Posted 2019-11-26 11:09 AM (#590781) Subject: My 1961 Imperial
Hello folks, I am new here so I hope I've got this post in the right spot. The car I'd like to share about is my 1961 Imperial Crown Southampton Hardtop. This is going to be a complete restoration ( I hope!) that I plan to do mostly myself and learn new skills along the way. If you like a good car story I hope you will enjoy this one.
This all began December of 2018. I had been looking for something to restore and I found a 1960 imperial on Craigslist. It was $1000 and was sunk into the ground pretty far and had severe rust. I didn't consider it as a project but it introduced me to Imperials. I began looking at them and then by complete accident found my car. It was on eBay in havelock North Carolina for a starting bid of 99cents no reserve. I had never seen a 61 imperial before and I was pretty amazed. I thought about it for a few weeks and it had a few bidders and had gotten to about $150. Then on Christmas, the listing dissapeared. I promptly emailed the guy and told him I was interested in the car. On New Years eve I received a message from him he was resisting it for $650. im not sure if he changed his mind or not but the listing showed $500 when he posted it and he left the make an offer option available. I offered $400 and he said $475. It took a few days but I decided to purchase the car. It was a big risk for me as we had spoken very little. I knew there wasn't much rust and there was an engine and transmission. So on the 2nd of January I paid for the car an we left on the 4th to get it.
We set out about 5 in the morning and it rained most the way there. Having never done anything like this I allowed like two hours to load up the car and leave. This was not the case as field it was in was very we took and muddy. I don't know how long the car had been there but the tires were completely flat and were in the ground a bit. We couldn't budge it with flat tires. Airing up the tires proved impossible except for one. It was then dark and beginning to rain and we had the option of leaving the car and coming back in a few weeks or staying the night and begin in the morning. We decided to stay an in the morning we set to removing the wheels. This is where I first encountered left hand threaded lug nuts. Once we figured that out ,the car was so low and our borrowed jack was so short that the wheels were just barely off the ground. We went and bought a set of jackstands and there was a truck with a broken plate in the back next to us so we used the plate as a shovel to dig around the wheels. We took the wheels to a local junkyard for some tires that would hold some air. We put them on and set to putting the car on the trailer With a 1 ton jack. It took 2 more hours and after crushing the exhaust pipes because they were hanging too low, we were able to head home. Heading home was realatively uneventful and we arrived at 3 in the morning.
I decided to name the car mindy after our dog who had died just before Christmas 2018 when I found the car. she was a good dog but stubborn and after all the trouble with the car I felt it fit pretty well. I haven't been able to do much with it since it got here besides collect missing pieces. It will be while to complete but I'm ready for a challenge. Anyways, if you've made it this far you deserve to see the Car. Thanks for reading and im excited to be here and listen to yalls advice and experience restoring these good old cars.
Posted 2019-11-26 11:45 AM (#590786 - in reply to #590785) Subject: Re: My 1961 Imperial
Well....... the engine is in backwards and the transmission is in the passenger floor board. That is a whole other part of the story Which I can explain. I have no documentation on this car besides a bill of sale and a few scraps of paper on found in the floor which are the corner of what looks like a build sheet and a address for a imperial club somewhere in Pennsylvania. That's it. The car was registered in New York in 1994. I know this from what's left of a registration sticker in the windshield. It somehow made its way to South Carolina. The man I bought it from rescued it from being used in a derby. That's were my interior went and I figure that's why the engine is like it is because they were likely going to use their own running engine and they just threw it back in there when he bought it. By the time he got it home he had about $800 in it and he took $475. He was thrilled to hear I was going to restore it. When I have a place, I will take out the engine and see what I've got to work with. The condition is unknown and I hope it isn't seized. I would love to use the original engine for the car.
Posted 2019-11-26 3:50 PM (#590799 - in reply to #590781) Subject: Re: My 1961 Imperial
Thanks for sharing, l enjoyed reading your description. At age 82 I have had many such experiences. I am awaiting the arrival of my 1959 Imperial Crown Southampton, my second one. The first one was owned 60 years ago.