1958 Imperial Spotter's Guide
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The 1958 Imperial was the third year of Imperial as an independent marque.
||1958 Imperial Custom 4-door Sedan, belonging to Ole & Peg Jensen. Photograph is from the
Sonora Statewide Imperial Meet
||1958 Imperial Southampton (four-door-hardtop)
||1958 Imperial four-door Sedan. Notice the radically different roof and door style, compared to the car above.
||1958 Imperial Southampton - Nicknamed the "Banana Boat" because of its color.
||1958 Imperial magazine advertisement.
||1958 Imperial Crown 2-Door Southampton, Champagne Gold & Ermine
||Imperial LeBaron 4-Door Southampton, Garnet Marron
||Imperial LeBaron 4-Door Sedan, Winchester Gray
||1958 Imperial Crown Convertible, Aztec Turquoise
Prior to 1955, Imperial was the designation for a top of the line Chrysler.
The Chrysler organization did not have a luxury brand as such, like Ford's
"Lincoln" line or General Motor's "Cadillac." In 1955, Imperial was created
as a separate marque, but no separate dealership network was ever created.
This was a double confusion for the public, as they were used to the idea of
Chrysler Imperial and used to getting them at their regular Chrysler
The 1955 Imperial was also a somewhat badge engineered Chrysler, although a
wonderfully handsome one with some distinctive features. Likewise the 1956.
In 1957, an all new Imperial was introduced, with a body style all it's
own. It was designed by Virgil Exner, the corporation styling chief, and
maintained the company's 'Forward Look' theme.
The 1958 Imperial was introduced with great optimism. The 1957 Imperial actually
outsold Lincoln, a great achievement, though neither came close to the sales
of Cadillac. The car differs from its predecessor in only a couple of minor
1. The rear view mirror is repositioned closer to the driver. It is still
on the dashboard, but on the edge of the instrument cluster, not where the
glass and dashboard meet at the center.
2. The turn indicator is in the same place, below the transmission push
buttons on the left side of the dash, but it is redesigned.
3. Under the hood the two barrel carburetor is gone and is replace by a
four barrel, bumping horse power by twenty, to 345.
As before there were three trim levels, and five body styles. There was the
Imperial, the Imperial Crown and the Imperial LeBaron. There was a two door
hardtop, a four door hardtop, a sedan and a convertible. The fifth style
was an elongated limousine, built in tiny quantities in Italy by Ghia. The
company gave its hard top style a name, Southampton.
They were offered as follows :
Imperial : 2 door Southampton (hardtop), 4 door Southampton, 4 door Sedan.
Imperial Crown : 2 door Southampton, 4 door Southampton, 4 door Sedan,
LeBaron : 4 Door Sedan, 4 door Southampton
Crown Imperial : Limousine
For such a limited production model it is interesting to note there were 10
models! To further confuse the public, you may also note the difference
between an Imperial Crown and a Crown Imperial.
There was a color range of 22 shades, not counting two tone options, or
There was : 1, Ermine; 2, Champagne Gold; 3, Shell Pink; 4, Stardust Blue;
5, Midnight Blue; 6, Matador Red;
7, Air Force Blue; 8, Bamboo Yellow; 9, Spring Green; 10, Mandarin Jade; 11,
Aztec Turquoise; 12, Ballet Blue;
13, Winchester Grey Metallic; 14, Cypress Green Metallic; 15, Spruce
Metallic; 16, Satin Grey; 17, Mesa Tan;
18, Sandalwood Metallic; 19, Garnet Maroon Metallic; 20, Tahitian Coral.
Identified as Spring Colors (probably a hold over from the previous year)
are : 21, Bimini Blue; & 22, Frosty Tan.
Length : 18 Feet, 10 Inches
Width : 6 Feet, 9 Inches
Weight : 4738 lbs
Height : 56.7 Inches, loaded
Engine : 392 Hemi
Horsepower : 345
Power Amenities : Windows, Brakes, Steering, Seats (Height, Reach & Angle),
Front & Rear Air Conditioning
Foot operated ; High Beams, Windshield Washer & Radio Station Changer
Engine : High compression 90 degree Imperial V8, airplane-type, with
Hemispherical Combustion Chambers and overhead, laterally inclined valve
arrangement. Bore : 4.0 in., Stroke : 3.9in. Piston displacement : 392 cu.
Compression Ratio : 10:1. Brake horsepower : 345 @ 460 r.p.m.
Fuel System : Four barrel carburetor with mechanically controlled secondary
draft system. Integral automatic choke. Plastic fuel filter in gas tank,
ceramic fuel filter at engine. Tank capacity : 23 gallons.
Exhaust System : Twin exhaust system with two mufflers and two resonators.
Transmission : Torque-Flite. Fully automatic torque converter, with 3 speed
planetary gear set. Push button operation. ( NOTE : NO PARKING POSITION,
and, NEUTRAL PUSHBUTTON IS ALSO THE STARTER. Key turns on electrical
Suspension : Independent front wheel suspension with torsion bar springs.
Oriflow shock absorbers front and rear. Tapered-leaf outboard rear springs
with interliners and rear axle strut.
Steering : Full-time 'Constant Control' power steering, with symmetrical
idler arm steering linkage. Only 3.3 turns needed from full left to full
Wheels : 14 inch rims
Brakes : 'Total Contact' hydraulic, power assisted, brakes. Independent
parking brake - operates on drive shaft.
Two cylinders per front wheel, one per back wheel. Bonded brake linings.
Big old parking brake warning light on dashboard.
Electrical : Sealed beam dual Headlights. Back-up lights. Map lights.
Elect. Windows. Six way power seats. Variable speed wipers. 2 Cigar Lighters ( 3
on Crown and LeBaron, two in rear ), clock, Rear Interior Light. Glove
compartment Light, Trunk light, Antenna.
This page was last updated September 13, 2012. Send us your
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