Topics related to the powertrain - engines, transmissions, and related parts.
IMPERIAL TOW PACKAGE: (This is rather long so please skip if you have no interest in towing) Were there any factory tow packages available for any model year of the Imperial from 1957-1966? If not, did this indicate an officially acceptable maximum factory tow rating of 2000 lbs? The reason I am asking is that, by the mid 1960s model years, the Imperial became such a robust vehicle, with a massive frame, very rugged and dependable automatic transmission, sturdy solid rear axle, and strong driveshaft and U-joints, it would seem quite a fine vehicle for towing 5000 lb loads or more, especially if additional robustness was added to create the package (especially the brakes). For example, for years I ordered Class III tow packages for my Father's Lincoln Town Cars, such as his 1978 model and his 1993 model. In the earlier models these packages included more than a dozen added items such as power steering coolers, transmission coolers, heavy duty U-joints, dual exhausts (added 10 more hp), heavy duty alternator, heavy duty flashers, etc. In fact I am now creating one on my 1996 Town Car by adding a huge separate-from-the-radiator transmission cooler, heavy duty U-joints, synthetic rear axle fluid, Akebono brake pads, etc. I've used KYB shocks from Japan (designed for the 1996 Ford Crown Victoria Police Package), heavy duty rear springs from the same police package (replacing the air ride system), and boy what a difference it made in creating a comfortable, but firmer touring-like ride and improved handling. (The extra weight of the Town Car Signature that I have helps soften the firmness that the heavy duty shocks and springs would normally impart so it's quite comfortable). Can anyone give me a list of the items that Imperial had in their tow packages? It would seem that this robust machine would be a natural for a tow package and I haven't seen any data about this. If it was not available from the factory, why not? Has anyone heard of an individual, after making the proper modifications (especially to the brakes), towing significant weights (5000 lbs or so) with his Imperial of this era? Even the Town car at one time (from 1998-2002 model years) had a Touring version with added handling and horsepower but the Class III tow package was killed after 1996 model year, to help encourage more individuals to purchase trucks and sport utilities (which tended to make more $$ for Ford even though the Panther Platform made billions of $$ for the company.) Perhaps the fact that Imperial was on a separate chassis than the other Chrysler models made such a package unattractive to develop (even small costs are often quashed by top management if they feel the desire for such options are very small, which may have been a deciding factor).
As an old timer who towed everything back then, the weight ratings and such simply did not exist. If you wanted to tow something, you went down to the Western Auto store and bought a bolt on trailer hitch, probably a bumper hitch, and hooked up. We thought people had enough sense that when they were towing something too heavy, they simply stopped doing it.