Motoring Trailblazers - Chrysler Imperial

Sun 8th Sep 2019

The world of motoring is hurtling headlong into a bright new future of all-electric, automated, connected technology - and Marty McFly is not behind the wheel! But what were the cars that were ‘back to the future’ of years gone by?

There have been many different trailblazing motors which were seen by the critics to be ahead of their time, and in this series, we will investigate and showcase many of the best in class.

Chrysler Imperial
Walter P. Chrysler’s innovative Imperial has already featured heavily in this series for its innovation and has its own entry due to the revolutionary disc braking system.

While the disc braking was developed and launched in 1949, two years later the American company were breaking new ground in the area of automatic windows, or ‘Power Windows’ as they were known.

Though the 1940 Packard possibly takes the overall flag for Power Windows, their innovation was a crude hydraulic set-up and it wasn’t until the sixth generation of Imperial came around that we saw pure electric windows, with 1951 marked as the year in which the power-assisted window was born.

Packard may have inspired a decade of imitators during the 1940s, but it wasn’t until Chrysler introduced their electric version that the game changed forever. Chrysler had included a range of electric power innovations into their models in the early 1950s, Hydraguide power steering was just one of the new inventions.

It was the introduction of small, high-torque electric motors which made electric windows such a viable option, initially on Chrysler’s luxury models, the innovation soon spread to standard models and by the end of the 1950s were standard issue on most cars produced in America.