Chrysler has a rich history of special editions and limited-run models, many of which I’ve covered in Part One, Part Two and Part Three of this series. In this part, we’ll look at celebrity and performance tie-ups, alluring trim packages, and a special edition that pilfered its name from a crosstown rival.
Years produced: 1970
Total production: 485-501
Chrysler’s fuselage cars, introduced in 1969, were not only huge, they looked huge. Looming ominously over their wheels, they carried so much visual bulk they looked like they were standing still while they were moving. As a result, it’s hard to imagine a sporty variant of these, even of the 224.7-inch-long coupe. Well, they made one: the 1970 300 Hurst coupe.
Made in conjunction with the Hurst Performance Group, these are considered by many to be a continuation of the 300 “letter-series” line after a five-year absence, even though they don’t carry a sequential letter (‘M’ was next). The 300H, as Chrysler’s press material called it, was the most expensive Chrysler-branded Mopar for 1970 with a list price of $5,939, a considerable $1700 above a regular 300 hardtop coupe. No convertible was offered, although one was built as a promotional vehicle.
The Hurst package took the more powerful version of the regular 300’s 440 cubic-inch V8, the 375 (gross) horsepower, 480 ft-lb TNT, and mated it to a regular three-speed Torqueflite (sadly, with no Hurst shifter). The big V8 hauled all 4000-plus pounds of 300 to 60 mph in around 7 seconds. Heavy-duty suspension was included, as well as a 3.23:1 axle ratio and a sway bar. 300 Hursts came loaded with power bucket seats, steering, deck lid release and windows. For an even more luxurious touch, all Hursts came with saddle leather bucket seats, the very same used in Imperials. A console was optional.
A vinyl roof – that unnecessary affectation that marred the effect of the 300’s subtly curved, fuselage sides – was not available on the 300 Hurst. This is because the 300H was painted in Hurst’s signature two-tone white-and-gold (Spinnaker White and Satin Tan) paintjob with “Apricot and Dark Chocolate” accent striping. Once 300Hs rolled out of the factory, they went to Hurst who fitted a specially-designed fiber glass hood with a functional hood scoop and hood latches. The rear quarter panel end caps and the decklid – with integrated spoiler – were also done in fiberglass.
The extent of performance modifications by Hurst was limited. This is purportedly because approval for the 300 Hurst came as 1970 Chrysler production was already underway and the project subsequently had to be rushed along. Nevertheless, the 300 Hurst was a distinctive and exclusive option and another worthy member of a long line of alluring letter-series Chryslers.
New Yorker Brougham Salon
Years produced: 1978
Total production: approximately 2000
Just looking at the name, you might wonder what this car is doing on here. After all, wasn’t there was a New Yorker Salon that ran for several years in the 1990s? Ah, but this is the 1978 New Yorker Salon. See, Chrysler had a funny habit of reusing special edition and trim level nameplates. The Newport Cordoba preceded the Cordoba, for example, as the Chrysler New Yorker St Regis preceded the Dodge St Regis. The ’78 New Yorker Salon dusted off an old trim level designation (from the ’63-64 New Yorker) that would later be reused by various Chryslers and Plymouths well into the 1990s.
An option package with silver paint would hardly be special nowadays but in the 1970s it had a bit more visual impact, even if the Salon wasn’t the only special edition in the 1970s to be painted silver (see: Ford’s Stallions, et all). For $631, the Salon package added the aforementioned Silver Crystal paint – in a special high-gloss formulation – as well as a silver vinyl roof, subtle red striping, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and aluminum road wheels. Salon interiors could be had in either red or dove gray crushed velour, with leather optional. It may just have been the most attractive of the 1974-78 Mopar C-Bodies and was a classy way to end a long line of truly full-size Chryslers.
LeBaron LS Coupe and LS Limited Coupe
Years produced: 1980
Total production: 948 (LS), 2257 (LS Limited)
Chrysler’s erstwhile “compact”, now “midsize”, soon-to-be “full-size” rear-wheel-drive LeBaron entered the 1980s with an entirely new appearance. With a more upright silhouette and chiseled lines, the LeBaron looked even more formal. Alas, the shapely coupe also went under the knife and its styling arguably took a turn for the worse. It lost its curvaceous hips and moved to a shorter, 108-inch wheelbase, losing three inches in overall length. The only consolation was the availability of a handsome new option package, the LS Limited.
The LS Limited was one of two option packages for 1980 in addition to a regular sport appearance package that merely added road wheels and sport mirrors. The other, named simply LS, added a wire grille texture with a mounted “medallion”, as well as non-functional fender louvers (à la the Dodge Mirada), different wheel covers, and bucket seats.
The LS Limited swapped out the LS’ wheel cover design for wire wheel covers but added a center console and snazzy two-tone paint. Like all other LeBarons, it could be had with either the Slant Six or the 318 V8. Also included in the LS Limited was, according to Chrysler marketing material, something called “trunk dress-up”, as well as “deck lid skid strips”. In layman’s terms, the latter was something that looked like a trunk-mounted luggage rack but was even more functionally useless. Well, at least it was subtle. And at least the LS Limited’s two-tone paint made good use of the sharp creases of the new sheetmetal. Buyers preferred the LS Limited, even though it cost $600 more than the $350 LS package. Maybe it was those deck lid skid strips.
For 1981, the LS and LS Limited packages disappeared, although elements like the two-tone paintjob were still options. No sign of the deck lid skid strips, though.
Years produced: 1978
Total production: 1540
And you thought the Ford Escort was the only domestic car sans Chevrolet bowtie to wear the vaunted SS nameplate. Yes, Dodge applied the SS name to a vaguely sporty version of the ailing Monaco coupe in 1978, despite having a wide variety of heritage names to choose from.
Unlike its Chevrolet namesake, the SS package on the Monaco wasn’t a performance package and was limited to tri-color striping and vinyl bucket seats. The name was an odd choice for such a simplistic option package and buyers largely avoided it, with many opting instead for the new Gran Coupe option package (which included a V8, vinyl roof, and other luxury bric-a-brac) or ponying up another grand to get the new Magnum XE.
One has to wonder: which obscure, non-Chevrolet SS was more popular? This, or the also one year-only Escort SS?
Years produced: 1981-82
Total production: 427
It’s a pity so many factors conspired against the Imperial—a recession, Chrysler’s financial problems and poor image and an unreliable fuel injection system, among others. For a luxury flagship based on a humble compact platform, the Imperial was fairly well differentiated (at least visually—the leaf springs out back begged to differ). And like Lincoln had been doing for years with its designer editions, new Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca called upon a famous name he knew for a special edition of the resurrected Imperial: Frank Sinatra.
The “fs”, as the Sinatra-themed special edition was badged, added $1000 to the Imperial’s substantial $18,311 list price. Sinatra personally picked out the Glacier Blue paint – it matched his eyes, natch – and all fs models had a matching Glacier Blue interior in either Kimberly Velvet cloth or soft Corinthian leather with thick platinum-colored carpet. The blue was really quite eye-catching, especially when paired with the Imperial’s available snowflake wheels. Unfortunately, many buyers chose wire wheels instead.
Frank himself appeared in promotional material and even sang a song, “It’s Time For Imperial”.
Like all other 1981 Imperials, the fs had the most extensive utilization yet of digital instrumentation. Unlike other 1981 Imperials, the fs had a unique lockable, woodgrain mini-console underneath the dash. It contained three cassette trays with 16 Frank Sinatra cassettes. There was also a Mark Cross leather-bound cassette carry case. Logically, the only stereo option available in the fs was the AM/FM stereo with cassette player. The only option on the fs (or any other Imperial) was a power moonroof—these all came loaded to the hilt with luxury goodies. The fs package was continued for 1982, although all Imperials saw a hefty price hike of almost $3k. For 1983, prices were restored back to the $18k mark but the fs edition was gone.
The Imperial may have been launched after the similarly bustled Seville but the design had been penned earlier in the 1970s—what became the Imperial was originally intended to be launched as the Chrysler LaScala. Iacocca had decreed the Imperial name be resurrected for the flagship coupe. The styling – from the razor-edge lines to the dramatic, multi-faceted front fascia – was distinctive even against other domestic bustlebacks and the fs enhanced the visual appeal. With its visual presence and upmarket positioning – it was the most expensive domestic nameplate at launch – the Imperial was just the car for Chrysler to pitch to Frank Sinatra and other older, monied buyers. And with its humble underpinnings, the Imperial had the potential to be a profit machine.
Such a pity, then, that the 318 V8’s “space-age” electronic fuel injection system proved to be so flaky, forcing most buyers to have it replaced with a carbureter setup. A pity, too, that Chrysler’s financial turmoil was scaring away buyers, especially from higher-end models. Or that the Imperial’s performance was sluggish thanks to the extra 400 pounds of sound deadening and heavier-gauge steel the Imperial added over the cheaper Cordoba—the Imperial weighed 4000 pounds and had only 140 hp and 245 ft-lbs to haul it around. It didn’t matter the Imperial was otherwise well-built, at least by 1981 Chrysler standards (it went down a special assembly line with more experienced workers), or that it looked so distinctive. The Imperial was a flop, taking three years to sell even half of its annual sales projection.
Oh, and to add insult to injury, apparently Frank Sinatra’s own Imperial fs stalled out on him.
There are still some Mopar models – wearing Jeep and Eagle badges – to cover in this series, as well as a selection of Jeeps that precede Chrysler’s purchase of the brand.
Vintage Road Test: Plymouth Sport Fury GT
Automotive History: Shockingly Low Volume Production Cars – The Plymouth Edition
Automotive History: Shockingly Low Volume Production Cars – The Dodge Edition
CC Capsule, Part 2: 1981 Chrysler Cordoba LS – Introducing Darlene
That Hurst interior is insanely appealing. Make one in a four-door or a wagon and I’ll take it.
Chrysler was really missing a trick by not offering it as a freestanding option in the 300.
Those are the same leather buckets found in the 1970 Imperial. But I believe they were only available with the 2 door.
There is something indescribably appealing about each of these, with the Monaco SS being a new one to me.
Long ago I remember seeing an Imperial like the fs edition sitting new on the lot. It was a stunning car, but my dad would not even entertain the notion of just looking closer at it.
There is something indescribably appealing about each of these
Maybe that explains why I’ve never written up the 300H I shot years ago. Too many mixed emotions, for me, anyway.
If you’re game, send those pictures east. I’ll do it some form of (in)justice.
And when you’re ready, let me know. I have the Road Test article covering the car.
And I’ve got one from Car Life.
I am unreasonably attracted to the 300H even though it was really not very special.
I don’t remember the Monaco SS at all, which is really something given my full Mopar immersion in those years.
I remember the rest. I am sure that I have never seen a Lebaron LS but I remember seeing that picture, convinced that it was going to be popular. Right.
That 300 Hurst makes me weak in the knees.
Jeez, JPC… I thought you’d be lusting after the New Yorker…
I know I am…
I have already checked that box off in my life. Also, I have always preferred the details of the 76-77 to the 78. The low pinstripe made it look a little pudgy and the new grille was not an improvement. Also the 440 was optional instead of standard.
Minor changes yes, but I thought they detracted from the design, if even just a little.
Understood. I don’t know if it’s the nostalgia talking, but something about that resonates with me.
In reality, if I had time/money/room for a hobby car, it wouldn’t be that size.
I shot a somewhat ratty 300H in a parking lot years ago, but have never written it up. One of these days…
And a window sticker too!
An “Iacocca Edition” could’ve cranked up “Brougham Bling” to 11.
Little know fact about the 300 Hurst. The trunk lid design made it impossible to have a normal key lock, so it had to have a power trunk release with a special emergency handle just for this car.
Wow – this has been one of my favorites of your entries in this series, Will. Total obscurity – I had never heard of the Monaco SS or that generation of New Yorker “Salon”.
I have a special regard for LeBarons of this generation, as I remember one of them (an ’80 sedan in navy) being the first of my grandparents’ nee car purchases that I remember concurrent with them buying it. I agree that the restyle of the two-door was somewhat unfortunate.
Last thought: I want the front seats of that 300 Hurst in my living room. That is all.
+1. Those look like a great spot to read or watch tv.
They would look good in my den, witch still has 1970’s wood paneling
They had no choice but to shorten the 2-door M-Body in order to differentiate it from the Cordoba-Mirada IMHO. Otherwise they would have 2 distinctly different coupes on the same wheelbase.
I too prefer the earlier, curvier edition, I guess since my parents had one, even though it was a total POS. Search my user name on this site for numerous rants….I mean opinions of it .
Until this very moment it had never dawned on me that the wheelbase of the 2 door LeBaron lost over 4 inches of wheelbase. Duh! – no wonder it looked so much more stubby.
I’ve always felt so sorry for Chrysler that the 1981-83 Imperial didn’t work out.
I really like the style, even though I’m not into coupes, and the Sinatra Edition just added to the cool factor.
Besides the Imperial’s electronic gremlins, there were other issues. In a review by Car and Driver entitled, “Return with us now to the bad old days of yesteryear” in which they savaged the car, one of the things mentioned was how Chrysler played the old trick of shortening the seat cushions to give up thigh support for the illusion of more leg room.
It was a real shame because it ‘was’ a good-looking car that should have sold better, considering the personal luxury competition of the time. Between the ‘bustle-back’ styling efforts by GM and Ford, I’d give the nod to the Imperial as being the best.
The Imperial’s fail is doubly hard to take because it was up against the intensely inelegant Continental Mk VI.
If Lee had stayed at Ford the Imp may well have been the MK-VI
Lee did not get fired until the late summer of 1978, when the early builds of the 79 Panther Fords and Mercuries were coming out of the plants. I think that the 1980 Lincoln versions (the Mark VI was a Panther just like the Town Car) were only a year away from completion and thus already set in stone well before he left.
As well as the FWD PLCs from GM. Just another squandered golden opportunity by Chrysler.
That Hurst 300 could work for me, and I’m only a closet Mopar guy. And I think anyone this side of senility knew to avoid the 81 Imperial, or any RWD ChryCo products at the time.
I remember most of these, with the exception of the SS. My father worked as a contractor for a Chrysler dealership, up in Edmonton, and i remember sitting in these cars and looking over the brochures. Currently looking for a 1970 Three Hundred. When that Imperial came out, it was stunning and rare. I currently own an 81, Non FS, Imperial. That car gets some stares.
Do you still have the original FI?
Unfortunately not. I bought it with a carburetor conversion already done. In my late teens, i drove a fuel injected version. Although it had hiccups, that fuel injection gave the car it’s charm. As a kid i have always looked at the Imperial as some sort of american exotic, in the manner of the Aston Martin Lagonda, since they were seldom seen.
Check Hemming’s Motor News. That fuel injection is out there…somewhere.
That fuel injection setup is as rare as finding a Chrysler product from the late 50s with a working Bendix Electrojector. I would suspect that working examples of each could be counted on a three fingered hand. Both were so problematic that given the tech of their respective days, keeping the car running anywhere near reliably was virtually impossible. A former contributor here (who went by CraigInNC) had an Imperial with functional fuel injection. This is the only one I have ever heard of. It basically takes someone with an electrical engineering degree and nearly infinite patience to work through component by component, upgrading pieces where necessary.
You’d think that between 1958 and 1981 they’d have figured it out.
The Imperial/Lagonda comparison is actually pretty good. They were both good-looking, upscale cars with the same kind of ‘edge’ styling, ham-strung by progressive, but very unreliable, electronics.
Random thoughts while I’m on break:
Those seats in the 1970 300 H look like Eames chairs. There’s a video on YouTube by OldCarMemories (IIRC) that details the 300 H. Definitely worth your 15 minutes.
That 1978 New Yorker Brougham Salon is just gorgeous! I know this was peak malaise, but it was definitely peak New Yorker. I don’t generally get too misty eyed about Broughams (I have my favorites, but on the whole they were not great cars), but that thing just knocks it out of the park for me.
Add me to the list of people who don’t remember the Monaco SS. Oddly, while the Magnum had my attention back then, I find the Furys and Monacos of the mid 70’s far more interesting now.
The other day several people were ruminating about the Ford Fairmont Futura/Mercury Zephyr Z-7 styling foibles. I think the Dippy’s redesign did a better job of integrating the sweeping B-pillar onto a “box” car than the Ford effort. But neither one particularly appeals to me. I prefer the first gen Dippy over that one. But I wouldn’t kick one out of the garage if it fell in my lap, either.
The Imperial came with sixteen Sinatra cassettes? Throw in a couple of pairs of Sansabelt slacks and you gotta deal, pal!
If anyone’s curious, these are the 14 Frank Sinatra albums (on 16 cassettes) included with the Imperial fs: http://www.imperialclub.com/Yr/1982/SinatraTapes.htm
A decent sampling mostly from the mid-1960s and later, though unfortunately missing both of the wonderful Tom Jobim collaborations and the curious oddball Watertown.
For most his career, SInatra recorded for three record labels: Columbia (’40s/early ’50s), Capitol (’50s/early ’60s), and Reprise (founded by Sinatra himself in the early ’60s in an effort to ‘be his own boss’; to make a long story short, he soon decided he didn’t really want to run a record company, and sold the label to Warner Bros., which then operated it as a subsidiary; Sinatra continued recording for Reprise into the early ’80s).
All of the albums included in the package appear to contain Reprise material, so they date from the early 1960s or later. They also appear to all be regular, off-the-shelf releases, nothing that was put together as an exclusive for this project. It looks like someone went through Frank’s Reprise catalog and selected the 16 cassettes (14 albums, but one is a triple album, so it takes up three cassettes) that would be considered essential material by the target audience.
For the albums that have a “code” shown, the code is a standard Reprise cassette album catalog number. The four albums that don’t have a code shown are also standard Reprise releases; I don’t know why they don’t have code numbers shown.
I’m guessing that “Watertown” was probably out of print in 1982. Record labels didn’t keep as much back catalog in print in those days as they did later on, after CDs came along. The thought occurs to me that these 14 albums may not have been “selected”; they may have simply been the complete extent of what Reprise had in print at the time.
I`m surprised that Cadillac never came up with an ‘EP” edition. Named for, who else-Elvis Presley! That would have some possibilities.
No. Sinatra was perfect for a luxury car to appeal to the 50 and up crowd. Presley never had that kind of image. By this point, he was dead, his image as a teen rebel was long, long gone, but conversely that old teen rebel image would make sure that he never became respectable in a Sinatra-ish, Rat Pack sense.
Maybe Dean Martin would have been a viable alternative?
Nice write up.
This 300H is incredible! And, I agree that the LeBaron didn´t look better without it´s curves, but I have to admit that I like this LS Limited with those deck lid skid strips an the two tone paint job.
So, we learned that the LS Limited outsold the LS, but did the 318 outsell the Slant 6 in these LeBarons?
Also, back in the 1950’s Cadillac happily took Elvis’ money, but they certainly weren’t happy about all those photographs with him and his cars. Yeah, it probably helped the Cadillac image as being the “American dream”, but Elvis definitely wasn’t the kind of customer Cadillac really wanted in 1956.
After he got out of the Army, yeah, maybe.
Plus he bought a lot of Lincolns and Continentals so not Cadillac loyal.
Cadillac sold to a pretty wide demographic in the 50’s and I find it hard to believe they were unhappy about Elvis being photographed with their brand – do you have something to support this idea? I Googled the subject but couldn’t find anything…
CA Guy, there may be something to what Syke said about the factory discouraging certain sales, although maybe not to a specific person.
I once read a mid ’50s Cadillac internal-use-only sales piece, an instructive memo of sorts. I may own the paper, if so I’ll be back with more specifics one day. The document wasn’t top secret or anything like that, just a directive on special order cars.
I’m paraphrasing now, but essentially the memo stated: “listen up salesmen, the world is a changin’ and suddenly some folks that you couldn’t imagine have managed to become moneyed-up. These folks like our products, but they like ’em differently than the ways of our traditional customer base. In pursing a sale that may be one-time flash-in-the-pan, we want you to be extremely careful not to alienate our old reliable customers, or damage Cadillac’s reputation, by producing “oddballs” that aren’t so becoming of the Division’s standards. So if “big new money” shows up wanting to order a real oddball, IE pink with yellow wheels, you’ll have to telegraph the zone office to see if it’s something that the factory is willing to build.”
Again, I’m paraphrasing and going by memory, but there definitely wasn’t any confusion that Cadillac’s internal directive was saying that they didn’t want to build cars in the loud outlandish fashion preferred by some. I believe the memo cited several example of “discouraged” build combinations. As I recall the discouraged builds weren’t based on engineering issues or anything like that, but simply the factory’s opinion of what represented “good taste” in their products.
Similar tale. Sorry, I don’t recall the source or vehicle make.. This was in Prohibition era Chicagoland. Supposedly the factory sent word to dealer: “Quit selling our cars to gangsters!”
The dealer replied: “Why don’t you tell ’em yourself?”
Finally someone was appointed to say “no” to the “bottlers” wishing to purchase cars.
Reportedly it went smooth with the messenger telling the plain truth and the would-be customer(s) saying “no problem” they could buy from one of the other manufacturers.
So yes, I could believe that at various times manufacturers tried to “steer” sales to (their interpretation of) qualified buyers of their products.
wow. the one car I had in your wonderful (or, full of wonder) reviews is the oddball comparo – the apparently one-year only Escort SS – in wagon trim, no less, and identical to this one picture your 2011 article didn’t mention.
Gee. maybe I shoulda kept it.
It is truly a shame that the Imperial failed. It was a very attractive car. Unlike the GM and Ford personal luxury cars of that era, the lines of the Imperial flowed well.
I saw an Imperial about 2 years ago at a car show, it was owned by the son of the original owner. It had been in the family since new and was taken care of. Alas it had the carb replacement instead of FI but that engine was very quiet when running.
It is really sad the fuel injection system gave it so much grief. I think Chrysler rushed the fuel injection system in this car. Later versions of the 318 (in trucks) had excellent fuel injection.
I wonder if the fuel injection system had worked from the get go, would the 82-89 Fifth Avenue gotten fuel injection also. The 82-89 Fifth Ave, has always been an enigma to me, it had a carb until the model was dropped after 1989 making it one of the last carbed cars being sold but was one of first with an airbag.
Great rare editions to highlight! I had no idea the Imperial FS was just that rare!
At least the rear styling of the ’80 LeBaron with its distinctive taillights was substantially different from the relatively bland horizontal taillights of the Diplomat (and later the Gran Fury). Chrysler cheaped out when it turned the LeBaron into the New Yorker/Fifth Avenue for 1982 by adapting the Diplomat’s taillights. It ended up looking like the kludge that it was.
I spotted a 300 Hurst at Colorado Auto and Parts last October, I think they’re a bit silly in concept yet totally cool at the same time. Something that always struck me about Hurst special editions over the years is that they were never 4-speeds, and in 1970 many 4-speed equipped cars used Hurst shifters as standard equipment.
The Lebaron coupe has unfortunate proportions, the roof looks like it came directly off a large car and was put on this stubby body. In fact it reminds me of the Ford Granada coupe.
While Hurst 4-speed shifters were certainly well-known in the sixties, they also had a very popular ‘dual-gate’ automatic shifter. But either would have been out of place in a 300, which was always marketed not so much as a street-brawling, stoplight-to-stoplight musclecar but more of an upmarket, high-speed, highway cruiser.
So, yeah, the 300H really didn’t mesh with the Hurst reputation. I think it was due mainly to how Oldsmobile (the middle rung on the Sloan ladder) had a great run using the Hurst name. Hurst-equpped 442s were some of the most formidable musclecars. Chrysler gave it a shot to try and capitalize on that reputation and it just didn’t work out nearly as well.
I always thought the Imperial looked like a big Mustang.
So I bought one, and turned it into a 79 Mustang Pace Car. Sort of. I race this in the 24 Hours of LeMons.
I think I’ve seen you post this before, either on here or somewhere else, and it’s still pretty great.
This deserves a fuller write-up. Maybe after your next race?
Kimberly Velvet? What kind of a name is that? It sounds like a stage name for an adult film star.
The Imperial wasn’t the first sales dud of a car that Frank Sinatra endorsed; he also appeared on a TV special called The Edsel Show which was aired in October 13, 1957. In stark contrast with the new car brand it was intended to promote, The Edsel Show was a huge hit, one of the year’s most popular broadcasts, and was nominated for an Emmy. The show was amongst the first to be recorded on the then-new medium of videotape, and is the oldest surviving tape of a TV broadcast.
Imperial FS. I would bet that this is the last car to be named after a leftover from a bygone age. In our youth oriented culture, there may as well have been an equally succsessful Geritol edition, or a chairlift edition or a Viagra edition. FS was piss poor marketing. My brother in law was the target audience for this car. Successful in business, he made a fortune. In his prime he always drove Cadillacs. Approaching 90 now, he drives a Corolla. Not because he can’t afford better, but the Corolla is easier to get in and out of the garage without hitting anything. Frank should have stuck to singing and quit long before he did.
In all fairness, Sinatra in 1983 was about the same age Bruce Springsteen is now, so while he appealed to an older generation than 30something Boomers, it wasn’t quite like using Al Jolson or Rudy Vallée
The Imperial FS-edition reminds me of a great industry axiom: you can sell a young person’s car to an old person, but you can’t sell an old person’s car to a young one.
OTOH, maybe Chrysler thought they could get away with it, thinking that Frank’s music was so good, it cut across the normal age lines.
Moving from Cadillacs to a Corolla isn’t too far from what Ole Blue Eyes did, too. Frank’s last car was actually a Lebaron Town and Country station wagon, and it’s been speculated that it was a swap from his trouble-prone Imperial, as well as the Lebaron being a lot easier to drive.
A 300H just sold at Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale for over $50K
I’ve always loved those cars. Back in high school in the 80s there was one sitting in the driveway of a house and I always wanted to ask about it. One day it disappeared.