Car of the Week: 1959 Imperial Crown

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By Lou Beauchain

My 1959 Imperial Crown is an original car with approximately 40,000 miles. I found the car on the internet about three years ago. It was located in the Pittsburgh, Pa. area. After a few conversations with the owner I took a trip out to look at the car. It was love at first sight.

After arranging to have it shipped home to Vermont, I began to get it ready to drive. New brakes, new drive shaft bearing and a tune-up and the car was ready for the road.

For being over 50 years old this Imperial is in remarkable shape; no rust and the interior leather and cloth is in original condition with no rips or tears. The ruby paint still shines after a polish and wax.

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My Crown coupe, one of 1,728 produced that year, is equipped with swivel power seats (1959 was the first year these were offered), FlightSweep deck lid, and the landau roof (painted black to look like a scotch-grain finish). Also new for 1959 was the 413-cid engine producing 350 hp. I get about 12 miles per gallon, but with a 23-gallon fuel tank, the car has a good cruising range.

The Torqueflite transmission is activated with push-button controls on the dash. The turn signal switch is also located on the dash and takes a little getting used to. The torsion bar front suspension makes it an easy car to drive on curvy Vermont roads.

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Since I’ve had my car I’ve taken it on many trips to car shows, cruise-ins and to the local burger stand. It never fails to attract a crowd when I park it. A lot of people ask what kind of car it is, since Imperial was rare when new and even rarer now.

It’s the little details that Chrysler put on their Imperials, even though it was a limited production car, that I like. From the small gold crowns on the front fenders to the soaring decorated tailfins, my 1959 Imperial is a car I love to drive and show off.

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