Impressive Imperial: 35k-Mile 1981 Chrysler Imperial

  • April 07, 2021
The Rundown
  • Seller Claims 35k Miles
  • Chocolate Brown w/ Tan Leather Interior
  • Genuine Wire Wheel Hubcaps
  • Digital Dashboard
  • Problematic Fuel Injection System Swapped for Carburetor in the 1980s
  • Recently Serviced w/ Many New Parts
Why We Like It

The 1981-1983 Chrysler Imperial reintroduced the model that had been on hiatus since 1975, and it did so in sweepingly modern fashion, with sharply creased fenders, a waterfall grille, hidden headlights, smartly styled interior, acres of advanced technology, and a coupe-only body style. While it embraced the new sharper styling demanded by the 1980s, the undertone of rich, old-school luxury shined through the cooler techno flair of the new decade, and it was a nice balance. According to Hemmings, a total of 10,981 Imperials were built during the 1981-1983 production run and finding one today in good condition is very difficult indeed.

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impressive-imperial-35k-mile-1981-chrysler-imperial00Z0Z 7KBsGyh44anz 0CI0t2 1200x900This Imperial has only covered 35k miles and the condition is indicative of the mileage. Finished in the stunning and rare shade of Mahogany Star Mist with Cashmere leather interior, the Imperial definitely grabs attention – simply put, the seldom seen color absolute glows in the sun. The exterior brightwork and lenses all look to be in outstanding condition, the panels look straight, and the panel gaps all look uniform and true. Riding on whitewall tires, it would be a crime to use anything other than decorative-banded tires, and wire wheel covers are attached to steel wheels. Inside, the condition continues to impress with factory fresh leather, carpeting and vinyl. The dashboard, which was a marvel in 1981, still shows exquisitely today, with its digital instrumentation and balance between metal components and dark wood applique all conspiring to create an ultraluxe image that was hard to beat. Powered by a 5.2L V8 engine, the factory equipped these cars with problematic fuel injection systems that were recalled. The fix was a 4-barrel carburetor and new manifold, a correction this car had performed in the 1980s. A number of items were recently serviced, including new tires, and the air conditioning is said to blow ice cold.

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This Imperial impresses and aims to please just as it did in 1981, and we love the model for its garish but sophisticated overtone. While Ricardo Montalban sold a number of Chryslers through the ‘70s and ’80s, Frank Sinatra handled the PR for the new Imperial. He sang songs especially written for the car for television and radio, and Chrysler even introduced the ‘Frank Sinatra Edition’ Imperial in blue-over-blue, to match his eyes, and complete with a collection of Frank Sinatra cassette tapes. Today, these Imperials are finally coming into their own and interest is on the rise, oddly enough with the younger generation of 18- to 20-year-olds – who’d have thought?

Valuation Verdict

According to Hagerty, a 1981 Chrysler Imperial in #2 ‘Excellent’ condition should be worth $9k. This one is finished in a rare color combination, it’s in very original condition with low mileage, and it’s something that can be driven without fear of ruining its value plus the confidence that seeing another one on the road isn’t exactly likely. For all those reasons, we think it’s priced very fair.


People reacted to this car
I have 3 of them if you are interested?
6 months
I am looking for a clean one same color combination
3 hours
where can I find this car
12 months
I have a 1981 lmperial with the same color exterior as this one but mine has matching dark brown leather interior as well. Also has the retro package recall removing the EFI.
1 year
Great car
1 year