Mad Men Car and Memorabilia Auction June 1-15
Only 200 Imperial Crown Convertibles Still Exist
The ’64 Imperial Crown Convertible being auctioned is one of a rare breed. Only 922 convertible models were built and as few as 200 still exist. Throw in its Hollywood provenance and this rag top is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for some lucky collector car enthusiast/Mad Men fan.
Imperial Takes on the Luxury Car Giants
Built to compete with the top of the line Lincoln and Cadillac models, Chrysler christens Imperial its own make and model in 1955. Don Draper’s second generation Imperial is styled by famed auto designer Elwood Engel whose iconic boxy Lincoln Continental becomes the gold standard in the 60’s. The Imperial is a popular choice for limousines in that era.
Float in an Imperial
The lap of luxury in its day, the Imperial has an astounding 64 inches of shoulder room in the front seat, a veritable sofa on wheels. But this land barge drives as beautifully as it looks. The old adage “ride in a Cadillac, glide in a Lincoln, and float in an Imperial” says it all. Picture Draper riding with the top down, Aviator sunglasses on and a cigarette in hand!
Imperial Puts Luxury First
The Imperial Crown Convertible is a luxury car first and foremost with leather interior, padded dashboard and adjustable steering wheel. Power brakes, steering, windows and rag top are all standard on this “sporty” high end model. The 413-cubic-inch V8 wedge engine and a 3-speed push button TorqueFlite automatic transmission powers this large vehicle effortlessly down the road.
One of the Most Comfortable Luxury Rides Around
The torsion bar suspension shifts the car’s center of gravity down and back, and together with the multi-leaf rear springs, gives the Imperial Crown one of the most comfortable rides of any luxury car. One Mechanix Illustrated reviewer claims it is “the closest man has come to building a drive-it-yourself Beverly Hilton”. No wonder Draper likes this car.
Too Tough for Demolition Derbies
One advantage of the Imperial is its strength. The body-on-frame construction gives it the rigidity other unibodied Chryslers lack. Even after its heyday, the Imperial’s crashworthiness actually gets it banned from most demolition derbies due to its toughness and durability.
This Convertible Earns Her Hollywood Chops
Don Draper’s Imperial Crown Convertible is very close to its original state. The seller states that it was re-painted 20 years ago (from dark burgundy to California Red) and new carpeting was installed but that is it. Like a fine scotch, she improves with age. The car comes with a certificate of authenticity that it appears in an episode of Mad Men.
America’s Classic Luxury Cars Should Be Appreciated
Classic American luxury cars like this 64 Imperial Crown will never be seen again. The day of these large giants is over but it doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate their style and beauty just the way Don Draper does in Mad Men. So warn the spouse, you plan to park this American beauty in the driveway soon. Have a strong drink ready.
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