Fred Joslin's 1964 Imperial Crown "Mr. Snappy"

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These photos of the car with the Snapple graphics were taken at a Snapple display outside an Albertsons store in North Spokane in the summer of 2006.

This may have been the last time that the car was used by Snapple. The car was advertised for sale on the Spokane Craigslist in October 2011 for $900. It was being sold by Dr. Pepper/Snapple and was being stored in their warehouse.

I was told that the car had not run or been moved in 5 years hence the comment that the 2006 photos may have been the last time that it was used.

The graphics had been removed from the car causing some damage to the paint but the body was in very good condition as was the interior and most of the paint. I checked the car out on a Wednesday after work. The car was not running at that point and was advertised as not running. I thought long and hard about the car and then called back on the Friday two days later. The Dr. Pepper/Snapple mechanic who was selling the car for Dr. Pepper/Snapple told me that he had got the car running. I went over to look at the car again on the Friday with $900 in my pocket. The engine was running pretty smoothly but at a high idle. The mechanic told me that he had sprayed fluid around the base of the carb. and diagnosed a leak in the carb. gasket causing it to idle high. Also, there was a leak in the master cylinder but the brakes seemed to work OK and there was a leak in the power steering but it was OK also.

I could not drive the car on the street but was able to drive it around the yard at Dr.Pepper/Snapple. The idle was quite high and the car slammed into gear pretty hard. But everything seemed to work including the heat controls, and all of the gauges and windows etc.

I bought the car that day and drove it very gingerly the 1.5 miles or so home. The idle was high and the tires were very soft from sitting for 5 years so the car pulled terribly. It was an interesting drive but I made it with no problems.

Right after I got the car home the trunk lock seized so I ended up removing the lock mechanism.

The first thing that I did was to replace the carb. gasket which did indeed drop the idle to a normal level. Then I changed all of the fluids except in the rear end, installed a dual reservoir master cylinder, replaced the power steering return lines (power steering cooler), installed KYB shocks, replaced the front shoes and wheel cylinders and all rubber brake hoses. I also had to replace the radiator. I had run a good flush through the original radiator and probably caused it to fail. I ended up using a 26" radiator for a late 60 C-body which fit just fine. All the hoses and trans cooler lines fit great.

The car came with aftermarket wheels and 225/70/15 tires. I bought a set of correct factory steel rims and had them sand blasted and then painted them black. A set of 235/75/R15 Yokahama tires were installed that had been on my 67 Polara for less than one year. I am working on a set of correct hubcaps.

Problems right now are that I cannot pull the rear drums to work on the rear brakes but I can get to that later. The rear windows only go down about 1" but again not a big deal. There is a vacuum leak in the heater controller which I would like to fix soon so that I can give the car a good tune up. I also have a Petronix I to install.

On the cars inaugural voyage, fittingly I drove it to the local recycling station to get rid of all of the old fluids that came out of it. The car drives beautifully. dead straight and smooth and quiet. There is a hesitation off idle but I really need to fix the vacuum leak to be able to address that.

I was a little concerned when I discovered the radiator leak, and that I could not get the rear drums off, both at about the same time that I had bought more that I bargained for, but driving the car removes those thoughts in a hurry.

We have called the car Mr. Snappy and you can see faintly above the two front doors on the roof a shadow from the graphics that says "Mr. Snappy". I certainly would not have chosen that name but it is a reference to the somewhat unusual history of this car.

Final note: The car had been used for towing a Snapple trailer. It was installed with air shocks and an old school trailer brake controller under the steering wheel which was connected directly to the master cylinder. The air shocks are gone and I recently removed all vestiges of the brake controller. I believe that there is a mild whine in the rear end probably caused by towing. This is something that I may or may not try to address. It is very slightly annoying but the rear end will probably out live me.

Fred Joslin


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We hope Fred shares more photos of this "celebrity" Imperial with us soon!

This page was last updated January 1, 2012. Send us your feedback, and come join the Imperial Mailing List - Online Car Club