The 1966 Fairlane is available with a full range of body styles including the Rancharo or a convertible. The two coupe version could be an entry level model with the "B" pillar behind the drivers door or the high trim pillar-less two door hard top-looking a lot like the convertible shown here. Standard equipment engine this year is a K code 289, but there is a six cylinder on the option sheet and a 390 CID FE V8 for the power option. Mid-year the R-code 427 coupled to a four speed manual transmission is added to the options sheet as well.
Our thanks to Gateway Classic Cars for the images here.
The Trans Am had some visible changes made in 1998 with a new front fascia containing four pop up head lights. The most significant of a number of smaller changes is an addition of a small block V8 to the line-up. There were only 255 Formula Firebird's assembled in 1998. Another rarely seen item is a factory paint color “Bright Metallic Purple” which was quickly discontinued but not before ten coupes and two convertibles left the factory in that color.
The 1999 Firebird turns 30 with a special anniversary edition otherwise the line only receives cosmetic changes but with an increase in the color options available. The basic Formula and Trans Am models came with a four speed automatic transmission but offer a six speed manual with a Hurst shift kit as an option. Most of the Firebird s with a V6 and all models equipped with a V8 have Torson II slip reduction rear axle with traction control as an option.
All the models come with the “Electronic Brake Force Distribution” (EBD) system and anti-lock brakes by Bosch for improved stopping power as standard equipment. Also standard equipment is a “Sensing and Diagnostic Module (SDM) used to measure speed, rpm, throttle position, and brake use in the 5 seconds preceding air bag deployment. With the basic package the Firebird coupe is heavily insulated for better acoustics; also included with most models are; dual air bags, air conditioning, black fixed antenna, and a Delco AM/FM - ETR radio with cassette player complete with a seven band graphic equalizer. The sound system also has touch control, auto replay with a search feature, theft lock, clock, and is wired to add a DVD if desired, all connected to a four coaxial speaker system.
So you can listen to the music in comfort while you do your commute there are fully reclining bucket seats with four way manual adjustment – oh yes and there is a folding rear seat to hold two kids. The driver also has cruise control on the sporty tilt steering wheel with an adjustable steering column. The dash board has an electronic analog read out speedometer with odometer, tachometer, with coolant temperature, oil pressure, voltmeter and LED trip odometer. All of the readouts and gauges are covered by solar ray tinted glass covers. To round out the driver accessories are electric rear and side widow defoggers, right and left hand sport exterior door mounted mirrors, a day/night rear view with two map lights, as well as two sun visor mounted vanity mirrors.
An optional choice are the UPC – MM5 five speed manual or an optional automatic transmission with a shift interlock system either one come with four wheel power ABS disc brakes and speed rated 16” touring tires mounted on bright silver five spoke cast aluminum rims. An optional engine available in 1999 is the UPC – L35-3800 Series II – SFI – V6.
From 1998 to 2002 the appearance and mechanically changed slightly. The engine offers had the addition of an all aluminum 5.7 L V8 which produces 305 hp (227 kW) at 5,200 rpm or the Ram Air WS-6 version in the 2001-2002 models which produces up to 325 hp. All the V8 models had the LS6 intake manifold with a high performance clutch. A Firehawk model produced by SLP sold through dealerships could be equipped with an optional Blackwing intake manifold put out 330 hp in the earlier models but the 2002 Blackwing equipped Firehawk put out 345 hp. Any Firebird with the basic V6 engine will produce 205 hp (153 kW).
The C-body Chrysler Imperial for 1969 is sporting a new fuselage body which gives passengers more room-about 3 ½” more shoulder room in the four door sedan, but the unibody Imperial is no longer or wider than last year. The newly styled cabin is narrow at the rocker panels then wider at shoulder height, narrowing again towards the roof line, like an aircraft’s passenger compartment. The widow glass is curved to fit the new body shape. The Imperial shares a number of the same body panels with the lesser Chrysler Newport, which means a saving in production costs. This Chrysler is looking streamlined and elegant for ’69, with 22,083 discerning customers that chose the Imperial this year. The Imperial, only for 1969, features sequential turn signals, but it’s the last year a pillared sedan is on the table. The newly introduced Imperial LeBaron coupe is 229.7 inches (5834. 38 mm) bumper to bumper, and the line-up is once more, in ’69, the longest post-war personal luxury car, short of a limousine. The only power available is the 440 cu in “Wedgehead” V8 which is coupled to the A727 Torque-Flight Automatic three speed transmission.
There are a few trim changes for 1970 with a new egg crate grill for the front fascia. The “shark gill” parking lights have been dropped in favour a more squared configuration and for’70 only, the fender skirts are also gone, but additional chrome trim is added to the rocker panels, with a vinyl trim offered optionally. The Crown series will be retired at the end of 1970, leaving the LeBaron as a coupe or hardtop the only models available. Production dropped by half- of last year to 11,822 in ‘70.
The Imperial Eagle logo is gone from the hood in 1971 and replaced with the word “Imperial”, while the rear deck has the same name, but adds “by Chrysler”. The ‘71 Chrysler Imperial is the first car made in the states that could be equipped with four-wheel anti-lock brakes. This ABS system is made by Bendix, but it was a seldom chosen option at that time. This makes an ABS equipped Imperial a very uncommon find among the original 11,569 factory produced units. The white or black vinyl roof is a standard feature in ’71, but there were a few Imperial models with factory applied burgundy body paint that have a burgundy vinyl roof, that fades to a purplish color and reveals a paisley pattern underneath. There is speculation that this “Mod Top” may have been leftover vinyl material used for the sportier Dodge or Plymouth units. The material was then printed over for use on the Imperial. A Chrysler designer and spokesperson, Jeffery Godshall, did say, in a “Collectable Automobile” magazine article that: “This is untrue, the vinyl had simply faded, to the purple paisley pattern after exposure to the weather.” Chrysler Corporation replaced a large number of the faulty burgundy tops under full warrantee, but there are still some of these remaining.
As sign of the times in 1972, the Imperial sheet metal is all changed, now with a much more rounded look from a side view, the car is also looking larger and heavier than the first three years of the G4 production. The fuselage style cabin is now more refined, but lacks the character line along each side. This year there is a chrome trim strip over the top of the fender seam running from the rear windows forward. The newly revamped front fascia is an eye catching feature, as are the new vertically configured teardrop taillights, while the rear side marker lights are now in a shield shape with an eagle in the center. The sales pick up a little in ’72 with a total of 15,796 leave the assembly line that year.
For 1973 the Chrysler Imperial is now 235.3 inches (5,977 mm) long with the new impact absorbing bumper guards adding another 5.9 inches (147 mm) making it the longest production car produced on this continent. This is a good year for car sales in N. America with 16,729 of the Chrysler Imperial roll off the assembly line. Two of these, black ones, were sold to the U.S. Secret Service and were last officially used to take President Ronald Regan with his entourage to the swearing in ceremony on Capitol Hill in January, 1981.