HISTORY and DISCUSSION about the Mobile Director option:
From Brett C. Snyder:
The Mobile Director was an option available on the '67 and '68 coupes. Basically, the front passenger seat turns to face rearward and a small table & high intensity light fold out over the back seat. The idea was that an "executive" could turn around and do work while being driven to the office... or he could sit behind the driver and a secretary could take dictation in the rear-facing front seat.
The idea was originated with the 1966 Mobile Executive Show Car that was an Imperial Coupe fitted with a telephone, Dictaphone, writing table, typewriter, television, reading lamp and stereo. Chrysler also used the reversed front seat idea in the 300X show car.
I've been digging through my archives, trying to find the specific photocopy that has mystified me for years. I was at the Detroit Public Library, also known as the National Automotive History Collection, doing research for a few weeks in the back-stacks for my February 1988 Collectible Automobile La Femme article. I made hundreds of photocopies, including one of a 8 by 10 photo of the interior of 1964 Imperial Crown Coupe. I knew it was a '64 because the dash had the full-length chromed ribs, rather than the '65's half-ribs/half veneer and the '66's full wood veneer. The passenger seat is turned around to face the rear, there's a male executive (wearing a fedora) using a Dictaphone (built-in, but I forget where), and there's a female secretary using a built-in telephone.
The most common illustration of this option is in the '67 sales brochure. It is also mentioned in the '68 catalog although there's no picture. I don't believe there are any production numbers for this option, but I'm sure all would agree that it is incredibly rare. I can't imagine anyone actually ordering this $597.40 ($317.60 in '68) option. The examples that were actually produced were probably ordered by dealerships as novelties to put in their showrooms... And it's quite likely the turn-around seat and table were more often used by kids with coloring books on vacation instead of state-of-the-art executives commuting into the big city.
Mobile Director was an option that included the following features:
-A front passenger seat (bucket) that could rotate (swivel) 180 degrees around to face the rear seat (it did not adjust fore-aft).
-A folding wood-grained table that mounted on a large giant post (sort of looked like a chrome traffic light stanchion) on the driveshaft hump in the rear-seat foot-well area. The table was split so it folded in half lengthwise, and one half was fitted underneath with an upholstered pad that, when folded over, became a padded center armrest for the front seat. Or both front and rear seats could have slim, wood-grain tabletops running down the center of the car
Or, most important of all, the two right-hand passengers (front and rear) could have a little square-ish tabletop between them (when the front seat was facing the rear seat, that is).
- Finally, a high-intensity gooseneck desk-type lamp plugged into the right rear cigarette lighter socket, and you had a rolling conference table, so the executive could give dictation to his stenographer.
The flaw? Of course! What executive rode in the back of a TWO-door Imperial?! The feature was never offered on LeBaron or Crown 4-doors because the B-pillar stub would have been in the way of the swiveling seat.
Needless to say, few were sold. But as history and restoration has it, far more probably exist today than ever did in 1967!
From David Duthie:
The Mobile Director was an option package for the 1967 and 68 Imperials - specifically for the Crown Coupe only. The special order package cost $597.40 and converted the Crown Coupe into a rolling office. The package featured a passenger bucket seat that swiveled around to face the rear seat. The center armrest was replaced by a folding table - folded up, it acts like an armrest, with a padded section. Unfolded, it turns into a table for the rear seat passenger. The package is completed by a high intensity lamp which plugs into the cigar lighter and is stored in the glove compartment. The idea was that the boss could sit in the back and do paperwork, or take a secretary along, who would sit in the front seat facing rearward, to take dictation, or even do typing. We presume that Jeeves, the trusty chauffeur, was at the wheel...
My father was with the 8th largest Chrysler/Plymouth dealer in the country (Roy Burnett Motors, Portland) at the time, and I never saw a Mobile Director package, and, believe me, I was there a lot. They were very rare. They were almost all special order cars - Burnett would never have ordered one for their inventory. They usually only stocked 3 or 4 Crown 4-door hardtops, one LeBaron and maybe 1 or 2 Crown Coupes, 1 of which was the demo for the General Manager. Roy Burnett also drove an Imperial, but his car was never listed on the sales inventory sheets! But that's a story for another time...