They were built like tanks

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Take a look this article about stripping a 64 Chrysler Imperial in order to get the 1/4 mile ET time down via less weight. What I find informative about the article is what they had to go through to tear the car apart. These things were built like tanks. The frame rails were made from 1/4 inch thick steel. The roof had four layers of sheet steel. And the list goes on.
 
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G-Man II, They were built so well that they were banned from the Demolition Derby's! [crushedcar] The Imperials of that era, were built with laminated double body structures, tough and heavy. [Burnout]
 
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Very interesting, but as my car buff friend notes: "Cutting up a pristine 40,000 mile rare Imperial? Why don’t they take a Mickey Mantle Rookie baseball card and put it in the spokes of their bicycles too?" [Eek!]
 

Kestas

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What struck me is "why did they choose such a heavy car for making good 1/4 mile times?".... It's like picking the heaviest kid in high school to train for the 100 yard dash!
 

G-MAN

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Originally posted by Kestas: What struck me is "why did they choose such a heavy car for making good 1/4 mile times?".... It's like picking the heaviest kid in high school to train for the 100 yard dash!
Did you read the article? They were doing their own version of what Hot Rod magazine had done with a 70 Cadillac, i.e., strip it down until they got a 100 mph 1/4 mile time. I agree this was an idiotic thing to do. A 64 Imperial that was "pristine" (their description) would have been a prime candidate for a solid restoration. Instead, one of the last examples of the finest in American carmaking craftsmanship had to suffer an ignoble death like this. What a shame.
 
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In the old days, almost all cars and trucks were built like tanks. The frame, the body, the bumpers, everything. Even as late as 1979, Dodge put such a sturdy bumper on the front of its pickups that when my No. 3 son ran my 79 Dodge pickup off a dirt road at high speed about 6 years ago because he lost control, and took out 11 wooden fence posts that were 4-5" in diameter, snapping them like twigs, along with the strands of barbed wire on the posts, he hardly dented the bumper. A body shop popped the dent out for very little cost. It also cost very little to replace the left front headlight and the small dent in the part of the body panel that the headlight was set in. Those three things were the only damage to the truck. Try taking out those fence posts with any modern car or truck and see what happens.
 

G-MAN

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Popped the dent out of a chrome plated steel bumper? [Confused] Must have been on heckuva body shop. [LOL!]
 
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Well, I'm not sure what tools they used. My guess is that they used one or more hammers used for shaping metal. All I know is that they told me that they easily popped the dent out. The bumper was colored white on the outside. I don't know if it had chrome underneath that or came from the factory with white paint on it.
 
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One of the things that impressed me was that the hubcaps weighed 60lbs.! Also look at the wheels; they have have many cooling holes in them and look like the Rallye Wheel Option,of the later Chargers, Cudas, Road Runners etc. [Burnout] [Burnout] I hated to see that Imperial Destroyed also. [crushedcar]
 
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If you guys knew the author "E-Booger" and the magazine Mopar Action, you would know the Imperial was far from choice. Did anyone note the brake fluid in the tranny to stop the leak? The problem with Imperials in general is they just don't bring much money, even in really nice condition. As a result, there is no incentive to restore them. There are exceptions, anything with fins and a Hemi bring the most. Still, nowhere near what a '57 Chevy will bring. It is also extremely difficult to find parts. In their day, they were the most overbuilt car made in the US. Even with such a limited production car, a lot of the parts did not interchange with Chryslers. The list pretty much stops with engine, transmission and a few accessories like heater housings and power window switches and motors. Someday the Imperials will get the recognition they deserve as 300's do today. Unfortunately it will be too late as the "derby boys" will have consumed most of the remaining examples. [Frown]
 

G-MAN

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ300H: In their day, they were the most overbuilt car made in the US. Even with such a limited production car, a lot of the parts did not interchange with Chryslers. The list pretty much stops with engine, transmission and a few accessories like heater housings and power window switches and motors.
The reason behind this was their completely different platforms. Beginning in 57 the Imperial got its own platform. In 1960 when the rest of the Chrysler line got a new unibody platform, the Imperial stayed with body-on-frame. It wasn't until 1967 that the Imperial started sharing the same unibody platform as the other Chryslers.
 
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At least the engine and transmission did interchange. My father had a 1964 Lincoln and not even those parts interchanged with Ford or Mercury. That era was the post-WWII peak of American luxury, for about $6000. Todays Cadillac may be a far better drivers car, but no passenger car today beats the living room comfort of those huge bench seats. The Lincoln had seating for six AND six sets of ashtrays and lighters.
 
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no passenger car today beats the living room comfort of those huge bench seats. The Lincoln had seating for six AND six sets of ashtrays and lighters.
No mini-bar and restroom? [Razz] That's all driving's supposed to be about. [Wink]
 
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New cars suck quality wise compared to the build quality of the 50's and 60's cars. I know that people will chime in and say my new car needs a tuneup every 100,000 miles but I am talking quality not new technology.
 

G-MAN

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Originally posted by Steve S: New cars suck quality wise compared to the build quality of the 50's and 60's cars.
[LOL!] [LOL!] [LOL!]
 

NJC

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quote:
Originally posted by Steve S: New cars suck quality wise compared to the build quality of the 50's and 60's cars. I know that people will chime in and say my new car needs a tuneup every 100,000 miles but I am talking quality not new technology.
There wasn't as much plastic to break in the interiors of cars back then ... but I'd take a modern car in a crash. A big, stiff-bodied car ends up transmitting the kinetic energy to the passengers.
 
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