The 1969, 1970, and 1971 Imperial Limousines are extremely rare, and information about them is difficult to find. As far as we here at ImperialClub.com have been able to determine, approximately 12 limousines were built during this time period based on Imperial Crown Sedans that were sent to Stageway Coaches (Armbruster-Stageway) of Fort Smith, Arkansas, for conversion into limousines. Stageway picked up the limousine conversion contract from Chrysler after the Ghia contract ended in 1965, and produced approximately 12 Imperial limousines (also based on Crown Sedans) for 1967 and 1968.
All known 1969 to 1971 limousines were built from these 12 original 1969 Crown Sedans, and all carry Vehicle Identification Numbers indicating that they were Crown Sedans prior to conversion (for example, YL41T9C100001). The use of Crown Sedans as the basis for a limousine was a logical choice because of the extra stability added by the sedan's full-length B-pillar (as opposed to the half-pillar found in the hardtops) and the full-framed doors. Slow sales evidently made it possible to use this handful of sedans throughout the three-year production period.
An article from the January-February 1969 issue of Bus Ride magazine indicates, "Another interesting Armbruster product is custom limousines. These are built under a subcontract from the Imperial Division of Chrysler. They are usually regular Imperial sedans lengthened out one section and then installed with a set of plush seats facing the rear. Then a custom built console is built and placed in the rear compartment. It usually contains a television set and a stereo unit. Five of these cars were built last year. They are used mainly by corporation executives, government officials. Production of these special units is limited to about twenty to twenty-five a year."
While the 1969 limousines are easy to identify, it is difficult to identify the sales year of the 1970 and 1971 models. The cars were evidently updated each year with fenders, bumpers, grilles, and other trim as appropriate to reflect the relatively minor changes in the production Imperials for the three years. The 1971 and 1971 limousines appear to possess a mixture of features and trim taken from the three years, with the basic framework retaining the characteristics of the 1969 production Imperial.
Production figures are sketchy, with multiple sources indicating a variety of numbers. Most sources indicate that six limousines were produced for 1969, another six for 1970, and possibly one additional limousine for 1971. One source also indicates that the 1971 limousine was built from a 1971 Imperial LeBaron four door hardtop, but the hardtop design would present some engineering challenges for the stability of a stretch conversion.
Below is a list of the cars known by ImperialClub.com to exist. Do you have information about any of these cars? Please contact us and share what you know!