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Imperial

When automakers find a successful niche, they traditionally look to expand their line and compete  for market share in different price ranges, and the Chrysler Corporation did this with the Imperial brand that they launched in 1955. General Motors' upscale luxury brand, the Cadillac, was standing virtually unchall...enged, and Chrysler decided to put its best foot forward and offer an alternative. The cars were big and comfortable, with automatic transmissions, and the Imperials were powered by V8 engines.

The Imperial was improved each year, and they endeavored to innovate and offer features that were exclusive to their line. What we now call "cruise control" made its first appearance in the 1958 Imperial, and in 1959 the cars came equipped with front seats that would automatically swivel. The Imperial lasted through 1975, and it was brought back briefly from 1981-1983. The car was featured in a number of iconic movies and television shows. The character Kato, who was played by the legendary Bruce Lee in The Green Hornet series on TV, drove a modified Imperial. Lee Marvin drives an Imperial in the movie Point Blank; Joe Don Baker crashes his Imperial in the motion picture Charley Varrick;  and Burt Reynolds drives an Imperial limo is the 1984 film Stick.

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