1966 Chrysler Imperial, 'Black Beauty'
The Green Hornet
Original Chrysler MOPAR power train.
A number of Black Beautys were built for promotion of the television show and licensed for merchandizing, toys and etc. The #1 car was a 1966 Chrysler Imperial rebuilt by Dean Jeffries at a reported cost of $50,000. It was eventually sold to the Peterson Museum. This is the #1 exhibition car displayed at the Motorama museum. The coach builder was Dick Dean, and the car was restored by George Barris.
The Green Hornet was based on a very popular series of radio dramas created by George Trendle. This 1960s series starred Van Williams as the Green Hornet, and Bruce Lee as his driver and number two, Kato. The program opened with the following: Another challenge for the Green Hornet, his aid Kato, and their rolling arsenal the Black Beauty. On police records a wanted criminal, Green Hornet is really Britt Reid, owner-publisher of the Daily Sentinel, his duel identity known only to his secretary and the district attorney. And now, to protect the rights and lives of decent citizens, rides THE GREEN HORNET. And what they road in was the Black Beauty, whose customized equipment included a special exhaust device that spread ice over the road, and brushes behind the rear wheels which, when lowered, swept away tire tracks, rocket launchers, scanners, revolving license plates, and a special non-lethal stinger weapon that could penetrate steel.
An interesting piece of trivia is that The Green Hornet, and his role as chauffer of the Black Beauty, made Bruce Lee a big star in his native Hong Kong where it was known as The Kato Show. This led to his picture deal with Golden Harvest, and his eventual ascent to fame in the United States.
- Please note: The 1966 Chrysler Imperial offered is the #1 exhibition car used in promoting the television series.