Rare car from “Mad Men” could be yours.
Don Draper is probably known best for pitching great advertisements, excessive drinking, and womanizing. But the lead character in AMC’s Mad Men was also a bit of a car aficionado, getting behind the wheel of various classic rides over the years. Now fans of the TV show can buy one of the many rides Draper drove at auction.
The car in question is a 1964 Imperial Crown convertible, which Draper (played by Jon Hamm) rents on a visit to California in the show’s fourth season. Imperial was a Chrysler luxury brand; this 1964 Crown came with a 413 cubic-inch (6.8-liter) V8 engine and a push-button, three-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission. The car is close to original, with auction house ScreenBid saying that the only significant updates are new carpeting and fresh red paint. As befits a luxury car, the equipment list is extensive by the era’s standards, with AM/FM radio, power steering, power brakes, power windows, and a power convertible top all apparently included. The car also comes with a certificate of authenticity from Lions Gate Entertainment, attesting to its role in the TV show.
The auction house has not listed a reserve or estimate price for the Imperial. Hagerty Insurance says that average sale prices for a 164 Crown convertible range from as little as $10,800 for a “Fair” condition car, to $47,000 for one in Concours-ready condition. Still, it’s possible that the car’s small-screen provenance will bump up the value for an avid Mad Men fan. The auction starts June 1.
1964 Imperial Crown convertible driven by Don Draper
This 1964 Imperial Crown Convertible was used in the hit TV Series Mad Men in Season 4, Episode 3. Only 922 (1964) Imperial Crown convertibles were built and fewer than 200 are believed to exist today. This is the rarest of the rare as this is the only Imperial to boast having been smoked in by Don Draper (okay, we are not 100% certain he smoked in it during filming, but when have we ever seen Don not smoking?). He drives this beautiful land yacht with the top down to visit the real Don Draper's wife in California. Sporting aviator glasses, white shirt and black tie to match his grey suit, Don Draper, epitomizes the successful businessman out for a Sunday spin in this very special car. Many mistakenly refer to this vehicle as a "Chrysler Imperial" (including local DMVs when titling the vehicle), but Imperial was its own separate brand after 1955 as Chrysler spun it off to better compete against Lincoln and Cadillac. Famed auto designer Elwood Engel, creator of the ubiquitous Lincoln Continental slab side design, found his way to Imperial and completely redesigned the Imperial for 1964. There's an old adage that you "...ride in a Cadillac, you glide in a Lincoln, but you float in an Imperial". So true! Head turner. Draws a crowd wherever you go; especially when it's learned the car was featured in Mad Men. This stunning example of mid-1960's styling boasts the iconic 413 V-8 wedge engine mated to the smooth-shifting 727 TorqueFllite push button automatic transmission. Power steering, power brakes, power windows, power antenna for the working AM-FM radio and electric top; she's fully loaded from the factory. This beauty is believed to be all original except for one repaint about 20 years ago and new carpeting. The original drab Roman Dark Red color was upgraded to its current bright (and much more attractive) red. The comprehensive frame-on paint job covered all painted surfaces with the exception of one small circle under the hood deliberately left in place by the paint shop as a nod to the original paint code.