Chrysler Imperial Crown
While the 1959 Imperial Crown marked the end of Virgil Exner’s “Forward Look” design theme, it also heralded a number of firsts. Mechanically, Chrysler Corporation’s hemispherical-head V-8 was replaced by the new 413-cubic inch “wedge” with single Carter four-barrel carburetion, developing 350 hp and 475 ft-lbs of torque while weighing a staggering 101 pounds less than the “Hemi” it replaced. The ’59 Imperials were the first cars to be assembled at Chrysler’s all-new Dearborn, Michigan plant, where each vehicle received quality-control checks at every station.
Reinforcing its technological dominance, the ’59 Imperial lineup introduced fingertip-controlled dual-front swivel seats and a pushbutton-actuated heater/air conditioner unit. These Jet Age innovations joined the finger-controlled TorqueFlite transmission, Auto-Pilot cruise control, radio, six-way power seats, power windows and power door locks in pampering the Imperial driver and passengers. Optional Imperial features debuting for 1959 included an air suspension enhancement to its torsion-bar setup, a self-adjusting rearview mirror and an electronic headlight beam changer.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in November of 2010 at the Robson Estate, Gainesville, Georgia and in March of 2012 at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida.
350 bhp, 413 cu. in. V-8 engine, four-barrel carburetor, TorqueFlite three-speed automatic transmission, independent front suspension with parallel torsion bars, semi-floating rear axle with tapered semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel, power-assisted hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 129"
Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel