Originally designed by Chrysler Design Chief Virgil Exner, the Imperial automobile was Chrysler's masterpiece from 1955 through 1975.From 1955, the Imperial was launched and registered as a separate marque, apart from the Chrysler brand.
From 1956, The Southampton Sedan - a pillarless four-door hardtop was introduced to the Imperial line.
From 1957, Imperials were available in three levels of trim: standard Imperial Custom, Imperial Crown (a convertible was available for the first time on an Imperial and available in the Crown series), and the new, super-luxury Imperial LeBaron, which featured a distinctive smaller "formal rear window" for greater rear seat privacy. The "FliteSweep Deck Lid", a fake continental tire bulge was optional.
From 1959, swivel out front seats automatically swivel when the front door was opened activated by a cable. The "Silvercrest" roof which featured a stainless steel front with a rear canopy that could be ordered either in any of the basic car colours or in the "Landau" version which had a black canopy with the appearance of leather. All Imperials were now powered by a 350 bhp, 413 cu. in. overhead-valve V-8 engine.
From 1960, the Imperial featured the new "High-Tower" seat with the driver-side back individually contoured and raised above of the rest of the front seat for increased driver comfort and shoulder support.
The design of the 1960–1963 period was considered as Exner's last Imperials. The steering wheel was squared-off at top and bottom, and a distinctive side trim started above the headlights and that ran at a slight downward angle almost to the end of the rear fender. Dashboard lighting was electroluminescent, which used no incandescent lamps: electricity running through a five-layer laminate caused the phosphorescent paint to glow in the dark. With its glowing green face and bright red needles the effect was eerie and surprisingly modern. Chrysler called it "Panelescent".
The 1961 model year brought a wholly new distinctive front end with free-standing headlights and tail lamps. 4,007 Imperial Crown Southampton and only 1,026 Imperial LeBaron Southampton Sedans were produced in 1961.
(wikipedia, classiccardatabase.com & conceptcarz.com)
1961 Imperial LeBaron Southampton Sedan
(Photos from imperialclub.com)