1958 Imperial Body-Plate Decoding Tips

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From Jim:

This is the DATA plate info for my 58 Ghia. Serial #LY10033.

It seems pretty straight-forward compared to the decoding info (1957 Imperial Body-Plate Decoding Tips) given by Philippe Courant concerning 1957 Imperials:

CrabtreeGhia.gif (2297bytes)

Except Model 576 - is this a limo or the hardtop kit car? Special color Z seems appropriate. The date, could this be February the 8th? Should this be the scheduled date of the kit car or the completed limo? Nothing else looks too weird to me. Any comments??

Answer from Philippe:

I haven't found anywhere in literature about the # model : the "Standard Catalog of Chrysler" and others books say it's not available or not provided!

However, I have seen some '57 data plates (hope that it's the same # in 58) and I've verify some numbers. Perhaps other 57 (58) owners could help me or confirm these codes. I mention that this code is on the data (right upper radiator frame) plate and below the letters MDL.

I'm sure of the following codes:

179 4 door Hardtop IM1-1 (Base model)
289 4 door Hardtop IMI-2 (Crown)
283 2 door Convertible. IM1-2 (Crown)
285 4 door Sedan IMI-2 (Crown)
495 4 door Sedan IM1-4 (LeBaron)

So I could perhaps assert the following about Imperial numbers:


1 IMI-1
2 IMI-2 (Crown)
4 IMI-4 (LeBaron)
5 MIGHT be Crown Imperial Ghia (IMI-5 series?)

Note also there's no IMI-3 series, although I've seen on some literature that Crown convertibles were the IM1-3 series.

7 IM1-1
8 Crown
9 LeBaron

Why is there a 7? Because the original body (2 dr/HT) came from an IMI-1 series, fact approved in the book Chrysler & Imperial 1946-1975, The Classic Postwar Years, by Richard Langworth: Chrysler sent 2 dr/HT bodies and not 2dr/HT Crown as you could see on page 200 : no "crown" above Imperial script.

3 Convertible
5 4-Door Sedan
6 Coupe
9 Four-Door Hardtop

(You're correct that your Ghia's original body was a coupe)

It'll be helpful if 57/58 owners could confirm these codes : send me the # MDL for

??? Sedan & 2dr H/T IM1-1
??? 2 Dr/Ht Crown IM1-2
??? 4 Dr/Ht LeBaron. IM1-4

About the shedule date, I believe it's when the body (2dr/HT) left the factory as the serial number seems to fit the month (February) : my car (9909) was sheduled 01/18, a friend has a 16022 # sheduled for 03/14. You're in the middle!

From Philippe Courant accf_clb@club-internet.fr, '57 Crown convertible ; PAU (France)

I've seen the '60 Swiss plate (Dietmar's car - See 1960 Imperial Body-Plate Decoding Tips), I've performed some research to "find the key". At this time, I've gotten poor results as I only have the paint & model codes. I've the options code like the 57 plate (i.e 339 = rear window deffoger) but I couldn't match them with the " letter & number " plate. But I'll try again!

During this research, I've found the (Chrysler) '58 code which wasn't the same as '57.  As the decoding of the data plate is nearly the same, here are the options codes (remember that Imperial only codes, such as Flite sweep deck lid or radio are missing). I've also removed the Chrysler-only codes, such as Chrysler radio and EFI fuel induction:

1958 OPTION CODES (Chrysler prices)
303 6 way power seat ($ 101.90)
304 power windows ($ 107.60)
327 rear shelf radio speaker, H/T only, ($ 15.10)
334 power radio antenna ($ 25.80)
341 A/C, trunk installation ($ 540.10)
342 A/C, Deluxe Dual ($ 688.60)
345 Custom Conditionaire heater ($ 93.30)
347 Instant Heat heater (gasoline) $ 158.45)
359 crankcase vent cleaner (export only)
381 front license plate frame ($ ?) ; don't know if it's an Imperial option
394 rear window defogger, (NA conv.) $ 20.85
397 Auto-Pilot ($ 88.10)
399 Sure Grip differential ($ 51.70)
401 manual outside mirror, left hand ($ ?)
402 remote control outside mirror, left hand ($ 13.80)
403 manual outside mirror, right hand ($ ?)
405 vanity mirror ($ ?)
467 Solex tinted glass ($ 15.90)
469 Shaded backlight, H/T only, ($ 26.90) ; don't know if it's an Imperial option.
481 rear quarter stone shields ($ ?)
553 3.31 to 1 axle ratio ; ; don't know if it's an Imperial option
578 generator 30 amp (# 1842601)
605 touch-up paint
612 export


First letter indicates upper color, second letter lower color and third letter insert color (Not Applicable on Imperial)


Raven Black


Stardust Blue


Air Force Blue Poly


Midnight Blue


Spring Green


Cypress Green Poly


Mandarin Jade Poly


Aztec Turquoise


Spruce Green Poly


Satin Gray


Winchester Gray Poly


Mesa Tan


Sandalwood Poly


Tahitian Coral


Matador Red


Shell Pink


Garnet Maroon Poly


Bamboo Yellow


Ballet Blue




Champagne Gold

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