row-of-imperials-small picture

Mike Sutton's 1962 Imperial Coupe

Imperial Home Page -> Imperials by Year -> 1962 -> Mike Sutton

(click on small images to see big ones)

Cruising Oregon 2000
Mike and Family
Parked at Oregon Imperial Meet 2000
Push Button Transmission
Back End
Front End
Parked at Oregon Imperial meet 2000
In Leslie's Garage at Oregon Imp Meet 2001

Coming off tow truck Oregon Imperial Meet 2001

Read Mike's Story of the 2001 Meet

Before the painting
The elf that did the work (actually doing the work)

Hi all....

Since we are one of the 11 people in our area that apparently decided NOT to
drive somewhere this weekend, its kinda slow. Was reading a thread about
car origins...the chain of owners and such that have went on between a car's
arrival on the dealer lot and its home among the IML today.

Our 62 Crown coupe was first sold to my parents, Robert and Mary Sutton, on
10/2/62 at Cooper Motors 22357 East Mission Blvd, in Hayward California. It
was sold by Mel Steele for the sum of 5000.00 plus tax and license, which
was incidentally 200.00 tax and 32.00 license and title.

Included in that price were the following items, none of which show any
additional charge on the invoice: Leather trim, radio, heater, power seats,
power steering, power windows, remote control mirror, door edge protectors,
torqueflite transmission, autopilot, rear window defogger, closed crankcase
ventilation, antifreeze and 820x15 whitewall rayon tires. Also shown were
dealer installed seat belts and traction masters. I find it somewhat
amusing that so many of these items on the invoice were not "options" as
such, for example the torqueflite trans, heater, etc etc.....but it looks
nice on the invoice I guess.

Interestingly, my folks treaded in a 1956 Imperial for the amount of $
600.00 , which left an amount to be financed of 4, 632.00 at 36 payments of
147.96. Ok.....I was just barely able to make use of solid foods at that
point in life...was that a lot of money back then? How does that compare in
terms of earnings to expenses to todays dollar? I have my own suspicions on
this...but Id be interested in hearing from folks who have more first hand
knowledge of this than I do.

Anyway, after my father passed away we moved to Washington state, to my
parents home town. My mom continued to drive the car, which she always
called " blue " ( a name that never did much for my liking ) around our home
town, on trips to the Washington coast during the summer, etc etc.....for
the rest of her life. I do recall fondly that car being our main
transportation, and one thing I will never forget is the time she took it to
the dealer for something, and they loaned her a 70 or 71 340 Duster with the
big black "340" across the hood, a slapstick automatic shifter, a host of
go fast options. She drove it back , parked it and it didnt move until she
returned to pick up the Imperial the next day.....the drive back was
hysterical! Mom was very comfortable with the pushbuttons and didnt care
for the slap stick, let alone the more assertive drivabilty of the high
winding small block!

I actually didnt drive the car much during my high school days, not because
of any derision or such from my friends....there was no doubt whos car it
was, there wasnt another within 50 miles! It was just that there were not
going to be any errant beer drinking, girl chasing, irresponsible and
irrepressable teen agers using that car for any of that nonsense. Most of
my friends, and others who knew the car called it " the Enterprise" which
was the name I prefer, when I actually am asked. I was very happy to avoid
the " batmobile" friend Howard's dad had a 58 or 59 Buick,
which was black and got that name hands down!

In 1986 I inherited the car, which had only been driven two or three times
a month in the last 3 years before that. In all accounts, it had spent
more time in the garage between 1981 and 1986 than it did on the road,
probably gathering less than 2000 miles per year during that time. Prior to
that it was driven quite often and received regular maintenance....during
the last 5 years my mother had the car very little was touched. After a very
thorough tune up and change of belts, hoses, etc wife and I
started driving it more and more.

Sadly, my Mom had decided to have a local kid, a friend of the family as it
were, wax and polish the car one summer after I wasnt living at home. Not
knowing any better, he used a fairly rough grade of rubbing compound ( I
still wonder if it was lapping compound ) and proceeded to remove most, if
not all of the gloss in the paint. Waxing did nothing to restore the shine,
nor did using finer compound to try and regain some of the original paint.
At that time, the car looked a lot like a base coat clear coat that hadnt
had the clear applied yet.

Since then, we have tried to "preserve" the car as much in its original
state as practical, with arrival of kids, job changes, moving, etc we have
not progressed as much as I would like, but we have been able to stay ahead
of mechanincal problems, regain functionality of things that my Mom had let
go, like the signal seeking radio function, the autopilot ( I NEVER saw her
use that ) and the rear power windows...I wonder if she knew they didnt
work, or if she tried them at all.

Most of you are aware that I removed the factory 413, and installed a 440.
Rather than go thru that entire story, suffice to say it was a rather simple
process of removing things like manifolds, accessories, water pumps and such
from the 413 and putting them on the 440. No doubt you heard of the oil
pump fiasco at the Northwest gathering in Florence, to that I can only
offer that it was a pump failure and that since then, the new pump has
functioned perfectly and I have 35 psi at a hot slow idle, and 50 at any
other operating range.

Well...thats the long enough version of this story today! For those
insomniacs out there, I hope that this helps.....if your eyes are still open
I suggest calling a physician or mental health professional. My question
is how many others of us out here have the entire lineage of our particular
car? I dont regard myself or our car as better because of our situation, I
am just wondering? I am also on the lookout for another "Cooper Motors "
license plate frame, but I know they have been out of business for some
time....but theres always hope and I have seen bigger miracles here on the

take care all....have a great holiday weekend!!

62 Crown Coupe (Memorial Day Weekend 2001)


This page was last updated 29 September 2005.  Send us your feedback, and come join the Imperial Mailing List - Online Car Club