Ricardo Montalbán knows he needs a Chrysler Cordoba

Chrysler Cordoba was the name of an intermediate personal luxury coupe sold by Chrysler Corporation in North America from 1975 to 1983. It was the company’s first model produced specifically for the personal luxury market and the first Chrysler-branded vehicle that was less than full-size. Although Córdoba is the name of a city in Spain, the car’s emblem was actually a stylized version of the Argentine cordoba coin. Either way, the implication was Hispanic, and this theme was carried out with somewhat baroque trim inside and by having Mexican movie star Ricardo Montalban as the car’s advertising spokesman.

Ricardo Gonzalo Pedro Montalbán Merino, KCSG (November 25, 1920 – January 14, 2009) was a Mexican television, theatre, and film actor. He had a career spanning decades and multiple notable roles. In 1975, he was chosen as the television spokesman for the new Chrysler Cordoba. The car became a successful model, and over the following several years, was heavily advertised; his mellifluous delivery of a line praising the “soft Corinthian leather” upholstery of the car’s interior, often misquoted as “rich Corinthian leather,” became famous and was much parodied, and Montalbán subsequently became a favorite subject of impersonators. Eugene Levy, for example, frequently impersonated him on SCTV. In 1986, he was featured in a magazine advertisement for the new Chrysler New Yorker.

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