By on June 22, 2013

05 - 1992 Chrysler Imperial Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe most luxurious member of all the extended Chrysler K-Car family had to have been the K-based (actually Y-based, the Y being yet another variety of stretched K chassis) 1990-1993 Imperial. We’ve seen some serious Whorehouse Red interiors in this series— this ’80 Skylark, for example, or this ’83 Pulsar, or this 1993 Dynasty— but no vehicle interior this side of a Acapulco Gold-scented custom van ever came with as much screamin’ red velour as this Imperial.
35 - 1992 Chrysler Imperial Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinIt’s hard to believe that this octogenarian-targeted dreadnaught is the descendent of the tiny, sensible Aries and Reliant K-Cars of a decade earlier.
18 - 1992 Chrysler Imperial Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinChrysler went through periods during which the Imperial was a separate marque, but this generation was badged as a Chrysler.
04 - 1992 Chrysler Imperial Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinEagle medallions are all over this car.
11 - 1992 Chrysler Imperial Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinIt’s in very nice condition, as befits a 120,457-mile California car. No rust, interior in great shape, body straight. The only blemishes are some spots with peeling paint.
01 - 1992 Chrysler Imperial Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinNo Mitsubishi engine for this car— you’re looking at a Chrysler-designed, 3.8 liter 60-degree V6 here. 150 horsepower wasn’t anything special, but the car was pure Detroit.
22 - 1992 Chrysler Imperial Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinPadded landau roof, of course!
25 - 1992 Chrysler Imperial Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinABS was still something special in the early 1990s.
33 - 1992 Chrysler Imperial Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinList price on this car was $29,381, which was about $49,000 in inflation-adjusted 2013 dollars. That’s about the same price as a base 1993 Acura Legend, or a ’93 BMW 325i. Not that Imperial shoppers would have considered those cars.


There is no luxury… without engineering.

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78 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1992 Chrysler Imperial...”


  • avatar
    mikedt

    29 grand!?! Holy Crap, dementia would have to be settling in before I thought that was a good idea.

    • 0 avatar
      rudiger

      That’s one pricey K-car, nearly as outrageous as the $22k K-car limousine from ’83-’86. At least you got that mouse-fur, bordello red interior.

    • 0 avatar
      dantes_inferno

      I prefer the Cordoba with the “Rich Corinthian Leather”.

    • 0 avatar
      Windy

      The mention of inflation adjusted price has brought to mind a question of perceived value in the price as it changes over time as we age.

      Now at 65 and retired my max price that I would pay for a new car is stuck right where it was 20 years ago at about $30,000 when I bought a new BMW.. I bought my last new car 10 years ago a loaded MINI Cooper S with JCW addons that came in just under $30,000 with its factory satnav.

      It is not stuck where it was 40 years ago when I would not have considered anything more expensive than the Saab 99ems I bought as my first ever new car.

      So I wondered if any others of the older generation of readers here have noticed a bias in the way they value the purchase price of a new car?

      • 0 avatar
        Geekcarlover

        Personally, I refuse to pay more for a car than my folks did for their house, $32,500. As I only buy used cars, so far this has been easy. But I can see a day when even that puts me in a heavily used base model.

        • 0 avatar
          Summicron

          30K is my top. And I don’t want to even come close to that.

          Thankfully, I only want two things:

          First, reliability. 万歳日本!

          Second (distant), hauling. 万歳 Dodge!

          I could afford 60-70K without hurt. I could also afford breast implants. Doubt if I’ll do either.

      • 0 avatar
        MadHungarian

        I haven’t broken the $20K barrier yet. Note, the last new car in my household was 1997! I’m a big fan of making depreciation into your friend, by buying lightly used cars that depreciate fast because they are US brand old guy cars, not because there is anything wrong with them. Town Cars being the best example of that.

    • 0 avatar
      skor

      I thought the same thing when my WWII vet neighbor bought a new in 92 Cadillac Seville for $36K…about $58K inflation adjusted. For the first time in a long time, the car looked like a Caddy should, but still, it was fairly primitive under the skin, and it was a nightmare when it came to reliability….numerous problems under warranty, and even more out of warranty. I told him he could have bought a Mercedes for a couple thousand more, he replied, “I’m not buying any kraut cars.” Funny from a guy who spent his time in service doing occupation duty in Japan.

      I walked away thinking to myself, “Man, he’s gonna take in the shorts on depreciation.” Twelve years later I bought the car from him, with 58K on the clock, for $1,500. $600 in junkyard parts got it back on the road. When I got it working he fumed because he was convinced that I would never be able to repair such a “sophisticated piece of engineering” by my dumbass self.

      The “Greatest Generation”? More like a generation of dupes.

      • 0 avatar
        gsf12man

        Could you please make that generalization a bit more sweeping? Thanks!

      • 0 avatar
        Dave M.

        I would have lied and said I spent more. With all the sacrifices they made, sometimes its best to go on the down low.

        My dad retired making $24k a year. The last promotion I had before he died 20 years ago tripled that. I never shared my salary with him…

        /of course, he constantly reminded me he paid $9800 for our 4 bedroom house in 1960…
        //so why didn’t he pony up the extra $108 for the 2nd garage???

  • avatar
    Synchromesh

    It’s hard to believe somebody picked this thing over an Acura Legend for the same price.

    • 0 avatar
      segfault

      Even the LS400 had to be within spitting distance of that car’s price… $35-38,000, perhaps?

      • 0 avatar
        west-coaster

        Actually, that 1990 LS400 for “$36,000″ was essentially a myth. That was the price for some kind of base car with cloth seats, and Lexus built like 12 of them.

        By 1992, the LS was well into the 40s.

        • 0 avatar
          amca

          I saw the cloth seats on an early LS400. They were something to behold – finest Japanese quality (Japanese domestic market at the time preferred cloth) a fluffy, nubbly material that looked softer than a cloud – far, far more luxurious than the (not-so-great) leather they charged buyers through the nose for.

    • 0 avatar
      jz78817

      because people buying high-dollar or specialty cars aren’t buying on price.

      like people who’ve asked why I bought a Mustang GT when a “nice, used 3-series” would have been the same price.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      The only Legend I ever drove was an ’87 with almost 200k hard miles on it. But it still seemed like it was on another level compared to anything domestic I had ever been in.

  • avatar
    Summicron

    Had that same car with the dark blue interior for about 6 months while my wife and I transitioned from mid-life grad school to decent jobs. Ended up trading it on a new Sable for her.

    The only defense of it against yuppie snark was to get said yuppie to take a road trip in it. The front seats were a very close second in my experience to a Deville and the rear seat was an early form of sleep-therapy.

    For it’s intended market, it was sublime. And pretty successful if memory serves.

  • avatar
    Slave2anMG

    Nothing says ‘luuuxury’ like a Bordello Bordeaux velour interior…

    I can just see the car pulling up in front of the Denny’s at West Palm Beach and watch the owner in his white patent leather shoes and belt get out of the car along with his wife…both suntanned…and at Denny’s to get them some early bird special dinners.

    This thing looks in decent shape…wonder what killed it?

    • 0 avatar
      rudiger

      My guess would be the transmission. Probably crapped and, rather than get it fixed, some old-timer that rarely drove just left it in their garage. When they finally died, the receivers of the estate tried to sell it, would obviously get no takers (even at a giveaway price), and just junked it.

      • 0 avatar
        Summicron

        Bingo.
        There’s one next door as I post this.

        One thing that won’t seem significant to those who join the spit-fest against this car is that it was marketed at exactly the right time to be a lifetime reward for the last generation of cradle-to-grave High Blue Collar Americans.

        It, Caddys and Lincolns were all they’d consider. And as they’d worked hard, long and lived frugally all their lives, the price, and the fact that they could easily afford it, only made having one all the sweeter.

        That’s the America that has died, as did my neighbor Ed, a machinist, three weeks ago. Requiescat in pace.

        • 0 avatar
          Slave2anMG

          Oh I am of a certain age that remembers when your comment about Caddy, Lincolns and big Chryslers was exactly the sentiment. My dad had an 8th grade education – dropped out to work and help support my immigrant family/grandparents who came from Italy in 1904. Mom grew in houses in rural NC…no indoor plumbing. Both worked hard, did very good – my cousin Jane and I were the first in the family to go to college. To my parents’ generation a big American car was an aspiration.

          Mom knew she’d reached it when we bought a new Caddy in 1975. Bordello Bordeaux red leather interior. Even after my folks divorced she could not bring herself to step down from a Caddy – had a Buick for nine months but traded it on a Caddy. She got the idea in 1981 that a diesel Mercedes was a great idea…that lasted about a year and a Caddy returned. I liked that car :) but she didn’t. Dad was different though – he didn’t give much of a hoot about such things and was perfectly happy with a Grand Marquis and then a Delta 88 Olds…much more pragmatic than my mother.

          • 0 avatar
            Summicron

            Oh, yeah…. my dad only got through the 8th grade. His peak earning year was 1967 when he grossed 53K. In 1967 dollars.

            Internet calculator says that’s well over 370K today. For an 8th-grade education.

            Only gangs & drugs can give you that today but my dad lived to 93. Doubt many bangers will reach that.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Sounds like your father lived the American dream, Summicron.

          • 0 avatar
            Summicron

            @28-Cars

            Right place, time & attitude. And absolutely unpredictable to him as a kid.

            Started out in coal mines and working in his old man’s general store. Said F-this and migrated to steel mills just prior to WWII.

            Couldn’t fight because of knee damage from a pre-war cavalry (horse!) accident. Tried like crazy but couldn’t re-up.

            Made it his business to stay current in welding tech through the decades,was a master pipefitter, did gas, arc, inert gasses etc. Ran the fab shop for a huge contractor on mill grounds.

            Down side was a character of granite. If you could’ve seen his face when I announced at the age of 8, “Dad, I want a violin!” Didn’t get a violin.

            No generation will ever again have so much opportunity for so many people.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          Caddys and Lincolns, the highest reward for a lifetime of blue collar work. I’ve often wondered what the percentage is of these cars that are inherited

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Well put.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        The famous Ultradrive, one of the first electronically controlled automatics, was a great transmission when it worked well. I think Chrysler was forced to extend the warranty on the first ones, but there wasn’t much else that was a problem with these cars. I still see them on the road, a couple recently with leather that looks like it has held up rather well – but none in bordello red. The car might have been saved if it had a black leather interior.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Definitely the transmission. They kicked it at 60,000~60,250 mi like clock work so at 120,457 it failed right within design spec. The owner should have traded it in at 119,999 miles.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I thought these now have some sort of irreplaceable rear air suspension? There aren’t any parts left, so you’d have to convert it to something else – not worth it – so they get junked.

      Seems like I read that here before on a different Imperial/New Yorker/Dynasty/5th Ave thread.

  • avatar
    LeBaron

    And those $49,000 inflation adjusted dollars will not buy you that kind of interior quality, aside from the color.

  • avatar
    taxman100

    Had a buddy that owned one of these in the late 90′s – I got to drive it across 3 states on a trip it Upstate New York to, ironically, go to his relative’s property to shoot rifles (back before New York became the equivalent to a modern slave state).

    I recall the car was kind of narrow, and I’d pick a similar year’s Town Car over this, but it was a nice car for a road trip.

    Too bad no one builds a real sedan anymore – they are all platform sharing bland sameness.

  • avatar
    Joss

    And pearl white – perfect for a blue rinse with 2 Szhitsu.

    No insult intended to anybody. There was something K-Martish about these beasts, cheap, deceptive luxury or pizza with all the toppings. Today it would be high-end KIA.

  • avatar
    StaysCrunchy

    For the price, I can’t think of a car I’d have rather bought in 1992 to take on a long cross-country trip. As was mentioned in the article, you really can’t compare it to the Acura Legend or BMW 3-Series, its a completely different car. It’s easy to make fun of it now – and by all means, I encourage it – but for what it was at the time it was made, this was a nice ride.

  • avatar
    Summicron

    @Joss

    “deceptive luxury”

    Can’t deceive your ass or your back.

    The blue collar demo that bought these used to wonder in Korea whether they’d bleed-out or freeze to death first. Then they came home and lived through decades of metal-everywhere pickups and station wagons without power steering, power brakes or A/C. I’m thinking they found the luxury real enough.

    Please rid your historical perspective of today’s Eloi standards.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      +1 If you lived through hell, busted your butt in an industrial job when you got back to the states, raised 4 kids, and then had saved up a nice little pile – these cars did feel like a reward to this generation.

      In my grandmother’s family the oldest boy went to WWII the youngest went to Korea. Either one of those guys would have been just fine with an Imperial although the Korean vet bought a Chevrolet SSR after production had ended and they were languishing on dealer lots.

    • 0 avatar
      MadHungarian

      Yes, although absolutely everyone in the known universe knew that this was a K-car playing dress-up and I think that’s what is meant by “deceptive luxury.” People bought Cimarrons too. I’ve driven a Cimarron and when everything works it’s not a bad car. It’s still a Cavalier playing dress-up.

      • 0 avatar
        Summicron

        Car guy syndrome. Facts like platform-stretching were so far off the radar of the New Yorker’s target market that we’re talking about two entirely different cultures.

        To them it was pretty, soft in every way, quiet, glacially air-conditioned, amply heated, easy to enter & exit and had all the power they’d ever call for. How is that not real luxury?

        You make it’s origins in the K car sound like some sort of disgrace rather than just a smaller relation. Cars are just steel, rubber, glass and plastics. With the New Yorker they paid for more and got more of those things.

        And a Cimarron was nothing like the New Yorker. It had an automatic disqualifier for this demographic. It was small. Ending up with a small car is not what busting your ass in industrial America was about.

        Epiphany moment: Just hit me.. isn’t all this K-roots shaming just another form of “Luxury Means RWD” bias?

        • 0 avatar
          MK

          So what the heck was the deal with those goofy vinyl roofs? Even as a kid in the 70s it was patently obvious the cars weren’t convertibles and they were slapping padded vinyl on everything back then.
          Why did this become popular and seen as “luxury” ?

  • avatar
    phreshone

    This needs to be rescued. Needs one of the 2.2L 224 hp Daytona IROC engines with a 5 speed. Sleeper city

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Not too much of a sleeper though with average V6 family cars pushing 300hp. Although I’m sure a Turbo Imperial could embarrass a few kids in Integras and Civics.

    • 0 avatar
      ggariepy

      I agree, it needs to be rescued, but the 2.2L IROC motors were notorious for tossing timing belts at the least opportune time. I think the right thing to do here would be to adapt a modern 3.6L/8 speed drivetrain out of a wreck. Failing that, a 4.0L/6 speed out of a 2008-2010 minivan could work well too. It would probably take significant modification, but with modern power under the hood it would perform well and get decent fuel economy.

      Honestly, though, that 3.8L probably has at least 150,000 more good miles in it. They were very good motors for the most part — minor rocker arm stud issues aside. Rebuild the trans and stick it back on the road for less than $1000 in parts and labor and you’d still be driving it in 10 years.

      • 0 avatar
        Mr Imperial

        Yes-your analysis of the 3.8 is spot on. I had the rocker arm issue on mine as well. Put a good used head on the side that broke, and kept on driving.

        At 247K miles, mine consumed about a quart of oil every 1,000 miles. Then again, most engines with THAT many miles would too.

  • avatar
    willbodine

    How many red velours had to be crushed to make that boudoir-esque interior??

  • avatar
    Mr Imperial

    This is the car that gave me my screen name, and gave me the new obsession with everything Imperial from Chrysler.

    Mine was also a 1992, EXACT same red velour interior, but dark grey metallic paint and gold landau roof.

    I’m now a 30-something, but even farther from the target demographic for this car by getting mine when I was 19.

    My first car, a 1990 Mercury Sable, had been forcefully retired by a semi truck on I-94, so I needed something right away to commute to the local community college and the job.

    In the Kalamazoo Gazette classifieds, I saw a used 1992 Chrysler Imperial, 110,000 miles going for $3400 (this was in 1999). Dad and I drove out to see it, and I was impressed right away with the car. Great condition, everything worked well, seemed really to be a steal for the price. Had enough on hand to pay for $3000 of it, and hoped the seller would accept. Didn’t budge. Had to go get the rest from my credit union.

    I thought that car would just be my get-me-though-college transportation. Nope, it saw me through several girlfriends (including my wife-to-be), my first real world job, our first place together, and the birth of our son.

    The amount of money I put into maintaining that car-I’m better off not ever knowing the final amount.

    Owning that car further solidified a life-long obsession with cars-I really became a darn good shadetree mechanic. Pride in my workmanship and abilities grew as I made necessary repairs and maintenance by myself. I was proud to not have a car payment to make. I was proud of saving money by doing the work myself. I was proud of being self-sufficient.

    That car would still be in my driveway if I hadn’t have gone too fast on an icy Michigan road. She was pretty tired though, spent her entire life in the rust belt, and at 267,000 miles, the tinworm had really taken to the body and frame.

    I couldn’t bear seeing her at the local LKQ (which I am a regular at), so I made sure to sell the broken hulk to an out-of-town scrapper.

    I’ll always have a soft spot for these cars.

    • 0 avatar
      Summicron

      Ouch…. flashback to sitting with the salesman negotiating the Sable and seeing the mechanic flash by with mine as he appraised it.

      Jeez, it looked so fine… that car did white better than any other.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    Is it just me, or did Detroit make TONS of cars with the white exterior/red interior combination?

    Especially when it’s cars like this.

    Or, oddly enough, second-gen Mercury Sables. Not only have I seen a lot of white Sables, but a decent number of them have had red interiors.

    • 0 avatar
      84Cressida

      Red interiors were available on Toyotas with white exteriors. My Cressida could’ve been optioned that way. White exteriors usually had blue interiors in many of the Toyotas I’ve seen that offered them. I miss colors like all red and all blue interiors. I’d gladly pay for one today. You can get red in some luxury cars, but it’s usually just the seats that are red.

    • 0 avatar
      zaxxon25

      My father’s 1990 300ZX … also white with red cloth.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I like the big K-cars a lot.

    The fact that Bob Lutz hates these just makes them all the sweeter.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    What a rip-off!!! you gotta be some idiot to spend that kind of money for this phoney-baloney “luxury” POS.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    $49k in todays money will get you a loaded 300C with a Hemi or maybe a SRT version. A far better car than most of what Chrysler was building in the early 90′s.

    • 0 avatar
      AJ

      Very true. Technology has greatly improved our lives, in many ways.

      I can’t think of many cars from the early 90s that I’d want to town today? Maybe a third generation RX-7? That is about it.

      • 0 avatar
        MRF 95 T-Bird

        True it’s real easy to be nostalgic but in some ways we do live in a golden age of autos. If a version of today’s 300/Charger-LX were offered back in 92 most of us would be ecstatic. Chryslers top model was this Imperial with a mediocre V6 since they did not offer something with a V8 and RWD.

        Same goes for Cadillac for the inflation adjusted price of the Sedan DeVille you could have a new CTS or XTS far superior vehicles that Cadillac should have designed back in 1986 instead of the downsized FWD DeVille.

  • avatar
    roger628

    The grill on these luxo Ks was a genuine die casting, discovered while working in a trim shop installing a winter front. In an age of plastic this was a surprise. I was convinced that they had indulged in this one extravagance soley for showroom appeal. Jerry Lundegard could rap on it in front the prospect and tell him something to the effect of “ya feel that there?, that’s real metal, not plastic like those other cars, that’s real quality, there, oh yeah yer darn tooting!”

    • 0 avatar
      Mr Imperial

      I’m wondering if you saw a 1981-1983 Imperial. No Imperial I’ve ever seen from 1990-1993 had a die cast grill. I’ve seen plenty, and even junkyard-picked grills off of two. Undoubtedly plastic, using a metallic foil to give the chrome look.

  • avatar
    CelticPete

    Thank god that Chrysler grabbed that nice RWD platform from the Germans. They are just far superior cars to these FWD V6 things. Now are generation of 50s and 60s somethings can have a little fun and look sharp in their 300s and Chargers.

  • avatar
    Roberto Esponja

    Many posters are all worked on the assumption that someone paid $30,000 ($49,000 adjusted) for this car when new. Well, time to unbunch your panties, folks, it is highly unlikely that happened. I should know, I sold them.

    First of all, the Imperial was hardly a popular car. Chrysler sedans as a whole were hard enough to sell back then, and the New Yorker outsold the Imperial by a wide margin. In order to move them off the lots, the Chrysler Corporation had huge rebates on them. Second, this particular one looks to me like it might have started out as a rental car, as I never saw a retail spec Imperial without the nice Mark Cross leather interior and the digital instrument panel. This Imperial is actually somewhat similar in equipment to a New Yorker Salon, which was the entry-level New Yorker.

    Even assuming it got sold retail, I am very confident that whoever bought it did not pay anything close to $30,000, unless the salesperson lucked out and the customer was a total laydown.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      It’s very unusual to see a New Yorker (this generation) with those more rounded rear tail lamps. That must’ve been for only one or two years.

      My grandpa had a 91 New Yorker – graphite with grey leather. I’m pretty sure he loved it, but IIRC it leaked oil all over, so he dumped it.

      …And replaced it with an 86 5th Avenue, red/red velour. It had something like 30k miles on it. Perfect condition.

      (All of this was back in about 1999.)

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      I too noticed the base instrument cluster as out of place in this Imperial. All the others I’ve seen had the digital dash which in the 90′s was a sign of pure class in an automobile.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    My Grandma bought one of these new and she absolutely loved it. I had to agree that at the time, it was a really nice, classy, aspirational car. Hers had the digital cluster which made the car even more classy for the era. My grandpa also loved digital clusters and was furious with Lincoln when they went back to needles in the ’98 Town Car (for him the only Lincoln that existed was the TC).

  • avatar
    Crabspirits

    Herbert and Grace were fed up.

    “Yep! Yep! There he (Obama) goes again! Uses the government to bail out his buddies with this HARP program, while the kids get the shaft, and can’t refinance!” Herb’s face turned beet red, as he clenched every muscle in his being, attempting to shit out a diamond. “Herb, stop it! Turn that thing off!” Grace had to do something to get him out of the house. These days, fits of stress like this typically culminated in an ambulance visit by EMT’s that knew the couple on a first name basis. “I’m hungry. Let’s go to Eddie’s. We haven’t been there in awhile.” Herbert responded, and grabbed the keys to the Chrysler. “Dammit woman. You’re always hungry, and it’s almost 4′o’clock!”

    Although their car was right in front of their home, they had not seen it in nearly a week. “Ohhhhh, that’s just great. Wouldju look at this. The battery’s gonna be deader than shit.” , said a bitter Herb as he perused the stance of the Imperial’s air suspension. It resembled a dog defecating. The V6 slowly cranked over and caught. It had started, but just barely. The air suspension slowly pumped up the rear, and the two set off to get some grub from their longtime favorite diner. The couple soon found themselves in a part of town that vaguely resembled what they remembered. Storefronts were boarded up or vacant. There were ne’er do wells milling about aimlessly. “Look at the Shake Stop.”, noted Grace, upon seeing the new check cashing store. An “illegal” walked out of the store, and got into a highly customized F150. “That’s wonderful. This whole country’s gone tits up!” Grace remained silent in agreement. The couple arrived at what used to be Eddie’s diner. The art deco script neon sign was dim, and half broken by vandals. There was a handwritten note on the door of the lifeless shell. “Thanks for 56 wonderful years!” Herb flew into a hand-waving tirade that included his full vocabulary. Grace looked around for persons nearby. For one, out of embarrassment, and two, for help in case Herb collapsed. Herb, sensing his impending doom if he continued, abruptly calmed. He just shook his head and got back into the dinging Imperial.

    The couple quickly lost their bearings in the de-gentrified locale. They stopped for a streetlight. Herb pressured Grace for results as she fumbled with an archaic paper navigational aid known as a map. An African American urban youth appeared at the street corner. He waddled toughly toward the Chrysler with his pants in tow. Herb was mortified. He blew through the red light, nearly running the man and his pants over. “Damn man!”, said the dark-skinned individual. “Don’t just sit there like a bump on a log! Work that thing!”, Herb shouted at Grace. The GPS was a Christmas gift from their kids. “I don’t understand this thing!”, said Grace as she operated the alien touchscreen device. “POI? What’s POI?” “You’re in the damn settings again!!!”

    The nose-heavy Imperial softly bounced as it took to the on-ramp. Herb jammed the gas pedal to 1/3 throttle, and the luxury car entered the highway at a blistering 40mph. He guided the chromed prow around a laboring moving van. It was power, sophistication, and pure luxury. Grace voiced her displeasure at her husband’s aggressive driving. Somehow, they had found a Red Lobster across town with the alien tech. Herb already began salivating at the thought of the Cheddar Bay biscuits. The couple arrived, and slowly circled the parking lot several times. They cued at the hostess stand. The restaurant appeared filled to capacity. As they waited, an unattended child ran into Herb, nearly knocking his cane out of his hand. The uncaring little girl ran off as Herb scowled. “It’ll just be 40 minutes sir.” Herb responded with a to-hell-with-this hand gesture, said nothing, and the couple left.

    The consolation meal at Olive Garden was wrought with problems with service. Herb enjoyed a low-grade pasta, while Grace complained about her tasteless and salty soup. Herb argued their bill with management for half an hour. As fellow patrons stared, he was gaining the upper hand. The manager cleared $7 from their bill and the couple had achieved satisfaction, leaving puzzled servers in their wake. “Terrible!”, said Herb as he slid into the red velour. The Imperial pumped up. It had a significant yaw motion as it slowly arched across the intersection. The dog dish containing Herb’s leftovers went unnoticed as it slid off the roof, leaving noodles and chicken breast strewn all over the pavement. They were about to miss Dancing With The Stars. Herb fumed at the traffic. He honked the horn at the instant the light turned green to help keep the other motorists sharp. Somehow, they had made it back to the assisted living apartments before the second couple took to the stage. Although uneventful, it was to be the final real drive of the Imperial. The extravagant Chrysler was doomed by indifference and perceived value.

    “Where have you guys been?”, said a neighbor.
    “We went to eat at Olive Garden. It was wonderful.”, replied Grace.

  • avatar
    azmtbkr81

    That has to be the cleanest junkyard interior I’ve ever seen, almost as if they had it detailed on the way to the yard.

    I know that the car itself isn’t very desirable but I’m surprised the seats haven’t been taken for some other project.

  • avatar
    bigL

    My folks bought a 1953 FORD Customline, with a choke. It was a 2 door.
    Pushbutton radio. They went to a Moonlight sale. This dealer was one of the early ones to try those sales. And he was still doing it years later. They drove it from ’53 to ’68.
    But they sold it and like the poster the car was wrecked. It sat in a vacant Lot behind my dad’s office. We all felt sad as it had carried us safely for years. My folks were almost ready to buy it back and have it hauled off, when it disappeared. They vowed to never sell a
    vehicle in town

  • avatar
    gearhead77

    I personally can’t stand red interiors with white paint. Just downright unattractive to me. But my 88 Legend was dark blue with blue velour that I enjoyed, though I would have preferred blue leather. My 84 Eldorado was white with dark blue leather and a blue 1/4 padded roof. I don’t mind today’s relatively limited color choices

  • avatar
    EspritdeFacelVega

    I recall seeing one of these at the 1991 Montreal auto show, where we joked about the krepitude of it and were shocked to see it listed for something like C$ 42,000. I lived in Ottawa at the time & never did see one on the roads in Canada, even though earlier Imperials, esp. the Windsor-made 80-82s, were certainly still floating around (C-bodies had all rusted away by that point).

    The K-Car Imperial was probably the apogee of Iacocca “these people will buy anything” cynicism about the North American market. Having said that, no one really remembers these and I would love to see the Imperial name come back someday after an appropriate statute of limitation on its exile expires….


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