Amelia Island

10 March 2012

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Lot 117

1959 Chrysler Imperial Crown Sedan

  • Chassis no. M637103291

Sold for $33,000

350 bhp, 413 cu. in. V-8 engine, four-barrel carburetor, TorqueFlite three-speed automatic transmission, independent front suspension with parallel torsion bars, semi-floating rear axle with tapered semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel, power-assisted hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 129"

• Chrysler's top-of-the-line luxury car of the 1950s

• Carefully refinished and maintained, ex-Milton Robson

• Approximately 40,000 miles, perfect for showing and cruising

While the 1959 Imperial Crown marked the end of Virgil Exner’s “Forward Look” design theme, it also heralded a number of firsts. Mechanically, Chrysler Corporation’s hemispherical-head V-8 was replaced by the new 413-cubic inch “wedge” with single Carter four-barrel carburetion, developing 350 hp and 475 ft-lbs of torque while weighing a staggering 101 pounds less than the “Hemi” it replaced. The ’59 Imperials were the first cars to be assembled at Chrysler’s all-new Dearborn, Michigan plant, where each vehicle received quality-control checks at every station.

Reinforcing its technological dominance, the ’59 Imperial lineup introduced fingertip-controlled dual-front swivel seats and a pushbutton-actuated heater/air conditioner unit. These Jet Age innovations joined the finger-controlled TorqueFlite transmission, Auto-Pilot cruise control, radio, six-way power seats, power windows and power door locks in pampering the Imperial driver and passengers. Optional Imperial features debuting for 1959 included an air suspension enhancement to its torsion-bar setup, a self-adjusting rearview mirror and an electronic headlight beam changer.

This Copper Spice Imperial Crown four-door hardtop was acquired in 2008 by noted collector Milton Robson for local driving in nice weather around his Gainesville, Georgia estate. He repainted it, reapplied 70 percent of the chrome and detailed the engine bay. Chrome wire-spoke wheels and modern tires were fitted as well, but since the interior had already been restored, it was left untouched by Mr. Robson. At the time it was acquired by the current owner, the Imperial showed less than 38,200 miles. A handsome and very enjoyable example of Chrysler Corporation’s top-line 1959 Imperial models, and perhaps the crowning achievement of Virgil Exner’s “Forward Look” design theme, it is sure to please.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

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Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

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Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

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Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

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David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

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Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

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As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

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Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more