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1956 Chrysler Imperial Southhampton Coupe

Chrysler heavily promoted its limited production Imperial line in its 1956 'Forward Look' campaign as 'expressly built for the comparatively few who can afford to buy any car in the world, regardless of price ... a cherished possession of inexhaustible pleasure, enjoyment and pride of ownership.' The emphasis proved to be effective, boosting Imperial's sales and establishing it as a serious competitor to Cadillac, Lincoln and Packard in the luxury market. Instantly recognized by its most distinctive feature, the gunsight taillights set proudly above the rear fenders, the '56 Imperials were built on their own assembly lines where Chrysler could closely monitor assembly quality, fit and finish. The Southampton two-door hardtops took their name from the tony summer community on Long Island's South Fork where each year the rich and famous of the East Coast took up residence. The Southampton's pillarless greenhouse embodied the town's lively, active, socially-conscious atmosphere. Its exclusivity blended seamlessly with the area's society. This 1956 Imperial Southampton is a cherished survivor of the period that may well have been locked away in a summer home's garage for years. Finished in black with a white roof and upholstered in beige leather with dark grey leather inserts with matching interior panels, it has had some paint and chrome work but is mostly original. The body is straight, the interior and carpets are probably original and have an inviting patina that is as impressive as it is unusual. Copiously equipped as all Imperials were, its accessories include power windows, power steering, power brakes, clock, radio and seat belts. It has been fitted with chrome wire wheels with wide whitewall tires and the engine compartment is clean and detailed. One of just 2,094 built in this body style; it can be driven with pride where it will make an elegant statement, as Chrysler put it in 1956, 'at places and in the sections of town where fine cars naturally congregate.


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