Original poster here. Yeah, I can't believe I got such a good deal on such a nice car. It's sad that these cars never got the publicity and love they deserved. If Chrysler had just marketed the Imperial or 1976-1978 New Yorker better, I could see these cars selling on par with any Lincoln or Cadillac. In my opinion, these cars look better than any Cadillac (Cadillacs of the same year basically looked like other GM barges with some differences).
I really like the Chrysler 440 V8 as well. I always hear everybody talking about Cadillac 500s, Ford 460s, and Chevy 454s. But I almost never hear anybody talk about the Chrysler 440. It's a great engine that's on par with any other big block of the same year.
What really annoys me is that these cars (more than 1970s Cadillacs and Lincolns, which often fetch higher sale prices today) are often destroyed in wasteful demolition derbies as well. These beauties are irreplaceable and getting harder and harder to find; if you ever come across one in good condition, buy it. Same goes for a 1976-1978 New Yorker.
They're usually demo derbied because they're in such bad shape to start, car restore-ers aren't interested in anything with more than 2-doors.
Don't ask me why though, I prefer having 4-doors with something as big as these.
Original poster here. Yeah, I agree. I think coupes are kind of a rip. You pay more for less rear interior room and no convenient rear doors. The size is the same, and you actually get less trunk space on average. I really can't see the selling points, other than looking "sporty". But even then, that's a stretch for these cars.
I agree, the four doors are much better in these huge models - opening and closing a four-foot long door really is a hassle. They can bump into the car next to you in the parking lot, they're hard to get in and out if there's a car next to you, and they tend to sag a bit when the car is very old or worn out.
76 Royal guy here. Mine is a true 2 dr HT. I don't think the Imperial could have been gotten in a 2 door HT. The higher end 2 door Chryslers had the fixed quarter window treatment. Those aren't a true HT. GM and Ford already axed the true 2 door HT prior to 1974. Something about roll over regulations, did convertibles in too.
The 4 door HT, as in your LeBaron, is one classy ride. The 4 door sedans weren't as nice. When I bought the Royal Monaco in 76, Dodge did not offer a true 4 door HT. The 2 door HT was quite rare. Most 2 doors I saw through the years had the fixed quarter windows. Dodge had a "Diplomat" package, which included a half padded roof and a very narrow vertical quarter window. This package put the Royal Monaco in the Imperial price range, $ 7,000 - 8,000. Very few were sold. Who would buy a Dodge for the same price as an Imperial or New Yorker?
I think back to 1976, the Chrysler dealer had a New Yorker 4 door HT in the showroom when I bought the Dodge. White with the maroon leather interior, sticker price was $ 7,700. If I had thought I would have the car 36 years later, I'd have sprung for the Chrysler.
Original poster here again. Funny and interesting story of what could have been back in the day. I think if many people knew that these cars would still be on the road decades later, more of these full-sized American cars would have been sold than were. But the fuel panics of 1973 and 1979 just hurt the market too badly I guess. Nowadays you can't even buy a full-sized car anymore.