My 1973 Imperial coupe


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FCBO Gold Member
Sep 3, 2015
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well well good things take time I guess. I joined the fcbo board back in 2015 after a local car show where I came across a 70 300. That enormous size, two doors and hidden headlights got me. I didn´t know much about those big boats but soon I learned that there´s a die hard community and I must say this board is one of the nicest, most knowledgeable and most helpful car forum I´ve ever been to. It didn´t take long to learn more about these cars and I found my favorite of the all was the 1970 Sport Fury. 2nd best the 72/73 Imperial. Way different, focussed on luxury but man what a front end that is. In fact I like it even more than the 70 Sport Fury. BUT I´m picky about colors and trim more than about engine specs. So anybody got a 70 Sport Fury in FK3 burnt orange with PH23 roofline, no vinyl top and orange/black interior for sale? Of course not and even after expanding to different colors .. nothing. Well what about 72/73 Imperials that are not brown/gold/green/white/black..? Took me 5 years to find a red 73 Imperial in great condition but the owner was not really willing to part with it. In fact he contacted me on a classified because I more or less described his car and he was curious. Over the years it´s fair to say we became friends, he collects Imperials and owns / owned almost every model from 1959 up to 73 plus 81-83 cars as well. Finally this spring he let it go ( probably tired of me constantly begging :poke: )

Now to the car. Many Imperial fans will know this picture since it shows quite fast in the Google picture search


yes it is THIS car (check the license plate if in doubt) these pictures in the dry field were taken 2012ish. And it´s a perfect sibling to @DocMcNeedy / @Moseman 1972 Lil Red.

So the story of this car goes as follows.
Scheduled production date on the fender tag is 8/28/1972 so quite an early car. It is nicely optioned with H53 AutoTempII, leather bucket seats, tilt telescope steering wheel and 5 speaker radio.
First documents I have are dated 6/29/1973 when the car was sold quote original retail purchaserwith already 7.100 miles on it.


Was it a dealer demonstrator? According to the broadcast sheet it was not since @69CoronetRT stated in another thread that this would have been indicated with a Y13 code.
It´ll remain a mystery, my best guess is that a dealership owner bought the car and used it 10 months before he sold it. From that point on it´s been documented. Mrs. Thompson kept the car until 1978 and then sold it to a repair shop owner north of Portland. He drove the car occasionally and finally put it in dry storage in 1985. He died around 2008ish and it took his son another 2 years to do an estate sale where the car sold to my friend south of Portland. He really did a lot to bring this gem back to former glory, new paint job, new fiberglass plug and vinyl, new rear bumper sold by @SGT FURY 10 years ago ( the Imperial world is small isn´t it?) and lots of interior work and also a good portion of work in the engine bay. But he is more a wrencher and collector than a driver so the car moved just a couple of 100 miles since 2010. Now it starts its new life after basically sitting for 38 years.


Touchdown in Germany. Now what´s on the to do list? Unfortunately freeze plugs are leaky and that is an engine out job. I knew that before I bought it and I´m willing to go that way in order to make the car perfect. Now after first inspection from underneath idler arm and pitman arm are shot, not only bushings but also the ball joints. The steering linkage is Imperial only and the idler arm is made out of unobtainium but fcbo community strikes again, thanks to @vdk2010 @Boydsdodge and @saforwardlook I´m pretty confident that there will be a solution to this issue.
I´ll share my progress on the car in this thread, finally not a wannabe c body owner any more..:D
Can't go wrong with a '73 Imperial, and a coupe too!, very nice.
Congratulations @Marv -- look forward to seeing more of the car. If you feel like posting the fender tag, you know that I'll enjoy reading it :)
Congratulations @Marv -- look forward to seeing more of the car. If you feel like posting the fender tag, you know that I'll enjoy reading it :)

Thank you man. You know that the road to this car was very long. But in the end my patience paid off. I ended up with my dream car so it was a good thing to dodge those opportunities that I wasn't 100% convinced with.
I love this picture. From this angle the Imperial looks even more enormous

and this one still scares the crap out of me. I also have a video of the ramp lifting up.. it shakes like crazy with the Imperial bouncing on top. If I would have been there I sure suffered a heart attack

@ayilar here you go

Congratulations on this beautiful Imperial!

I wish you the best of luck that your dream car will soon be ready for the Autobahn...
The big three, Ford LTD, Imperial and Pontiac Bonneville sitting next to each other in the shop. The Imperial is next in line, next week the engine will be pulled for new freeze plugs. I´m curious what will come up in that process. Once it´s out we´ll fix everything that comes in our way since many parts are very hard to reach when the engine is back in the car. Fingers crossed that it doesn´t get outta hand and ends up in a full blown engine rebuild :lol:

Here we go engine is out. Quite a task, maneuvering space is extremely limited plus the engine is located wayyy back there. So disconnecting it from the transmission first then move all those a/c, emission and whatnot hoses out the way. The cherry picker needed some adjustment ...meaning even on the most "extended" position it was still too short, so a longer metal post was needed and then two guys standing on the hoist so it wouldn´t flip over and crash into the bumper..:lol: But if there´s a will there´s a way :elmer:

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yup it is well preserved / coated :lol: several oil leaks that need attention

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half an inch of slushy oil mud in the oil pan. It was never off the car in 50 years...

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oh yes these freeze plugs were ready to ruin my day. Leaking and thin as paper
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and another thing.. these spark plugs have seen 300ish miles in their life. The engine seems to be running richer than Oprah you might think now... Wrong, it´s NEVER been driven in the past 10 years, just started up twice a year or so sitting 20 minutes in the drive way idling. They are autoMOBILES, not auto-sitting-until-the-tires-flatspot, if you don´t drive them they will deteriorate.
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I love this picture. From this angle the Imperial looks even more enormous
View attachment 610322

and this one still scares the crap out of me. I also have a video of the ramp lifting up.. it shakes like crazy with the Imperial bouncing on top. If I would have been there I sure suffered a heart attack
View attachment 610323

@ayilar here you go

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It would be a fun pic to see the Imperial parked on the loader with a Porsche sitting below.
Engine is back in and running. Runs really well no black smoke or anything like that from the exhaust. I like that it´s still single exhaust and the muffler is new and quiet. It´s a decent 440cid rumble but in an appropriate Imperial manner. Nowhere near a noisy lopey muscle car, just perfect. It is incredibly clean from underneath no signs of rust, not even a tiny bubble at the lower quarter edges. Now the engine started up and idles pretty smooth, we let it sit and get hot to the if it´s sealed fine and the radiator is doing its thing aaaaand the power steering pump started to leak. So does the o-ring in the steering box so steering fluid all over the place. Maybe it was leaking before but it was not visible since the engine was leaking all around from valve covers and oil pan and the stubframe was completely covered in grease. Would have been an easier job while the engine was out but that´s life. The service manual says the whole steering column needs to be pulled back 2 inches to get to the o-ring... We´ll see if that´s the case, eyes on the price, we´re getting there


I found an Imperial specific pitman arm at Great customer service, great communication 5 stars!

The idler arm has never been reproduced and there are none. Only way to go is send in your old core to rareparts and have it remanufactured. OR use the New Yorker idler arm like @Boydsdodge showed in his Imperial idler arm vs 73 New Yorker idler arm thread MOOG parts no K7014. Since apparently these parts are shot on almost every of these heavy barges and we Germans have to pass a thorough safety inspection that´s the option Imperial owners like @vdk2010 and @Joerg chose. To sum up all the discussions that you can find across the internet about the New Yorker idler arm fitting the Imperial or not: YES IT DOES. Almost the same shape, distances are veeery close, fits easy, clearance to oil pan is good, yes the alignment is still good.

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Thanks to everybody that helped out with answers and information ( especially @saforwardlook for your quick and detailed answers) and stand by for more..
The car has finally passed the TÜV inspection and registration at the DMV is also done. As soon as the weather stays dry I'll finally get the Imperial home... I'm hyped. Had some nice spare emblems and made me a nice keychain



Picked the car up today and I'm amazed. This car is so quiet, I barely hear the engine idle at a traffic light. It runs over bumps like a Rolls Royce, took it to the Autobahn right away.. it takes a while until you reach 75mph, that low compression 440 has it's hands full with 5300+ lbs. The electric seats work perfect and are super comfortable, the cruise control works and is s neat feature. What a great cruiser that is.