Imperial Home Page -> Imperials by Year -> 1981 -> Rowan Deurloo
Hello Imperial Club,
I wanted to share my story of the 1981-1983 Imperials with you. It begins in the summer of 1983 when I was 13 years old. I was on my way to Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio. I was sitting in the back seat of 1978 Thunderbird, and I happened to look out the window across the freeway. I saw a light blue metallic car that just shimmered in the sunlight like a piece of fine jewelry. I had no idea what in the heck the car could be, I just knew it was impressive, and it would remain a mystery until I turned 16 in 1986. I found out the car I saw a few years back was an Imperial and not just an Imperial, but most likely an FS Edition, and as far as I was concerned the most beautiful car I had ever seen. Once I had figured out what the car was I became obsessed and I wanted one. I bought my first Imperial in 1988 at the age of 18; it was Nightwatch Blue with blue leather. I bought the car from some hood rats in poor condition, and I quickly found that it was too much for an 18 year old to maintain. I was under great pressure from my parents to get rid of the car since they had spent a couple grand on repairs for the car, so I had to sell it. I promised myself that one day I would have another 1981-1983 Imperial, and finally in spring of 2005, I bought another one. On the Imperial Club Classifieds, I found a 1981 Sea Spray Green Imperial with green cloth interior and a power moonroof located in Kansas City. I flew there and drove it back to Seattle. The previous owner of the car wasn't completely honest about the condition of the car, saying the car was basically perfect except for some faded paint, but it had several not-working items. The car on a scale from 1-10 was about a 5, but I now have it up to about an 8 after working on it this past year. I will eventually have back to a perfect 10. The car has its original fuel injection system on it as far as I can tell. Not one component is stamped "remanufactured" like my previous Imperial, and the dates stamped on them say October 1980. Impressive! I don't know how many miles are on the car since there is an asterisk on the odometer and no sticker anywhere to indicate previous mileage. I would guess that the car has about 150,000 miles, judging from wear. The car did exceptionally well making the road trip back to Seattle--I was getting as much as 29-30 mpg, I could not believe it. My previous Imperial got as much as 28 mpg and I thought that was the best possible, but this Imperial is doing even better. I took the scenic route home trying to avoid bad weather in the mountains to the north, so I went through California and headed up to Seattle. The car did really well in the mountain passes. I wondered how it would handle the changes in altitude and pressure, and it handled it all beautifully. I have been driving the car around the Seattle area over the past year and have gotten a lot of attention and compliments on the car. I really love this car and all 1981-1983 Imperials--I think they are the most beautiful cars ever built!
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