1982 Imperial
1982 Imperial

There are few automobiles to which more “firsts” and “lasts” can be awarded than the 1981-1983 Imperial.

High-End Haunches: The Luxury Bustlebacks of 1982

Often referred to as the “bustleback” Imperial, this distinctively designed luxury coupe can also be credited with a few “only” awards as well. Let’s break these distinctions down:


Imperial Sinatra Tapes
Frank Sinatra Edition Imperials included a box set of Old Blue Eyes’ music.

The bustleback Imperial was the first…

  • Chrysler product to feature electronic throttle-body fuel injection
  • Chrysler product to feature electronic instrumentation
  • Chrysler product with a digital trip computer
  • Chrysler product to break the $20,000 barrier


The bustleback Imperial was the last…

  • Rear-drive Imperial
  • V8-powered Imperial
  • Stand-alone Imperial (subsequent Imperials would be Chrysler models)


The bustleback Imperial was the only…

  • Chrysler to be offered as a “one-price” car (see pricing below)
  • Chrysler car to be offered with a fuel-injected 318-cubic-inch V8
  • Car to be offered with a licensed Frank Sinatra trim level


These Imperials didn’t sell well at all, with 1982 sales coming in at just 3466.

Consumer Guide’s reaction to the 1982 Imperial was mixed, as you’ll read below. If you’ve ever been lucky enough to spend time in or around one of these bustleback rarities, please tell us about it. The place for comments is down below.

The 12 Slowest Cars of 1983*


1982 Imperial Review

1982 Imperial Review

Model-Year Madness! 10 Classic Ads From 1982


1982 Chrysler Imperial Review

Mainstream Mainstay: 1977-1995 Chrysler LeBaron


1982 Chrysler Imperial Review

Goodbye Gran Fifthlomat: The Chrysler M-Body Cars of 1989


1982 Chrysler Imperial Review

Review Flashback! 1989 Chrysler Fifth Avenue

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