Some of us really old dudes . . . . .


LVC Member
Aug 28, 2007
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Southern New England
Firstly, I foremost assert that if Chrysler Corporation ever made a Post-War
competitor to Linc and Cad, they stopped doing so by the late 60s, or
maybe the early 70s. Chrysler was dreadfully inconsistent with their
marketing of the Imperial, going all the way back to the late 1920s. By
the early 30s, the big Imps were massive road locomotives, with nine-main-
bearing straight eights, and quality all around. Yet in only a few years, by
the late 30s, the Imperial was just a fancier Chrysler.

Sadly, this happened repeatedly ever since. Just like the corporation
itself, their top-shelf car had its few moments of goodness and glory, such
as the Milestones of 1955 and 1956. Even when all the Mopars went to
uni-body in 1960, the Imps remained separate body-and-frame through
1966. They were definitely well-designed, with certain desirable features.
Yet, I believe that it was their less-than-the-best execution of the designs
that put this marque on the road to oblivion.

For example, Imperials were clearly superior in handling during the period
of 1957 (when torsion bars debuted in front, to accompany leafs in rear)
through at least the late 60s. This is especially true in comparison to
the late 50s Cads. By the mid-60s, the Cads had improved. The only
knock on the Lincs, in comparison, was that the engines were so heavy
that their cars tended to understeer badly.

But, then again, Packard disappeared as an American heavyweight
competitor after their 1956 models. Were these two worthy competitors?
In almost all cases, a resounding yes. However, we (and I) must
remember that we're in the early 21st century now: just how many
decent Packards and Imperials still exist RELATIVE to Lincoln and Cadillac
which continued onward until now? Obviously, not many. And some
would say, "There's a reason or two for that phenomenon." Perhaps so.

But, in closing, let's note the relative production statistics from the
mid-1960s, for example. For every Imperial made, Lincoln made almost
five Continentals, and Cadillac made almost eleven times as many cars!
Looking at it another way: Imperial averaged around 600 convertibles
a year; Lincoln averaged about 3000; Cadillac averaged between 14 and
17 THOUSAND!! Hardly comparible at all, eh?

Finally, it's worth noting that sometimes whether a make of car survives
or not has more to do with the corporation that made them (and their
financial health) than the car itself. Surely, no one would reasonably
state that the '56 Packard was grossly inferior to a '56 Lincoln or Cadillac,
for example. Compare a nice '63 Imperial with a '63 Cad or Linc: you'll
find some interesting things, reflective of the philosophy of their makers.


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