Some shows are just about a washout and it has much more to do with the weather than the cars.
A rainy show last summer had many great cars until the skies opened up and cleared out the show faster than a nuclear attack threat.
However the rain did not scare away Howard Hepburn and his ultra-rare 1960 Chrysler Imperial banker’s car. This unique high end Mopar began its life as a corporate car for the Royal Bank of Canada in Calgary, Alberta where it served as a main source of transportation for a high ranked bank executive.
It even had a driver for the banker to chauffeur the executive around the city and the entire package seemed very familiar to anybody who remembers banker Milburn Drysdale from ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ TV show.
The ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ TV show was sponsored by Chrysler Corporation so Mopar always gave Milburn the high end Imperials during the show’s run. Consequently Howard’s beautiful real life Impy seemed very familiar to us when we spotted it at the rainy show.
Howard told us that the car was originally a black car until it was sold in 1964 to a good friend of Howard’s. The large-finned Imperial had a short run as a banker’s car because it looked very outdated just four short years later and presumably the banker wanted to upgrade to a modern look.
The banker’s decision was a great opportunity for Howard’s friend to acquire a low mileage car that had been babied by its previous owner. He repainted it in ’64 and enjoyed the car for many years until he passed away and willed it to Howard.
The car had 49,800 original miles on it when we caught up to Howard and his wife last summer. A week later, we found them at another car show quite a distance away from this show, so we can assume that the Imperial will add a few extra miles to its odometer. We used the opportunity to take some more shots of the car and prompted Howard to ask; “Didn’t you get enough pictures last weekend?”
The limo-style Imperial had a factory-added rear window feature from its original large glass configuration that gave an element of privacy to its banker in the rear passenger compartment of the car. The continental kit was another stylish part of the Imperial “flight-swept” deck.
The paint job is the only element of the big car that has strayed away from its complete originality (other than bling and alternator under the hood) until a 2011 trip in the car spelled the end of the original muffler and exhaust on the Imperial. 51 years with the same exhaust system is a remarkable track record in our opinion.
We liked the fact that Howard is the proud third owner of this rare car. He has honored his late friend’s memory by his appreciation for the car and his enthusiastic approach to the car with all of the car shows and time on the road.
Lastly, we would also answer Howard’s question: no there are never enough shots of a rare and unique 1960 Imperial banker’s car.