Car: Chrysler Imperial Lebaron Coupe
What makes it special: Imperial was the Chrysler Corporation’s luxury automobile brand between 1955 and 1975, with a brief reappearance from 1981 to 1983. The Imperial name had been used since 1926, but was never a separate make, just the top-of-the-line Chrysler. In 1955, the company decided to spin Imperial off as its own make and division to better compete with its rivals, Lincoln and Cadillac. Imperial would see new or modified body styles introduced every two to three years, all with V8 engines and automatic transmissions, as well as technologies that would filter down to Chrysler Corporation’s other models.
What made it famous: For the fourth-generation Imperial, sheet metal was completely new for the 1972 model year, although the styling was an evolution of the previous fuselage style. The 1972 model appeared bigger and heavier all around in comparison to the 1969-1971 models and featured a somewhat more rounded side profile without a character line down the side and chrome trim on the top seams of the fenders from the rear windows forward. The front fascia was all new and imposing-looking, and the back featured vertical teardrop taillights for the first time, while the rear side marker lights were in the form of shields with eagles on them. It was powered by a 335 bhp, 225 hp 440 V8 backed by a 3-speed, Torqueflite A727 automatic transmission.
Why I would want one: It’s a big, land-yacht for certain, but has a quiet-cool to it. It has sort of a “sinister look” all around, like something a super-villain might use in a movie.
Fun fact: Two all-black 1973 LeBaron sedans were delivered to the US Secret Service, which then turned them over to Hess and Eisenhardt, which converted them into limos for Presidential use. Both cars were used as late as 1981, and carried Ronald Reagan and his staff to Capitol Hill for his Presidential Swearing-in ceremony in January 1981.