Uniquely styled 1962 Chrysler Imperial convertible in fully restored condition

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Chrysler
The 1962 Imperial was the largest U.S. production luxury car that year

One of the most-over-the-top designs of the early 1960s was that of the 1962 Chrysler Imperial, mostly because of the pod-style headlamps and gunsight taillights that stood starkly separate from the body.

The unique headlight treatment lasted for three years, 1961-63, but the equally unique rear lights were produced just for 1962. Other than the exterior lighting, though, the Chrysler Imperial was a somewhat toned-down rendition, compared with the excesses of the late ’50s, in keeping with more-subdued contemporary luxury-car designs from Cadillac and Lincoln.

Chrysler

The Pick of the Day is an attractively restored 1962 Chrysler Imperial Crown convertible, one of just 554 produced and among fewer than 50 known to survive.

“Among the last expressions of famed stylist Virgil Exner’s designs for Chrysler Corporation, the updated 1962 Imperial Crown models maintained a sense of classical elegance with more restrained tailfins, a split front grille, freestanding pod-style headlamps, gunsight taillamps and less-ornate exterior trim,” according to the dealer advertising the Imperial on ClassicCars.com.

“In contrast, interiors were modern, almost futuristic, with pushbutton dash controls for the TorqueFlite automatic transmission and electroluminescent instrument display system.”

Chrysler

Despite their generous proportions, these cars were known for their V8 performance and good handling via a well-engineered torsion-bar suspension. 

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“Chrysler’s renowned 413 CI V8 engine was the sole power choice for Imperials from 1959 through 1965, delivering a factory rating of 340 HP for 1962 and capable of moving America’s largest luxury car that year with remarkable authority,” the ad says.

Finished in deep Embassy Red with a white top and white-leather interior with red piping, the Chrysler has been subjected to a total restoration to original specs, the seller adds. The engine rebuild has just 1,000 miles on it.

Chrysler

“During restoration, a new OEM transistor ignition and new OEM high-capacity radiator, plus a new carburetor, exhaust and other parts were installed,” the seller notes. “As expected, features and passenger amenities are numerous.”

The asking price for this rare blast from the Mad Men past is $56,000.

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.

6 COMMENTS

  1. 1962 imperial, the car came with 2 engine options the smaller 383 was installed in some imperials, the 413 engine, in the 1961 imperial was only in the imperial, and had different crank and transmissions then the Chrysler counterparts,
    I know I owned 2 1962 imperials one with a factory 383 the other with the 413,
    my parents owned a 1962 imperial with the 413,
    driving one of these was fun, handling was great for the day, ours had a squarish steering wheels and radio channel change button on the floor, ( electric motor changed the channel,
    power antana and auto dim headlights, ours approached 20 mpg on highway,

    • Had a cousin that was Sec/Treasure of Detroit Edison power. I had graduated from HS the previous June and he was out of the country so didn’t attend. I was in college but was home on week-ends. He was moving to Hawaii around Thanksgiving, wanting to say good-bye and also wanted to show off his new car. It was a 1962 Imperial convert. All white with the red pin striping on the seats and a square steering wheel. I wasn’t into big luxury cars but he insisted we go for a ride. I was doing about 15-20ph when he told me to floor it. I was a little reluctant to but the 2nd time he told me I did. What a shock, 2 strips of rubber and smoke. When we got back to the folks house he opened the hood to show me two 4 barrel carbs. Don’t remember the engine cubes but I sure remember the 2 carbs and the square steering wheel.

    • I can find no reference in any manual or service document of a 383 in an Imperial? I own a 62 with a 413. As far as I can see, it’s the only factory engine available at the time. Even the lowest level model, the Imperial Custom, came with a 413 Engine.

  2. Makes me think of Ethel Merman in "It’s a Mad, Mad… World": "We’re in the Imperial and we’re last?!". Great movie, nice car, if a bit overwrought.

  3. It’s an Imperial, not a Chrysler Imperial. Imperial was a separate car line from 1995 to 1970. There was no 383 option. Every Imperial came with the largest engine in Chrysler’s stable as standard equipment.

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