1953 Imperial Specifications, Equipment and Historical Notes

Imperial Home Page -> Imperials by Year -> 1953 -> Specifications


                                                  HISTORICAL NOTES:                                                       

The complete 1953 Chrysler corporate line was introduced October 30, 1952.  The Custom Imperial Newport hardtop was introduced on March 18, 1953.  Its base price was $325 over the sedan but in a price war with the other "Big Three", Chrysler instituted a general price cut on March 25, and the new model was reduced by $45.  A week later, the delivery and handling charges for Imperials were raised $10, so the customer came out $35 ahead.

Although the Imperial looks very similar to the '53 New Yorker, they have different wheelbases, taillights and side trim.  Clean front fenders and a higher rear fender also set it apart.  This is the first year for the stylized eagle hood ornament.  Power brakes and windows, center folding arm rests (front and rear) and a padded dash were standard.  Parking lights on all Imperials were positioned between the top and center grille moldings. 

The Custom Imperials carried serial numbers C58-7765001 to 7773869.  Crown Imperials had serial numbers C-597816001 to 7816162.  Motor numbers fell in the C53-8-1001 to 86292 range.  The engines from different lines were being manufactured in mixed production, so there is no exact record of Imperial's engine code range.. 





V-8   331   Cast iron block


Overhead valves


Displacement : 331.1 cubic inches


Bore and Stroke : 3.81 x 3.62 inches


Compression Ratio : 7.50:1


Brake Horsepower : 180 @ 4000 rpm


Main bearings : Five


Hydraulic Valve Lifters


Carburetor - Carter WCD 935S


Wheelbase : (Custom hardtop)131.5"

                    (sedan and limo) 133.5"

                    (Crown) 145.5 inches

Overall length : (Custom hardtop) 219"

                        (Crown) 229 inches

Tires : (Custom) 8.2 x 15

           (Crown) 8.9 x 15


At the beginning of the model year Fluid Torque was standard equipment on all Imperials.  In June, 1953, Powerflite fully-automatic transmission was introduced and made standard on all Imperial models.



  • Power disc brakes (standard on Crowns)

  • Power steering ($177 for Custom and standard on Crowns)

  • Air conditioning

  • Power windows

  • Radios

  • Heaters

  • Outside rear view mirrors

  • Two-tone paint

  • Wire wheels

  • Continental wheel kits

  • Locking gas caps

  • Fog lamps

  • Windshield washer

  • Solex glass

  • Exhaust deflector

  • Spare tire valve extension

  • Sun visor

Virgil Exner joins Chrysler design and will have a profound effect on the company and its future car design trends.


Information on this page was obtained from The Standard Catalog of Chrysler 1924-1990 by John Lee and Chrysler Chronicles by James Flammang.

This page was last updated November 19, 2002. Send us your feedback, and come join the Imperial Mailing List - Online Car Club