1959 Crown Imperial Limousine by Ghia
Restoration Project by The Guild of Automotive Restorers
Built for the Queen's tour of Canada
The "big three" auto makers supplied the Canadian government with three limousines as a gift for Queen Elizabeth's Royal Canadian Tour.
The Imperial's rear seats were tailor-made for the Queen and her husband. Each of the three cars had a royal plaque and had anchors on the leading edge of the roof for the royal standard. During the tour each of the three cars was air-lifted by the RCAF. Each car was used on a rotation basis.
Brief History of Ghia Imperial Limousines
In the mid-1950's Chrysler was looking to break into the Cadillac dominated limousine market. In 1956 a financial study was done by Chrysler to see the economic viability of constructing such an Imperial model. It was concluded that to produce the limousine in-house was not cost effective, so they began to look at other options such as having an outside firm produce the car. They found the answer with the partnership between Chrysler and Ghia of Italy. Ghia could produce the cars at a fraction of the tooling costs. Therefore in November 1956 Chrysler placed its first order for 25 Imperial Limousines.
The Chrysler Imperial Limousine started off as a standard 2-door Imperial hardtop on a 129 inch convertible chassis. The convertible chassis was used due to its additional X-member for strength. The roof was then removed and the floorpan was cut into two pieces and extended 20.5 inches. The modifications were extensive to produce such a large car. Longer propeller shaft and fuel, brake, and exhaust lines also had to be fitted. The rear quarter panels were reworked to fit the new roof and rear door. Roof rails, panel, and canopy were then formed and installed, along with sedan center pillars which were sent with the vehicle. Extensive modification and fabrication had to be done to the interior as well, such as rear air and heat ducts that had to be run along the roof of the car. In addition, all trim including door panels, partition structure, seats, armrests, shelf panel, and other parts were fabricated.
One of only seven Ghia Limousines built in 1959
Information on car
Serial #: M657100136
Weight: 5960 pounds
Engine: V8, 392 Hemi
Removable dome rear Window
Rear air and heat ducts and controls