1963 Imperial Crown Convertible in Claret
|AMERICA'S MOST CAREFULLY BUILT CAR|
1963 Imperial Auctions
Exterior Paint Colors
1963 Imperial 5-Year/
1963 would be the final year for the current Imperial body style. A completely new design would emerge for 1964, but enough updates were made to ensure the 1963 Imperials could instantly be identified as the newest model. Styling continuity was an important aspect in the luxury car field, but change merely for the sake of change was typically frowned upon by luxury car customers. However, sometimes styling updates were necessary and the Imperial seemed to be in this position for 1963. So, despite it being the final year of a body style, several major changes were made. Perhaps the biggest change was a new roof structure for Custom and Crown hardtop models. The wrap-around rear window treatment from previous years was replaced, leaving wider C-pillars that were more in keeping with current styling trends.
All Imperials received a new rear bumper for 1963, and the tail lights that had been perched atop the rear fenders for 1962 were now elegantly incorporated into the blade-like ends of the fenders. The rectangular lights were completely enclosed by the fenders, the first time this had happened on an Imperial dating back to 1955. A new one piece grille replaced the separate grilles of 1962, and a large Imperial Eagle ornament was mounted at center.
There were big changes inside Imperial, too. LeBaron models received Walnut grained inserts on door panels, and Customs got an attractive new pleated sew style. All Imperials utilized heavier spring construction in the center area of the front seats, to improve comfort and durability in this area. The smaller rear window greatly reduced the sun load in Custom and Crown models, certainly appreciated by rear passengers during the warmer months. The change in the roof structure also allowed greater rear headroom, and a higher rear seat cushion height.
Other changes and improvements included a new transmission parking lock, an automatic parking brake release operated by engine vacuum, larger brakes with improved performance and cooling characteristics, and door and window rubber weatherstriping was redesigned to improve appearance and sealing. Interior door trim panels were modified to allow easier closing of the doors, and improve the fit of the door and glass in the opening.
Imperial for 1963 still offered a choice of two door and four door hardtops in both the Custom and Crown series, a convertible in the Crown series, and the LeBaron four door hardtop for the premium class. 16 exterior colors were offered and 23 interiors were available to coordinate with the exterior colors. The LeBaron had a new Inlaid Design for its interiors when upholstered in Check-Weave fabric. LeBarons with Leather used a block-stitched design.
Sales dropped slightly for 1963, a typical trend for motorcars after a couple of years had passed without a new body style.Perhaps the biggest news in the luxury field for 1963 was the announcement by Chrysler that all major Imperial power train components would be factory warranted for a period of five years or 50,000 miles, whichever came first. This was a first in the luxury car class, and covered all Imperials sold in the United States and Canada. According to C. E. Briggs, General Manager of the Chrysler-Plymouth Division, "We are continuing to make Imperial the most carefully built car in the industry. To that end we are giving it exclusive manufacturing attention. It has its own special shop for special coach work, and other facilities set aside for the sole purpose of making it the best car possible."
Quite often, the original design clarity is lost by the final year of a body style. After several updates or redesigns the original styling vision is often lost. This is not the case with the 1963 Imperial. The classic original design is still there, but improved upon. Despite major changes to the rear of the car—from the top of the roof to the bottom of the bumper—the original intent of the design is still evident, and hasn't been lost due to annual updates. Big changes had taken place in the styling studio during the 1961-1963 Imperial run, and the result of those changes would be even more evident for the next model year.