Junkyard Find: 1992 Chrysler Imperial

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1992 chrysler imperial

The 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.

It’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.

Chrysler went through periods during which the Imperial was a separate marque, but this generation was badged as a Chrysler.

Eagle medallions are all over this car.

It’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.

No 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.

Padded landau roof, of course!

ABS was still something special in the early 1990s.

List 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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  • Gearhead77 Gearhead77 on Jun 25, 2013

    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

  • EspritdeFacelVega EspritdeFacelVega on Jul 10, 2013

    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....

  • Tassos Chinese owned Vollvo-Geely must have the best PR department of all automakers. A TINY maker with only 0.5-0.8% market share in the US, it is in the news every day.I have lost count how many different models Volvo has, and it is shocking how FEW of each miserable one it sells in the US market.Approximately, it sells as many units (TOTAL) as is the total number of loser models it offers.
  • ToolGuy Seems pretty reasonable to me. (Sorry)
  • Luke42 When I moved from Virginia to Illinois, the lack of vehicle safety inspections was a big deal to me. I thought it would be a big change.However, nobody drives around in an unsafe car when they have the money to get their car fixed and driving safely.Also, Virginia's inspection regimine only meant that a car was safe to drive one day a year.Having lived with and without automotive safety inspections, my confusion is that they don't really matter that much.What does matter is preventing poverty in your state, and Illinois' generally pro-union political climate does more for automotive safety (by ensuring fair wages for tradespeople) than ticketing poor people for not having enough money to maintain their cars.
  • ToolGuy When you are pulled over for speeding, whether you are given a ticket or not should depend on how attractive you are.Source: My sister 😉
  • Kcflyer What Toyota needs is a true full size body on frame suv to compete with the Expedition and Suburban and their badge engineered brethren. The new sequoia and LX are too compromised in capacity by their off road capabilities that most buyers will never use.