16-17 January 2014

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Lot 10

1960 Imperial Crown Convertible

  • Chassis no. 9204107098

$150,000 - $175,000

350 hp, 413 cu. in. overhead-valve V-8 engine, four-barrel carburetor, pushbutton Torqueflite automatic transmission, independent front suspension with torsion bars and a semi-floating rear axle with tapered semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel power-operated hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 129 in.

  • Recipient of a 3,200-hour body-off restoration
  • One of 618 Imperial Crown Convertibles built
  • Best in Class at the 2012 Concours d’Elegance of America

When, in 1955, Chrysler Corporation decided to launch their own luxury marque to compete with Cadillac and Lincoln, they did so by breaking out their top-line Imperial into its own brand. The new division’s cars started out as twins to their Chrysler cousins, but, by model year 1957, they moved onto their own unique platform and received a radical restyling, courtesy of Virgil Exner.

Exner fixed his new Forward Look aesthetic to the Imperials, with large, forward-slanted tailfins and heavily lidded headlamps, and he also drafted plans for the line’s first-ever convertible. This years-ahead style, combined with the Imperial’s superb performance and handling, made the car a sales success for Chrysler.

The year 1960 saw Imperial stick with the body-on-frame construction that Chrysler was beginning to move away from. It also saw the line’s already bold styling exaggerated, with deeply vee-d front bumpers, even taller tailfins, and massive pieces of chrome trim on the front, back, and all around.

A 413-cubic inch Wedge V-8 with 350 horsepower and 470 foot-pounds of torque now resided under hood, and it was attached to a smooth-shifting Torqueflite automatic transmission that deftly carried the car’s 4,700-plus pounds down the road. Passengers enjoyed well-padded leather seating, while the pilot got a High Tower driver’s seat, which parked him behind two deeply hooded instrument pods.

Imperial Crown Convertibles came loaded with power steering, power brakes, a power antenna, and a power folding top, along with several other options. Those features put the price tag up to $5,774, which kept drop-top versions of “America’s Most Carefully Built Car” out of the hands of all but 618 buyers, making them highly coveted today.

The car offered here has been owned by its present caretaker for over a decade, and it has undergone a complete nut-and-bolt restoration over a period of more than 3,200 hours.

The car, equipped with optional swiveling power front seats and extremely rare black-face gauges, was refinished in striking Regal Red enamel; period-correct techniques were utilized until a mirror-smooth finish was achieved without a clear coat. Pearlescent white upholstery was installed, the original drivetrain was completely restored, and the 413-cubic inch V-8 was rebuilt.

The Imperial has logged just 230 miles since its restoration finished in September 2010, and it has been shown at close to 20 events across the Midwest, netting Best in Show or Best in Class honours at all but one. It is an AACA Senior Grand National winner, as well as a recipient of the AACA Bomgardner Award.

Included in this sale is a copy of the car’s build sheet and a decoding letter from Chrysler, as well as a letter from the AACA, which confirms that there were “no areas of deduction” during judging. This Convertible is not only a beautiful example of an exceedingly rare Chrysler, but it is also likely the most perfectly and accurately restored 1960 Imperial in the country.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

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Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

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California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

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United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

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Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

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California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

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California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

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California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

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Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

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California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

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United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more