also doubles as the gas filler door. And adding just a touch more of sophistication is the elegant vinyl roof. If '60s cool is your thing, there's nothing cooler than this.
The interior is still big luxury, with a conservative look that fits the mid-60s perfectly. The odd square steering wheel from previous years is gone and the dash is a bit more conventional, but you'll note it still offers a cool ribbon-style speedometer and a full array of secondary gauges. Aircraft-style switches mange the lights, wipers, and other controls and there's a column-shifter for the TorqueFlite 3-speed automatic. The ornate steering wheel is in fantastic shape, something you rarely see on these cars, and for being entirely original, the leather seats and carpets are holding up incredibly well, although some light wear-and-tear is noticeable. Power windows were standard equipment in 1966 and this car carries factory A/C, which remained an option, although it does need to be serviced. There's also the original AM/FM stereo still in the factory slot, which is a nice addition, but not quite as cool as Chrysler's Auto Pilot system that was ordered with this car. Back seat space is cavernous and, as you'd expect, that long rear deck conceals one of the largest trunks of all time, complete with a full-sized spare tire.
The ultimate luxury is power, and the 440 cubic inch engine is one of the motors that powered Chrysler products to wins on the drag strip. Of course, in the Imperial, it's impeccably smooth and torquey, able to move that massive bodywork without breaking a sweat and it's a spectacular high-speed cruiser. Fully rebuilt approximately 8k miles ago, the engine bay looks largely stock, dominated by the big air cleaner and A/C compressor, but it's all there like the factory intended. There are signs of maintenance throughout, so it's ready for a worry-free road trip and lives up to its reputation. Underneath, the power brakes are responsive and there are newer shocks all around, so that smooth torsion bar ride is 100% intact. There's a newer exhaust system as well that gives it a muted hum that's wholly appropriate, and factory wheels wear bespoke Imperial hubcaps and 235/75/15 whitewall radials all around.
A relatively rare car that gets a lot of attention, these Imperials are criminally under-valued compared to period Lincolns and Cadillacs, making this a great opportunity. Call now!
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