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CONCEPT CARS
This article is from:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chrysler_Imperial

All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Text_of_the_GNU_Free_Documentation_License 

Chrysler Imperial

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

The Chrysler Imperial, introduced in 1926, was the company's top of the range vehicle for much of its history. From 1955 to 1975, and from 1981 to 1983, the Imperial was its own marque, sold without the Chrysler name, although it never lost its association with Chrysler in the public mind.

1926-1930

In 1926, Walter P. Chrysler decided to compete with Cadillac and Lincoln in the luxury car field. Chrysler offered a variety of body styles: a four-passenger roadster, a four-seat coupé on a 120 in wheelbase, five-passenger sedan, and a seven-passenger top-of-the-line limousine. The Imperial's new engine was slightly larger than the company's standard straight 6. It was a 3.3 L I6 with seven bearing blocks and pressure lubrication. The car set a transcontinental speed record in the year it was introduced, driving more than 6,500 miles in the week. The car was chosen as the pace car for the 1926 Indianapolis 500.

 

1931-1933

The Chrysler Imperial was redesigned in 1931. The car received a new engine, a 6.3 L I8. Marketing materials for this generation of Imperial referred to the car as the "Imperial 8", in reference to the new engine. The engine would be found in many other Chrysler vehicles. The redesign also saw the introduction of new wire wheels that became the standard wheel treatment until the 1940s. Stock car driver Harry Hartz set numerous speed records with an Imperial sedan at Daytona Beach, Florida.

 

1934-1936

The 1934 to 1936 Chrysler Imperial ushered in the 'Airflow' design. The car was marketed with the slogan "The car of tomorrow is here today." It featured eight passenger seating and again an eight-cylinder engine. This was the first car to be designed in a wind tunnel. Initial tests indicated that the standard car of the 1920's worked best in the wind-tunnel when pointed backwards with the curved rear deck facing forward. This led to a rethinking of the fundamental deign of Chrysler's line of cars.

Unfortunately, the public did not buy the car in large numbers. The relative failure of the Airflow cars led Chrysler to be overly conservative in their styling for the next 20 years. The "standard" styling on the lower-end Chrysler Corporation products outsold the Airflow.

 

1937-1942

Innovations for 1937 included built-in defroster vents, safety type interior hardware and seat back padding, and fully insulated engine mounts. There were three Imperial models in this generation. The C-14 was the standard eight and looked much like the Chrysler Royal with a longer hood and cowl. The C-15 was the Imperial Custom and the Town Sedan Limousine, with blind rear quarter panels. This model was available by special order. The third model, C-17, was the designation for the Airflow model. They had a concealed crank for raising the windshield and the hood was hinged at the cowl and opened from the front; side hood panels were released by catches on the inside. A Custom Imperial convertible sedan was used as an official car at the Indy 500.

 

1946-1948

In 1946 the Imperial line was simplified. Two models were produced, an eight passenger four door sedan and an eight passenger four door limousine. The two vehicles had a US$100 price difference and a 10 lb weight difference.

 

1949-1954

Three Imperial models were produced in 1949. The Imperial C46-2 was a four door, six passenger sedan. The Imperial Crown models, both with the C47 designation, were an eight paseach, respectively, were built in their first year.

During this period, Chrysler spun off the Imperial as its own separate marque in an attempt to compete directly with the Cadillac and Lincoln luxury marques offered by both Ford and General Motors. In 1955 Chrysler introduced Forward Look Styling, which took the industry by storm and featured the styling of Virgil Exner, who would define Imperial's look (and the look of cars from the other four Chrysler divisions) from 1955 to 1963. The Imperial reached what could be called its zenith in both production numbers and design philosophy during this period, and on through about 1975, with new body styles introduced every two to three years, a solid underpinning of very dependable V-8 engines and automatic transmissions, and technology that would filter down to the lower rungs of the company's offerings.

The 1960 Imperial is in many ways the most emblematic and iconic Imperial ever made. Its fins were wider, bigger than anything ever made, with the exception maybe of the 1959 Cadilac. These fins had bullet style tail lamps at the peak of the fin, with a halo of a chrome ring surrounding it. The grill and bumber on the front of the 1960 used large pieces of heavy chrome, and the 'furrowed brows' of the fenders over the double sets of headlights gave the car an enormously ponderous look. It has often been said that you either quite hated the 1960 Imperial, or you fell in love with it. The push-button transmission and elaborate use of chrome on the dash also made this car stand out.

The 1960 year has been portrayed in several notable movies: in Blade Runner, the 1960 Imperial can be seen on several occasions driving with a mix of exotic, old and post-apocalyptic contraptions on the road. In the movie Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, the 1960 Imperial is prominently displayed, being driven by the character Count Olaf. He abandons the children in the movie on railroad tracks, locked inside the 1960 Imperial.

A black 1960 Imperial Crown (Limousine) was used to transport Jacqueline Kennedy during the funeral proceedings of John F. Kennedy.

Styling went from "Longer, Lower, Wider" in 1955 through some of the wildest fins put on a car from 1957 to 1961.

 

1964-1975

In 1961, Chrysler scored a coup by hiring Elwood Engel away from Ford, where he had designed the 1961 Lincoln Continental (the same type of car in which President Kennedy was assassinated). Engel's design themes at Chrysler were a far cry from the wild fins of Virgil Exner, and instead featured the more familiar "three-box" design with more rectangular, angular cars. The 1964 Lincolns and 1964 Imperials bear many of the same design hallmarks.

1966 Chrysler Imperial Crown Coupe
1966 Chrysler Imperial Crown Coupe

In 1967 a new body style was introduced that would take Imperial away from Lincoln and into its own territory. 1968 was also the last year for the Imperial convertible.

1969 Imperials were known as the "Fuselage" cars for their smooth, rounded sides that were unbroken by character lines or ornamentation. The 1971 Imperial is notable for being the first production car in America with a 4-wheel Anti-lock braking system(ABS) from Bendix, a rarely selected option at that time. The 1966 Jensen FF from England was the first production car in the world to have ABS.

1966 Imperial
1966 Imperial

The final bow of the Imperial as a separate division of Chrysler came in 1975, brought on by rising oil prices that made their giant weight and poor fuel economy a luxury that fewer people could logically embrace.

The main advantage of Imperials in the 1960s was their strength; their crashworthiness got them banned from demolition derbies for being too hard to take down.

See 1955 - 1975 Imperial for more information.

 

1976-1978

There were no Imperials produced between 1976 and 1978. The cars previously sold as an Imperial were sold as the Chrysler New Yorker Brougham during this time.

 

1981-1983

In 1981, Chrysler resurrected the Imperial luxury car brand. See Imperial article.

 

1990-1993

Image:90 Chrysler-Imperial.jpg
1990 Chrysler Imperial
 
It should be possible to replace this fair use image with a freely licensed one. If you can, please do so as soon as is practical.

The early 1990s saw the last generation of the Chrysler Imperial. Based on the Y platform, the car was an upscale version of the Chrysler New Yorker Fifth Avenue. The car featured six passenger seating and was powered by either a 3.3 L or 3.8 L V6 engine. A four-speed automatic transmission was standard. The Chrysler LHS replaced the Imperial in 1994.

 

2006

2006 Chrysler Imperial concept
2006 Chrysler Imperial concept

A Chrysler Imperial concept car was presented at the 2006 North American International Auto Show. This concept uses the Chrysler LX platform. It features a 123 in wheelbase. Riding on 22 inch wheels, the car presents "a six-figure image but at a much lower price" according to Tom Tremont, Vice President of advanced vehicle design for Chrysler. The design incorporates a long hood and front end dominated by an upright radiator and strong horizontal grille. Brushed and polished aluminum pods evoke the free-standing headlamps of past models. Circular LED taillights with floating outer rings harken to the "gun sight" taillight look of early 1960s Imperials. The roofline is pulled rearward to enlarge the cabin and to create a strong profile.

See also

  • Imperial (automobile)

External links

  • Allpar - 1924-1930 Chrysler Imperials
  • Allpar - 1990-1993 Chrysler Imperials
  • Online Imperial Club
  • TeamChicago.com - Imperial, By Chrysler
  • TeamChicago.com - Informative Imperial FAQ


 

Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chrysler_Imperial"