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1964 Imperial Under Restoration


Imperial Home Page -> Imperials by Year -> 1964 -> Don Langer's 1964 Crown

I recently took posession of a 1964 Crown. Two weekends ago I got her transported from Roanoke, TX to my home in Justin, TX (4 miles from Texas Motor Speedway). She is not in running condition yet but we'll get there before too long. The body is good, paint is thin in places, interior is severely worn, driver's door is the only one I can open, got the 413 to run last weekend but haven't done a transmission test yet, brakes are non-existant. Yeah, I got work to do but it's fun work.

This car came on the market when I was a senior in high school which makes it extra special. My dad, now deceased, would dream about owning an Imperial but could only afford a new Plymouth every 3 or 4 years. What would he think?

OK, a quick update. The 64 Crown is finally sitting in my driveway thanks to the help of my neighbor, Marc, who is a dirt track racer with a magnificant Dodge diesel pickup and a nice trailer. Would attach more pictures but my lovely bride used her daughter's camera for the homecoming and, of course, Kodie took her camera to work with her tonight.

I think the old girl with be called Christina, in reference to the movie "Christine". Do you remember that one about the old Plymouth Fury? Marc's son, a 14 year old who already knows how to drive his daddy's dirt track cars around the oval, did the steering while we pushed Christina around the parking lot to get her lined up with with the trailer and ramps. Marc told him, "If the radio starts playing and the engine roars to life, bail!" The kid didn't have a clue but Marc and I laughed our butts off. It took a triple come-along and lots of tugging to get the beast on the trailer. When we got to Justin it took about 10 seconds, after we released all the cables and safety chains, to get her off the trailer. Alice, my lovely and tolerant wife, got in and steered while the rest of us pushed and braked (Christine has no brakes whatsoever) and nursed her into the driveway. Now what? Well, we all stood around with about 20 neighbors and admired the behemoth and drank a few beers.

My mechanic buddy, Matt, went home and got his rubbing compound to do a little test to see if the beast might still have a finish to work with. You would not believe how much paint we got to work with. One weekend of polishing and I'd say we have a pretty shiney vehicle to admire.

Plans are now to change the oil, pull the spark plugs, spray the chambers with some of Marc's magic juice, turn her over a few times by hand, put new plugs in, pull the fuel line, dribble some fuel in the intake and see if she'll just chug a little bit. If that works, it's a matter of draining all fuel, checking the fuel pump, and see if she'll run for real.

Next will be a complete rework of the brake system. As stated before, she has no brakes. I'll service all components from master cylinder to soft lines and wheel cylinders before I even think about driving her down the street.

If all that goes well, we'll start tinkering with all the other things that need attention. It may be years before she's "presentable" but that's ok.

One other thing; Alice and I celebrated our 6th anniversary two weeks ago. She gave me the most awsome gift I've ever received which showed me she's on board with this whole thing: A 1964 Imperial Crown "Operating Instructions" owners manual. I have no idea where she found it or what she paid for it but it is totally cool. If you have one you know what I mean. If you don't, I'm sorry. Maybe I have the last one in the world.

I'm almost 60 living in Justin, TX, a mere 4 miles from the Texas Motor Speedway. I work in Roanoke, 6 miles the other side of TMS. Antique/Hot Rod events there always get my attention and I have dreamed for years about finding and restoring something to show off there. Well, I'm headed that direction. For over 4 years I've had my eye on this beauty (located less than 100 yards from the back door of my work place). Finally, about a week ago, I made contact with the widow lady to whom it belonged and just today took posession. As you can see by the pictures it may be a while before I get it transported to Justin but I've got a plan.

Don't know much about her history. Ms Alexander had a few service records, one set of keys, and the title issued to her late husband in 1982. A short while ago I went through your web site's registry process so the old girl is or will be listed there. Just created the alias dons64crown with verizon. Will be "joining" OIC officially very soon. Wish I had enough money to hire someone to do the restoration. As things stand, it will be a long drawn out process, most of the work being done by myself with a little help from my neighbor, Matt, who is a jet mechanic and automotive genious.

Feel free to contact me anytime. Suggestions, reccomendations, questions etc. will be more than welcome.

Regards
Don Langer


This page was last updated 25 March 2006.  Send us your feedback, and come join the Imperial Mailing List - Online Car Club