Whoa, Black Beauty

The Green Hornet's Chrysler Imperial is locked and loaded.

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    <b>Click though the slideshow for details on the Black Beauty's weaponry.</b>
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    <b>1. Ballistic-certified polycarbonate glass</b>
    The transparent armor in the windows protects passengers from gang bangers and LAPD.
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    <b>2. Door-mounted 12 Gauge AR-15s</b>
    Each front door contains four guns hidden inside; at the pull of a lever, they fire in sequence.
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    <b>3. FIM-92A Stinger missiles</b>
    The Black Beauty packs 12 heat-seeking antiaircraft weapons—eight up front, four in back.
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    <b>4. M2 flamethrower</b>
    Originally used by U.S. forces in WWII, this weapon can throw flaming gasoline up to 132 feet.
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    <b>5. Dual M1919 Browning machine guns</b>
    Controlled from the front seat, these .30 caliber machine guns retract into the engine compartment when not in use.
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    <b>6. 4.6mm ARMOX ballistic steel- reinforced exterior</b>
    This heavy armor plating beneath the Beauty’s skin can be more than twice as hard as regular stainless steel.
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    <b>7. Rear M1919A6 Browning machine gun</b>
    Hidden in the trunk, this lighter version of the front cannons requires someone in the trunk to fire it.
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    <b>8. Wheel-mounted spikes</b>
    When deployed, these retractable blades are strong enough to tear through other cars with ease.

Story: Will Sabel Courtney

Illustration: Todd Schmidt

While the DVD box for the film The Green Hornet lacks its name, the Chrysler Imperial known as the Black Beauty has as much of a starring role as the lead characters. In the film, the Black Beauty serves as the ride of choice for Seth Rogen’s Green Hornet and Jay Chou’s Kato, a pair of costumed heroes who lack superpowers but have (in Chou’s case) incredible martial-arts skills or (in Rogen’s case) a desire to kick ass and take names.

Twenty-nine separate Imperials were used to portray the Beauty, each designed for a different task: three “hero cars” with clean exteriors and complete interiors, two cars with working flamethrowers, one car whose machine guns actually retract into the hood and so on. According to motion picture car coordinator Dennis McCarthy, “the classic Imperial frame is unbelievably stout. It’s so much easier to deal with the simplicity of a ’60s car.” It may be almost 50 years old, but this is one beauty that looks better with age…and a whole bunch of weapons.