Frank Sinatra in a Chrysler Imperial, 1980

THE WAY IT WAS


Published:

1980

 

 

Yes, that’s Ol’ Blue Eyes behind the wheel of a brand-new 1981 Chrysler Imperial. It was presented to Frank Sinatra in Detroit by his pal, Chrysler Chairman Lee Iacocca, in gratitude for Sinatra’s agreeing to promote the car without charge while the automaker was struggling to avoid bankruptcy. Sinatra appeared in print ads and television commercials in which he sang a specially penned song about the luxurious car called “It’s Time” … for Imperial. There was even a Frank Sinatra Edition of the auto, available only in Glacier Blue Crystal — supposedly to match the color of the singer’s celebrated peepers. That special edition included badging and a Mark Cross leather case with 16 cassette tapes of Sinatra songs. The Imperial had been made since 1926, but it didn’t have its own marque until 1955, so it could compete more directly with its luxury rivals — Cadillac and Lincoln. The Imperial was manufactured until 1975, then returned from 1981 to 1983.


If you enjoy the monthly content in Hour Detroit, "Like" us on Facebook and/or follow us on Twitter for more frequent updates.

Edit Module
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

Web Exclusive: Meeting the Beatles

Fifty years ago, a Detroit-area teenager won a contest to meet The Beatles.

Rocking in Style

John Varvatos and Alice Cooper talk about their musical and fashion influences — and Detroit’s comeback

Well-Versed in Classics

DSO oboe player tools around town in a rare pair of turquoise 1962 Lincoln Continentals

All Dressed Up & Ready ...

Cobo Center is still a work in progress, but Auto Show visitors will notice a host of improvements

One Night Only: Steven Spielberg and John Williams at the DSO

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. The Makings of the Shinola Hotel
    When the Detroit brand’s first foray into hospitality opens its doors, it’ll offer customers...
  2. My Two Christmases
    An Armenian-Iranian, Detroit-based writer reflects on transposing the holiday across continents
  3. New Year’s Eve, Brooklyn Style
    Tips for celebrating 2019 from the pros at Brooklyn Outdoor
  4. Main Review: SheWolf
    Born in Detroit but inspired by Rome, SheWolf takes diners on a culinary journey
  5. The Art of Gifting
    Metro Detroit tastemakers from all walks of life offer a glimpse of what’s on their holiday...
  6. Comeback Catering
    Dish, in Detroit, pushes through hard times with consistently delicious food
  7. Meet the Makers: Tait Design Co.
    How an after-work hobby ascended to a booming business
  8. Precious Metals
    Layering necklaces, stacking rings, and placing bangle upon glitzy bangle: a definitive guide to...
  9. Food Recipe: Braised Beef Brisket
    Chef Aaron Lowen, of Empire Kitchen & Cocktails, shares one of his favorite holiday recipes
  10. An Hour with ... Ricki Friedman
    Founder, Break the Weight