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Chassis for 59 Chrysler Imperial (Model King)

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I have to wonder what the engineers involved with the Imperial way back when, why they decided to stick with the separate frame, while the rest of ChryCo went unibody starting with the '60 models? Sales numbers? Exclusivity?

My guess would be for reasons of noise isolation on their top-of-the-line luxo ride. They already pretty well knew how to control noise on a full-frame vehicle, but the early unibodies could be pretty bad about telegraphing road noise and high-frequency vibrations into the passengers' posteriors. 

Using a body-shell as a stressed chassis member requires the front subframes and rear springs to be mounted with less forgiving rubber bushings than you'd have between a body and a full frame, so the body shell tends to become subject to drumming if any kind of handling precision is retained. And of course, with a full frame, the suspension is mounted in rubber bushings on the FRAME, and then there's another set of rubber bushings to isolate the frame from the body. 

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This is an interesting thread because a while back, I thought about doing this exact conversion. The pics are a big help as I can see just where changes need to be made. Y'all know I have no problem hacking and cutting away at plastic------so those molded in fenders are no problem for me.

I have to wonder what the engineers involved with the Imperial way back when, why they decided to stick with the separate frame, while the rest of ChryCo went unibody starting with the '60 models? Sales numbers? Exclusivity?

Thanks for all the info!

The Imperial didn't share any sheet metal with other Chryslers from '57 on.  So when the switch to Unibody was made for '60, Chrysler first changed the high-volume cars.  They had the Valiant coming online for '60 also, so between that, Plymouth, Dodge, Chrysler, and Desoto they had a lot on their plate for '60.  The Imperial was to have gone to Unibody for '62, but Chrysler ran into some financial difficulties during '61.  The Imperial stayed with the existing body/frame and just got the fins trimmed down.  Chrysler pushed its all-new body back to '63 and got a hasty redesign, basically the '61 Chrysler with new quarter panels and '61 Dodge trunk area and rear bumper.  They cut some corners on the Dodge and Plymouth redesigns too.  Those were made a bit smaller and lost some touches like curved side glass in the process. 

I don't think the Ghia Imperial limousines had anything to do with the delay; that program ended with a handful of 1960 cars (and the total number produced wasn't any big percentage of production).  It was probably just a case of the Imperial not selling in enough numbers in those years to pay for a full restyle.  It didn't go to Unibody until '67.

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Frank here's one I built using a 59 Imperial body ( Model King ) and 57 Chrysler 300C chassis , interior and cut out the inner fenders from the 57 and put them in the 59 body after cutting out the hood , realy not much problem as all went together pretty easy

.

 

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So...do you still have the one you "screwed up" ??

Nope-was so mad about it that I tossed it, knowing that I would have a second try. You see, this was perhaps the only time I intended to build the stock model and the custom. So I had both kits in my stash.

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I'm not sure where the resin connection came in either Mike.

I was also assuming that Frank was using styrene parts & was soaking them to remove paint.

And you were correct about the soak...

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The AMT '57 Chrysler 300 chassis will get you pretty close visually, but remember that for '57, the Imperial got it's own frame / platform, with a heavy X-member in the center on the convertibles...if I remember correctly.

The new-for-'57 Imperial platform lasted until '66, I think, well after the rest of the Mopar line had gone to unibody.

This shot shows the '57 Imperial convertible frame. The very heavy, boxed rails and the X-member are readily apparent.

...and the underside, assembled...    

The '58 AMT Imperial underside shows the body mount outriggers arranged correctly for the Imperial chassis shown above, if that kind of stuff matters to you.

s-l1600.jpg

Well, you kinda lost me with the nautical term! But is the position of the front tires correct? It looks too far back. On my model, both sets of tires seemed to be off-center! This was something I had hoped to correct, as well as the small tires, that required a huge spacer behind them!

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Frank here's one I built using a 59 Imperial body ( Model King ) and 57 Chrysler 300C chassis , interior and cut out the inner fenders from the 57 and put them in the 59 body after cutting out the hood , realy not much problem as all went together pretty easy

SDC13989_zpsiimp1udw.jpg

Wow - you did a great job on it! Did you stretch the frame?

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No I didn't just put it together ,I did use the Chrysler floor and firewall and interior except the dash that's for the Imperial .

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No I didn't just put it together ,I did use the Chrysler floor and firewall and interior except the dash that's for the Imperial .

That's pretty much what I intended to do with the interior, as I have all of those parts in my extra kit.

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