The 1966 Black Beauty

The 1966 Black Beauty

Featured in The Green Hornet

The second car in Dan Rodriguez’s collection is a 1966-style Imperial four-door hardtop featured in the TV series The Green Hornet. The 1966-67 series starred Van Williams as Britt Reid and his alter ego, The Green Hornet. The late Bruce Lee starred as his partner, Kato.

The Black Beauty became known for its various gadgets, such as the rockets loaded in the front end, as well as the surveillance satellite located in the trunk area. Like the George Barris-built 1966 Batmobile, the Black Beauty became an automotive star in its own right.

A little history about the car …

Batman producer William Dozier also produced The Green Hornet. He was unhappy with the job George Barris did with the Batmobile. Indeed, actor Roddy McDowell called the Barris Batmobile a tenement on wheels. Twentieth-Century Fox contacted car customiser Dean Jeffries, asking him to create a car to rival the Batmobile but be a little more realistic.

Mr. Jeffries chose a 1966 Chrysler Crown Imperial for the task; this may have been Chrysler's first prominent TV/Movie car! He created only two cars for the show, one is currently in the hands of a California collector and the other has recently been discovered and is on the East Coast. (Barris created four replicas for touring at car shows but without Jeffries or the studios approval).

Dan’s Black Beauty happens to be another Imperial hardtop sedan, not one of the cars mentioned above. This Black Beauty still turns heads at different comic conventions and other events.

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