Imperial Home Page -> Imperials by Year -> 1960 -> Ads
Click on the small pictures below in order to view the 1960 Imperial advertisements at full size.
For very large printable versions of these pages, you can also select the text links at the bottom of the page.
Many thanks to Kenyon Wills, Luke Nola, and Bill Watson for contributing the original ads and commentary below.
The year is 1960. The American World War II generation is maturing and many of this group are in their prime earning years. It is a time of design decadence in automobiles, with new shapes and gadgets introduced yearly as conspicuous consumer fashion. The magazines of the time feature incredible breakthroughs in the technology that directly impacts consumers and daily life. With the space race in full swing, freeways being completed in metropolitan areas, and a shift to suburban living, promotion of the new Imperial for 1960 reached a zenith of sorts in Imperial advertising.
1960 was a very special model year for Imperial, and the advertising department went out of its way to get the news out.
1960 saw a giant leap in the companyís investment in Imperial as a separate marque/car line. In late 1959, the new Imperial assembly plant on West Warren Avenue opened for the first time, being dedicated exclusively to the manufacture of the Imperial automobile. This exclusive and expensive new assembly-line was intended to allow tighter quality control and an expanded capacity for the Chrysler corporationís top-of-the-line automobile. The plant began assembling 1959 Imperials in September, 1958. Production of Imperials switched back to East Jefferson Avenue at the end of the 1961 model year. West Warren became available in the summer of 1958 when DeSoto production moved from Wyoming Avenue to East Jefferson. The West Warren plant built bodies for DeSoto starting in 1950 and assembled DeSoto hemi TV engines. West Warren was purchased from Graham-Paige in 1948 and sold in the late 1960's. Parts of the West Warren Avenue plant are still standing. The Online Imperial Club 1960 page has a copy of the exciting press release with full detail on this eventful change of Imperial address. Also see the Warren Avenue link below for more details regarding the new plant.
The advertisements for 1960 were like no others in surrounding years. The standard fare for Imperial ads was understated conservatism with a consistent look in all ads, regardless of publication or size format. Also, ads were designed to be capable of being run in any publication.
The Vogue Magazine Spread
Imperial pulled out all the stops to attract women (and their husbands) with this colorful and fashionable spread in Vogue magazine. Besides being reminiscent of the Imperial Fashion Show from 1956, it also provides an excellent glimpse of the inside of Imperial division's new production location at the Warren Avenue plant.
The Holiday Magazine Campaign
1960 saw an ad campaign dedicated to HOLIDAY fine-dining and food magazine in the large format. These are the black and white double page ads with a metallic gold eagle crest (therefore they are color, but artistic B&W) that are double page with ample ad copy beneath or to the side. Each month's setup featured a new and different ad, with the cars displayed in exclusive or important settings. Almost all previous Imperial advertisements had been single page to this time.
∑ Chauffeur waits patiently near the Hall of Justice
∑ Upscale Garden Party - man holds a radio-telephone (!) that is apparently hardwired to the car.
∑ VIP's are exclusively met on the tarmac by their chauffeur and Imperial, next to their just arrived aircraft (with rear stabilizer cropped so as not to distract from the cars' own fins!)
∑ The Wedding - guests and an Imperial LeBaron await the woman you'd want to marry, if only for her taste in fine automobiles.
∑ Exclusive, LeBaron bodied Imperial waits in front of a meeting place flanked by its motorcycle escort admiring the car's lines (with apparent envy).
The Full-Color Imperial Ads
There was a separate Imperial ad campaign designed for Reader's Digest and National Geographic magazines that featured 5 consistent-format full color ads with the Imperial shown in different poses and 4 different colors amongst the bunch of ads. These featured a car on top and a close-up shot of the interior below. Fit and finish quality are the main point here, with subtle references to improved or perfected manufacturing that was as close to hand-built as a mass produced car could be, according to the text. This message was then reinforced at the dealership with news of Imperial's totally dedicated manufacturing facility and superior engineering features such as Electro-Luminescent Instrumentation, Torsion Bar suspension, Auto-Pilot, "squared" comfort steering wheel, and many other items.
These color ad formats were also to occasionally show up in the coffee-table size format of LIFE (although LIFE never carried "Imperial only" ads). LOOK Magazine was the primary recipient of this large format version. Both Look and Holiday were chosen as upscale magazines more likely to be capable of reaching the upscale clientele associated with the Imperial line.
The 1960 Imperial also appeared in Chrysler full-line ads seen in LIFE, Saturday Evening Post, Boys' Life, and other more general publications, with the car featured alongside its other siblings of the Chrysler family, touting great gas efficiency, a claim all the more interesting to the modern reader of these great vintage Imperial ads.
Select the text links below for large, high resolution files suitable for printing. File names appear in the same order as the pictures above.
NOTE: File sizes below range from 1.5 to 5.5 Megabytes.
Red, with Horse
|Where did the Rattles Go?||Quick and Strong||Jack Instructions|
|Save Gas!||The Nose Won't Dip...|
|When it's tune-up time...||Music to Sell Imperials By||60 Imperial Limo||"Craftmanship"|
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