1956 Imperial Crown LimousineSOLD

1956 Imperial Crown Limousine

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Chassis No.
C561139

Estimate:
$125,000 - $150,000 US

In recent times, the term limousine has summoned up images of a stretched Lincoln Town Car. For those of an earlier age, it means a Fleetwood Cadillac. Often forgotten, however, is the fact that during the 20th century, Chrysler Corporation offered more variants on the limousine theme than any other American manufacturer. By far most of these were sold under the Chrysler badge, although at certain periods even Plymouths could be had with extended wheelbases and jump seats. DeSotos and Dodges were quite common, but by far the most prestigious were those from Chrysler, usually as part of the Imperial series. In the late 1920s and early '30s, they were available either as factory bodies or as individual customs from the likes of LeBaron, Dietrich or Locke. By 1941, the flagship Chrysler was the Crown Imperial eight-passenger limousine. This continued after World War II, with the longer, 145.5-inch frame reserved for the Crown Imperial, which could be had either as a limousine, with division partition, or eight-passenger sedan, without. The evolution of the Imperial began in 1949 with a vast expansion to five body styles in 1954. For 1955, the transformation was complete. No longer badged Chrysler; two lines of Imperial had broken forth, the C69 plain Imperial with sedan and hardtop on a 130-inch wheelbase and the C70 Crown Imperial, a sedan or limo on a new 149.5-inch chassis. Both benefited from Virgil Exner's new Forward Look styling, but differentiated themselves from the Chryslers with a bold new eggcrate grille and dramatic gun-sight taillights borrowed from the Ghia-built K-310 and d'Elegance concept cars. Crown Imperial production was very limited, with just 45 sedans and 127 limos built. For 1956, the Imperial hardtop coupe was dubbed Southampton after the posh Long Island town, and a four-door pillarless version was added. Crown Imperials continued as before, with eight-passenger sedans and limos, and popularity grew, to 51 and 119 units respectively according to reliable sources. This 1956 Crown Imperial Limousine is of the division limousine type with seating for eight. The passenger compartment is upholstered in a gray leather and cloth combination, with gray carpet on the floor. The chauffeur's seat is black leather with matching carpet. Outfitted with power windows, air conditioning and an AM radio, the car has Imperial's standard PowerFlite automatic transmission, power steering and power brakes. The engine compartment is detailed, with the Hemi V-8 in silver and ancillary units painted black. The undercarriage and underbody are unsoiled, appearing virtually as new. The car is fitted with Motor Wheel chrome wire wheels. Among the rarest of Chrysler products in 1956, the Crown Imperial limousine was the best the company had to offer. This one is just the car in which to make a dramatic entrance at any black tie affair. This vehicle was restored by the previous owner in the late 80s. Extensive research was performed to determine an authentic reproduction which resulted in an AACA senior first prize in 1989. The current owner purchased the car in the summer of 2001. Beginning in 2008 a complete drivetrain restoration was performed including engine and transmission rebuild, new driveshaft u-joints, center support bearing, brake system, wheel bearings, and rear differential pinion seal. The air conditioning compressor was upgraded from the two-cylinder Tecumseh to the larger capacity four-cylinder Copeland version. The car is personally maintained by the owner on a regular basis.

Reference Number 364371

as of 9/16/2015

Overview
Car 1956 Imperial Crown Limousine
VIN C561139 
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