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The 1967 Imperials certainly were new. New unit construction body, all new sheetmetal and interiors, crisp elegant styling, the powerful 440 V-8 engine was introduced just the previous year. Hoping to repeat sales figures of a decade earlier, Chrysler had high hopes for the newest edition to bear the Imperial name. Imperials for 1967 featured distinctive front fender lamps that were embossed with the Imperial Eagle. The front grille featured a color-keyed insert that matched the paint. At the rear, large taillamps were separated only by the distinctive Imperial Eagle, set in a circular chrome frame. In between, the lines were very clean and uncluttered, unlike many of the Imperial's competitors. Standard rear fender skirts gave the Imperial a sophisticated look which appeared lower than ever before.
Inside, the elegant instrument panel featured real walnut--as did the doors. To keep the panel tidy, a door closed to conceal the radio controls. Another door hid the ash tray. Little details were designed to surprise, and make the Imperial luxurious. For instance, the four cigarette lighters were designed to slightly cant toward the person using them. The driver's door console controls were discreetly illuminated by a small hidden light. The foam padded seats actually had foam padding put on top of the foam padding. And as if that weren't good enough for an Imperial (it wasn't,) the underpadding was padded once more! A passenger assist grip was concealed on the underside of the dash pad, and when the cabinet door is opened to reveal the in-dash glove compartment, a mirror automatically tilts up to delight front seat passengers. If additional storage space is desired, each door has its own glove compartment concealed beneath the armrest.
Even the base Imperial Sedan for 1967 featured standard equipment that its competitors were charging extra for. Power windows for one. (Cadillac Calais models were equipped with manual windows, and did not provide any rear seat cigarette lighters.)
People who bought a new luxury car in 1967 and had the opportunity to compare the Imperial with the Cadillac and Lincoln were favorably impressed with Imperial. Most consider the Imperial to be a superior road car. It doesn't wallow on corners like the Lincoln, and its brakes were without question safer than those of the Cadillac. Why then didn't more people choose Imperial? It seems to be a matter of perception: the Imperial was considered by many to be the entry-level luxury car. The one you bought when you just came into "new money" and wanted something flashy to announce your newly found fortune.
Perhaps there are more reasons, but it's unfortunate that more didn't choose the finest car built by Chrysler Corporation. Current owners of these cars tell us the more they drive them, the better they like them. Now that's quite an achievement for a car that's seen more than three decades of service, and those same owners will also tell you that their Imperials will start and run when all other cars in the household fail to. Then there's also the comparison to a Sherman Tank... (we think you get the idea.)
Imperial '67. Chrysler said it best, and said it first: this is what a luxury car was always meant to be.
Imperial '67...this is what aluxury car wasalways meant to be. 1967 Imperial LeBaron
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