There are few automobiles to which more “firsts” and “lasts” can be awarded than the 1981-1983 Imperial.
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:
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.
1982 Imperial Review