David Schwartz' Mobile Director Coupe

Imperial Home Page -> Imperials by Year -> 1967 -> David Schwartz' 1967 Mobile Director Coupe



Here is the story of my Imperial...

Recently, I was searching online and I was stunned to find a Mobile Director on eBay.

I found this car on eBay in August 2016. It has traveled 149,000 miles. The guy who listed it on eBay is a vintage VW microbus restoration expert and dealer in Grants Pass, Oregon. He knew about the Imperial from a family member of the owner. When the owner died, he bought the car from the estate and got it running after years of storage. The deceased second owner was a Grants Pass, Oregon resident who didn't drive a lot and kept the car garaged. He bought this Imp from the original southern California owner, who put most of the miles on the car. As nearly as I can tell, the car was in California from 1967 until 2000. The condition of this Imperial is "Good." It drives well. There is no rust anywhere. The paint looks to be about 10 years old and is the same color as it was from the factory. The front seats were probably reupholstered at the time the car was painted. Rear seats are worn. The parking light lenses were also replaced. All chrome and stainless seems to be original. The second owner's executor did not know where most of the documentation, records and spare parts for the car were. The removable table, post and lamp are also missing. The records I do have include the original registration, owners manual, build sheet (recovered from under the rear seat cushion springs) and some of the registration renewals from the 1980s and 2000s. I plan to fix the items that aren't working: AC, passenger window motor and some miscellaneous things. This Imperial will be used for local meets and cruises, not as a national show car.

The car came with the original window sticker, showing that it was originally purchased in Lancaster, Calif., in November 1966. I also have the original brochure, which shows a picture of a Wall Street Journal sitting on the back seat with some driving gloves. The brochure reads, in part: "The seats swivel to face forward. The table folds and pivots to become an arm rest. The reading lamp stows away. Thus the conference room vanishes."

I could see myself as a young architect in the early 1970s, rolling out plans in my mobile office at a construction site. But most of the owners of these cars probably used the mobile office to smoke cigarettes in comfort (there are four lighters and four ashtrays). The car is about 19 feet long. That's a lot of acreage to keep clean. The trunk is so big, you could camp out in it; all you need is a mosquito net. Under the hood is a 440 cubic-inch motor, the largest V8 Chrysler had ever offered customers at the time. I have been a gear head since I was a kid. I've owned English cars, Italian cars, muscle cars, station wagons. But I have never owned a car that gets as much attention as this one.

My first pass at getting the table installed is pictured. It's functionally equivalent to the long-gone original, except solid walnut on an aluminum pedestal. I included a picture that shows the bottom part of the pedestal being machined. I used a fishing boat captain's chair base and modified it. Some welding was required, too. Sorry, no pics of that. Believe me, if I could have found the original parts or bought some, I would have. ---much less hassle even if it costs more money. A purist would call my table base a "cheat" because I bought an adjustable pedestal base for a fishing boat captain's chair and then modified it. It swivels, goes up and down like the original equipment, but also slides side to side, which is handy for improving rear seat access. Also, I haven't added the cushions. Instead, my wife will make a kind of padded sleeve. That way, I can use the table top in the folded position as a smaller work surface.

David even had his Imperial featured in an October 2016 Wall Street Journal article as follows.......

David Schwartz, 68, an architect from Fair Oaks, Calif., on his 1967 Imperial Crown Coupe Mobile Director, as told to A.J. Baime. In 1966, Imperial, a brand owned by Chrysler, built a show car with an executive office inside. The front passenger seat swiveled to face backward, and a fold-out table created a mobile conference room. It had a telephone and a "datafax transmitter" (a fax machine) that could transmit a page in six minutes. It was the ultimate "Mad Men" automobile. (Don Draper actually drove a 1964 Imperial on the show.) This concept car got so much attention, Imperial produced some for customers, minus the phone and fax, called the Imperial Crown Coupe Mobile Director. Imperial advertisements noted, 'Now you may work your way to work.' While it was one of the more expensive American cars of its era, it wasn't very popular, and very few were ever built. Today, probably a handful or two still exist.

david_m_schwartz at yahoo


Click on photos to see larger versions

These are the "before" photos:








The following photos were taken after the Mobile Director table was created from scratch and installed:



















We hope David is enjoying his very nice Mobile Director Coupe and we hope he will send more photos.



This page was last updated September 13, 2016. Send us your feedback, and come join the Imperial Mailing List - Online Car Club