When Neal Herman was a teenager in Ventura, Calif., he learned to drive in his grandmother Dorothy Grunewald’s 1964 Imperial. Driving that big Imperial on the California freeways is a memory forever etched in his mind.

Many years later, Mr. Herman was in his home in Northwest, electronically browsing, when he was stopped by a picture of a car for sale. ‘What caught my attention was the pearlescent white leather back seat,’ Mr. Herman says. The seat was in a haze green 1966 Imperial Crown four-door hardtop with a Persian white vinyl top. It wasn’t exactly like his grandmother’s car, but it was close enough.

Further investigation disclosed that the original sales receipt, dated March 25, 1966, was from Normandin’s Chrysler dealership in San Diego.

To the base price of $5,824 for the very well appointed Imperial was added a list of options including:

*Air conditioning$452.25

*AM/FM radio227.75

*Dual power seats210.85.

*Vinyl top129.70.

*Leather seats102.25.

*Tilt/telescopic wheel92.45.

*Electricdoor locks70.70.


*Rear defogger21.05.

A few other accessories - plus the inevitable taxes, tags and freight - brought the total close to $8,000.

The original owner was a California roofing company executive who, after a decade of use, stored the 4,990-pound car for 15 years. A contractor in San Diego became the second owner.

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