Sans Sunroof: 1983 Chrysler Imperial 47K – Sold?
December 12, 2021 Update – We just confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found we’re assuming this ride “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.
Chrysler’s last rear-wheel-drive, body-on-frame, Imperial-branded car was Lee Iacocca’s brainchild as part of his attempt to turn the company’s fortunes around. Produced for only three model years (1981 through 1983) the stylish and luxurious two-door coupe offered only two options: Mark Cross leather and a sunroof. This all dark blue, 47K original mile example originally listed in November 2021 on Craigslist in Lake Zurich, Illinois (Chicago) features the former but not the latter. The lack of a sunroof combined with a no landau or simulated convertible has really helped the styling of these cars age well.
Currently offered at $8,500, comparing that price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms the private seller has their Imperial priced between this guide’s #3 “Excellent” estimate of $5,800 and its #2 “Excellent” appraisal of $9,000. As a second data point, the Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask falls between this guide’s #2 “Very Good” estimate of $7,800 and its #1 “Excellent” appraisal of $12,200.
Using part of the money received from Congress’ passage of the Chrysler Corporation Loan Guarantee Act of 1979, Lee Iacocca re-introduced the Imperial brand on the company’s traditional rear-wheel-drive, torsion bar front-, and leaf spring rear suspension J-body platform. Available only as a “premium personal luxury” two-door coupe, the Imperial featured a long hood capped with hidden headlights. At the rear, Chrysler designers incorporated a “bustle-back” style trunk similar, yet much cleaner, than what Cadillac’s Seville featured at the time.
Designed to provide the ultimate in luxury, Chrysler Imperial came standard with just about everything imaginable at the time: power everything, very deep pile carpeting, velvet upholstery, a futuristic-for-the-time fully electronic, vacuum florescent display dashboard, remote trunk release, cruise control, an integrated garage-door opener, air-conditioning, even a Mark Cross gift set complete with an umbrella was part of the package. Even the Chrysler Pentastar in the hood ornament, steering wheel, and B-Pillar were made of real Cartier crystal. The only two extra-cost options available were Mark Cross leather seats and a power moon roof.
The only engine available was an electronically fuel-injected, 140 hp version of Chrysler’s venerable 318-cu.in. V-8 mated to a three-speed, column-shifted Torqueflite automatic. The fuel injection system was originally developed by Chrysler’s Electronics Division following the conclusion of the Apollo Space Program. The space-age EFI design ended up being the car’s Achilles Heal, as many owners complained the cars were hard to start and would stall out. Rumor has it that even Frank Sinatra’s personal version embarrassed its namesake by stalling out in public so much that he had Chrysler remove his special edition version as well as his endorsement from all of the advertising. Consequently, Chrysler ended up reimbursing the cost to have owners convert their cars to a more reliable two-barrel carburetor setup.
The Classic Cars Today Online YouTube Channel features this 1981 Chrysler Imperial commercial with Frank Sinatra singing in the background:
The midnight blue over dark blue leather is a very nice color combination on this Imperial and based on the pictures and the description provided this is a survivor example you can drive and show if desired. Personally, we would love to replace the original 318 cubic inch V8 with a modern MOPAR 392 Hemi Crate engine to give this Imperial power comparable to that of its predecessors.
Here’s the seller’s description:
“PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR phone # for a callback, no email responses
1983 Chrysler IMPERIAL last of the big MOPAR luxury cars b4 the K car era
Car was featured in movies(Sharky’s machine, Stick, Gumball Rally, Fast Furious etc) because of its unique styling, Lee Iaccoca’s first project
with Chrysler. Hi Tech for the time, Digital dash etc
I also like Cadillac s, but your getting more looks in this, more unique and a real cool guys car. The Imperial uses the bullet proof 318/5.2L Unlike the Cadillac goofball engines in the 80’s that were fried at 90k miles
PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR phone # for a callback, no email responses
Not selling anywhere near 5000((The last one on eBay sold for 6800, it had Dull paint, cloth seats, Bondo)) This car has the Mark Cross leather interior and Cartier crystal Penta star badges. Money was spent, from paint, radio tape restore, NOS steering wheel etc. Not a restored car, but clean updated.
Rare to find in this low mileage only 47k miles
Not a sunbaked southern car or rustbelt car is driven daily. INTERIOR is stunning and no body rust
Super COLOR combo, Midnight Blue (Nightwatchman blue) you usually find these that have survived in a Granny color like Green, beige.
Runs like new, drove 300 miles straight home, firm shifting transmission
Low miles AND the engine was re-sealed (gaskets perish in time) no leaks, oil pan is painted shows work
Everything works…. original radio restored at $350, Gas gauge always shows FULL, Lots of paperwork comes with the car, including sealed Chrysler music cassettes 2 photos are from last fall in the sun
PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR phone # for a callback, no email responses”
Show or go: what would you do with this 1983 Chrysler Imperial survivor? Comment below and let us know!