The 1949-1954 Chrysler Imperial was the first with the new boxy body style for 1949. Chrysler had decided to field a line of "owner-driver" Imperials. The sedan came first, followed briefly by a convertible and club coupe. The Newport hardtop arrived to stay for 1951.

These were the top of the Chrysler line -- beautifully built and thoroughly engineered, but drably designed and dull on the road. Then as now, they appealed mainly to those who liked Chryslers in general.

Though they were an engineering match for Cadillac and Lincoln, especially with the advent of the Hemi V-8 for 1951, they were not as well styled -- and styling was almost everything in those years. Sales lagged accordingly. (See also "Imperial," the separate make launched for 1955.)

Pluses of the 1949-1954 Chrysler Imperial:

  • Engineering excellence
  • Craftsmanship
  • Luxury
  • Chrysler's fabled Hemi V-8 beginning in 1951
  • Relative rarity

Minuses of the 1949-1954 Chrysler Imperial:

  • Underwhelming looks
  • Fuel thirst
  • Some body parts in short supply now

Production of the 1949-1954 Chrysler Imperial:

  • 1949 4d sedan: 50
  • 1950 4d sedan: 9,500; DeLuxe 4d sedan: 1,150
  • 1951 4d sedan: 13,6781; clb cpe: 2,226; 2d htp: 749; conv: 650
  • 1952 4d sedan: 8,033; clb cpe: 1,307; 2d htp: 440
  • 1953 4d sedan: 7,793; 2d htp: 823; limo: 243
  • 1954 4d sedan: 4,324; 2d htp: 1,249; conv: 1; limo: 85

Specifications of the 1949-1954 Chrysler Imperial:
Length, inches: 212.5 (1949), 213.6 (1950), 212.6 (1951-52), 219.0 (1953-54)
Wheelbase, inches: 131.5 (1949-52), 133.5 (1953-54; '53 hardtop: 131.5)
Weight, pounds: 4,220-5,295
Price, new: $3,055-7,044

Engines for the 1949-1954 Chrysler Imperial:

Type
Size
Horsepower
Years
sv I-8 323.5
135
1949-1950
ohv V-8331.1180/2351951-1954

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