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29 IMPERIALS = 1 BLACK BEAUTY

To film scenes of the car used by the Green Hornet, the picture car coordinator had to provide the production with 29 1964-66 Chrysler Imperials. Some of the cars had to be modified with roll cages, several were cut in half and another had to be made strong enough to survive jumps. Here's a rundown on how the 29 cars were used for the making of The Green Hornet movie. -New York Times News Service

- One car was kept in pristine stock condition before it was modified into Black Beauty. On another, a chassis was modified with a Chevrolet V-8 and other items to show the car under construction. Two cars appear as stock Imperials before the transformation into Black Beauty, but include roll cages and Chevrolet big block V-8s for stunts. One Black Beauty body was used to depict the car under construction.

- One Black Beauty shows the car in its perfect state.

- Some of the cars had to be strengthened for jumps and crashes. To test how much punishment the Imperial could take, one was dropped about 15 feet from a crane. "We ran out of crane before we ran out of car," Dennis McCarthy, the coordinator, said about the Imperial, which is renowned for its toughness. One Black Beauty was equipped with a smaller Chevrolet V-8, roll cage and modified suspension to perform the jumps, which included a scene of the car flying through a window. Another car was needed to complete that scene, which shows Black Beauty buried nose first in the ground like a lawn dart. One Black Beauty was also built with a reinforced side so it could be hit by a truck.

-One car had a driving pod mounted on its roof so a stunt driver could pilot during filming inside the car with the camera looking out.

- Two cars show different levels of bullet damage.

- One Black Beauty was built to be chopped in half on screen; one had the front drive powertrain from an old Cadillac Eldorado so it could be driven after being cut in half; and another was a half car for a scene in which it was buried.

- One nonrunning Black Beauty was built to show off its exotic weapons.

- Four Black Beauties were built as nonrunning "process" cars - parts and pieces that could be assembled or disassembled for shooting against a green screen with backgrounds digitally added later.

- Seven Black Beauties were modified for stunt work with large Chevrolet V-8s, racing brakes and roll cages.

- Finally, one car simply donated its parts to all the others.

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