Imperial Tail Fins

Imperial Tail Fins – The Chrysler Imperial was this American automobile company’s top of the line vehicle in 1926. All models were produced with the Chrysler logo up to 1954 and were very luxurious. The Imperial became a separate make in 1955 and that’s when tail fins begain to appear on the rear quarters.


1955 Impeiral Tail Fins
1955 Imperial Tail Fins

The Imperial may have become a separate make for 1955, but shared its large eggcrate grille with Chrysler 300. What was unique were the “gun sight” tail light tail fins perched on top of the rear fenders. A four door sedan like this one cost $4483 in 1955.


1956 Imperial Tail Fins
1956 Imperial Tail Fins

The 1956 Imperial kept its “gun sight” tail lights. However, they now are setting on top of taller tail fins. In front of the TorqueFlite automatic transmission was a powerful 354 Hemi engine that developed 280 horsepower.


1957 Imperial Tail Fins
1957 Imperial Tail Fins

For 1957, Imperial received its first distinct bodyshell. The 1955 and 1956 Imperials shared Chrysler bodies. The gun sight tail lights returned but were set into the trailing edges of the tall tail fins. 1957 was the first year for curved side glass and a fake spare tire cover on the trunk.


1958 Imperial Tail Fins
1958 Imperial Tail Fins

A minor facelift was imposed on the 1958 Imperials. Changes included a simple grille, circular parking lihts and quad headlights. Tail fins remained basically the same. Only about 16,000 1958 Imperials were produced.


1959 Imperial Tail Fins
1959 Imperial Tail Fins

The 1959 Imperials received extensive facelift that included a toothy chromed grille and tall tail fins. Power came from a 413 cubic inch V-8 delivering 350 horsepwer. About 17,000 units were produced by Imperial.


1960 Imperial Tail Fins
1960 Imperial Tail Fins

1960 Imperials adopted unibody construction, a new grille, larger windshield, ornate interiors and larger tail fins. Imperial models include the Custom, Crown, LeBaron and Crown Imperial.


1961 Imperial Tail Fins
1961 Imperial Tail Fins

The 1960 body was changed a lot for 1961. The tail fins were the largest ever to appear on a imperial. Power came from a 413 cubic inch 350 horsepower V-8 engine.


1962 Imperial Tail Fins
1962 Imperial Tail Fins

1962 Imperials were build with the tall tail fins planed off, leaving straight top rear fenders capped by cigar like gun sight tail lights. About 14,000 1962 Imperials were produced.


1963 Imperial Tail Fins
1963 Imperial Tail Fins

Another facelift gave the 1963 Imperials a new grille, crisper rear roofline and a restyled rear deck that included the tail fins. 1963 was the last of the 1950s 1960s tail fins.