Lot Number

1962 Imperial Crown Convertible

$135,000 - $160,000

RM | Auctions - HERSHEY 9 - 10 OCTOBER 2014

Chassis No.
  • One of 554 Crown Convertibles built for 1962
  • The final Exner-styled Imperial with unique free-standing headlights
  • Recent comprehensive and professional restoration
340 hp, 413 cu. in. OHV Wedge V-8 engine, three-speed Torqueflite automatic transmission, independent front suspension with torsion bars, semi-floating rear axle with tapered semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel power-assisted hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 129 in.

Just two years following the introduction of the car to bear his name, Walter P. Chrysler decided to join the ranks of the luxury car market with the January 1926 introduction of the Imperial. The Imperial 80, which debuted at the New York Auto Show, was guaranteed to do 80 mph, and it quickly became known not only for luxury but also for its performance. Imperials remained the corporate flagship until 1975, and there were many memorable examples throughout the years, such as the Classic 1931–1933 models, the Airflows from 1934 to 1937, the Crown Limousines by Ghia from 1957 to 1965, and perhaps the most flamboyant of all, the Exner-designed cars from 1955 to 1962.

The Imperial was the epitome of Chrysler’s $100-million “Forward Look” restyling. Highland Park’s most prestigious make was simply called Imperial, as the Chrysler name was dropped for the 1957 model year. Its distinctive bodyside and roof treatments, decklids, fins, and gun-sight taillights were unlike any other Chrysler product. Imperial styling was Exner at his best, and 1962 marked his last design, as well as the second and final year for the marque’s unique free-standing headlights.

The lowest production car in the Imperial lineup for 1962 was the Crown Convertible, of which only 554 were built. It had a base price of $5,770 before options, and at 227 inches long, with a weight of 4,765 pounds, it was the longest (non-limousine) production car in America. Like all Imperials, it is powered by a 340-horsepower version of the Chrysler Wedge 413-cubic inch V-8 with a four-barrel carburetor and 10:1 compression ratio, and it shifted via a three-speed Torqueflite automatic transmission with pushbutton drive. Equipment on the car included power steering, brakes, and convertible top; a six-way power seat; and an antenna. The unique squared-off steering wheel complements the “Safety Cushion” padded dash, electric clock, and Chrysler’s unique “Panelescent” instrumentation that glows from behind.

This rare Imperial is finished in stunning Formal Black with a matching black Haartz Stayfast canvas convertible top and contrasting red leather interior, and it is the beneficiary of a just-completed comprehensive, professional restoration. The air conditioning has been upgraded to the highly desirable rotary compressor (134), and an Alpine AM/FM/CD sounds system has been installed for added comfort and convenience. Seats belts add to the security of both the driver and passengers.

According to the consigner, the engine compartment and undercarriage have been highly detailed, and an auxiliary, thermostatically controlled cooling fan has been installed for care-free cruising. Firestone Deluxe Champion wide whitewall tires on chromed wire wheels add to the period look. An original sales brochure is also included with the car. As this Imperial has never been shown before, you can be the first to receive what will no doubt be admiring glances anywhere you appear in this iconic Exner-designed American boulevard cruiser.

Suggested lots

16 - 17 January 2020


Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Arizona


5 February 2020


Place Vauban, Paris, France