Bill Roddick's 1964 Imperial Crown

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Bill is in the process of restoring his '64.  Go here to read his latest progress report!

A brief quote from Bill about his 1964 Crown:

This was my grandfather's car, he purchased it in 1964 as "used" from a dealer near Washington, DC.  He researched the car, and found out that after it was built it was turned over to the Chrysler Engineering Department.  They used it for evaluation and testing of that model year.  When they were finished with it they sent it on to the dealer.  He received a full term factory warranty on the car (at no cost), even though it had about 12k miles on it.

My grandfather drove this car until shortly before his death in 1987.  It has made several trips coast-to-coast.  It has over 200k miles on it, and other that the usual suspension and steering component changes, has only required a valve job (burnt valve forced it), and a new timing set.

The car has been sitting on blocks (and not been started) in sunny California since October 1989.  We plan to have the car shipped to Ohio in May, and begin restoration in June.  It is almost completely original, the front seat had to be reupholstered (grandfather chose cloth over leather), and the non-working clock was replaced by a photo of his 3 daughters.  When it was parked 11 years ago, everything else worked except the automatic headlight dimmer and the radio reverberator.  Oh yes, and I think the parking brake release lever is broken too.

Click on the small image to see a larger picture.

Bill's new project is temporarily at home in California, under a tarp.  The front grille on the '64 Imperial is a distinctive split affair with 4 headlights.

Here's is a right quarter view of Bill's car.  This Crown is painted black with a black interior.

The car has been stored since the death of Bill's grandfather, but he is planning on bringing this gentle giant back to life soon.  This 4-door hardtop displays stylist Elwood Engel's "Lincolnesque" traits, including relatively straight bodysides with full-length trim, squared-off roofline, and "continental" style trunk lid. 

This car is in great shape for is all original AND it has no rust or other annoying body problems.

The rear of the '64 has a nice clean rear, as this picture demonstrates.  The tail lights are integrated into the bumper and the spare tire bulge in the trunk is very subdued, especially when compared to the 1957-63 (except 62) "Toilet Seat" trunk lids.

 Here is a nice detailed, close-up of the rear script and eagle emblem.

Bill's car has the standard 413 engine.  Also visible are the air conditioning compressor and Auto Pilot speed control unit.

Here is a picture of Bill's dash.  The overall theme of the 1964 Imperial was clean and simple and the dash is a great example of this styling.  Transmission pushbuttons (on the left) made their final appearance for 1964.

Bill plans on restoring the interior back to original, including repairing the clock and getting that famous reverberator radio working again.  

Bill's Restoration Report


July 8, 2001:

We got her moving today, and under her own power too! Not used to steering something that wide down the street, like driving your living room! Felt good, although an alignment is in order.

I don't recall how well the brakes worked 12 years ago, but it takes a bit of pedal travel to stop her. Either I have them still adjusted too loose, or the power booster is not working. The pedal seems slow to return too. Any pointers on these brakes would be appreciated.  I am also going to be tackling the fuel tank and a nasty drip from the transmission.



This page was last updated on November 16, 2001. Send us your feedback, and come join the Imperial Mailing List - Online Car Club