Junkyard Gem: 1992 Chrysler Imperial Landau

Yes, Chrysler made a K-Car Imperial.

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The Chrysler Imperial (sold as a separate marque and called, simply, the Imperial for the 1955-83 model years) was at the top of the Chrysler pyramid for many decades. For most of that time, it was a great big opulent statuswagon, slathered with chrome and powered by some of the most potent engines in the Chrysler inventory. For the early 1990s, however, the Imperial became a member of the many-branched K-Car family tree. Here's a solid-looking '92, now in its final parking spot in a Denver self-service wrecking yard.

The 1990-92 Imperial wasn't a bad car, but it also wasn't much like the Imperials of past decades.

Under the hood, the Chrysler 3.8-liter pushrod V6, which went on to a distinguished three-decades-long career in Chrysler minivans and Jeep Wranglers. It made a not-too-shabby-for-the-time 150 horsepower in 1992.

The padded vinyl landau roof was looking extremely dated by the 1990s, but some Imperial buyers still went for this option.

The 1992 Imperial had leather upholstery, but opinions differ as to whether Chrysler still referred to it as Soft Corinthian Leather by this time.

Better than Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Rolls-Royce, and Jaguar, according to this ad. The base price of the '92 Imperial was $26,705 (about 46 grand in inflation-adjusted 2016 dollars). A new 1992 BMW 525i listed at $35,600, while a 1992 Lexus ES300 was $25,250. The $23,500 Mazda 929, with rear-wheel-drive and 190 horses, seems like the steal of 1992 for luxury-car shoppers.

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