Michael Costik's 1981 Imperial

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Here is what Michael had to say about his very nice 1981:

I had a 1982 and sold it about 12 years ago for a Sable station wagon, which I still have. I've always liked the looks of the car, but it did have the ever troublesome EFI, and it finally just became too much of a problem. It was my car, but not reliable enough to trust that it would get me home on any given day, so off it went. At that time I did have a 1964 Lincoln convertible as my collector vehicle. I have since given that car to my youngest son and he now has the enjoyment of that vehicle. My father bought it in 1964 and so it remains in the family.

I was looking for a very nice older car to drive and one of my choices was another Imperial; a nice 1981-1983 model was what I was looking for primarily. Well this past May I spotted this one for sale on-line and proceeded to close the deal for it. It arrived in a closed van on July 4 of last year (2011). I proceeded to do the normal inspection and detailing of the car, and this past October it was entered in the AACA show here in middle Tennessee. It was in the production class, 1972-1986, and took first place with ease. It is a phenomenal vehicle with just 21,400 miles on the odometer. It, of course, had been converted by Chrysler to a carburetor, not the usual 2 bbl., but with a 4 bbl. I have the 2 bbl. that was supposed to be installed to boot along with the original EFI computer. A chrysler alarm system is also installed on this car.

Now for the good stuff. I am the third owner. It has always been garaged, a So. California car, and never driven in the rain, so..... no rust at all, anywhere. I have been all over it and under it, and it is spotless. The paint, Day Star blue, is "perfect" save for a couple of incredibly small chips, the chrome and trim are "perfect", as is the Navy Blue Mark Cross leather interior. By the way, I have the umbrella, portfolio, with literature, the key fob, with 2 crystal keys, and the garage door opener. The front driver-side floor mat is a bit worn, but I have a new set for shows, along with any other literature that was published by Chrysler for this model year. Of course, complete documentation, dealer invoice, window sticker, original bill of sale the the first owner, along with maintenance records, some California inspection slips, and the 2 service manuals.

Is that enough? Probably, but just one more item. If you follow this link.... Hemmings Article you'll see what I mean by "this IS a very special car".

I hope you enjoy the pictures,

Michael Costik


Click on photos to see larger versions


Read more about 1981 Imperials, and Michael Costik's 1981 Imperial in this online magazine:



Here are two photos of Michael's 1982 Imperial, which he no longer owns:




- - UPDATE 2021 - -

This is an update of my original submission. I've learned a lot about the car over the years, from the previous owners, so a revision is in order.




After a bit of haggling, friendly haggling, with the previous owner, Derek McDivitt, this unit showed up at my home on July 4, 2011, and was nicer than I could have dreamed. After a very light detailing, and I do mean light, it was ready for the AACA show in Franklin, TN. It took first, in its class and in eight subsequent shows over the past ten years, as well as runner up Best in Show a couple years ago at the local Mopar Club show. It is exceptional in every way. Interior, exterior, engine compartment, trunk and undercarriage.



Click on photos to see larger versions




There are now a total of 22,551 miles on the odometer; 19,000 from the original owner, James Patnode, 2,000 from the second, and 1,400 from me. Pampered, of course, but not a "Trailer Queen." It is driven a bit, to keep her loose and in shape, to shows, and to the local cars and coffee on Saturday mornings every so often.




The paint failed, and according the first owner, was repainted by Chrysler, at an outside shop, totally disassembled, reassembled after painting, but with a custom color, a bit darker than the original VC-1 Day Star Blue. I could not find a match for it, even using reflectometry. The closest is a 1996 Ford truck color. Ok for touch ups, but that's it. It's never been used. The interior is the navy blue Mark Cross leather. Perfect in every way, as is the carpeting. I have an unused set of front floor mats for shows.




The EFI system was replaced with a four barrel carburetor, not the standard 2bbl retrofit. This added 30hp, which is nice, considering the original output was 140hp. The original aircleaner fits, preserving the look of the engine compartment.




Notably, other than it's success at the local shows, it has been featured twice in Hemming's Classic Cars, Hemming's Motor News, in the May 2012 issue of oldcarmemories.com, as well as "Fan Car Friday" on FantomWorks, November 16, 2018. I've done searches online, and found that many photos of 1981 Imperials, are of this car. Ten, the last time I looked.





Two of my former Chrysler autos that led me to this one.




This is a very exceptional vehicle, and I'm fortunate to have found it and owned it for ten years. Rare and unique is the best way to describe it! Beautiful, is another!

MJ Costik



This page was last updated August 2021. Send us your feedback, and come join the Imperial Mailing List - Online Car Club