Isabella, 1983 Imperial

This is Isabella, my 1983 Imperial.

I bought her new early in the spring of 1983 between finishing my last college classes and graduation. My internship at a small company that made epoxies turned into a full time position, allowing me the opportunity to indulge. I certainly appreciated driving a new car to graduation!

Other than a brief flirtation with a 1972 Dodge Challenger, I've always leaned towards luxury cars. That 72 Challenger was soon replaced with a 72 Imperial LeBaron, with all the options except the sunroof. Already driving an Imperial, albeit one I purchased used, a new one, Isabella, was perfect.

Bustle back styling was in vogue during the early 1980s. Cadillac introduced their entry earlier than the Imperial, but both were styled at about the same time. I preferred the Imperial's bustle back styling as the angles and shapes were more balanced than the Cadillac's.

I dropped the registration for Isabella in 1993. I was very busy and didn't have time for her. She remained parked in the garage. I occasionally started and ran her in the driveway. Eventually "occasionally" became too infrequent. The gasoline in the tank oxidized, went bad, and turned varnish-like. See the subtopic, bad fuel damage, for information about that.

I finished reassembling Isabella's engine and EFI system July of 2017. Here are a few photos of her the first time she was out of the garage in about twenty-three years.

I bought Isabella to a couple of cruise nights where she was a popular hit. Not many of these cars were built originally and probably very few survived. During 2017 we attended several cruise nights around New Jersey and two car shows. I arrived too late for the car show in Seaside for the judging, but arrived early for the Millstone car show. There, Isabella won her first trophy, a second place win in her age class. The first place winner had been repainted while Isabella wears her factory original 1983 vintage Glacier Blue Metallic Crystal Coat paint.


  • VC4 Glacier Blue Metallic Crystal Coat (1 of 200 in 1983)
  • Dark blue Mark Cross leather interior
  • 1983 model year production 1,555 (1,427 US market)
  • Total 1981-1983 production: 12,385



Isabella, driver's side front quarter.
Isabella, driver's side front quarter


Isabella, driver's side rear quarter.
Isabella, driver's side rear quarter.


Isabella, rear.
Isabella, rear.


Isabella with her first trophy!
Isabella with her first trophy!


Mark Cross leather interior
Mark Cross leather interior


The front armrest, when in the up position, has the Mark Cross logo embossed in the leather.
The front armrest, when in the up position, shows the Mark Cross logo embossed in the leather.


Digital dashboard.
Isabella's digital dashboard. I understand that the instrument cluster has two processors, RCA COSMAC 1802s, I believe. One is dedicated to data updates and the other for the UI.