With understated elegance and a well-deserved reputation for engineering excellence, the Imperial nameplate topped the Chrysler product line from 1926 through 1975. In 1954, Imperial became its own separate marque under the Chrysler Corporation, further distinguishing it from the rest of the Chrysler line up. With lines penned by famous designer Virgil Exner, the Chrysler/Imperial brand had a stylish edge over the other American offerings of the mid 1950’s.

Imperials were sold in two different layouts, the overtly spacious long-wheelbase “C70” “Crown Imperial” and the sporty, yet stylish “C69” Newport coupe or sedan. Both cars stood out amongst their competition due to their incredible build quality and powerful engines. The 331 cubic inch V8 with hemispherical combustion chambers (hemi) and four-barrel carburetor produced 250 horsepower. This V8 engine was dubbed “FirePower” and would later be known by the nomenclature of its combustion chambers, the Hemi V8. When combined with the “PowerFlite” automatic transmission with dash-mounded controls, the 1955 Imperial provided incredible performance with ease of drivability.

The less common Newport Coupe was referred to as the two-door hardtop in factory literature. Production numbers indicate that only 3,418 were built in this configuration.

1955 Chrysler Newport Hardtop

May 26, 2013