Why I Love My 1961 Imperial, Part Six

Imperial Home Page -> Imperials by Year -> 1961 -> Tony Lindsey -> Why I Love My Imp -> Part Six


By Tony Lindsey

I have many, many more thousands of words to write on this topic, but I pooped out when I stopped getting feedback. The notes that follow are the only ones I finished. If you want to see more, you are going to have to ask for it!

My dad died on Father's Day years ago, and it was no surprise, as he had severe cancer and it was a blessing for his pain to end.

My mom needed a ride to the funeral, so I showed up in my 1964 Imperial onvertible. I gladly chauffeured her around the whole day, and she loved the attention the other people in other cars gave her, and waved back at everybody on the freeway.

I dropped her off at the end of the day, and went back to San Diego. A couple of days later, I found out that my mom had died in her sleep. Yes, it was a tragic thing, and nobody expected it. I've come to accept it and have grieved, but I'm also delighted that the last memory I have of my mom is of her in the Imperial with the top down, waving and giggling at other folks - She was the Imperial Queen for a day!

I also have another excellent reason for remembering her - She specified that her house was to be sold and the money divided-up between the ten children. We each got $11,800, and I spent mine on my '61 convertible's drivetrain, bodywork and paint. Every time I hear somebody compliment my car's flawless paint-job, I think "Thanks, Mom!"

I get a special "zing" of pleasure when I glance over my shoulder and see the fins slashing through the air. I can just sit and stare at my car when it glitters in the sunlight, in awe of the arrow-shape and sensuous curves. I have never, ever regretted the money, time and effort I've expended on this car. I still have a long way to go, but I don't care. I'll do whatever it takes.

It's not my goal to own something to make other people feel envious - If nobody in the world loved my kind of car but me, I'd still endure the insults and jokes with equanimity. Believe me, I did, and for many years.

Imperials with fins were "horrid gas hogs" to most people in the early 1980's when I was starting out in the hobby. The car-books made fun of the '61's styling, which I think is the greatest ever. Most people never gave my car a second glance, and I never cared. I was where I belonged, behind my own rectangular steering-wheel, grinning like an idiot.

I brought my '61 Crown Coupe in to the suspension shop a few years back, and the young man working on the car told me "They should have crushed all of these years ago." Needless to say, I complained loudly to the manager, and told him I'd never bring my cars to that shop ever again. I have extreme pride in my Imperial, and I won't apologize for it.

I've got a few rare options for my '61 convertible:

- Swivel Seats
- Power Trunk-Release
- Flite-Sweep Decklid
- Headlight Dimmer
- RCA HiWay Hi-Fi
- Auto-Dimming Rear-View Mirror

My strippo Imperial didn't come with any of those options originally, nor any of the following, more-mundane options:

- Power Door-Locks
- Power Vent-Windows
- Factory Air-Conditioning
- Auto-Pilot (Cruise Control)
- Appearance Package (stainless-steel trim around the wheel-wells and along
the lower body below the doors)
- Triple-Trumpet Horns - The center horn is VERY long, loud and low-toned,
and it makes the best sound ever when you want to get the attention of
the people around you.
- I avoided the Sure-Grip Differential, since I've heard it's a headache.

I've added of these options to my luxury car, since it's my nature to add all possible power-driven accessories, appurtenances, amenities and accoutrements!

The following messages were written in response to this segment:

From: fwdlook@mail.emi.net (Brett C. Snyder)

>- I avoided the Sure-Grip Differential, since I've heard it's a headache. > This is because most mechanics have General Motors tattooed in their brains and think Posi-Traction maintenance is the same as Sure-Grip. Although they're both anti-slip differentials, they use DIFFERENT fluids. Consult your local Mopar Parts dealer for the Sure-Grip Additive that must be used to keep your rear-end on track. :-)

Go back to Part Five...

This page was last updated October 18, 2003.  Send us your feedback, and come join the Imperial Mailing List - Online Car Club