A 1963 Imperial Convertible with Rams

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This Convertible was advertized for sale on the CARS ONLINE website in January of 2014.

Here's what the seller had to say about this unique Imperial:

1963 Chrysler Crown Imperial Convertible

Chrysler Crown Imperial Convertible. Triple white, complete older restoration beautiful body & paint, new interior and top, Drive Train all rebuilt eng, steering box, transmission, 2500 new stall converter, rebuilt balanced driveshaft, eng 413 long Ram (2) 4-barrels 375 hp built with Chrysler 300 specs, new starter new alt, new exhausts, everthing new or rebuilt, drive anywhere!! great stereo system.

Price - $ 45,000







A comment from our Club member on the engine/trans:

The long rams were not offered on Imperials of any vintage as most know. The long rams were used on some other Chrysler products in 1960-61. In 1963-64, "short" long rams were standard on the '63 Chrysler 300J and optional on the '64 300K. They were the same size externally, but divided internally to create a shorter ram. The difference is in the top of the ram tubes. The short rams have a ridge only half way down the tubes. The long rams have a ridge the entire length of the tubes. This Imperial wears 1960-61 style long rams. This probably is a good thing as the long rams had a 2800 rpm torque peak and the short rams had a 3600 rpm torque peak. The Imperial needs the torque at lower rpms and IMHO the long rams would work better on a car this heavy. While the owner alleges the engine is "300 spec'd" he does not indicate what type of cam setup or heads were used. Given that he states "375 hp" he probably has spec'd to the 1960-61 300 specs which used a hydraulic cam/lifter setup. The 1963 "short" long ram setup used a solid cam/lifter setup which revved higher (5400 to 6000 rpm) and also used factory cast iron exhaust headers to produce 390hp. (Note: the 1963-64 300 setup was different from the crossrams on the "Max Wedge" 413/426 Dodge & Plymouth). I suspect this Imperial has the 1960 or 1961 log style exhaust manifolds, or maybe retains it's '63 Imperial log style exhaust manifolds and heads but who knows. The 2500 stall converter sounds like overkill to me and is much higher than Imperial stock torque converters. This is actually a higher stall speed than the stock 300 spec converter. The owner does not specify if the transmission was redone to 300 specs. 300 letter cars had beefed up transmissions to deal with the extra engine performance and in the case of the 1963 300J it would upshift at very high rpms and very firmly - decidedly "un Imperial" like. A stock 727 TorqueFlite behind a true 300 spec'd engine would tend to have a much shorter lifespan than typical which is why the 300 trannys were beefed up. If the engine/tranny combo in this Imperial has been "engineered" well and properly dialed-in, the performance, particularly mid-range torque, should be thrilling.

In order to accommodate a cross ram setup on a 1963 Imperial or any 1963 Chrysler (or any Imperial from 1962 onward) the firewall power brake booster cannot be used. This is because the (new for 1962) brake booster does not leave enough room for the factory master cylinder to clear the driver's side ram/carb. The factory solution in 1963 for the Chrysler 300J, which was the only model that year to offer the long tube style cross ram setup was to use a remote power brake booster/slave cylinder located under the driver's side front fender. A manual brake style master cylinder can then be used at the firewall, with the check valve in the outlet removed (not removing the check valve will cause the brakes to drag). So, the operative question is did the owner or restorer of this '63 convertible source and properly install a remote booster (not real easy to find an original) or did he resort to a manual brake setup? It has been said many times that it doesn't matter much if you make the car go faster if you can't stop the beast. I don't know about you guys, but if I were a buyer for this car I'd surely inspect or ask a bunch of questions about the brake setup! As per my earlier email, this Imperial "ain't no factory setup." But it is a cool car!

Carl Bilter

'63 LeBaron

1963 model year consultant for the Chrysler 300 Club Intl



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This page was last updated September 13, 2014. Send us your feedback, and come join the Imperial Mailing List - Online Car Club