Vince Turner's 1962 Imperial Custom

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I bought this 1962 Imperial Custom Southampton from Jim (James L.) Brown of Woonsocket RI. I actually saw Jim's ad on the OIC website. Jim also has a 1963 LeBaron for sale. I drove down to look at the car, and knew after driving it that I wanted to buy it. Jim and I came to a reasonable selling price, and the deal was struck.

The color is not the original sage green. I will return this car to its original sage green in about a year. Since much of the chrome trim needs to re-chromed, I have to budget both the painting and the rechroming (if there is such a word!). The chrome is not in bad shape, but definitely needs to be refreshed.

This car is solidly a #3. Interior is in excellent shape. The rear seat is slit somewhat along the seat seams, but the original upholstery is still intact. The front seat was reupholstered some time ago before Jim got the car. Although the front seat upholstery is in excellent condition, I plan to reupholster the front and rear seats in the original pattern found on the rear seat.

A fair amount of mechanical work has been done already, with some more to do. Mike Veronesi of the New England Imperial Owners Club (a past president) is a knowledgeable and gifted mechanic who has been doing all the mechanical work for me. We replaced the water pump, flushed the entire system, put in a better quality thermostat and a new sending unit. This got the car to running normal engine temperature, as it had been sticking on high temp with the needle pegged to the left side of the gauge.

Mike will install new lower ball joints in about two weeks. New spark plugs and carburator will be installed this week. Mike worked on the car just before the show at Endicott, and got it running many times better than when I first drove it home.

The front end was wobbling horribly at first, tracking left to right, right to left. That has been corrected somewhat, and the new lower ball joints should help a lot. We also discovered the tires were about 10# below the suggested pressure, so logically bringing tire pressure to where it should be helped with the steering too.

The car, due to age, demands TLC, but she drives very well and gets a lot of attention. My plan over the next two years is to redo the interior to factory original (dash areas need serious paint and finish update),

put Imperial wire wheels on the car, get all the chrome work done, clean up or replace tail light lenses, reupholster the trunk, repair or replace a window switch on the left rear door that does not work and tend to some door lock issues. Also, the window seals should be replaced because the rubber has hardened resulting in a very poor weather seal between front and rear windows.

I am very excited about having my first Imperial! Over the next few years I'd like to add a 1955 or 1956 to create a "collection." I also have a 1954 Packard Cavalier 4 door sedan with Packard a/c that will undergo major resto work beginning in October. These "projects" assure me that I will continue to work for the next decade! I had my IMP at Endicott this last Sunday for their HUGE classic and antique car show. My car caught a lot of attention, which certainly made me feel ... "grand"! I named her "Lily".

Jim Brown is a delight to work with and is a very straight-up guy. He kept the original owner's bill of sale that owner had given to Jim when he bought this car. Along with that are two Owner's manuals, spec and parts sheets. Jim just acquired a 1960 Imperial Crown Southampton that is awesome. He has given me permission to share some pix of his latest acquisition with you. (The pix of his car were taken at the Endicott show on 11 July, 2004.)

This page was last updated 15 July, 2004. Send us your feedback, and come join the Imperial Mailing List - Online Car Club