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Home : Scrapbook : Roamin Angel Corner Index : 1962 Crown Imperial Southampton
Family Affair

1962 ChryslerWhen Greg M.’ father bought his ‘62 Crown Imperial Southampton four-door sedan, it is doubtful he ever thought his son would still be driving it forty-seven years later. Greg’s dad saw one at the 1961 auto show at the now-demolished Pan-Pacific Auditorium and liked it. Even though it was a stretch on his telephone company salary, he liked Chrysler products and the top of that line Imperial, so he bought a new one the next year. The car was loaded, with air conditioning, leather seats and power steering, brakes, windows seat and even antenna. It also had the 340 HP 413 CID engine, with 495 lbs. of torque, which was needed to push the 5,100 lb. car down the road at a good speed. Although Greg did enjoy driving it, he normally drove one of the older family cars. On those special occasions when he was allowed to drive the Imperial, however, the lure of the acceleration from its powerful engine could be a problem. Going to a school where a lot of the kids drove their parents’ Caddys or Lincolns, it was a temptation to prove the Imperial’s superiority. One day, while drag racing a Caddy (and winning), one of his father’s fellow workers saw him and told his dad. It was some time before he took the Imperial for a spin again. Still, he was able to take it to the senior prom and a fancy restaurant. There he found the advantage of driving the Imperial: it was easy to find in a parking lot of Caddys and Lincolns. There are some negatives, though. The main one is that the Torqueflit auto trans has a push button shift, but no “park.” That means you depend entirely on the parking brake, which was not very effective that year. It is a good idea to avoid very steep hills when parking and always curb your wheels. Greg and wife Jeanne inherited the Imperial in 2001 and have kept it all original, like it was when they got it. Greg even has the original build sheet and window pricing sticker safely tucked away. He’s proud to be the keeper of his family’s Imperial tradition.

The Imperial is a long, low car, with a 129" wheel base and 230" overall length. The car has never had a serious accident and is a real “survivor.” It even has the original front license plate frame!

1962 Chrysler

The interior is all original and shows the “futuristic” look that was popular in that era. Note the push-button shifter diagonally on the left of the steering wheel has only five buttons:R-N-3-2-1.

Although showing some signs of age, the engine is all original. Considering how old it is, it does not look too bad. If it were detailed and painted, it would no longer qualify as a “survivor” class auto.

Ron Cherry © 2009

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