1968 Chrysler Imperial Crown Coupe (LHD)
|Body Work||Hardtop Coupe|
Although Chrysler’s more upmarket offerings had used the Imperial badge for several years, it didn’t become a separate line until 1954 and the combination of bold, adventurous styling and plenty of power made the Imperial a winner with critics and the public alike. Built in limited numbers, the Imperial brand was Chrysler’s answer to Lincoln and Cadillac, its exclusivity ensured by the high sticker price and long list of standard luxury features. The 1968 Imperial line-up was a facelift of the all-new unitary construction offering from the previous year, boasting a revised grille (with quad headlamps neatly integrated into horizontal bars) and wraparound side markers. Full-length upper and lower moldings gave latest Imperial a low-slung look, while vinyl quarter panels and rear roof covering were standard features. The Imperial Crown range consisted of the four-door sedan and hardtops, along with an elegant hardtop coupe and full convertible. The more expensive Imperial LeBaron series boasted a unique roof and even more standard equipment. All 1968 Imperials were powered by Chrysler’s massive 440-cid TNT V8 with 350 horsepower on tap, while the ultra-smooth TorqueFlite automatic transmission the only gearbox on offer. Equipment levels were generous, including power disc brakes, power steering, a heater, remote-control external mirror, an electric clock, padded dash and energy-absorbing steering column, while air conditioning, leather upholstery and cruise control featured on the lengthy options list. There was even something called the Cruise Lounge, which allowed the front passenger to revolve to face a folding table and reading light to create a mobile office! Critics praised the Imperial’s excellent ride quality, providing plenty of comfort without compromising roadholding. Performance was remarkably effortless for a car weighing over 5,000 lbs, with 0-100 km/h achieved in less than 10 seconds whilst able to of cruise on the freeways in the most relaxed manner possible. With the high price keeping production numbers down, just 2,656 Imperial Hardtop Coupes were built for 1968 and only a handful of this rare American classic have made it to Australia.