Whoa, Black Beauty

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

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.

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