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Sunday, 2 September 2012

2012 Armitage Park Car Show Pick

Back in July I attended a couple of car shows on the same Saturday, and that was just two of the four that were going on that day within about 30 miles of home. Rather than show you pictures of every car there (or every one I took pictures of) I'm selecting my favorite, so I can go into more detail.

At Armitage Park, a riverside park with camping and boat launch access, half way between Coburg and Eugene, I saw this very unusual car, and the owner was kind enough to let me sit in it.

1960 Imperial Crown 4-door Sedan

1960 was a transition year in the US for car makers. The enthusiasm for chrome and big fins of the late 50s was giving way to straight clean lines and practicality. Imperial was a luxury marque used by Chrysler from 1955-1975 for their luxury cars, to try to compete with Lincoln and Cadillac. I think luxury cars tend to trend behind the cheaper models because they get fewer sales and fewer remodels. If I've got my internet facts right there were less than 1600 of this model made, so it was amazing to even see one in the flesh, let alone sit in it.

While I was looking at it another enthusast was discussing a possible sale with the owner. Both were hedging their bets, but just for rarity this has to be a very valuable car, let alone the restoration work put in.

The wheel shape on the trunk lid doesn't actually house the spare wheel apparently, it's just for decoration. The Crown is bespattered with these over-decorative touches, when cheaper cars of the same year were starting to show clean stright lines everywhere. 

Check out those tailfins, and the jet engine shapes round the tail lights. Wheeee! But the devil to polish I should think.

That steering wheel really isn't circular, it's not just a trick of the camera angle.  A bewildering array of buttons, with mysetrios symbols just like a modern dash.

At least I can figure out where the hood release pull is, and the radio.

This little gizmo was a popular feature, it's for parking near the curb without scratching your vehicle. I think the driver can just see it out of the window to judge his distances, or maybe he listens for the srpoing..g..g!

What a ridiculously complicated and over-engineered wing mirror. Wonderful!

Perhaps the best touch, rotating front seats for easy access. They are original specification, but I think the console drinks holder is a recent addition.

Now just imagine the smack your head would get on that dash if you had an accident, especially with no shoulder restraint. Modern cars may not have the style of the 50s cars, but at least they have a few safety features.


  1. One of the best advantages of attending car shows is that you get to see the most unusual and the most refined cars that you do not usually get to see every day. You were really fortunate to be able to touch and even sit on that thing of beauty above. The car is really fabulous, and I bet majority has been really envious of the car owner for having this one of a kind car.

    Leisa Dreps

  2. Rotating seats? That's a top notch car feature! I really love the idea and the interior too. It's so attractive especially the wide seats. The 1960 Imperial Crown 4-door sedan of Chrysler really brings out the class in vintage!

    Sara Anthony