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HomePick of the DayPick of the Day: Tail lamps stood proud on ’55 Imperial

Pick of the Day: Tail lamps stood proud on ’55 Imperial

This car paved the way for those with big personalities that followed

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Those of a certain age likely think of the oh-so-long cars with the big fins and integrated bull’s-eye tail lamps from the late 1950s and very early ‘60s when they hear or read “Chrysler Imperial.” 

But the Imperial nameplate appears on top-of-the-line Chrysler cars in 1946, though as the Standard Catalog of American Cars notes, “Imperial became a separate brand of Chrysler corp. in 1954. But it wasn’t until a year later that it started to develop its own personality.”

The Catalog continues with this: “The swank, 1955 and 1956 models, with their free-standing taillights, were a tremendous boost to Imperial’s image”

Chrysler, Pick of the Day: Tail lamps stood proud on ’55 Imperial, ClassicCars.com Journal
Chrysler, Pick of the Day: Tail lamps stood proud on ’55 Imperial, ClassicCars.com Journal

One such car, a 1955 Chrysler Imperial advertised on ClassicCars.com by a dealership in Smithfield, Rhode Island, is the Pick of the Day.

“This is a nice running and driving Imperial Sedan,” the dealer notes in the advertisement. “It starts easily, however is a little cold-blooded, great brakes and steering, older amateur paint job and presentable interior.  Old paint job with some previous rust repair in the lower questers and fenders. 

“Options including Power windows and seats and wire wheels.  Radio and windows working, as well as heater.”

Chrysler, Pick of the Day: Tail lamps stood proud on ’55 Imperial, ClassicCars.com Journal

The dealer adds that the car is powered by a FirePower V8 that was “Chrysler’s first-generation Hemi with a displacement of 331 cu in and developing 250 brake horsepower. Power brakes and power steering were standard, along with Chrysler’s “PowerFlite” automatic transmission.”

The dealer also adds that within the last 50 miles the car has traveled, it has gotten a new headliner, front seats, brakes, hoses, spark plugs, belts, and has various components rebuilt, including carburetor, master cylinder, water pump and fuel pump.

The car is offered for $19,500. To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

Hagerty
Larry Edsall
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.

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