Jason Bagge’s New Arrival! 1973 Imperial LeBaron

Well well ladies and germs, guess what Jason got now! Yep, a mighty 1973 Imperial LeBaron with only 43,000 miles on the clock!

Imperial 01

And yes, that’s Imperial, bub! Imperial was a separate make from 1955-1975, But before ’55 and going back to the Thirties, it was the top rung Chrysler. Many, many people never figured out that it was a separate marque for twenty years, even when they were new and sitting in showrooms.

Imperial 02

Chrysler Corporation did not help matters by adding a “by Chrysler” emblem to 1972-73 LeBaron two- and four-door hardtops. So now that we’ve gotten that straightened out, lets talk about this lovely land yacht!

Imperial 03

Jason has known about this time capsule of an Imperial for several years. But over the weekend he finally decided he had to have it! And who could blame him?

Imperial 04

And this is just as the car sits as of today! If you’ve read my other articles on Jason’s cars, you know he is a master at refurbishing nice old cars.

Imperial 04

Jason is a MAJOR fan of these, he owned a 1972 LeBaron a few years back, but it wasn’t half as nice as this one. So, why Imperial? In his own words:

“For those wondering…….for those friends of mine who have never really seen one of these. These cars have a sinister look to them and look they want to run you over sitting still. These car also came standard with a 440 big block. I owned a 72 I sold to Joel and it was a BEAST. Just how many 73 Imperial LeBarons do you see roaming around the Spokane county area? The answer is none.”

Imperial 06

Expect a full-blown article after Jason works his magic on this fine example. But I share his love of these cars, and wanted to dash off a quick post as soon as possible! But expect the more typical Klockau 1000-word plus post in the near future!

Bonneville 1

And by the way, this acquisition means the minty fresh 1976 Bonneville Brougham will be going away eventually. If anyone has an interest, let me know, and I can get in touch with Jason. Until then, keep calm and Brougham on!

Brougham

17 Replies to “Jason Bagge’s New Arrival! 1973 Imperial LeBaron”

  1. ArBee

    Beautiful Imperial and an incredible find with only 43,000 miles. Seeing these big old ships cruising through traffic while lesser cars seem to scurry out of the way is a pleasure. I look forward to the full write-up.

    Reply
    • Mike M

      The 4 wheel ABS was optional from 71 to 73.

      The Imperial went to 4 wheel disc brakes in 74. Those rear disc brake parts are impossible to find.

      As an aside the Autotemp 2 that many of these have was sold to Mercedes for use in their cars. The Mercedes connection means that the Autotemp 2 parts are a little easier to find, but they are pricey.

      Reply
  2. -Nate

    What a wonderful if big automobile ! .

    I await the in depth article on the refurbishment .

    Chrysler’s Air Temp II is the system that uses the evil servo from hell, a wonderful HVAC system until the moment it stops, then you’ll hate it .

    I took the time to sort it out on one of my old Mercedes’ and it was fantastic, especially the AC in the Mojave Desert after I re charged it with the proper R12 refrigerant .

    Cool find Jason ! I hope you begin piling on the miles .

    -Nate

    Reply
  3. Patrick King

    Tom, you never fail to entertain. Although my first BMW 2002 looked nothing like this rig (apologies to Tom McCahill, and yes, I know Imperial was a separate brand) I have great affection for Mopars of the era. My first car, two years before my ’71 Bimmer, was a factory-ordered ’69 Dodge Dart GTS 340. Question: did Chryslers of the fuselage era still have the ignition key to the left side of the dashboard à la early Pontiac GTOs? I forget.

    Reply
  4. Patrick King

    BTW, a black 2-door with updated wheels and some kind of crate-motor Hemi would be seriously demonic.

    Reply
  5. Patrick King

    And the “groovy” thing about Chryslers back then was that Darts and even HUGE cars like this one were unibody! FoMoCo continued to sell Panther BoF Crown Vics to police departments well into the aughts!

    Reply
  6. Patrick King

    The metal trim around the gas and brake pedals (as shown) was a six or seven dollar option on my ’69 Dart GTS. I went for it, but NOT for the fender-mounted turn signal indicators. Tacky! And I forgot to spec the 3.55 rear end versus the standard 3.23. Still pisses me off to this day.
    .
    Can anybody tell this is my day off? And where did all the 340 Darts go? Everything for sale now is a big-block, despite the fact that back in the day (hate that phrase) the new hi-tech small block, still in production, was the hot setup.

    Reply
    • John C.

      The engines went in both directions. When Imperial went away after 1975, the New Yorker Brougham took it’s place. In it’s last year or two around 1978 the 360 small block was the delete option economy choice from the standard big block 440. With a vacuam economy gauge that was probably not on your Dart GTS.

      Reply
  7. George Denzinger (geozinger)

    If I’m honest, my absolute favorite Impy is the 1974 – 1975 versions. The 1976 and later New Yorkers are even better, but they’re not Imperials.

    I’ve wished for a while now that FCA would re-boot the Imperial off of the current 300 chassis. But, unless it was a SUV of some sort, it probably won’t fly…

    Reply
  8. Dan-O

    Alright! I can resist no more! Mr. Klockau, your writings on these classic land yachts is so heartwarming, and as a ’69-73 or so Chrysler/Imperial large car fan, I must comment that these Imperials are magnificent! If a brown & tan over brown velour 1980 Buick LeSabre (that my dad drove it when we were growing up) cemented the fact that cloud-like rides ruled, then as a Mopar fan, these are the ultimate. The sinister and imposing looks, the size, the design, the 440. Fuselage styling is by far my favorite. Cadillac may have been king in design in the ’60s, but they ceded it to Chrysler/Imperial for these 4-5 years before retaking it after ’73. This, of course, being my opinion as I never thought the split round headlamp front end design was very appealing. [If anyone likes them, I don’t have a problem with it! I just like what I like!] The mid-’70s Chryslers/Imperials never had the magic the earlier ones had I thought, but what is one to do?

    I may be entering my mid-30s (weird to write!) but I’d love to have one of these. They are rare, especially in certain colors. I currently enjoy fuel-injected LT1 power (with a 6-speed), but really, a land yacht is a dream. There’s a tenant in a next-door apartment that has a ’67 or so Sedan Deville with huge white wall tires in pretty good condition. It is always a treat seeing it parked among the modern and small city cars. Beautiful car. Any of these cars, I’d be looking at doing some sort of fuel injection conversion (TBI at the very least). Like upgrading vintage bicycles with easily-fit modern parts, the point is to enjoy the good parts of the old with the convenience of the new. Win-win!

    May Jason enjoy this one for some time. I have some Craigslisting to do!

    Reply
  9. DaveL

    My uncle had one of these in dark green. I remember washing it as a 10 year old and my arms weren’t long enough to reach the middle of the hood or trunk. He got a laugh out of the dirty spot i couldn’t reach.

    Reply

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