1956 marked the end of a long tradition of Chrysler building long-wheelbase sedans and limousines. Starting in 1957, the job was farmed out to Ghia in Italy, as the volume numbers were too low to justify hand-building it with more expensive American craftsmen. That limited production to 25 per year, but as low as that sounds, by 1956, the numbers had dwindled down to a mere 175, which was actually a bit higher than 1955’s 127.
It was a hell of grand way to to go out in style, though. These tall limos look a lot more truly dignified than the low and finned cars that replaced them.
Let’s not just settle for one brochure or ad shot…
Here’s a fine example facing the setting sun. Now that’s an impressive piece of work.
I’m guessing it’s the same as this one, which sold for $126,500 way back in 2012.
Here’s a shot of the interior, with one of the jump seats erected.
This is a ’55, but very little different, if at all.
Power was supplied by a 280 hp 354 CID hemi V8, teamed with a two-speed Powerflite automatic.
I found this intriguing shot on the web, but I don’t have any further info on it. It would make for a fine railcar; is it a commercial service, or for the president of the railroad?
Sales of the long-wheelbase Chrysler/Imperial sedans/limos had been dropping for years. back in 1949, the first series cars (same as ’48s) still sold 1400 units. In 1951, it was 442; in 1953, 160. These long wheelbase cars were once used more commonly in various commercial applications before they became more exclusively the domain of the very rich.