Made to compete with Packard, Pierce Arrow, Lincoln and Cadillac, the Imperial was Chrysler’s Flagship model. It used a new inline-8 engine and sleek styling from LeBaron to give Chrysler a new luxury image.
The new straight-8 wasn’t as impressive as some of the other engines on the market in the early thirties, but it offered an ample 125 bhp and a top speed of 96 mph. The design used nine main bearings and a L-shaped cylinder head.
For Chrysler’s standard bodywork they employed Al Leamy who had also styled the famous Cord L29. Dis sketched were sent to LeBaron who refined the model by adding a raked grill, longer hood and sweeping fenders with integrated spare wheels. Bodystyles included a sporty speedster and elegant dual-cowl phaeton, but anything could be ordered on the ‘Custom’ chassis.