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From My Collection... Sunday 7/03/22

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John Merritt
(@jcarnutz)
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Joined: 26 years ago
Posts: 3260
Topic starter  

The Imperial by Chrysler. A look at 40 years of style.

The Imperial name 1st appeared in 1926, it was Chrysler's "Top of the Line" luxury offering. A position it occupied for its entire run. 

When I first started collecting this scale, the Imperial models offered were scarce. It seemed to be a marque that model makers just didn't pay that much attention too. In the 1:24 scale world, they were nonexistent.

I had seen a few Imperial models, but none that really caught my attention until I happened across the 1951 & 1952 versions from Brooklin. I added the Burgundy '51 convertible and the gold '52 Anniversary edition at the same time. I was very impressed with both of them when they arrived. 

The 1951 convertible coupe was first convertible offered on the Imperial line since 1938, and unfortunately it was a one-year option and was discontinued in 1952. The Imperial convertible would not make a return until the 1957 model year. The '51 Imperial was a New Yorker for the most part. It featured less chrome and a more luxurious interior. 

The Brooklin version of this "classic" Chrysler model is well-done. It was 1st issued in 1999 and doesn't feature all the detail of Brooklin's later models but is very nice all the same. 

1951 Chrysler Imperial Convertible Coupe, BRK 79 - it is in Crown Maroon

1951 Chrysler Imperial Cnv B0
1951 Chrysler Imperial Cnv B1
1951 Chrysler Imperial Cnv B4
1951 Chrysler Imperial Cnv B5
1951 Chrysler Imperial Cnv B6
1951 Chrysler Imperial Cnv B7

In 1955, the Imperial became its own brand at the Chrysler Corporation. The '55 & '56 Imperials were far more luxurious versions built on a standard Chrysler platform. That all changed in 1957 when the Imperial received its own platform, which transformed the car and took it to a whole new level. 

A few of these very exclusive models were offered by a couple manufacturers, NEO did a '57 Crown Southampton, as did Conquest Models. Brooklin offered a '61 in a coupe and convertible. NEO also issued a '63 convertible in 2016. GLM offered a '56 Hardtop and '55s were issued by Motor City USA several years ago.  All of that changed in the model world when GLM started down the Imperial path in full force. Since the 1st in 2015, a Crown Ghia Limousine, GLM has issued convertibles in the 1958, 1959, 1960 & 1961 model years. There are more models on the horizon with some coupes and hardtop sedans in the works. 

1961 Imperial Crown Convertible Coupe, LE #029 of 109 in Formal Black

1961 Imperial Crown Conv B0
1961 Imperial Crown Conv B1
1961 Imperial Crown Conv B4
1961 Imperial Crown Conv B5
1961 Imperial Crown Conv B6
1961 Imperial Crown Conv B7

Three more generations of the original concept Imperial were introduced after the initial design from 1957-1963. The 1964-66 design was more squared looking and very closely resembled the Lincoln Continental styling. The 3rd generation was introduced in 1967-68 and joined the rest of the Chrysler Corporation in a unibody platform. In 1969, the "Fuselage Look" greeted Imperial buyers for the 4th generation. From 1969 to 1973, the Imperial was a large and very luxurious car. The 5th generation continued, while still a very attractive style, the Imperial was once again based on the Chrysler New Yorker platform. The 1974-75 Imperials were the last large cars built before they ended production in 1975. Although the style continued as the New Yorker until 1978.

NEO issued a 1971 Le Baron Hardtop Sedan in 2012 & 2013. They offered it in several colors, three of which exist in my collection. NEO also issued a 1975 Lebaron Hardtop Sedan as well; I have two of those. To date, these are the only models offered of the 4th & 5th generation Imperial in 1:43 scale.

1971 Imperial Lebaron Hardtop Sedan in Aztec Gold w/a white top

1971 Imperial LeBaron Hdtp G1
1971 Imperial LeBaron Hdtp G2
1971 Imperial LeBaron Hdtp G3
1971 Imperial LeBaron Hdtp G4
1971 Imperial LeBaron Hdtp G5
1971 Imperial LeBaron Hdtp G6

The 6th generation of the Imperial was introduced as a 1981 model and ran until the 1983 model year. Chrysler had hoped to revitalize the distinction of the Imperial marque of the 50s & 60s. The new coupe was based on the 2nd generation Chrysler Cordoba & Dodge Mirada platform. The new style of the Imperial was also a "bustle-back" design similar to the Cadillac Seville & the new Lincoln Continental, although the Imperial Coupe was marketed to compete with the Cadillac Eldorado & the Lincoln Mark IV. Unfortunately, the Imperial Coupe never sold as expected and was discontinued after the 1983 model year.

NEO Scale model issued the 6th Generation Imperial Coupe as a 1981 model. A couple colors were offered including this "Frank Sinatra Edition"

1981 Imperial Coupe in Glacier Blue

1981 Imperial Coupe 0
1981 Imperial Coupe 1
1981 Imperial Coupe 4
1981 Imperial Coupe 5
1981 Imperial Coupe 6
1981 Imperial Coupe 7

I am really looking forward to adding the new models of the Imperial that will be introduced soon by GLM and I hope for more in '57, '62 and '63 model years.

 

 

 

 

 

John Merritt
South Lyon, Michigan - USA


   
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Ed Davis
(@ed-davis)
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Posts: 1145
 

Nice pictures and thanks for the history info.

Ed Davis
Inverness, Illinois, USA


   
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Moe Parr
(@moe-parr)
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Posts: 1086
 

@jcarnutz

Great pictures and write-up of one of my favorite car makes, John! I have a large display shelf devoted solely to Imperials.

I don't think you mentioned this one by NEO

20220703 221330

Also, I'm not aware of any 1/43s from either the '67-'68 or '72-'73 styling generations.

Barry Levittan
Long Island, NY


   
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David H
(@d-m-holcombe)
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Posts: 2054
 

  Thank you, John, for your good historical background and your fine photography of these great models.  While mine below are not new, they're at least variations of other Imperials.  The '55 is still a favorite!

IMG 8017
IMG 8018
IMG 8020
IMG 8019
IMG 8023
IMG 8022

   
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John Merritt
(@jcarnutz)
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Joined: 26 years ago
Posts: 3260
Topic starter  

@moe-parr 

I did forget that one. I do have it too.

John Merritt
South Lyon, Michigan - USA


   
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Ed Glorius
(@ed-glorius)
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Posted by: @moe-parr

@jcarnutz

Great pictures and write-up of one of my favorite car makes, John! I have a large display shelf devoted solely to Imperials.

I don't think you mentioned this one by NEO

20220703 221330

Also, I'm not aware of any 1/43s from either the '67-'68 or '72-'73 styling generations.

Thanks for your post. I didn't know about this one, and I want it. Anyone willing to help me mortgage a second condo for all these marvelous models? 😉

Edit: Looks like well over $200. I can enjoy the photo.

 

 

 

This post was modified 5 months ago by Ed Glorius

Retired in Dunedin, Florida.


   
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John Quilter
(@john-quilter)
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And my selection of circa 1951-52 Imperials including a custom sedan.

1951 Imperial X4 #2

John F. Quilter
Eugene, Oregon USA


   
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Ken Spear
(@kenspear)
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John: very creative on the 4 dr sedan. If I am correct, you started with the Brooklin 2 dr but  did not remove the original top from the 2 dr. By slimming the rear roof pillars you then narrowed the front doors and added the rear door lines ? In any event, it turned out magnificent. I especially like the color choice.


   
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John Quilter
(@john-quilter)
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Ken, you have my methods figured out exactly correctly.  I've currently got an Arena resin kit of a 1951-52 Chrysler Saratoga sedan on the work bench being converted into a Town & Country station wagon.

1952 Chrysler const #2
1952 Chrysler SW const #1
1952 Chrysler const #3

John F. Quilter
Eugene, Oregon USA


   
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Ken Spear
(@kenspear)
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@John-quilter. I've always wanted a good quality model of a 1954 Ford Skyliner so I decided to take the plunge. I will splurge for a Brooklin 1953 Ford Customline and a Brooklin 1954 Monarch, remove the roof and window frame of the 1953 Ford, change it from a 4 dr to a 2 dr and graft on the  roof assembly from the 1954 Monarch.Also add the plexiglass roof from a Crown Vic. This will be my most ambitious and costly project yet.

1953:54 Ford
s l1600 75
s l1600 74

   
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Michel Lemieux
(@michel-lemieux)
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Posts: 388
 

Two others Chryslers than i like. Made by Western Scale Models.

The WKD #6 1951 Chrysler Saratoga and the WKD #2 1951 New Yorker Club Coupe in Blue. I think both models have been made for Dale Dannefer K&D Models.

934779430 6d379db058 b
934778774 5148663ecb b

   
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John Quilter
(@john-quilter)
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I have acquired and will build the Arena resin kits of the 1952 Chryslers, a four door Saratoga and a club coupe.  I think it highly likely these were patterned after the long out of production Western Models versions.  

John F. Quilter
Eugene, Oregon USA


   
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John Quilter
(@john-quilter)
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Posted by: @kenspear

@John-quilter. I've always wanted a good quality model of a 1954 Ford Skyliner so I decided to take the plunge. I will splurge for a Brooklin 1953 Ford Customline and a Brooklin 1954 Monarch, remove the roof and window frame of the 1953 Ford, change it from a 4 dr to a 2 dr and graft on the  roof assembly from the 1954 Monarch.Also add the plexiglass roof from a Crown Vic. This will be my most ambitious and costly project yet.

1953:54 Ford
s l1600 75
s l1600 74

Have you considered swapping the roof from a Collectors Classics Mercury Sun Valley to a Collectors Classics Ford convertible or hardtop?   It would give you a phantom 1953 Ford Skyliner glass top,  not a 1954, unless you changed the trim etc.

 

John F. Quilter
Eugene, Oregon USA


   
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Ken Spear
(@kenspear)
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Posts: 363
 

John: I do not own any Collectors Classics but thought about using them. My first impression after looking at pictures of them on Ebay was the fit and finish  and proportions were far inferior to the Brooklins, Conquests etc. Correct me if I am wrong. I feel that if I'm going to put all the time, work and effort into a conversion, I should at least start with the best examples that I can find. This gives me added incentive to do the best possible job that I can do.


   
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David H
(@d-m-holcombe)
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@kenspear   Ken, this project sounds great!  I admire your courage in even attempting it.  Please, please take some pictures in progress and at some point give us a report on your methods, results, and particular challenges.  Go for it!    

  David H


   
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