The Golden Era of American Automobiles Returns at Russo and Steele Monterey 2011! This car is just one of the fifteen very special and very rare late-fifties DeSoto, Chrysler and Dodge convertibles that will be crossing the block Thursday night, August 18th, 2011 at Russo and Steele’s 11th annual Monterey auction event. Many selling without reserve!Vehicle to be offered WITHOUT RESERVE and SOLD to the highest bidder August 18 - 20th, at Russo and Steele''s 11th Annual "Sports & Muscle at The Marriott" in Downtown Monterey, California. Please contact us for more information.Imperial was the Chrysler Corporation''s luxury automobile brand between 1955 and 1975, with a brief reappearance in 1981 to 1983.The Imperial name had been used since 1926, but was never a separate make, just the top-of-the-line Chrysler. In 1955, the company decided to spin it off as its own make and division to better compete with its rivals, Lincoln and Cadillac. Imperial would see new body styles introduced every two to three years, all with V8 engines and automatic transmissions, as well as technologies that would filter down to Chrysler corporation''s other models.Starting from 1957, Imperials were available in three levels of trim: standard Imperial (also known as Imperial Custom), Imperial Crown, and the new, super-luxury Imperial LeBaron (the latter named after a coachbuilder, bought out by Chrysler, that did some of the best work on prewar Chrysler Imperial chassis, and not to be confused with the later, cheaper Chrysler Le Baron). Through the late 1950s and into the early 1960s styling would continue to become "Longer, Lower, Wider", with the addition of some of the wildest fins ever put on a car. The "FliteSweep Deck Lid", a fake continental tire bulge, was an option from 1957 through 1961 and again in 1963 (due to demand). It was shared with contemporary Mopars, even the Valiant. Exner''s love of this particular feature extended back to early-fifties concept cars like the 1953 Chrysler D''Elegance.1958 Imperial Crown convertible styling changes in 1958 were limited to the front grille and bumper. Quad headlights became standard. The 1958 Imperial is credited with the introduction of cruise control, which was called "Auto-Pilot", and was available on the Imperial, and on Chrysler New Yorker and Windsor models. Power door locks were another new option. Sales slipped to 16,133 in a recession year. Dealers remained frustrated at how buyers continued referring to the cars as a "Chrysler Imperial", which kept sales down as Chrysler was not seen as having Cadillac or Lincoln''s prestige. It didn''t help that Imperial continued to be sold at Chrysler dealerships, instead of its own stand-alone dealers, though it did have a separate "Imperial" dealership sign.Other than a toothy new grill and revisions to side trim little changed in terms of exterior styling for the 1959 model year. A new option was the "Silvercrest" roof which featured a stainless steel front with a rear canopy that could be ordered either in any of the basic car colors or in the "Landau" version which had a black canopy with the appearance of leather. Another new option was swivel out front seats that were part of the six way electric front bench seat. Manually-activated by a handle for this introductory year, for 1960 and 1961 the seats would automatically swivel when the front door was opened activated by a cable. The Hemihead engine was replaced with the less expensive 413 cu in Wedgehead engine that nevertheless had more horsepower and weighed 101 lbs less, improving the power to weight ratio. 17,710 Imperials were produced for the model year, ahead of Lincoln.This 1959 Imperial Crown convertible is finished in white and is equipped with six-way power seats and power windows. It also is equipped with dual exhausts, electric clock and undercoating. It is powered by a 413 cubic inch V8 engine that produces 350 horsepower. This is one of only 555 produces and had a factory list price of $5774.