Imperial Crown (1965) – In the Wild

Every year is different

Imperial Crown 1965 In the wild

What Cadillac is to General Motors, Imperial was to Chrysler. At least, that was once the intention. This bright blue Imperial Crown from 1965 reminds us.

In the 1950s, Chrysler looked a bit jealously at General Motors, which had real prestige with Cadillac. When you think of American automotive opulence, you probably still picture a Cadillac from this period in your mind’s eye. To respond to those cars, Chrysler elevated the Imperial model name to a brand in 1955. What happened in more recent times to Cupra and Genesis is indeed far from new.

The model name ‘Crown’ did not appear immediately, but after a few years it was used for Imperial’s large limousines. And big, an Imperial Crown certainly is. With a length of almost 5.80 meters, of which, according to our carpenter’s eye, roughly three quarters is taken up by the nose and butt, this is a typical American battleship. At least as typically American, many changes were made to the Crown with each model year. Some years there was of course more to report than others, but it is possible to determine which year such a Crown comes from without a license plate check. This ’65 is distinguished by the striking, cross-shaped bar through the grille. A ’64 example has a grille in two separate parts, while the later ’66s left the showroom with a more horizontal arrangement. All three of these vintages have a remarkable butt, with taillights that appear to end in a sharp point and a license plate that is mounted on the far left under such a light unit. Also cool: the side windows are styleless and there is no fixed B-pillar, so with the side windows open, this four-door sedan creates one large, gaping hole. Unthinkable now, quite common then.

Imperial Crown 1965 In the wild

We have some mixed feelings about this particular Imperial Crown. First of all, we are happy that, unlike many contemporaries and origins, it was not rolled in matte black, but those dark rear side windows are of course not possible. The same applies to the typical European towbar that disfigures the butt. On the other hand, it’s still there, and that alone is proof that it is well taken care of. Moreover, this car has a wonderfully unruly, striking appearance, especially in this bright blue, and that is always to be commended.

Can’t get enough of this Imperial Crown? This is striking: a copy from 1966 is discussed in detail this month in AutoWeek Classics. Order it (the magazine, not the car) here!

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