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MarkV

1981 Chrysler Imperial Frank Sinatra Edition?

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Don't forget the early eighties recession, Chryslers shaky image, the immense popularity of the then-current Eldorado and the (mistaken) perception that its styling was cribbed from the Seville... throw in the EFI troubles and the Imperial was doomed in fairly short order.

I always loved these cars and if I had the space I'd have one occupying it.

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"The Imperials were produced with attention to detail unlike any car at the time and aside from the EFI I would agree. My car even after 30 years is solid no rattles and the only thing that seems flimsy is the plastic dash trim. Other than that feels more substantial than my 81 Eldorado Biarritz."

planetcadillac, I seem to remember the Imperial assembly line was made up of very experienced UAW workers who were hand picked for the job on the FS cars Anyone else remember this? The advertising had Lee Iacocca shilling it and Frank tunes in the background. It's nice to see one with the EFI still on it and running well. It was probably better than the GM Cross-Fire Injection system and most of them have been tossed also. I'm a huge fan of these cars, and some day when I get tired of one of my Cadi's I'll be looking for one.

I have an 81 Eldorado Biarritz with the funky V864 system. Mine works but you can simply unplug it if it gives trouble. Which most did out of warranty. Otherwise its a nice but different car than the Imperial. The Imperial of course is RWD and with a tall rear end is more of a cruiser than a play car. Chrysler always was know for relatively overplush interiors and the Mark Cross seats lavalier straps and the crystals certainly do it. The Eldo is more Hollywood - FWD - stainless roof - wire wheels - etc. I prefer Cadillacs as my hobby although I enjoy this Imperial immensely. If only because everywhere I go it gets looks because either no one knows what it is or they remember it far far back.

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The 81 to 83 Imperial was one of the best looking cars of its time, and one of the most expensive at $25,000. I don't know how many sold for that price but that was the MSRP when they were announced.

For that sum they were fully equipped even down to the garage door opener. I think the only options were moon roof and aluminum wheels.

I nearly bought one about 20 years ago, the owner said he still had the leather bound owner's manual and would call me as soon as he found it but I guess he never did because I am still waiting for him to call.

If you are a Sinatra fan and like the car, buy it. Especially if it comes complete with all the factory accessories and tapes. That is a big chunk of the value right there, and that stuff must be about impossible to replace.

They will never be cheaper than they are right now. Whether they will go up in value I can't say without a crystal ball.

If I found one in decent shape but with a modified engine and not complete. I would be seriously tempted to install the latest 5.7 Hemi V8, overdrive trans and a lower geared rear axle and call it "The Imperialist".

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Guest mystarcollectorcar.com

We are talking about the legend known as Frank Sinatra, a production car that was nearly hand built,an FI system unique to this car,options unique to this car and other state of the art (at the time) technology wrapped in a nice looking package.

Gentlemen-this is a no brainer at current prices for the FS Impy.As Lee Iaccoca said at the time -even if he was referring to the K car "if you can find a better car for the price buy it".

Edited by Rawja (see edit history)

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From checking prices on car sale mash it appears prices have already doubled from what they were 5 years ago. At that time I saw nice complete low mile examples offered for $2500 to $4500. Run of the mill,average mile average condition $500 - $1000.

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A guy casually offered me $6500 at the Charlotte show a couple of weeks ago. I suppose the market may bear more if you really worked the sale. I am sure prices will rise accordingly once the economy fully turns around and people spend money again (it is funny even people that have plenty of money even act broke in this bad economy) and the cars age more.

Currently it doesnt cost me anything more than the small insurance fee (Hagearty charges me $250 a year for 2 cars) and incidental amount of gas I use for shows and what not. So it can sit until I retire (lol...). Mostly it attracts attention because of the novelty. Even MOPAR guys look at it because in a sea of `Cudas and Chargers its still unique.

I assume the prices quoted were for Imeprials in general and mostly carb-converted models. I can only imagine that FS and pure original EFI models would command premiums because of their additional rarity.

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$6500 is about the mark today for a real good one. Average ones in rather worn condition may be had for $1000 to $2500.

The prices I was quoting were 5 years old, illustratiing your point that they are gathering collector interest and appreciation.

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$6500 is about the mark today for a real good one. Average ones in rather worn condition may be had for $1000 to $2500.

The prices I was quoting were 5 years old, illustratiing your point that they are gathering collector interest and appreciation.

That's a fair price for such a unique car. It would pay you to buy only a very nice FS as the cost of even a good quality paint let alone hard to find parts will quickly outpace the price of the good one.

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I had one of these 81 Imperials in 88. One owner, low miles and it was by far and away the worst car in every possible aspect I have ever owned.

I didn't trust that rattling, wandering, stinky unreliable uncomfortable hunk O' crap as far as I could throw it.

And I'm a Mopar guy.

After 3 yrs of ownership, 8 months of driving I gleefully watched as the local metal recycler crushed that evil demon into a 2 foot high block.

The reason they are all low milers is they won't go anywhere without SOMETHING breaking or literally falling off (like most of the trim). Hence most owners parked them.

Wouldn't take one for a gift.

Also had a Newport of the same body...same thing. Junk.

Now the 76 Imperial I had was another story altogether. Not perfect by a longshot but a very very nice car. The 70 New Yorker 4 dr hrdtp was nice, too.

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Guest mystarcollectorcar.com
I had one of these 81 Imperials in 88. One owner, low miles and it was by far and away the worst car in every possible aspect I have ever owned.

I didn't trust that rattling, wandering, stinky unreliable uncomfortable hunk O' crap as far as I could throw it.

And I'm a Mopar guy.

After 3 yrs of ownership, 8 months of driving I gleefully watched as the local metal recycler crushed that evil demon into a 2 foot high block.

The reason they are all low milers is they won't go anywhere without SOMETHING breaking or literally falling off (like most of the trim). Hence most owners parked them.

Wouldn't take one for a gift.

Also had a Newport of the same body...same thing. Junk.

Now the 76 Imperial I had was another story altogether. Not perfect by a longshot but a very very nice car. The 70 New Yorker 4 dr hrdtp was nice, too.

Just like any car on the planet you can get stuck with a lemon (this was clearly an example). Not surprising given that the parent company was in some pretty serious whitewater.

But the fact remains that these FS Imperials are a really solid, low-end, roll of the dice investment in 2010.You won't retire in another tax bracket but your money won't go backwards either.

Edited by mystarcollectorcar.com (see edit history)

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I own a low mileage 82FS w/carb and a beat up 81 imp. The 81 will end up with either a 6.1 HEMI or maybe a 8.3 Viper motor.

The 81-83 Imperials are pretty much worthless right now, so I say buy the best one you can to enjoy, and buy every $100-$500 parts car you can. As a real car guy I LOVE the styling and ride of the Imperial, it's better than my 91 Fleetwood Brougham or my 76 Eldo convertible. Nobody knows what it is and when you tell them the little gold "FS" is a Sinatra model they snicker until you show them Frank's signature on the center console. Fast, no way, comfortable, very. The carpet is way over the top, reminds me of those fuzzy toliet tank sets my parent had in the 70's, but I tell you these cars are just cool. Buy one and enjoy it, or tell me where it is and i'll buy another :-)

If you want to increase value of these cars it's easy, just keep the ones on the road and at the shows looking good, and hide all other from public view.

You guys remember the IROC Camaro's of the late 80's. They were great, and everywhere. Now you can find one that has matching wheels and is driven by a LEGAL resident.....that's what happens to cars as they age. As collectibilty is a very difficult beast to predict. Just buy what appeals to YOU and makes YOU happy. Whoever thought Yugo's and AMC's would be worth money??? They are now though :D

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First:

I like Frank's music~

Just have to wonder how much involvement Frank really had in designing the "FS Edition" special features ?

What and How was he paid to lend his name to this project ? Lump sum payment or so-much per unit sold ?

And Finally~ Do you really think that old Frank drove one of these on a regular basis ?

As for me~

I'm holding out until they finally release the much anticipated Very Special Joan Rivers Limited Edition KIA that will ONLY be sold very late at night on QVC ! ;-)

Edited by Silverghost (see edit history)

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I've heard Frank got a Million bucks, as a lump-sum, but i believe it was much more of a friend helping a friend type of deal. Ol' Blue eyes and Lee Iacocca were buddy's from back in the day.

As to Frank's input on the car, I'd guess there was none. I'd suspect he was presented with the concept, had his ass kissed a LOT and said, sure looks good to me.

The cars were standard Imperials, only came in Glacier Blue and could have leather or Cloth (mine is cloth). The "FS" got you 3 gold plated emblems (1 on trunk, 1 one on each front fender) and then the center console which was NOT available on non FS models. The final touch was a set of Sinatra cassette tapes in a Mark Cross leather cassette carrying case (remember those?)......

If you want to gamble on an 81-83 Imp ever being worth anything, the "FS" model would be your best bet for sure.

I'd love to see these Imperials become collectible, i think they have all the right stuff. they were the 1st car with this type of EFI, they were the LAST rear-wheel drive mopar coupe (until recent history) and the styling of the car was just that, STYLE. It wasn't about function, it was all about looks. The front of that car looks both classy as a luxury car, and down right mean looking as a hotrod.

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Gorgeous.

And no dot over the odometer! :D

This is the car that is out of my region. Past GVACS Region President (Ron DeGroff) and his son (Peter) own this car. The car was bought brand new by Ron's father in-law, and shortly after the car was bought, Ron's father in-law died. The car had been in storage for the better part of 25 years, and in 2007 it went to Binghamton (without the 'P') and won its' First Junior. This car is completely original.

Just to add to the history, this car was nominated for an AACA National Award in 2010. As of Friday, Ron & Peter are waiting to find out whether or not they won it. Keep your fingers crossed for them....:):)

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Is it true that the only songs that the car radio will play are Frank's songs ?

I would rig the car to play MY WAY every time the door was opened ! ;-)

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One thing that seems to have been overlooked is, is it in good original condition, as compared to restored. Most collector will pay more for unrestored, pristine condition originals.

Usually 10%+ more.

I have 1983 Imperial (original owner) since new. The color is called Beige Crystal. The interior is beige and brown. Overall the car still in very good condition, I've always received a lot of compliments on it. I really love this car.

I'm looking for anther one with different color, maybe white and red or other color combination.<O:p

What to pay:<O:p

<TABLE style="mso-cellspacing: 1.5pt" class=MsoNormalTable border=0 cellPadding=0><TBODY><TR style="mso-yfti-irow: 0; mso-yfti-firstrow: yes"><TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; PADDING-LEFT: 0.75pt; PADDING-RIGHT: 0.75pt; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; PADDING-TOP: 0.75pt">

<O:p

</TD><TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; PADDING-LEFT: 0.75pt; PADDING-RIGHT: 0.75pt; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; PADDING-TOP: 0.75pt">

LOW<O:p

</TD><TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; PADDING-LEFT: 0.75pt; PADDING-RIGHT: 0.75pt; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; PADDING-TOP: 0.75pt">

AVERAGE<O:p

</TD><TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; PADDING-LEFT: 0.75pt; PADDING-RIGHT: 0.75pt; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; PADDING-TOP: 0.75pt">

HIGH<O:p

</TD></TR><TR style="mso-yfti-irow: 1"><TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; PADDING-LEFT: 0.75pt; PADDING-RIGHT: 0.75pt; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; PADDING-TOP: 0.75pt">1981 Hardtop coupe

</TD><TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; PADDING-LEFT: 0.75pt; PADDING-RIGHT: 0.75pt; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; PADDING-TOP: 0.75pt">$2,000

</TD><TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; PADDING-LEFT: 0.75pt; PADDING-RIGHT: 0.75pt; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; PADDING-TOP: 0.75pt">$4,500

</TD><TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; PADDING-LEFT: 0.75pt; PADDING-RIGHT: 0.75pt; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; PADDING-TOP: 0.75pt">$7,000

</TD></TR><TR style="mso-yfti-irow: 2"><TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; PADDING-LEFT: 0.75pt; PADDING-RIGHT: 0.75pt; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; PADDING-TOP: 0.75pt">1981 Frank Sinatra ed.

</TD><TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; PADDING-LEFT: 0.75pt; PADDING-RIGHT: 0.75pt; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; PADDING-TOP: 0.75pt">$2,500

</TD><TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; PADDING-LEFT: 0.75pt; PADDING-RIGHT: 0.75pt; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; PADDING-TOP: 0.75pt">$5,000

</TD><TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; PADDING-LEFT: 0.75pt; PADDING-RIGHT: 0.75pt; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; PADDING-TOP: 0.75pt">$8,000

</TD></TR><TR style="mso-yfti-irow: 3"><TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; PADDING-LEFT: 0.75pt; PADDING-RIGHT: 0.75pt; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; PADDING-TOP: 0.75pt">1982 Hardtop coupe

</TD><TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; PADDING-LEFT: 0.75pt; PADDING-RIGHT: 0.75pt; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; PADDING-TOP: 0.75pt">$2,000

</TD><TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; PADDING-LEFT: 0.75pt; PADDING-RIGHT: 0.75pt; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; PADDING-TOP: 0.75pt">$5,000

</TD><TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; PADDING-LEFT: 0.75pt; PADDING-RIGHT: 0.75pt; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; PADDING-TOP: 0.75pt">$7,500

</TD></TR><TR style="mso-yfti-irow: 4"><TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; PADDING-LEFT: 0.75pt; PADDING-RIGHT: 0.75pt; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; PADDING-TOP: 0.75pt">1982 Frank Sinatra ed.

</TD><TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; PADDING-LEFT: 0.75pt; PADDING-RIGHT: 0.75pt; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; PADDING-TOP: 0.75pt">$2,500

</TD><TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; PADDING-LEFT: 0.75pt; PADDING-RIGHT: 0.75pt; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; PADDING-TOP: 0.75pt">$5,500

</TD><TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; PADDING-LEFT: 0.75pt; PADDING-RIGHT: 0.75pt; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; PADDING-TOP: 0.75pt">$8,000

</TD></TR><TR style="mso-yfti-irow: 5; mso-yfti-lastrow: yes"><TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; PADDING-LEFT: 0.75pt; PADDING-RIGHT: 0.75pt; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; PADDING-TOP: 0.75pt">1983 Hardtop coupe

</TD><TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; PADDING-LEFT: 0.75pt; PADDING-RIGHT: 0.75pt; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; PADDING-TOP: 0.75pt">$2,000

</TD><TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; PADDING-LEFT: 0.75pt; PADDING-RIGHT: 0.75pt; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; PADDING-TOP: 0.75pt">$4,000

</TD><TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; PADDING-LEFT: 0.75pt; PADDING-RIGHT: 0.75pt; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; PADDING-TOP: 0.75pt">$6,000

</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

post-47157-143138490723_thumb.jpg

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Looks like your car has the 8 track player instead of the cassette player, correct? Mine has the cassette player. Your car is gorgeous. I currently have one that I'm restoring and I hope one day it'll look like yours! Mine already had the EFI conversion though, but other than that it's original.

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I would agree that there were probably a lot of cases where the EFI was si I used to have a 76 Seville with EFI and that was the first year of true EFI on a car available in the US and it was unique

Just a little correction the 1975 Chevrolet Cosworth Vega was the first EFI

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Looks like your car has the 8 track player instead of the cassette player, correct? Mine has the cassette player. Your car is gorgeous. I currently have one that I'm restoring and I hope one day it'll look like yours! Mine already had the EFI conversion though, but other than that it's original.

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I actually knew about the EFI systems in the 1958 MoPar products for quite some time. It took me a little time to find proof of what I knew.

Rambler could have been the first in 57 but they chose not to produce any.

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