1965 Chrysler Imperial

posted in: Chrysler | 0

In the 1950s, once the undisputed leader in the American premium car niche, Packard was slowly dying. Now this market was shared by GM and Chevrolet with their divisions – Cadillac and Lincoln. It seems this situation did not suit the third automobile giant of America, Chrysler. This explains the fact that in ’55, Imperial ceased to be flagship model of Chrysler, and became a new separate brand. It was supposed to compete with Cadillac and Lincoln.
1965 Chrysler Imperial you could see in the movie of 2011, – “The Green Hornet”. Including the replicas that were used for the explosions, 29 of these cars were used in the movie. By the end of filming, only two of them had survived. Today, when many people have already forgotten about this car, the “Black Beauty” created by Kato reminds us of the Imperial ’65.

In my opinion, this is a seriously underrated machine. It has all the hallmarks of an American, premium car, but has not been in as good a demand as the Cadillac. Perhaps this is because if we take into account those Imperials that were previously produced under the brand name Chrysler, the 65th model was already the 8th generation. Probably, the Americans got used to seeing Imperial as Chrysler and despite the powerful engine and excellent equipment, they felt that this name is not comparable to Cadillac in prestige. And in fact, Imperial was created in separate, production facilities, where the necessary temperature and humidity were maintained. Yes, today air conditioning units work probably in all car assembly workshops, but at that time, such a solution was not common.

Like other American cars of this class, the Imperial was built on a frame. And I’m not 100% sure if this is true, but I heard that it was forbidden for the Imperial to participate in derbies where cars crashed into each other. It was believed that the body of this car was so strong that the other competitors simply wouldn’t stand a chance.
Of course, the makers of the Imperial 65 certainly didn’t want their car to get blown up, even in the movies, or crashed at the races. In the manual, which came with the car, this car was called not even a ship, or a yacht, but a private island! Frankly speaking, I have never met or even heard about such comparison. In the same book it is written, every minute behind the wheel of Imperial relieves fatigue. I think that’s a pretty clear message from Chrysler about how they wanted to show their car to customers.

It’s also noteworthy that in the manual for the car, it shows a car of the same body type and color that the buyer chose. According to some people, the suspension of the Imperial was not as smooth as on the Cadillac, but in the corners the car did not lurch as much. But this is ’65, who in the U.S. at that time needed the perfect handling?

1965 Chrysler Imperial for sale and price.

It’s even hard to believe, but in not the best condition today you can buy an Imperial for even $6,000. A coupe in good condition can be purchased for $20,000. Convertibles in similar condition cost more, as it is a rarer modification. But the rarest were limousines. Only 10 cars of this kind were produced. And they were collected from U.S. car kits in Europe. One of the limousines is sold today at classiccars for $135,000. Which is not much, considering the exclusivity of the car. A new limousine cost $18,500, which was a very substantial sum in the 60’s. During the ’65 it was produced 18,409 cars of all modifications.

Exterior and photo.

The 1965 Chrysler Imperial was available as; – hardtop, coupe and convertible. Who do not know, hardtop is a body visually resembling a sedan, but without a central divider between the front and rear rows of seats. This type of body was very popular in the 60’s in America. Whichever body is Imperial, there is not a single nameplate on it, or any inscription that would remind of the Chrysler affinity. The body to frame is connected via rubber cushions, which worked to reduce vibration. Chrysler mentioned in its ads that their Imperial engine runs very quietly and smoothly. Part of the credit for this goes to the frame cushions.

The body of this car is decorated with an imperial eagle. You can see this emblem on the hood, as well as in the rear of the car. By the way, the rear logo also serves as a gas tank hatch. If you open it, you can see the gas tank neck behind it. The Imperial lettering is on the chrome-plated wheel covers.
The Imperial hardtop is 5786 mm long and has a wheelbase of 3277 mm. The wheelbase of the vehicle was 154 inches (3850mm). Curb weight of this car is 2275kg. If you look at the Imperial from the side, it would seem that the trunk almost longer than the hood. The appearance of this car is dominated by straight lines and forms, and only six years ago at the peak of car fashion were huge fins of Cadillac Eldorado 1959. However, in ’65, the flagship Cadillac did not have any fins.

From the photo, you can see that the side mirrors are not mounted on the doors, but in the front fenders. A power antenna was installed in the front, right fender. The trunk lid is inscribed Imperial, and the lid itself is stamped in the rear as if the spare wheel is attached immediately behind it, but in fact it is not – it is attached to the trunk floor.
In the photo you can not see it too well, but the keyholes on the doors are covered with special closures. I do not remember to see this solution on any car, but similar closures can be seen on the doors of houses.
For the body painting of Imperial ’65 14 different colors were offered, and five more colors were offered for LeBaron.
The easiest way to recognize a ’65 Imperial is the radiator grille. Its central part is made in the form of a cross. In addition, the headlight lenses of ’65 are covered with plastic, transparent elements in a chrome edging.
The roof of the hardtop versions could be covered with vinyl.

Interior and equipment.

Prior to ’65, the Imperial was equipped with a push-button shifter. In this year’s model, the speed shifter, familiar to all Americans, is back. The door opening levers are very unusual, resembling the traction control on an airplane. It looks like this element served to individualize the Imperial. The sill plates with the model name serve the same purpose.

The front passenger will know he is in Imperial even if he is blindfolded and brought inside the car. The Imperial inscription will be in front of him. The fact that this is a high-class car is indicated by the fact that the interior is trimmed not just with walnut, but with wood more than 100 years old.

It is also noteworthy that from the felled wood, only the best 5% of the wood was used for trimming Imperial.

In the photo it will not be seen, but the speed on the speedometer is not shown with an arrow, but with a red stripe, which overlaps all previous values. Among the instruments is Sentley Signal indicator, which lights up if the oil pressure in the engine drops significantly, the engine temperature rises, or the fuel runs out. By the way – the ignition switch itself is not installed in the steering column, but in the front panel itself.

The steering wheel has a large diameter and a very thin rim. Sometimes cars with thin steering wheel are less comfortable to drive, but not this Chrysler, because the hydraulic booster makes the steering wheel of this car extremely light. Of course, there is a very wide brake pedal, and the parking brake is also actuated by the pedal.

The car is equipped with air conditioning and cruise control. The Chrysler driver’s seat is electrically adjustable in four directions already in the basic equipment. Not only the windows, but the front windows are also electrically adjustable.

The hardtop was a six-seat car and was equipped with lumbar seat belts, which was the norm for the time. The limousine had a glass partition between the driver’s compartment and the passenger compartment. There were two extra seats in the back that could be used for security.

Engine and Specifications 1965 Chrysler Imperial.

The Imperial ’65 was powered by a large Mopar 413 cubic inch V8. The 6.8 liter capacity was reached with a cylinder diameter of 106.4 mm and a stroke of 95.3 mm. The power train had a high compression ratio of 10.1:1, which in itself helped to increase the power. It had a new camshaft, which allowed a larger opening of the valves, which also had a positive effect on power.

Maximum power of 340 horsepower was reached at 4,600 rpm. Maximum torque is a monster 639N.M! The engine reached its maximum power at 2,800 rpm. This is a fantastic pulling engine. It could accelerate up to 100 km/h in 9.8 seconds even with a three-compartment automatic system and could gain 200 km/h on a freeway. By the way, the speedometer is programmed just to 120 miles.
The air filter housing has Imperial lettering on it. The valve covers are decorated not just with inscriptions, but with plates with the Imperial model name. You can see from the photo that the ignition coil is right below the air filter housing. Also here is a very large, and thick, vacuum brake booster. Notice how big the distance from the front bumper to the front radiator is here.
The suspension was torsion bar, and the air elements were installed at the rear.

Despite the creation of a separate brand, Chrysler could not match Cadillac in sales. It was a classy, well-equipped, powerful car. And what is surprising to me, even today this car is not expensive at all. Eldorado in a similar condition can cost 2-3 times more. But the relatively low cost today can be attributed to the merit of this car, because you can buy such a rare and stylish car for quite reasonable money.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *