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  #1  
Old 12-14-2008, 09:36 PM
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Timothy (in VA) Timothy (in VA) is offline
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Imperial LeBaron

Imperial LeBaron 1971

In 1955, Chrysler created the Imperial brand to compete head-on with Lincoln and Cadillac. Unfortunately, Chrysler's foray into the luxury field never achieved great success and by 1971 the brand was on shaky ground. For this model year, Imperial was reduced to a single model line. The 1971 LeBaron, a name previously applied to only the top-of-the-line Imperials, was offered in only two bodystyles: two- and four-door hardtops (pillared sedans were discontinued after 1969).

Along with the rest of Chryslerís full-size products (full-size in this case means 19 feet (5.8 meters) from end to end), the Imperial had been fully redesigned in 1969 and given a new ďfuselageĒ body. Yearly styling updates kept the Imperial looking fresh (including an all-new but similar-looking body in 1972) until Chrysler full-size models received a significant redesign for 1974.

All 1971 Imperials had a 440-cubic-inch V-8 (7.2 liters) with 335 horsepower and 475 foot-pounds of torque paired with an automatic transmission.

Standard equipment on 1971 Imperials included power steering, power windows, power brakes, reclining front passenger seat, glove compartments in each door, carpeted trunk, and vinyl top. Options included air conditioning, AM/FM radio, 8-track player, rear defroster, cruise control, power door locks, sunroof (2-door models only), and headlight washers.

A unique option that was new for 1971 Imperials was Bendix 4-wheel anti-lock brakes. The 1971 Imperial was the first American production car to be fitted with this feature, although its high price (more than $350) meant that not many buyers selected this option (about 230 according to one source).

Production totaled 10116 four-doors (base price: $6276) and only 1442 two-doors (base price: $6044) for the 1971 model year, but Imperialís days as a separate brand were numbered. The last Imperial branded cars were sold in 1975.

I photographed this immaculately imperious and imposingly impressive 1971 Imperial LeBaron four-door hardtop in Midnight Blue Metallic one October evening in the parking lot of a hotel in Charlottesville, Virginia. I saw it from the bus, not immediately recognizing what it was, and was sufficiently intrigued that I got off at the next stop and backtracked on foot for a closer look. When I realized it was an Imperial, I knew I'd made the right decision. I love Imperials and for once my camera actually had plenty of battery life, so I may have gone a bit overboard on the number of pictures.

This car has belonged to Jim Corbett of Virginia since Fall of 2006 and more information about this particular car is on his page at ImperialClub.org: Jim Corbett's 1971 (Chrysler) Imperial LeBaron

An excellent resource for all things Imperial: Online Imperial Club (OIC) for Imperial, Chrysler Imperial, and Chrysler New Yorker Brougham Enthusiasts
The 1971 Imperial on imperialclub.org: 1971 (Chrysler) Imperial Home Page
Attached Images
File Type: jpg DSC05659_1971ImperialLeBaron.jpg (875.5 KB, 29 views)
File Type: jpg DSC05660_1971ImperialLeBaron.jpg (923.7 KB, 22 views)
File Type: jpg DSC05661_1971ImperialLeBaron.jpg (955.0 KB, 20 views)
File Type: jpg DSC05662_1971ImperialLeBaron.jpg (899.3 KB, 16 views)
File Type: jpg DSC05663_1971ImperialLeBaron_B.jpg (414.9 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg DSC05664_1971ImperialLeBaron.jpg (879.5 KB, 21 views)
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  #2  
Old 12-14-2008, 09:37 PM
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Timothy (in VA) Timothy (in VA) is offline
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Imperial LeBaron #2
Attached Images
File Type: jpg DSC05665_1971ImperialLeBaron.jpg (885.0 KB, 16 views)
File Type: jpg DSC05666_1971ImperialLeBaron.jpg (784.3 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg DSC05667_1971ImperialLeBaron.jpg (926.9 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg DSC05668_1971ImperialLeBaron.jpg (817.8 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg DSC05669_1971ImperialLeBaron.jpg (814.8 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg DSC05670_1971ImperialLeBaron.jpg (740.6 KB, 6 views)
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  #3  
Old 12-14-2008, 09:39 PM
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Timothy (in VA) Timothy (in VA) is offline
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Imperial LeBaron #3
Attached Images
File Type: jpg DSC05674_1971ImperialLeBaron.jpg (953.6 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg DSC05675_1971ImperialLeBaron.jpg (674.3 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg DSC05676_1971ImperialLeBaron.jpg (696.8 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg DSC05677_1971ImperialLeBaron.jpg (903.4 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg DSC05678_1971ImperialLeBaron_B.jpg (465.3 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg DSC05679_1971ImperialLeBaron.jpg (631.1 KB, 3 views)
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  #4  
Old 12-14-2008, 09:40 PM
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Timothy (in VA) Timothy (in VA) is offline
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Imperial LeBaron #4
Attached Images
File Type: jpg DSC05680_1971ImperialLeBaron.jpg (816.0 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg DSC05681_1971ImperialLeBaron.jpg (711.4 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg DSC05683_1971ImperialLeBaron.jpg (761.1 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg DSC05684_1971ImperialLeBaron.jpg (635.7 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg DSC05685_1971ImperialLeBaron.jpg (693.1 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg DSC05686_1971ImperialLeBaron.jpg (848.4 KB, 5 views)
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  #5  
Old 12-14-2008, 09:42 PM
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Timothy (in VA) Timothy (in VA) is offline
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Imperial LeBaron #5
Attached Images
File Type: jpg DSC05687_1971ImperialLeBaron.jpg (926.9 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg DSC05689_1971ImperialLeBaron.jpg (773.9 KB, 2 views)
File Type: jpg DSC05690_1971ImperialLeBaron.jpg (736.9 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg DSC05691_1971ImperialLeBaron.jpg (842.5 KB, 2 views)
File Type: jpg DSC05692_1971ImperialLeBaron.jpg (882.8 KB, 12 views)
File Type: jpg DSC05694_1971ImperialLeBaron.jpg (888.8 KB, 3 views)
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  #6  
Old 12-14-2008, 09:43 PM
Timothy (in VA)'s Avatar
Timothy (in VA) Timothy (in VA) is offline
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Imperial LeBaron #6
Attached Images
File Type: jpg DSC05695_1971ImperialLeBaron.jpg (638.1 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg DSC05696_1971ImperialLeBaron.jpg (852.1 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg DSC05697_1971ImperialLeBaron.jpg (874.6 KB, 2 views)
File Type: jpg DSC05698_1971ImperialLeBaron.jpg (746.7 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg DSC05699_1971ImperialLeBaron.jpg (682.5 KB, 3 views)
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  #7  
Old 12-15-2008, 01:39 AM
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I've always wanted to drive (and/or own) an Imperial from that era.

A bit of trivia:
The 1973 Imperial was an incredible 235.3" long!

(Compare with the biggest of the Cadillac Fleetwood Broughams, '74-'76, at 233.7".)
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  #8  
Old 12-15-2008, 04:59 AM
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Whoa, that's a pretty massive car...
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  #9  
Old 12-15-2008, 09:41 AM
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Nice stuff, and nice introduction too.
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  #10  
Old 11-14-2011, 02:54 PM
jrlkts jrlkts is offline
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Simply nice car!!
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  #11  
Old 11-16-2011, 12:22 AM
kylawills kylawills is offline
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Truly amazing car...and fantastic pic... Thanks.
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  #12  
Old 04-22-2012, 07:23 PM
dog ear dog ear is offline
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Unlike Chrysler, Dodge, and Plymouth divisions, Imperial was never set up with its own distinct Imperial dealerships, so it ultimately lacked a perceived up-market image distinct and separate from that of the basic big Chrysler.

To many people (over the years) the nameplate ultimately offered little more than an otherwise expensive re-styled New Yorker. By 1971, public perception was just that: an overpriced New Yorker. For that reason more than anything else it failed as a separate marque.

Pre-1955 Imperials were offered as Chryslerís top-of-the-line automobile since 1926. In previous model years, the Chrysler Imperial had traditionally competed against Buick and Oldsmobile.

In 1955, Imperial was offered in two distinct models: Custom and Crown. Crown was the top-of-the-line eight-passenger sedan or limousine. One truly unique feature of the Crown Imperial was 4-wheel disc brakes Ė standard Ė not even offered on any other American automobile. How about European automobiles? Forget it!

In 1971, Imperial was indeed the first American production car to offer the Bendix 4-wheel anti-lock brake option, but, Thunderbird and Lincoln had offered a 2-wheel (rear brake) Kelsey-Hayes unit called Sure-Trak since 1968. Buick Riviera offered the Max-Trac non-slip traction control in the same year. All quite rudimentary by todays modern standards, but thatís only 40-years of technology. LOL!

Here are some more excellent sources of info on Imperial:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperial_(automobile)

Here is a January, Ď71 Road Test magazine article on the 1971 model.

I have lots of road tests on the Imperial line. Enjoy!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 7109 RT 71 Imp (1).jpg (157.8 KB, 2 views)
File Type: jpg 7109 RT 71 Imp (2).jpg (191.7 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg 7109 RT 71 Imp (3).jpg (221.5 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg 7109 RT 71 Imp (4).jpg (183.9 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg 7109 RT 71 Imp (5).jpg (252.8 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg 7109 RT 71 Imp (6).jpg (252.6 KB, 2 views)
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  #13  
Old 05-04-2012, 04:51 AM
kylawills kylawills is offline
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Nice info Terry. Thanks.
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