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My 1956 Imperial, Claudia

Welcome to Claudia's Home

This Web site features my own 56' Imperial but feel free to send me pictures of yours, I would love to see them. Lets keep Virgil Exner's works of art rolling.

Chrysler And The Family

My family has driven Chrysler products since 1938. Imperials have always been a part of the family. My grandpa was a brewery rep for Pabst Brewing Co. and the Imperial was his choice of travel. He bought his last new Imperial in 64' before dying in 65'. The 64' was the car that all of us grandchildren came home in as newborns. I guess that is where the fasination with the Imperial came from. Today all of the family still drives Mopar. The long family heritage lives on.

Claudia's Story

Things happen in strange ways. I walked into a 7-11 store one day and picked up an Old Car Trader magazine. I flipped open the book right to the page that  Claudia was on. I did not have enough money to purchase the magazine so I asked the cashier to let me use her pen. She declined and said the magazines were for sale, she was not running a library. So I looked at the phone number one more time and hurried home to write it down. I called the number and it was in Tulsa,Ok. I talked to the gentleman on the other end and he agreed to mail me some pictures. The pictures finally arrived and I was now more certain than ever I wanted the car. I called back to Tulsa and we reached a deal, and a plane ticket home. His concern of course was how was he going to get his money. I wanted to know how was I going to get the car. He told me he would drive it to Richmond, Va. I told him if he was that certain it would make it that I would send him half and he could get the other half and a plane ticket home when he arrived. I mailed the check and about two weeks went by and I heard nothing. So I called him to see what the hold up was. The post office had burnt to the ground and they were sifting through the debris. Oddley enough, one of the surviving parcels was my check. Well, he was now on the road to Richmond, only about a week behind but just in time to arrive on my birthday. As soon as I got the car I put new BF Goodrich Silvertownes on it and new king pins and bushings in the front end. I stored the car in a friends garage until I could make accomodations. I went by and picked the car up one day to take it for a drive. I had a gut feeling to not put it back in the garage, as fate may have it, the garage burnt to the ground. That is when I figured that this car had to be "Christines" older cousin Claudia . The last incident was not too long ago. I had sent Claudia out to have some work done. I told the shop owner of Claudia's fire history and everyone laughed. Well, Claudia was gone for a couple of months at the shop until one day the mans shop caught on fire. He very quickly pulled Claudia outside and immediately called me on the phone to tell me that I could come and get her that afternoon. The car and I have been together eversince. Nothing else has burned, but I do keep a fire extiguisher in the trunk.

The Long And Winding Road

Claudia and I have been together since 1987 now. I drove her to my senior prom, graduation and every other sigificant event in my life. I was suppose to drive from my wedding in December, but it snowed a blizzard and I drove away from the reception in my big red sled, a W-3500 Cummins powered Dodge truck. Kind of fitting for the Christmas season.


Simple Elegance

There is something to be said for the taste of clean and to the point. When you compare the 56' Imperial to its' counterparts from Ford & GM, it is plain to see where the simple clean elegance outshines the overdone chrome. Imperial hung its' "Crown" on its' style. Imperials' tall sides and high belt line made the car look massive. Not only did it look massive, it was. Larger than Lincoln,Cadillac and Packard. It was no doubt who wore the crown in the luxury car market. Style ques also included the sweptline rear fenders which took the auto industry by storm in the late 50's. Style and elegance were not Imperials' only attributes. Under the hood was the now legendary Hemi. the auto industry also said hello the greatest automatic transmission to ever hit the road, the 727 torqueflite with push button controls. Handling was also impressive for the time. Imperial set the standards by which all luxury cars were measured. They were the cars of Royalty and Nobility not to mention the Vatican, need we say more.

If the Imperial is your choice of vehicle, do yourself a favor and go to Imperialclub.com There you will find people who share the passion and enthusiasm for the Imperial. You will also find great info on production figures ,specs, and will be able to see other members Imperials of all model years. I hope you have enjoyed my site and do come back to visit again, maybe I will have a new and exciting story to tell.