Cadillacs aplenty in this series, and a few Lincolns, but how about Chrysler's top-of-the-line marque? I'd been seeing this '56 Imperial around town for years, but only recently was I able to capture it holding still for the camera in a downtown parking space. I'm pretty sure it lives on the island, but it's either hiding on a side street I haven't checked or sleeps in a garage. This 52-year-old is in incredible original condition- not a flawless show car, but as close as you're going to see in a car this old that sees regular street use.

Most folks call these cars Chrysler Imperials, but Imperial was a separate brand during the 1950s. Things got more muddled later on when the name was resurrected in the early 1980s, but in 1956 you had two choices: Imperial or Crown Imperial.

Here's the only shot I was able to get of this car for quite a while. The '56 Imperial came with a "poly" 354 engine; not a Hemi, but still quite powerful with 280 horses. Total weight? 4,680 pounds, about a half-ton lighter than it looks.


The interior is pretty nice, and check out that underdash A/C unit!