1958 Chrysler Imperial Convertible Auction


1958 Chrysler Imperial Convertible on Auction

We’re told this 1958 Chrysler Imperial Convertible (click here to go to the ad) is part of the Duffy Grove Collection and will be offered June 25-26, 2016 at the Auctions America Santa Monica Auction. See the ad for additional pictures!

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Here’s more from Auctions America

“In the mid-1950s, a sea change in marketing took place at Chrysler Corporation. What had long been the most expensive Chrysler model became, for model year 1955, simply “Imperial,” offering three body styles in two series. This separate badging was a direct challenge to Lincoln and Cadillac. For the next two years, Imperial was basically a long-wheelbase Chrysler with a bolder grille, the latter appropriated for Chrysler’s performance model, the 300. In 1957, however, Imperial was given a completely new personality, its gun-sight taillamps incorporated into growing tailfins and curved side glass foretelling an industry trend. This year also marked the appearance of a faux spare tire embellishment on the decklid, a device first seen on the Virgil Exner-designed and Ghia-built concept cars of 1952-53.’

Nineteen fifty-eight was the final year of the bigger-is-better philosophy in American automobiles, as the flash Eisenhower recession limited sales and turned buyers’ attention towards smaller models for the first time. Manufacturers were caught unaware, as they had produced for this year the largest, chrome-laden, most gadget filled models yet seen on public highways. Nonetheless; Chrysler proudly heralded their new Imperial as having ‘a new look of elegance to the finest expression of the Forward Look. Sleek, low, glittering. A car of matchless good looks, good taste and quality.’

Chrysler’s top-of-the-line Imperial now boasted quad headlamps, new circular parking lamps, and a simplified grille design as standard exterior equipment. The interior was laden with luxury that included well-tailored fittings accented by a padded dashboard and power accessories in the form of the top, six-way adjustable seat, windows, door locks, steering and brakes. All of which is seen on this beautiful model.’

Under the hood was the vaunted, venerable 392 cubic inch Hemi V-8 with 325 horsepower, which remained an outstanding performance engine. Despite being boisterously powerful, this would be the final season for the Hemi, as it was too expensive to build for a profit in a time of slagging sales. Fortunately, Chrysler was able to find an extra 25 horsepower in the Imperial engine for 1958, letting the Hemi go out with a bang. This unit is mated to a pushbutton TorqueFlite automatic transmission. The Imperial is one of the last Chrysler Corporation models to use the first-generation Hemi engine.’

Formerly found in the Bob Pond Collection; this car was acquired by this respected enthusiast in 1996. This car was repainted to the current color in 1998. It has complementary tan leather seating in very good condition and matching brown carpet, plus a tan soft-top. Additional equipment includes an AM radio, heater/defroster unit, whitewall tires and factory wheel covers.’

Only 16,000 Imperials were produced in model year 1958, and of those, only 675 were Imperial Crown Convertibles. The Crown Convertible was Imperial’s equivalent to the Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz, and this incredibly luxurious open model was a car for Sunset Boulevard if there ever was one. Unfortunately, the number of surviving convertibles over the years has dwindled, and it is believed that only a few dozen survivors are known, with very few of them having been fully restored. These are the most sought-after of all 1950s Imperials.’

This Imperial Crown Convertible combines unsurpassed elegance with the flamboyance of the 1950s, as only Virgil Exner and his designers could, making it the ultimate Chrysler from a decade of Hemi-powered dream-machines.”


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