Chrysler Crown Imperial convertible fresh from Pebble Beach Concours

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Chrysler
The Chrysler has a rare single-headlight configuration

Last seen on the lawn of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the Pick of the Day is a 1957 Chrysler Crown Imperial convertible that was a participant August 26 in the world’s most-famous concours as part of a special class: Eisenhower Era Dream Convertibles.

This sprawling black Imperial prowled the coast during the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance on August 23, and then stood proudly on concours day between a ’59 Cadillac Eldorado and a 1953 Buick Skylark, all ragtops that exemplified that optimistic time. 

Chrysler
The Chrysler Imperial was the height of luxury in 1957

The Chrysler was not an award winner – the Caddy was named Best of Class – but as they say, just getting onto the 18th Fairway at Pebble Beach is quite an accomplishment in itself.

Less than two weeks later, here it is advertised on ClassicCars.com by a collector car dealer in Sonoma, California, who provides in the ad a history of the car and its comprehensive, multi-year restoration by Bob Hayen of Montana. 

The dealer also explains the Chrysler’s unusual headlight treatment, which set it apart at Pebble Beach.

Chrysler
Signature gunsight taillights top the towering tailfins

“This particular example came with the rare, single-headlamp configuration,” according to the ad. “For 1957, state regulations for headlights were not all the same.  During that year, dual headlights became the new normal.  However, manufacturers offered single- and double-headlight cars to comply with the different state rules.  For later years, dual headlights became the rule. 

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“For the Imperial, the single headlamps required large chrome bezels, additional chrome pieces around the lamp, and the grille was wider, extending further towards the bezel on each side.”

The Imperial is a huge, top-of-the-line luxury car with an appropriately powerful engine, and a load of up-to-date premium features, all of which work properly, the dealer says.

Chrysler
The chrome-laden dashboard has transmission push buttons (left)

“The rebuilt 392 Hemi engine provides the enormous power needed to move along this tw0-and-a-half-ton luxury liner,” the dealer says.  “The push-button transmission controls (continued from 1956) function perfectly, and the standard Torqueflite automatic transmission shifts with factory precision.

“This car is equipped with power steering, power brakes, power seat and power antenna.  Both the clock and the AM radio work well.  Bias-ply tires as from the factory provide smooth, period-correct driving.”

So, if you’ve ever wanted a Pebble Beach Concours car of your own, here’s the real deal, and one that you can drive and enjoy.  The asking price is $119,000 which seems reasonable for a special car in such excellent condition, especially since it once shared the grass with concours queens valued into the multi millions of dollars.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

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Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

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