Imperial Third Generation
With the exception of the introduction of a shorter wheelbase and unit body construction, Imperial styling was not radically changed for the 1967 and 1968 models. The new body maintained the themes established by Engel for the 1964–1966 models. Imperial switched from the body-on-frame platform (D-body) to a unibody platform (C-body platform used in other full size Mopars.) While Imperial's front K member was 3.0 inches (76 mm) longer than a Chrysler's, dimensions behind the front fenders were similar. One reason for the change was that Chrysler had gained experience with unibody construction and was ready to apply it to the company's flagship line. The economic component was that the switch to the C-body was less expensive than maintaining a separate platform for Imperial, which was increasingly difficult to justify given Imperial's relatively low sales volume. The new platform resulted in a significant reduction in weight as well as in exterior and interior dimensions.
Imperial shared the unibody platform with other full-sized Chryslers but retained a unique bodyshell. The styling kept the overall straight-line, sharp-edged Engel theme, but there were many detail changes intended to make Imperial look less like Lincoln and more into its own territory. The spare tire bulge was completely gone from the rear, although the boss remained. The practically full-width taillights spread out from it, straight, but ended before chrome-tipped rear wings. The front end was somewhat similar to 1966's, although the glass lamp covers were gone. A base Imperial model, simply called Imperial, returned for the first time since 1963, complementing the Crown and LeBaron levels of trim. It contained the convertible, which had previously been a Crown, and the first four-door pillared Imperial sedan since 1960. Dual exhaust was no longer standard on the convertible. The only way to get it was to order the "TNT" version of the 440 engine, an option that promised more power.
An option on Crown coupes was the Mobile Director. Essentially the front passenger seat turned to face rearward and a small table and high intensity light folded out over the back seat. The idea was that an "executive" could turn around and do work while being driven to the office, or he could sit behind the driver and a secretary could take dictation in the rear-facing front seat. The concept originated with the 1966 Mobile Executive Show Car that was an Imperial Coupe fitted with a telephone, Dictaphone, writing table, typewriter, television, reading lamp and stereo. Chrysler also used the reversed front seat idea in the 300X show car. Costing $597.40 ($317.60 in 1968), at a time when a Crown coupe started at $6011, it was a very expensive option. Thus a total of only 81 Crown coupes were ordered this way, and only a handful so equipped are known to still exist. The option was cancelled at the end of the 1968 model year. Sales increased to 17,614.
The 1968 Imperial was little changed from the previous year. The grille changed to a brightly chromed one with thin horizontal bars, split in the middle by vertical chrome and a round Imperial Eagle badge. At the rear, the horizontal bars over the taillights were gone. All 1968s came with a Federally mandated energy absorbing steering column. The base level of trim was cancelled after only one year and the convertible and four-door sedan became part of the Crown level of trim. This was also the last year for the Imperial convertible. A total of 15,367 Imperials were sold in 1968.