How To Repair Your Imperial's Emblems

 


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Tip from Rich on casting your own emblems:

I was missing one of the little crowns for my '60's fins, so I took a little "Play-Doh", pressed the crown in it to make a mold, and poured in a little 2-part liquid epoxy. An hour later - a little touch-up with an exacto knife and a spritz of gold paint. Worked great!! Watch out Emblemagic!!


Question from Charles:

My question is about restoring emblems that are the copper enameled type used on Imperials and most finer cars in the 50's and early 60's. This is a process that uses powered enamel (glass) melted in an oven (bonded) to a copper backing. How would you remove the old enamel to re-bake the part? Any supplier that does this? Any industrial arts guys out there?

Replies:

From Gale:

Their are some jewelers that do enamel repair - but it's expensive - they do restoration on fine antiques. Would it be easier to find a new old stock one? I could see re- enameling something from the 20's or 30's- but not a generic 50's.  There are also enamel repair kits available from hobby or craft stores.

From Kenyon:

Emblemagic, (as listed in the club's parts listings) would be a good point of reference. I am not certain that they'll give away trade secrets to allow you to do it yourself, but should certainly be able to redo yours for a fee if they don't stock what you need. They seem to have a corner on this section of the restoration market.


Question from Anders (1957):

I wonder if the hood ornament is option or standard for the '59 Imperial.

When I look in the sales leaflet or other documentation, or car pictures on the web it is unusual with the ornament is mounted. I think I am a lucky guy, my car Is still equipped wit the hood ornament...

Replies:

From Steve:

The hood ornament was an option back in '59. You are quite luck to have one as I have seen non-perfect examples go for over $400 on e-bay.

From Doug:

Hood ornaments were an extra cost option on the '57-'59 Imperials. I personally do not like it (even if I could find one) because it breaks up the clean lines of the hood. The '57 LeBaron that I saw locally had its hood ornament anodized in gold as well as its hood bird. I don't know if this was a feature of these cars or if a previous owner had the parts done that way. The gold anodizing did look very old. To this day I have only see a couple of hood ornaments come up on e-bay. If you want to add one to your car, the search might be long, but not impossible.


Question from Joe (1958):

While visiting fellow Crown owner in Australia, noticed he had a hood ornament on his 1958 2-door Crown. My '58 4-door Crown never has had one. Anyone have any idea why or is it because of being a 2-door versus a 4-door and that was the way it was done?

Reply from Mel:

The hood ornament was an option on the 1959 models and I think this was also the case in 1958.


Question from Clint (1959):

Our '59 Crown, a 4 door sedan, has the block lettering on the fenders, and lots of little gold crowns on it, and the '58 Crown 2 door ht that Mike Howlett bought here has the script lettering on the fenders and lots of little gold crowns on it. I thought I read somewhere that the LeBarons had the script on the fenders.

Replies:

From Paul:

'59s and '58s may have varied from car to car. Plus, we know that the cars were different from one year to the next, but '60 Crowns came with the word Crown in block letters over the Imperial signature on the front fenders. They also have a gold Crown on each rear quarter panel on the "tail light bulge".

From Dave:

The addition of extra badges & trim is not unusual for any car. I had a good look around the Omar Sheriff car a few years ago, that being a '60 LeBaron had the lower rear window trim from a '61 imperial fitted.  The badges from the C pillar were moved as well to the rear fender . Why ? I don't know, but I suspect it was done to hide the lead around the rear window.

From Bill:

Just like grilles and bumpers, trim and nameplates vary from year to year.

In 1958 all base and Crown models had "Imperial" in script on the front fenders. Crown models had small crowns attached while the LeBaron had a "LeBaron" medallion.

In 1959 the Custom and Crown models had "Imperial" in block letters on the front fenders while the LeBaron had "LeBaron" in script.

For 1960, Custom and Crown models had "Imperial" in script on the front fenders. Crown models added "Crown" in small block letters while the LeBaron had "LeBaron" in script.

1961 Imperial Custom and Crown models again had "Imperial" in script on the front fenders with the Crown adding a crown. LeBaron models had "LeBaron" medallion on the C pillar. . Just think how boring it would be if every year used the same nameplates and medallions. Would not need to spend all that time researching what was correct and tracking down the correct item.

Biggest problem with determining what was or was not installed on a car at the factory is what previous owners did to the car from the time it was built until today. Many people change or add trim, either due to accidents or personal choice. With small parts, such as crowns and individual letters, the small spikes used to hold the item in place often break and the item falls off. And people add things in the belief it looks better than what the factory installed.

There is a fellow here in B.C. that has added the gold-tone "Chrysler" script from the front fenders of a 1962 Chrysler to his 1968 Chrysler 300 and his 1953 Chrysler New Yorker. The cars look flawless and appear to be factory fresh - except for the additional nameplates.


Question from George (1960):

I am looking at reproducing the little emblem for the side of the '60 Imperial and the original I have has lost all the color. I figure it had gold in the lines and the little V's and probably white, red, blue and black but I need to check just where they go, can anyone give me any ideas?

Replies:

From Kenyon:

http://imperialclub.com/Yr/1960/SpottersGuide/Rear-Window-LeBaron.jpg


http://imperialclub.com/Yr/1960/SpottersGuide/Coupe-Rear-Window.jpg


http://imperialclub.com/Yr/1960/SpottersGuide/LeBaron-crest.jpg

Lower left = deep scarlet red
Upper right= medium blue
V's are gold on a silver field

From Paul:

These are available from Emblemagic at around $200 each (possibly a little less). You can see a color picture of one on their web site.


Question from Tim (1960):

Can anyone explain why some Imperial Crowns have the word crown spelled by the Imperial script on the front fenders and some don't. My Id tag clearly shows it is a Crown but only has Imperial script.

Replies:

From John:

Perhaps there has been repairs or the fenders changed at some time. I have a custom with the Crown lettering on the fenders.

From Paul:

The car may have been wrecked and front fenders from a different model used to fix it. The other reason would be if the car was painted and the letters were ruined or lost prying them off, so the holes were eliminated.


Question from Johann (1965):

Had my '65 LeBaron at the hobby shop on base for a check-up today. And I took off the "Chrysler badge" that sits just behind the front wheel on the passenger side.

It's about the size of a quarter and was painted over by the previous owner in a disgraceful attempt at a paint job. Having only seen one other '65 LeBaron (mine) Id like to know if there is anything under the body paint besides the gold (it's visible on the back side of the badge).

If not, I can use a solvent to remove the body paint and the gold filed metal will remain, correct?

And is there only one badge location for a 65 LeBaron? I couldn't find a hole or at least a patch covering one on the drivers side.

Replies:

From William:

You should be okay just to remove the paint, stay away from abrasives though. As far as the Pentastar "badge", you're only going to find the one...it's a "signature" if I recollect correctly. Our '64 is the same way; I went on a quest to find the "missing" one for the left side until someone educated me.

From Bill:

The Pentastar appeared only on the passenger side of the vehicle in North America, and was used on all Mopar cars, from Valiant to Imperial starting in mid-1963. The medallion is not gold filled by the way, just aluminum with a gold-colored coating.

There were two versions of the 'star', one aluminum and one plastic. From 1963 to 1965 the metal version was used which was part number 2445 182. The plastic version appeared in 1966, and was part number 2785 540, and both versions were used in production in 1966. Not sure about after 1966, though.

Being a metal one, you could try to clean the paint off.


Question from Joe (1967 - 1968):

I have 2 '68 Imperials, one with an eagle and wreath for a hood emblem and the other has none as it is with a smooth hood strip. Which year has the eagle with the wreath? My parts book for '68 shows none. I do not have a '67 parts book to confirm this. What I found while cleaning my biggest building is another eagle and wreath hood emblem in very nice cond with a hole at the bottom so as to be mounted with a spring loaded connection. I want to advertise it in the for sale section, but not exactly sure if it is truly a '67.

Replies:

From Mike:

The '67 hood ornament is a one year only item, and it is probably the most sought after and prized item for Imperials of this year. It is a gorgeous piece, consiting of a round crome ring, with a glass insert. The glass insert has an Imperial Eagle inside of it. Truly magnificent. Unfortunately, they are not spring mounted, they break off easily when subjected to prods by hood-lums (pun intended) and the glass tends to craze. For about $400, there's a company that will refurbish your old one...forget the name, its on the Vendors list at the website.

'68's should have no hood ornament. They simply have an Imperial Eagle at the center of the grille. The Eagle encircled with a wreath, as you have, is a 1970's vintage hood ornament. They are very common- I have one myself in a box. They bring about $10 to $20 for an average one. As such, they are often used to replace missing $$$ 67 ornaments, or to add an ornament to a '68.

From Chris:

I wholeheartedly agree with Mike on the beauty of the '67 stand-up ornament... Actually, it's lucite (clear acrylic plastic), not glass.

An eagle in a wreath (is it a wreath or just a circle?) is from a most likely from a late'70s or 80s LeBaron (non-Imperial), since the Imperial did not have a standup ornament from 1968 until 1974. The '90-93 Imperial used a
clear Pentastar on the hood, but a wreath around the eagle (in a new, more detailed design) on the trunklid.


Question from (1981):

Can someone tell me if the Pentastar crystal on the steering wheel of the >1981 Imperial would have the Cartier name on it?

Replies:

From Dwayne:

Yes it would!

From Rob:

I have two and they both have Cartier on them.


Question from Rob (1981):

I was just moving my car for alternate side and I spotted a late '80s FWD LeBaron Coupe (J-body). The one they made the convertibles of for all those years. It had a set of B-pillar crystals on it that seem to match ours perfectly. So if anybody goes yarding keep your eyes open.

Reply from Bob:

They are similar, but are plastic and don't have the "Cartier" in them. I believe the plastic ones are still available through Chrysler. They would be a whole lot cheaper out of the wrecking yards.


Quesiton from William (1982):

In the process of stripping my '82 Imperial, I have noticed little white pentastar decals on certain parts. Was this the factory mark for designating parts destined for Imperial duty? Any info on this would be appreciated.

Reply from Ken:

Yes, these Pentstar decals were there to tell workers that these parts tested the best when produced. The object was to have the Imperial the finest car that Chrysler built. You will find these on most mechanical items. They should even be on the rear end. I can attest to the fact that these items were the best as I drove an 81 for over 250,000 miles with no major problems with any of the mechanical parts. The only thing that was replaced was the air conditioning compressor. Every other component worked great until the day I sold the car to a friend and he is still driving it and has had to do nothing other then normal maintenance.


Tip from Dick (1981 - 1983):

Here are the locations of the IMPERIAL emblems for your 81: The fender emblems are 1 3/8" tall and the bottom of them is 1 5/8" up from the middle of the body line and 3" forward of the rear edge of the fender. The trunk emblem is 1" tall and the bottom is 1 1/8" above the lower trunk molding and 1 1/2" in from the right edge of the trunk. Hope these help and as the others have said there should be no emblem on the headlight cover.

OK, now I'm really confused here. I took measurements on three cars: My black, absolutely original car, history known since new, no question about it, and I find the following - measuring from the lower right hand extremity of the "L", the distance up from the trim molding is 1.025", and the distance in a horizontal plane (important because the trunk lid edge is not vertical) to the edge of the trunk lid is 3.56". Those are the numbers I am most certain of being the result of factory installation.

Just for giggles, I measured my brown 81, also, certainly original, never repainted, original decals etc, the vertical distance is 1.1", and the horizontal is 2.33"! OK, let's check the white 82, also original paint, original decals etc, the vertical distance is 1.56", and the horizontal is 2.4".

To sum up, it appears that someone walked down the line with a handful of these badges, something about an inch thick to space it up from the molding, and an eyeball to set the horizontal distance, and simply stuck them on there (after the cars were buffed out, so this is just before they go out the door.) Possibly there was not even an inspection on this, other than to make sure there was a badge on there. As an aside, it would have been awfully easy to stick one on the headlight door also, maybe your car was built to order for someone who was standing there waiting to take delivery and they asked him if he wanted a badge on the front?

So, put it where it looks good to you.


This page last updated June 27, 2004.  Send us your feedback, and come join the Imperial Mailing List - Online Car Club