1963 Chrysler Crown Imperial Convertible / Photos, Specs, Styling Details

Featured in this article is a true Chrysler classic, the 1963 Chrysler Crown Imperial Convertible. The Imperial was the Chrysler Corporation’s luxury automobile brand from 1955 to 1975, and again from 1981 to 1983.

1963 chrysler imperial specs
1963 Chrysler Imperial

The top of the line Imperial, first introduced in 1926, was under the Chrysler brand name for most of its history. Models were produced with the Chrysler name until 1954, after which it became a stand alone brand. The Imperial competed against the Cadillac and Lincoln, with Cadillac being it’s biggest competitor.

1963 Chrysler Imperial Styling

This 1963 Imperial was Virgil Exner’s last designed “Forward Look” Imperials that were first introduced for 1957. The Imperial showcased some of its best designs during its tenure as a separate division of the Chrysler Corporation in the 1950’s and 1960’s. The momentum generated by the provocative styling produced record sales for the 1957 model year.

63 imperial specifications

After Exner departed Chrysler in 1963 former Ford designer Elwood Engel assumed the post of Chrysler’s design chief.As a result of this management change at Chrysler the 1964 Imperial would see significant changes. The 1963 Imperial however would still display Exner’s touches along with Engel’s. Engel’s influence would be seen  in the 1963 Imperial with new squared off  roof lines for the Custom and Crown series. Also with the removal of the “gun sight” taillights with new integrated units.

Styling for the grille in the era of the 1960’s basically went by the rule that the same grille would not be employed two years in a row. As a result, the grille for 1963 lost its V-split and was instead divided by an eagle emblem. Its pattern was also changed for 1963 to elongated rectangles that were closely similar to that of 1958.

The 1963 Imperial largely made do with the same body which dated back to 1957. The side sweep trim was once again slightly widened at the rear, but now wrapped all the way around the tail panel, and the tail lamps were redesigned and set into the rear quarter-panels.

Once again the optional Flite Sweep deck lid was offered for 1963 after being discontinued in 1962. Prior to that the optional deck lid was offered from 1957 through 1961.

The 1963 Imperial  introduced the famous “5 years/50,000-mile powertrain warranty” This warranty surprised the competition and forced them to offer similar warranties. At the time, Chrysler’s warranty was the longest in the industry.

chrysler imperial photos

1963 Chrysler Imperial Specifications

The engine for the 1963 Chrysler Imperial was a 413 cubic inch V-8 producing 340 HP.

Transmission was a three speed Torqueflite Pushbutton automatic.

Brakes were four wheel hydraulic power.

Imperial’s wheelbase was 129.0 inches and outside overall length 227.8 inches. Vehicle weight averaged about  4,800 lbs. Average new car price was about $7,000

Total Chrysler Imperial production for the 1963 model year came in at 33,715 vehicles.

Related Auto Museum Online articles are found on the links below..

The 1959 Imperial

1963 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible

Reference material for this articles includes...Chrysler & Imperial the Postwar Years by Richard M. Langworth…Chrysler Imperial 1951-1975 Gold Portfolio by author R.M. Clarke…Complete Book of Collectible Cars by the Editors of Consumer Guide.

The Chrysler Imperial Collector Car

In general, Chrysler Imperial automobiles have been and still are head turners. In addition, the Imperial was known for both luxurious comfort and performance. The automobile’s unique styling and futuristic driver features make the Imperial a popular collector car today.

Current collector car values for the 1963 Chrysler Imperial Sedan in excellent restored condition are in a general range from $25,000 to $30,000. Convertible models are a different story. While some excellent examples might be priced in the $40,000 range there are some exceptions. A rare 1963 Chrysler Crown Imperial Convertible sold at auction in 2022 for $71,500. Another 63 Imperial Crown Convertible sold in 2018 for $58,300.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)