New 69 Imperial

Koopjesman

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Hello everybody im a dutch dude who impulsively bought a 69 Lebaron last year and had no time to work on it till now. My friends call me Kenny.
Ive always wanted a classic american car, always bugged my parents to buy one as a family car when i was a kid. You dont see alot of them here in Europa unfortunately.
When i got older and had some money i started looking for my own, didnt care if it was a project or not, it would only add to the experience.

So I saw this car on one of the websites i regularly check for interesting finds. I'd never seen a car like this one before (still havent seen one listed after i bought it).
it was a bit out of my price range but it did catch my eye. I kept an eye out, checked the website for some other potential cars and then it happend.
The car got halved in price...

I just had to have it, instantly messaged the guy and met him the next day. We discussed the price but it really didnt matter cause i was gonna buy it anyway and he clearly wanted it gone.
Drove it home the same day with a small incident i will get into later. I now had the only 69 Imperial in my country.
then it stood there, in my backyard, sitting in the shed waiting for that TLC.

I'm 21 years old atm. I have little to no knowledge about this kind of stuff. I got no experience but i really wanna learn and am very excited to start on my project.
I dont care if it takes years. i think part of owning a car like this is to preserve it, so others can see and experience it.
Theres just something about those old american cars, No limits, just pure drivable pieces of art.

So whats wrong with the thing?
Well first of all the battery won't charge. So when we drove it home (it was about an hour drive) the car just stopped working. so we had to wait on the side of the highway till help arrived.
They recharged the battery and we drove home without any issues.
Secondly, everything electric inside does not work, i dont know if its just not connected or if its compeletly broken. The power seats do not move and neither do the windows.
The lamps do work tho, even the ones inside (dashboard has this cool green glow to it which i hope is not radioactive). The headlamp covers do not work however.
The interior is also kind of busted, im missing the entire headliner including the light if it was once there. AC and Heater also not working. Could all these things not working be part of the same issue?
and last but not least, i got a crack in the windshield. its not that bad, you can clearly see through it but it would be nice to have a new one ofcourse.

1 question: How difficult is this car as a starting project? Parts, things like steering wheels, seem pretty hard to find.

So thats basically the whole story, really looking forward to messaging people and getting to know some of you.
If you guys have some tips n tricks, like on where to start etc. and/or parts i would love to know. THANKS!

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NY69

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Welcome and congratulations on your acquisition.
You must be the youngest Imperial owner in the country!
When it comes to knowlegde, this site is probably the #1 source on the internet.
Imperials are the most complex mopar machines, so you will have to like a challenge to get there.
The biggest challenge however, will be sourcing the parts.
And once you found them, they'll be on the other side of the pond.
Shipping costs and import fees are high, so a smart way to go, is to wait for someone who can provide all the stuff you need, so that you will only once have to pay for shipping costs.
 
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detmatt

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First thing you need to do is get yourself the factory service manual and start making friends with like minded enthusiasts that you can get together with for help and support. I’d be quite surprised if that was the only Imp of that era in the Netherlands.
:welcome:
 

ayilar

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Welkom!

The '69 Imps are (to my eyes) the best-looking post-1960 Imperials. Yours looks stunning (is the paint code a rare A9 -- see the fender code?).

The bad news (sorry...) is that they are complex cars and not always easy to restore. If you can post a photo of your car's fender tag and a pic of the engine bay, we can tell you more things. I sincerely hope that you have one of the few '69 Imps without the H53 AutoTemp A/C, as the H51 is eminently fixable but the H53 is a pain (as @saforwardlook will tell you).

In addition to @vdk2010 I am aware of two other members who have been documenting their restorations of 1969 Imperials, and who may be able to give you pointers: @sixpkrt in the US Midwest and @Pertti K in Finland. @david hill has given a hand to sixpkrt and he knows a LOT about C-body restoration. @Imperialist (also in the Midwest) owns a superb B9 LeBaron and @Jussi in Finland has a beautiful coupe as well.

Good luck!
 
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commando1

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I'm 21 years old atm. I have little to no knowledge about this kind of stuff. I got no experience but i really wanna learn and am very excited to start on my project.
I dont care if it takes years. i think part of owning a car like this is to preserve it, so others can see and experience it.
You have renewed my faith for the future of humanity.
Welcome to the unique world of C-bodies.
 

LeBaron300

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Congratulations good choise.
I own equal 1969 Imperial LeBaron 1969 even colour is same. I have own it since 1999. It is driving condition but I have not had time for drive it due my work in abroad. I have bought pile of 1969 parts from Sweden years ago. It was a car from Saudi-Arbia which was dismantled in Sweden. There were no technical parts but doors, bumpers, trunk lid, front fenders, grill and small interor parts were left. If you need some parts let me know I can look if I have. Parts are located in Finland but I do not think that sending should not be impossible. I am at the moment in Italy but I should be back in Finland midlle of July.
For windshield you can ask kuttilanautolasi.fi if you do not find it nearer. Actully 1969 Imperial 4D HT body itselves is same that 1969 Chrysler with minor changes in details. Only front part is 15cm longer if I remember correct
 

CBODY67

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As for the windshield, look in the middle to see if there might be two vertical "lines" which make a 90 degree turn to parallel the top of the glass. IF you find them, that is the radio antenna, which is unique on Imperials rather than having an outside antenna mast as normal C-bodies did. That gave those model years of Imperials a clean look, to me, although it was a copy of what GM was doing on all of their cars, back then and later. The radios were allegedly designed to work with that windshield antenna, but would probably work with an external mast antenna, too.

Take care,
CBODY67
 

thethee

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Welcome from Overijssel!

1969 CHRYSLER IMPERIAL 7.2L 440cid V8 Parts | RockAuto

Your best, well, cheapest source of almost all consumables. In my experience usually delivered within 10 days to the Netherlands.

As long as the cracks in your windshield is not in your line of sight, obstructing your view, it will still pass the APK

Factory service manual should be available at mymopar.com/service-manuals/
 

Pertti K

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In addition to @vdk2010 I am aware of two other members who have been documenting their restorations of 1969 Imperials, and who may be able to give you pointers: @sixpkrt in the US Midwest and @Pertti K in Finland. @david hill has given a hand to sixpkrt and he knows a LOT about C-body restoration. @Imperialist (also in the Midwest) owns a superb B9 LeBaron and @Jussi in Finland has a beautiful coupe as well.
Actually mine is '70 but they are pretty close the same.

Mine had been sitting some 15 years and also half of the fancy stuff didn't work at first. Half of that half started working just by cleaning the electrical connectors, especially the bulkhead ones. The second half of the half (I quess some call it a quarter) has been a bit more tricky one. I've spent the last 6 months or so on the Auto-Temp and I think that yesterday I finally managed to get the front heating to work as it's supposed to. Only the AC portion and the rear heater to go...
 

vdk2010

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Hello everybody im a dutch dude who impulsively bought a 69 Lebaron last year and had no time to work on it till now. My friends call me Kenny.
Ive always wanted a classic american car, always bugged my parents to buy one as a family car when i was a kid. You dont see alot of them here in Europa unfortunately.
When i got older and had some money i started looking for my own, didnt care if it was a project or not, it would only add to the experience.

So I saw this car on one of the websites i regularly check for interesting finds. I'd never seen a car like this one before (still havent seen one listed after i bought it).
it was a bit out of my price range but it did catch my eye. I kept an eye out, checked the website for some other potential cars and then it happend.
The car got halved in price...

I just had to have it, instantly messaged the guy and met him the next day. We discussed the price but it really didnt matter cause i was gonna buy it anyway and he clearly wanted it gone.
Drove it home the same day with a small incident i will get into later. I now had the only 69 Imperial in my country.
then it stood there, in my backyard, sitting in the shed waiting for that TLC.

I'm 21 years old atm. I have little to no knowledge about this kind of stuff. I got no experience but i really wanna learn and am very excited to start on my project.
I dont care if it takes years. i think part of owning a car like this is to preserve it, so others can see and experience it.
Theres just something about those old american cars, No limits, just pure drivable pieces of art.

So whats wrong with the thing?
Well first of all the battery won't charge. So when we drove it home (it was about an hour drive) the car just stopped working. so we had to wait on the side of the highway till help arrived.
They recharged the battery and we drove home without any issues.
Secondly, everything electric inside does not work, i dont know if its just not connected or if its compeletly broken. The power seats do not move and neither do the windows.
The lamps do work tho, even the ones inside (dashboard has this cool green glow to it which i hope is not radioactive). The headlamp covers do not work however.
The interior is also kind of busted, im missing the entire headliner including the light if it was once there. AC and Heater also not working. Could all these things not working be part of the same issue?
and last but not least, i got a crack in the windshield. its not that bad, you can clearly see through it but it would be nice to have a new one ofcourse.

1 question: How difficult is this car as a starting project? Parts, things like steering wheels, seem pretty hard to find.

So thats basically the whole story, really looking forward to messaging people and getting to know some of you.
If you guys have some tips n tricks, like on where to start etc. and/or parts i would love to know. THANKS!

View attachment 531066
First of all, congratulations to your fine, new Imperial!

The electrical problems on these Imperials are unfortunately easily a thread of its own. A lot of weird, overly complicated stuff in them. I'm pretty sure we will get to this on this thread sooner then later. There are a bunch of pretty good, knowledgeable guys on here!

Is it a good car to start the hobby?
Well, there are certainly easier cars to start with. Ones you can easier get parts for and have less faulty electrical systems...
Every "Imperial only" part is not available in the after market so you have to find used or NOS parts which are usually expensive...
BUT the beauty of the '69 Imperial does make all this worth it anyway, but some people would call me partisan on this... ;)

Windshields are available new from a company in Finland. Kuttilan Autolasi Oy.
There is a German distributor who delivers them as well, but I'm not sure if he delivers to the Netherlands as well.

You mentioned the steering wheel. There is usually nothing on the market in good shape, but you can get yours recast. But that's VERY expensive... Mine is at D&D Automobilia for recasting at the moment. He has a 12-14 month waiting list.. ;)
There is alao "TheSteeringWheelGuy", he is less expensive, but does not recast steering wheels. He is laminates them. They look gorgeous after he is done with them, but they are not translucent anymore when he is done.
"Less expensive" in this context means ~$1500 compared to ~$2200 for recasting at D&D...

As mentioned before, the ATC AC system is usually yunk because of numerous parts in this overly complicated system that stopped working long time ago and is usually not worth fixing... I've retrofit a modern Vintage Air system in my car but had to modify the firewall for it to fit properly unter the dashboard... So that's nothing for a driving restoration like yours.
But honestly, it's usually not that hot in Europe, at least not for long, that you will be fine with just rolling down the windows (after fixing them ;) ) and enjoy the car with no AC! The heater is usually still working, even with the broken ATC.

Feel free to contact me if you have any aditional questions. I will do my best to answer them!

Good luck with your project, it's an exciting one!
 

fury1

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welcome and congrats on the buy! Good to see a fellow young person getting in to these c bodies. What color is your interior? I know a guy who has unfortunately stripped a number of these cars for derby. I have bought a ton of parts off of him over the last year for my 70 coupe. I know he still has a tan interior car and a black interior car they both probably still have the wheels but that’s it.
 
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