1959 Imperial Speedster with 6.1L HEMI

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1959 Imperial Speedster with 6.1L HEMI

Post by scottm » Wed Aug 17, 2011 8:56 pm

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1959 Chrysler Imperial sedan turned into 2-seat sports car
http://content.usatoday.com/communities ... orts-car/1
Some of the fastest, flashiest and funniest cars already are cruising Detroit's Woodward Avenue ahead of the annual 16-mile Dream Cruise on Saturday and a great one spotted yesterday by our friends at the Detroit Free Press: a 1959 Chrysler Imperial Speedster, which showed less is more when it comes to classics.

Here is reporter Mike Brookbank's account, along with his Mike Rides video on how the car was created:

The Imperial started as a four-door sedan, but owner Murray Pfaff had a different vision. "I saw there was a little sports car in there, we just had to cut it out of the other car," Pfaff says.

So that's what the 42-year-old Royal Oak. Mich., guy and 10 friends did in his two-car garage -- 10,000 hours of work over 3 1/2 years. "We chopped it in half five times, took 52 inches out of the whole length of the car, shortening it in five different places, then we narrowed the car 8 inches," Pfaff says.

Three inches were taken off the top of the car, turning the champagne-colored classic Chrysler into a two-seat convertible.

"(Chrysler) designed and built a lot of two-seat sports cars to take around to the auto shows, but they never brought them to production," Pfaff said. "So, this was my 'What if Chrysler had built a two-seat sports car to compete against the convertible or Thunderbird?' "

With its orange accents, the Imperial is an eyecatcher, but chances are you'll hear it car before you see it. It's a modern pro-touring car, with 425 hp., 6.1-liter Hemi, a Schwartz G-Machine chassis, Dodge Viper independent rear suspension, and NASCAR superspeedway brakes by Raybestos, says Pfaff.

Even Pfaff's dapper driving hat is a custom look, from Henry the Hatter in downtown Detroit. "I went down there with photos of the car and said I need a lid to match," Pfaff says, and the result was a fedora with a shiny Imperial logo.

Pfaff says he's ready for the Dream Cruise debut of the Speedster, which has fewer than 700 miles so far on the odometer. "I look forward to it more than Christmas itself; it's just a car guy's dream come true. Nowhere are there people more crazy for cars than Detroit."
I'm not an Imperial fan, but that's some cool work. :)
Scott Moseman
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George
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Re: 1959 Imperial Speedster with 6.1L HEMI

Post by George » Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:54 am

Looked too cartoon/caricatureish to me.

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Re: 1959 Imperial Speedster with 6.1L HEMI

Post by scottm » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:39 pm

Making more magazine rounds...

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1959 Imperial Speedster - Exclusive Photos!
http://www.moparmusclemagazine.com/feat ... index.html
1959 Imperial Speedster
Owned and Customized by: Murray Pfaff, Royal Oak, Michigan

Mopar Power

Engine: A 6.1L Hemi crate engine, with an Aeromotive-equipped EFI system, high-amp alternator from Ohio Generator, a Milodon oil pan, owner-modified intake with engraved ribs and fabbed "intake blades," K&N air filter, and ceramic-coated Mopar headers and Flowmaster "Hushpower" mufflers in a custom polished exhaust system built by Steve Langdon (who also fabricated the custom valve covers from original 392 Hemi covers and the '59s front fender letters).
Transmission: A-518 overdrive automatic (modified by Phoenix Transmission Products), with a 25,00 stall converter and '60 Imperial pushbutton shifter, with cable from Imperial Services, Frankenmuth, Michigan.
Rearend: '09 Viper ACR-S rear end with a 3.07-geared, GKN Visco-Lok limited-slip-equipped Dana 44.

Sure Grip

Suspension: (Front) Ridetech adjustable coilovers with Schwartz Performance sway bar (Rear) '09 Viper independent.
Brakes: Raybestos NASCAR Super Speedway discs, with 4-piston monoblock calipers and an SSBC master cylinder/proportioning valve.
Wheels and Tires: Orange-painted Dayton "Triple Cross" knock-off wire wheels (17 x 8 inches front, 18 x 10 inches rear) wear Goodyear F1 GS-D3 tires (225/45R17 front, 275/40R18 rear)

High Impact

Body: Original'59 Imperial Crown four-door sedan converted into a roadster by Murray, with much help from Steve Langdon (who made a telescoping body jig for it), Steve Germond (metal shaping and fabricating), Tom Gardner (mechanical and electrical engineering), Mike Brimm (panel fit and paint prep), Chuck Yee (bodywork), and Kevin Howell (Computer-aided design of emblems, engine bullet, and other items). Chrome plating by Librandi's Plating, Middletown, PA, and custom "Crown" emblems by Con2r, Beaverton, OR. Taillight lenses were hand-made by George Laurie, and the custom polycarbonate windscreen was made by Pro Glass, Bristol, IL.
Frame: A Schwartz Performance "G-Machine" steel tube frame replaced the way-long OEM one.
Paint: Mike Brimm and PPG's Jeff Matauch sprayed on the Envirobase paint (in Jaguar Topaz, Lamborghini Atlas Orange and Volvo Java shades) at PPG's Technical Training Center, Wixom, MI.
Interior: Pat Russell at PJ's Trim Shop in Hemlock, Michigan stitched the Rolls-Royce hides while Murray made the door panels, custom console/"waterfall and steering wheel center section. Seats are Celica GTS buckets, New Vintage Instruments in Ferndale, MI made the Murray-designed gauges, Alpine supplied the sound system, Vintage Air supplied the HVAC, and the steering wheel rim is from a'60 Imperial.
Scott Moseman
http://www.TheHEMI.com/
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