1972 Chrysler Imperial

Tad Burness
Way back in August 1971, the Chrysler Corporation sent out an information packet on the then-upcoming 1972 Imperial, which came in handy for this issue of Auto Album. With new sheet metal and an attractive facelift, the 1972 Imperial offered subdued but refined elegance, and enjoyed a longstanding reputation for quality and fine engineering.
Because of government-mandated safety and anti-pollution devices, the horsepower and the compression ratio of Imperial's big 440 c.i.d. V-8 had been cut (from 350 to 335 horsepower) for 1971. And in 1972, the year of the "toothless tigers," horsepower was slashed to 225. In this time of drastic power-cutting across the board, few new car brochures mentioned horsepower figures.
Concealed headlights blended with the grille, and at either end were large, chromed "teardrop" pods, which housed the parking lights.
By 1972, most brands of cars offered cassette-tape players as optional equipment, and then, for a time, came 8-track tape players. One feature Imperial's 1972 publicity release mentioned was its optional tape player that could also make recordings! Most automotive tape decks would play but not record.
Imperial was temporarily discontinued in 1975, returned from 1981 to 1983, and again discontinued as the 1990s began (1990-1993).
Perhaps someday the Imperial might return. And many would also like to see Oldsmobile and Plymouth reinstated.
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