Chris Bray's 1960 Imperial

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Here are some pics of Chris Bray's Imperial when he got it

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My name is Chris, and I'd like to share with you the short story of my 60 Imperial 4dr Sedan.

I learned about this car in October of 2002, when a good friend of mine "Don" informed me that he was purchasing another Imperial.  Don already had a 59 4dr HT at the time, non-running yet needing total restoration.  He informed me that he needed a driver to help him get the 60 home, so I jumped at the chance. At this time, I had no intentions of buying this car, as I figured he was going to keep it.  Plus, I was still working on getting a 57 Plymouth home from Utah, so another car wasn't exactly convenient at that time for me.

Then Don asked me if I knew Rudy from Oshkosh, Wisconsin.  And, I did strangely enough.....he also had a 57 Plymouth restored, and I conversed with him many times when I was into cars 10 years earlier.  Don told me that Rudy had the Imperial for around 10 years already, and really didn't drive it at all, because of his restored Plymouth and limited storage for both.

On the way to Oshkosh (only 20 miles), I somehow asked Don what he was going to do with the Imperial.  He said that he would probably sell it, being a sedan, and that he already had a 59 that needed alot of work.  Then my natural instinct set in, and I asked him "how much?".  He looked over and grinned, and said "oh, probably $1700.00", and about that time, we rounded a corner, and I saw what appeared to be the biggest car I had ever seen.  My jaw dropped.....and in the midst of the brown, dull fall colors, that Light Mint bomb stuck out like a pink dress at a funeral!

Don mildly says..."there it is...", and I almost instantly muttered "I'll take it!"  Mind you, I had never even seen a finned Imperial in person before, so I had no real conception of how big those FINS were!!  What a rush!!  It was like watching Cindy Crawford rubbing against a Coke machine....well, maybe a little better, because I can HAVE the car!  The transaction took place, and there was no mention of my interest in the car until Don and I had something worked out.  I don't remember if anything else was said, my eyes were so glued to that massive living room on wheels.

It was time to go, and Don asked if I wanted to drive it.  That was it.....after starting it, and getting the feel of that "torsion-aire"-ride again, I was hooked.  Rudy video taped me driving away and rounding that corner.  It must have looked impressive, because when I stepped the gas down a little too far, I made the tires chirp by accident....Oooops!!!

Within a couple of weeks Don and I completed the sale to me, although he had grown attached to it too, and he was quite reluctant to sell.  All it needed was a voltage regulator, and I put over 2000 miles on it that summer......what a blast.  I even cruised it back up to Oshkosh (college town) and several times some college girls screamed "NICE CAR!!" from the sidewalk.

This winter (2004), I have ground down what very little rust there was and am in the process of repainting it.  It was all one color, and since Crown sedans didn't come with the "silvercrest" option, stainless was out of the question.  So, I'm going with dark teal green inserts, and Seafoam green instead of Light Mint.  The Seafoam is very close to the same color, with just a touch of blue in it.  It will be repainted shortly during Spring of 2004, and ready for more miles.

Rudy had told me that the car was from Florida, hence it being so clean and almost rust free.  And, he also told me that it wasn't driven at all then either.........How someone can own a great car like that and not drive it is beyond me.

I would like to thank all the members of the Imperial Club for all the tech tips and advise when I requested it.  It takes the fear out of owning a rare car, because of the vast support it has through such a great club.

I hope to see you all at an Imperial meet, if there ever is one close by. I'm around 75 miles north of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Don now has a 59 4dr HT that was for parts for his, but instead of parting it out, he's giving it to me after he swaps the parts, so I'll hopefully be registering it this year too!!

Update 6 August 2004

Ah.....AT LAST!! My Imperial is painted and back on the road!

Well, here it's late summer and she's finally done.  I decided after all not to go with any of the original colors at all.  I had such a hard time deciding on either Light Mint or Seafoam, and they're neat colors, but it just seemed like too much light color for too big of a car.  Plus, I had a problem with all that beautiful, gawdy chrome being drowned in such light colors.  So, I went with a deep blue metallic (Bright Atlantic Blue), which is a gorgeous metallic color that has a pearl built in which makes the brighter highlights roll with the rounded edges as the light hits them.  And, it's dark enough where the chrome boldly stands out.  Also, I wanted the inserts done.......But, being the non-conformist I am, I decided to go with a unique color and make the car a one of a kind, so I chose Chrysler Inka Gold.  That's the same color used on the PT Cruisers a couple years back.  And, gold being as rich and royal as the Imperial name made it a logical choice.

Now, all that's left is improvements such as electronic ignition upgrade, nicer bumpers, and mechanical maintenance.  But the car runs and drives the way it is, so I'm saving all that stuff for next's time to drive her and turn some heads!!  I'll be posting my 59 Crown 4dr Hardtop sometime next Summer, so be on the lookout for that.  You guys/gals are going to love that one.......she's going to be deep raspberry metallic, silvercrest op, and black rear top.

My special thanks to all the people of the club for their tech advice and help on parts.  This stuff would be next to impossible to acquire the conventional way, and thanks to this Imperial Club, restoring my Imperial was easier than my 70 Charger.  Hats off to the Imperial Club!!!!


P.S.   Sorry about the grill and headlights missing in the pics.....I haven't been able to take any recent pics as the car is a little dusty, but I can't wash it yet cuz the paint is still tender.  It still looks cool even with that stuff off, eh?

This page was last updated 6 August 2004. Send us your feedback, and come join the Imperial Mailing List - Online Car Club