1971 Imperial Spotter's Guide

Imperial Home Page -> Imperials by Year -> 1971 -> SpottersGuide

1970 was the last year for the Crown series, so the LeBaron two door hardtop and four door hardtop were the only two models available from Imperial for 1971.  Styling changes to the 1971 Imperial were minimal.  Up front, the eagle emblem was removed from the front of the hood, but two eagles appeared on the redesigned headlight doors.  Replacing the eagle on the hood was the word "IMPERIAL."  Along the sides, new stainless trim with a rubber insert appeared, running the length of the car.  On the rear quarter panels, the word "IMPERIAL" appeared.  The exterior mirrors were changed from the round design of previous years to a new rectangular design that matched the overall lines of the car.  Vinyl top options were limited to five choices, including a paisley design that was only offered for a couple of months.

Inside the Imperial, new choices of fabrics and leather seat designs were available.  The instrument panel was redesigned slightly, with more use of woodgrain trim.  Controls, such as the headlight switch, dimmer switch, and radio faceplate were redesigned as well.

Under the hood, the Imperial continued to offer the 440 cubic inch (7.2 litre) V-8, but with lower compression this year, horsepower dropped from the traditional 350 BHP to a slightly milder 335 BHP.  Few Imperial owners likely noticed this change.

For a comparison of 1969, 1970, and 1971 Imperials, be sure to see the Fuselage Imperial Comparison.

MVC-453S.jpg (38010 bytes) MVC-461S.jpg (37548 bytes)
Seen from the front, the '71 Imperial is quite distinctive. From the rear, the '71 looks quite similar to the '70.  Notice, however, the lack of the "IMPERIAL" script in the bumper.


MVC-464S.jpg (37766 bytes) MVC-465S.jpg (37261 bytes) 
The car on the left is a two door hardtop, while the car on the right is a four door hardtop.  Look closely, and you'll see an amazing difference in the contour lines of the rear quarters -- meaning separate tooling was set up for the rear bumper ends for the two door hardtops! From the rear, the '71 has clean, shapely lines.


MVC-466S.jpg (39241 bytes) 71i6.jpg (43650 bytes)
The four door hardtop shown from the rear. This shot shows the illuminated rear side marker, along with the taillamps.  The outer two lenses house stop, turn, and taillights; the next inner two house taillamps only; and the two innermost lenses are only reflectors.  The backup lamps are, obviously, housed in the center of the bumper.


71i5.jpg (47824 bytes)

Here's a closeup of the redesigned headlight door for '71, showing the eagle emblem, which "migrated" here from the hood.

 The front turn signals and cornering/side marker lights were unchanged from 1970.


71i7.jpg (45499 bytes) 71i8.jpg (44821 bytes)
The '71 Imperial with its headlight doors closed . . . and open.


71i9.jpg (41943 bytes) 71i10.jpg (67748 bytes)
For '71, this small "IMPERIAL" badge on the deck lid replaced the "IMPERIAL" script that was located on the rear bumper for '70.  Also added was the even smaller "BY Chrysler" script, which continued through '73. The LeBaron was the only Imperial model available for '71, and the "LeBaron" script appears on the roof c-pillars.


Interior appointments remained lavish for '71.  The photos above show the optional full leather seats.  This was an opulent, heavy leather, much more luxurious than the thin vinyl-like hides found in most modern cars.


71i11.jpg (52395 bytes) 71i12.jpg (43288 bytes)
The instrument panel provided the driver with ample information and total control of the Imperial.  This car has the optional tilt and telescopic steering column. For two door Imperials, two different seating options were available.  Notice the embroidered eagle emblem.


 71i13.jpg (49005 bytes) 71i14.jpg (44824 bytes) 
Both front and rear of Imperial LeBaron two door hardtops were spacious and luxurious.  And notice that this interior is the "standard" fabric and leather.  The optional full leather interior included split front "bucket" style seats.


71i16.jpg (52007 bytes)
Once again, under the hood is the powerful and reliable 440 cubic inch (7.2 litre) V-8 engine.  Even with lower compression for this year, it still put out a thundering 335 horespower and a hefty 475 ft./lbs. of torque.

This page was last updated on October 2, 2003. Send us your feedback, and come join the Imperial Mailing List - Online Car Club