Welcome to Down On The Street, where we admire old vehicles found parked on the streets of the Island That Rust Forgot: Alameda, California. I've been thinking about the Imperial quite a bit lately, since there's a very clean hardtop '71 Imperial Le Baron now sitting in my driveway. We'll get the story on that car a little later, but for today I've got some photographs of a vast, angular '64 Imperial Crown four-door hardtop that I found parked right around the corner from the 1942 Pontiac Torpedo.
First of all, when we're talking about an Imperial, we need to reiterate this important Imperial fact, lest we enrage the purists: this is not a Chrysler Imperial; Imperial was its own marque during the 1955-75 period, so referring to such a car as a "Chrysler Imperial" is like calling an Eldorado a "General Motors Cadillac."
No wonder these things were outlawed at most demolition derbies! Everything seems to be cast out of great slabs of solid iron, and only that torque-beast 413 under the hood keeps it reasonably quick on the street. As for fuel economy… well, if you have to ask, you can't afford it. Speaking of affordability, this car sold new for a princely $5,581. What upscale imports could you have bought for that amount back then? How about a brand new '64 Jaguar XKE coupe for $5,525? Or a Mercedes-Benz 220SE for $5,187? When you're done thinking about those weighty questions, take our Favorite DOTS Imperial poll!