1966 chrysler imperial “black beauty”
The Vault presented by Hagerty®
Customized by Dean Jeffries
Built in a mere four weeks by legendary Hollywood customizer Dean Jeffries (and one of two originally built), this was the main on-screen car for the original “Green Hornet” TV series in the late ‘60s. This modified 1966 Imperial called "Black Beauty" was driven during filming by Lee and served as the crime-fighting team’s on-screen transportation. In the ‘60s, superhero cars had to have practical effects – so Black Beauty’s license plate rotates; front-mounted “rockets” and “night vision” headlights are revealed. It could create a smoke screen or spread tacks on the road to puncture the tires of pursuing vehicles, and it was fitted with a television camera that could see many miles ahead. In the rear, twin brooms can be deployed to sweep up your trail if you’re riding on a rough road. “Green Hornet” was produced by the same company that made “Batman” a hit show, but the Green Hornet and his faithful servant Kato (played by Bruce Lee, early in the kung-fu legend’s acting career) never became as popular. When three crossover episodes between the superhero series failed to draw sufficient ratings, “Green Hornet” was cancelled after one season. Bruce Lee returned to Hong Kong, where he found that a dubbed version of “Green Hornet” known as “The Kato Show” was a local hit. Bruce Lee later rose to global fame in 1972 with Way of the Dragon. This car was later restored by Dean Jeffries himself.