Don Draper’s ’64 Imperial Crown is up for bidding

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OK, so it’s not Bond, James Bond’s Aston Martin, but it is the 1964 Imperial Crown convertible used by Don Draper (portrayed by actor Jon Hamm) in Season 4, Episode 3 of the television series Mad Men, and it is up for bidding by ScreenBid, the Los Angeles-base company that stages online auctions for “real deal,” authenticated movie and television props, wardrobe, set decorations and other items.

In this case, ScreenBid reports, only 922 such Imperial Crown convertibles were produced and fewer than 200 are believed to have survived.

Jon Hamm at the steering wheel | ScreenBid photos

“This is the rarest of the rare as this is the only Imperial to boast having been smoked in by Don Draper (okay, we are not 100 percent certain he smoked in it during filming, but when have we ever seen Don not smoking?),” the auction company adds.

“He drives this beautiful land yacht with the top down to visit the real Don Draper’s wife in California,” the company continues.” Sporting aviator glasses, white shirt and black tie to match his grey suit, Don Draper, epitomizes the successful businessman out for a Sunday spin in this very special car.

“Many mistakenly refer to this vehicle as a ‘Chrysler Imperial’ (including local DMVs when titling the vehicle), but Imperial was its own separate brand after 1955 as Chrysler spun it off to better compete against Lincoln and Cadillac. Famed auto designer Elwood Engel, creator of the ubiquitous Lincoln Continental slab side design, found his way to Imperial and completely redesigned the Imperial for 1964.

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“There’s an old adage that you “… ride in a Cadillac, you glide in a Lincoln, but you float in an Imperial.”

On location

The car shows 89,372 miles on its odometer and has a 413cid “wedge” V8 and TorqueFlite push-button automatic transmission, as well as power steering/brakes/windows/antenna and a working electric top.

The car is believed to be all original except for a repainting around 20 years ago and new carpeting. Interestingly, when the car was repainted, one small area under the hood was not painted should some future owner want to return the car to its original shade.

The auction runs until 4 p.m. (PDT) on April 6.

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

3 COMMENTS

  1. I used to think the sun rose and set on Cadillacs till I bought my first Imperial. It was a 65 that was headed to the crusher if I didn’t buy it. From that point on, I was hooked on Imperials. At one time, I had over 30 of these magnificent cars but now due to age, I am down to 3. I have a 60 Crown Coupe, 64 Crown convert and a 68 Crown convert. It’s about time these awesome cars got the recognition they deserve!

    • I have to agree with you. In 1970 I owned a 1963 Cadillac Park Avenue, in 1971 I swapped it for a 1964 Imperial, I loved that car, Now I have a 1957 Oldsmobile 88 4dr Holiday Sedan, 1962 Oldsmobile Dynamic 88 Convertible and in Oct of last year I bought a ’64 Imperial Convertible and another ’64 Imperial Conv. parts car. I’m doing the Interior now hope to have it on the road by Spring

      • We have bought a 1962 Imperial Crown 2 door Hardtop out of California. Minor rust in a couple of places. It’s been lowered to give front down stance. It has wheel spacers, Wilwood Discs, rebuilt steering box, aircon etc. and is getting a bare metal clear coat finish with complete interior renewed and a few other improvements. These cars are loaded with character and with its twin free flow exhaust system this one defines classic.

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