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1965 Imperial Crown Sedan – Green Hornet Black Beauty

Classics  /   /  By Steve Haas

eBay Listing: 1965 Imperial Crown Green Hornet Black Beauty

There are collector cars and then there are cars that interest collectors of all things. Movie fans with no particular automotive passion often covet items used during the filming of movies and this auction features such a vehicle. Still titled in the name of the Sony Pictures Studio, this car was used for some portions of the 2011 film, The Green Hornet, starring Seth Rogen and Jay Chou.

We hesitate to mention this car in the same sentence as the Batmobile which recently sold for millions. As a cultural and vehicular icon, the Green Hornet’s Imperial doesn’t quite come close, but let’s look at this car in two ways.

1965 Imperial Crown Green Hornet Black Beauty

Let’s start with the car itself:

As many people may not know, Imperial was sold as a stand alone luxury brand by its parent, Chrysler, for many years. The nameplate was later sold as the Chrysler Imperial model, but in 1965, the car didn’t say Chrysler on the body. As a clean, low mileage and mostly original Imperial Crown 4-door hardtop this is an interesting car in its own right.

The hardtop body sported windows that opened completely from the A-pillar to the rear of the passenger doors. This was also a huge car, with room to spare, a 340 hp V8 and road-hugging weight of around 5,000 pounds. This example is said to have only 48,000 original miles and to run well, but the description and photos in the listing are both light in detail. These were luxurious vehicles and came loaded with all of the technology of the time. This makes them difficult to restore. According to the seller, this car was chosen by the movie studio for the film precisely because it was so original and ran well.

1965 Imperial Crown Green Hornet Black Beauty

Movie Provenance:

The main car in the movie was a highly modified version complete with machine guns and rockets. The car here was reportedly used in establishing the back-story. It has a few small modifications (green tinted headlight glass, different wheels with Green Hornet insignias, and a strange lever mounted on the driver’s door that comes with no explanation from the seller. That said, Imperial Crowns are imposing cars in their own rights and the black color and movie tie ins just make this one an even better conversation-starter.

1965 Imperial Crown Green Hornet Black Beauty interior

Sales of Imperials are pretty rare on eBay, in fact, our CollectorCarPriceTracker came up blank for results of sales for any 1965 Imperials. For values, we turned to Hagerty’s Price Guide, that puts the average value of a 1965 Imperial Crown 4-door hardtop at around $8,900 with the best examples around $20,000. For budding collectors with large garages, these offer a LOT of car for the money, literally. With a starting bid of $18,000, this car appears to be about market correct, especially given it’s low miles and mostly original condition. We can’t really say what value the market places on the movie history, but we are definitely curious to see where this sale ends.

For those interested in the entire package, the seller is also offering the Kato suit, hat, and mask worn by Jay Chou during the filming of the movie.

eBay Listing: 1965 Imperial Crown Green Hornet Black Beauty

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  1. JIm Brawders April 12, 2013 at 10:38 am Reply

    While movies like The Green Hornet may heighten awareness for a particular car, as an Imperial collector it angers me that Sony destroyed 11 65-66 Imperials in the making of the movie. (they bought 12 good examples and I am assuming this is the one that survived relatively intact) I would certainly rather see those cars still on the road in collectors hands vs being destroyed for the filming of a Hollywood movie.
    Or any classic car, which is irreplacable, for that matter.

    • vic April 15, 2013 at 12:34 pm Reply

      Could not agree more about destroying cars for movies. That Detroit iron and steel, once gone is gone for good.

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