(first posted 4/7/2016) This generation Imperial has already been extensively covered here at CC (including a 1963 Crown four-door hardtop parked just a few yards away), but this 1962 Imperial Crown convertible has been sitting in my photo files since last summer, just begging to be shared. I thought its topless elegance would be some good inspiration for the warmer days that are just around the corner for those of us who live in the Northern hemisphere.
With its unapologetically bold sheet metal, free-standing head and taillights, dignified Imperial eagle hood ornament, and enough chrome to occupy a small principality, this appropriately-named “Embassy Red” over “Alabaster White” leather convertible is not one for those who like to blend in.
Although its basic body dated back to 1957, Imperial received its expected annual styling tweaks, complete with new front and rear sheetmetal most years. Its appearance had significantly evolved by 1962, but there was still no denying that the Imperial looked somewhat antiquated next to the crisp Cadillacs and understated Continentals.
The Imperial’s age was even more obvious with its interior. Despite revisions over the years, the dual pods on either side of the gauge cluster, one housing the push-button transmission, remained, as did the unusual square steering wheel.
Half a century later, however, little things like this matter a whole lot less. A classic car that’s survived this long can rest on its own laurels, considering they’re typically not used as daily drivers to get from Point A to Point B, being competitive with other cars of its time is impertinent. If they bring joy to their owners as well as admirers, that’s the important part.
1962 was also the first year Imperials saw their tail fins actually decrease in size. Gone were the outlandish tail fins from 1961, reduced to a horizontal continuation of the beltline, giving the car the appearance of a squared-off trunk when viewed from the direct side. “Gun-sight” taillights remained for one final season however, their first appearance as free-standing units since 1956.
Even in an age when big convertibles enjoyed a greater popularity than today, convertibles never represented a large percentage of Imperial’s already small sales. The brand produced just 554 ragtops for 1962, comprising only 3.8% of total Imperial production for that model year.
Next to more understated Cadillacs and Lincolns, the ostentatiously-styled Imperials of this era may not be everyone’s glass of whiskey. However, if I were to be motoring around in a big classic convertible on a nice summer day, this would be the car. The flashier, the better!