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1974 Imperial -- Good Daily Driver?


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Would something like this require a lot of maintenance/repairs?  

 

I am completely bored with the SUV I have at the Mud Hut, and I have fond memories of Grandma driving me to school from time to time in her white Imperial from this era.

 

The car would only be driven 2-3,000 miles a year, but whatever I drive has to start every time when I need to get to the butcher shop or to HomeGoods.

 

This car is just so different ... and it's priced under $13,000.  :lol: 

 

https://www.hemmings.com/classifieds/dealer/chrysler/imperial-lebaron/1628958.html#&gid=1&pid=14

 

22727643-770-0@2X.jpg?rev=1

 

PS: I am aware that it will handle like a bucket of snot.  I already have a Lexus SUV, so there is precedent for accepting this limitation.

 

 

Edited by cv91915
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That seems like a lot of money for what it is.

 

You will need a good mechanic, someone old enough to be familiar with antique systems yet hasn't retired or died yet.  It is difficult to keep carbuerator cars working properly.  A modern car tends to either run well or not at all, but antique cars often fall short of "run well" and it is complicated to resolve that.

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1 hour ago, mk_378 said:

That seems like a lot of money for what it is.

 

You will need a good mechanic, someone old enough to be familiar with antique systems yet hasn't retired or died yet.  It is difficult to keep carbuerator cars working properly.  A modern car tends to either run well or not at all, but antique cars often fall short of "run well" and it is complicated to resolve that.

In addition, need to have the vacuum systems checked real good. Those headlight covers are vacuum actuated and they're notorious for failure, particularly after 45 years. Imagine driving at night and having the headlight covers fall down. Ick!

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11 hours ago, IndyPoolPlayer said:

In addition, need to have the vacuum systems checked real good. Those headlight covers are vacuum actuated and they're notorious for failure, particularly after 45 years. Imagine driving at night and having the headlight covers fall down. Ick!

I almost never drive in the dark, and this wouldn't be our only vehicle.

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12 hours ago, mk_378 said:

That seems like a lot of money for what it is.

 

You will need a good mechanic, someone old enough to be familiar with antique systems yet hasn't retired or died yet.  It is difficult to keep carbuerator cars working properly.  A modern car tends to either run well or not at all, but antique cars often fall short of "run well" and it is complicated to resolve that.

I have no idea what it's actually worth...  I am assuming there's some room to negotiate.  Assume I can get a fair price.  

 

$13k is within the realm of "fun money" anyway, and  I'd be willing to pay a small premium for an excellent example.  No idea if the one I linked is exactly the right car.  I am testing the concept.

 

I know that I'd need a mechanic, but the main question is how often.  I know that no one knows exactly how often, but I'm wondering how reliable this model would be, assuming it was well cared for, had an independent inspection, and saw light regular use.

Edited by cv91915
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Carbs are NOT difficult to keep running unless we are talking about something like the SU twin downdraft sorts of things, but those were not what the Exxon Valdez, err Imperial uses. 

 

As to vacuum light covers, I had them on a '77 T-Bird.  When there was an issue with the system, they did not fall down.  They just stayed UP.  There was a valve on that one that could be used to crack the system if the need exists to open them manually.  Was actually easier than if a motor fails like with the set-up my '91 Miata has.  On this one, they would simply stay DOWN (since the Chrysler went down and not up).

 

The older cars are coming back up on valuations and something listed in Hemmings is definitely not the typical hooptie one would find on Craigslist.  Those are cars someone has typically put some time and money into bringing back towards factory new condition. 

 

The old boats can be fun and are actually easier to work on than current stuff.  Aside from the fact that there is SPACE under the hood even when something had a big engine stuffed into it, parts are still actually easy to get on the mechanical side.  It is the body and trim pieces that are often problematic (which was why I got rid of a '72 Mercury that was one of just a few thousand produced).  That 351C was one of the easiest things I ever had to work on...definitely easier than the Volvo 1800S (which had the aforementioned twin SU carbs). 

Edited by centex
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12 hours ago, centex said:

As to vacuum light covers, I had them on a '77 T-Bird.  When there was an issue with the system, they did not fall down.  They just stayed UP.  There was a valve on that one that could be used to crack the system if the need exists to open them manually.  Was actually easier than if a motor fails like with the set-up my '91 Miata has.  On this one, they would simply stay DOWN (since the Chrysler went down and not up).

My high school car was a 1977 Ford LTD with the vacuum light covers. I had one fail and it did fall down, the other stayed up. Must be either how it fails or where the joint breaks or something. Ended up ripping both off.

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  • 8 months later...
1 hour ago, cv91915 said:

This would have been a fun purchase.  Looking at the specs, I'm not sure this would fit in our garage.  The car is 231.1 inches long.  :lol: 

Time for a new house then...

 

Seriously. 

 

One of the reason I moved was to get a garage that would fit five cars.

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