1954 Imperial Specifications, Equipment, and Historical Notes

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                                         HISTORICAL NOTES:                                           

Derham Custom Body Company built a special Custom Imperial Landau Victoria this year, with a Victoria style half-roof and open driver's compartment.  The La Comtessa show car was seen at the 1954 automobile shows as were 5 other new show cars for Chrysler Corporation.  All the new offering carried distinctive Virgil Exner styling elements.

There were two series offered this year.  Series C64 was the Custom series and had three body styles: the sedan, the Newport two-door, and a 6-passenger limousine.  Series C66 was the Crown limousine series and had two body styles: the sedan and a limousine.  The new Custom Imperial had a grille consisting of a heavy, wraparound horizontal center bar (with five ridges on top) and integrated  circular signal lights.  Its front fender nameplate was above a chrome strip which ran the length of the front door to the front wheel opening.  The rear fender stone guard was larger than in 1953, but the rocker panel molding and rear fender chrome strip style were still the same.  The backup lights were now located directly below the taillights, rather than dividing the lights as in the 1953.  The Crown Imperials shared basic styling with the Custom.  However, it had center-opening rear doors and Cadillac-like rear fender taillights.  

The numbering system was as follows:  Series C64 - 7775001 to 7780767 and Series C66 - 7817001 to 7817100.  The motor numbers were C542-8-1001 to C542-8-40478.





V-8   331   Cast iron block


Overhead valves


Displacement : 331.1 cubic inches


Bore and Stroke : 3.81 x 3.62 inches


Compression Ratio : 7.50:1


Brake Horsepower : 235 @ 4400 rpm


Main bearings : Five


Hydraulic Valve Lifters


Carburetor - Carter WCFB 2041S




Wheelbase : (Custom hardtop)131.5"

                    (sedan and limo) 133.5"

                    (Crown) 145.5 inches


Overall length : (Custom hardtop) 224"

                        (Crown) 237 inches


Tires : (Custom) 8.2 x 15

           (Crown) 8.9 x 15




Powerflite automatic transmission was standard on all models.





  • Power disc brakes (standard on Crowns)

  • Power drum brakes (optional on Custom)

  • Power steering (standard on Crowns)

  • Air conditioning (standard on Crowns)

  • Power windows

  • Radio

  • Heater

  • Solex tinted glass

  • Fog lamps

  • Wire wheels

  • Continental wheel kit

  • Rear seat radio speaker

  • Windshield washer

  • Spot lamps

  • Outside rear view mirrors

  • Two-tone paint

1954 was a barnstorm year for concept cars at Chrysler Corporation...starting with La Comtessa.  This wonderful car, pictured below, was based on the Chrysler Imperial Custom Newport frame and had a number of interesting features including a continental extension kit, vinyl-and-plexiglass roof, Kelsey-Hayes wire wheels and custom pink and white interior and exterior finish.  There was also a companion car built, Le Comte, which carried a complementary bronze and black paint scheme.

The Dodge FireArrow

The Plymouth Belmont

The DeSoto Adventurer II

Information on this page was obtained from The Standard Catalog of Chrysler 1924-1990 by John Lee and Chrysler Chronicles by James Flammang.

This page was last updated on 19 May 2008. Send us your feedback, and come join the Imperial Mailing List - Online Car Club