In advance of the premiere of Car Lot Rescues on February 10th, we decided to explore our favorite junkers from movies that could have used a little rescuing of their own.
1983 Ford LTD Country Squire from "National Lampoon's Vacation
This pea green monstrosity is synonymous with the film itself and perfectly encapsulates the blissful ignorance and unabashed enthusiasm of its protagonist, Clark Griswold.
1978 Mercury Grand Marquis, "Uncle Buck"
An oft overlooked classic and, in this author's opinion, John Candy's best. Like the Griswolds' wagon, the car is a metaphor for the title character: it's not going to be a smooth or consistent ride, but it's going to get you where you need to go.
The Deathmobile (1964 Lincoln Continental) from "Animal House"
As a child, I dreamed of one day owning something like the tricked out junker the boys of Delta Tau Chi use to terrorize the homecoming parade. As an adult, it's no longer a dream. It's a possibility, and I'm saving up for it.
The Batmobile, "Batman Forever"
One of the things fans of Batman have to overlook is the absurdity of The Batmobile. Let's put aside the idea of someone going so far in their gimmick as to model a car after a bat; Batman in many interpretations is supposed to be a stealthy guy who keeps a low profile. How would that work with a car that vaguely resembles a bat speeding around the streets of Gotham at eighty miles an hour? Yet even the most absurd design was excusable until Joel Schumacher took the reins of the franchise with "Batman Forever," a gaudy mess that turned the batmobile from a slick, simple vehicle to a design that resembled something you'd see in a National Geographic special about weird fish that live in the bottom of the ocean.
1984 Ford Econoline, "Dumb and Dumber"
One of the hardest things about becoming an adult is having to decide between spending your life savings on recreating The Deathmobile from "Animal House" or the dogged-up Shaggin' Wagon from "Dumb and Dumber."
That Whack Pseudo-Futuristic Taxi from "Total Recall"
Apparently, in the future, the automobile industry will take its inspiration from a roller skate. Yet I think I'd rather be caught in a pair of stinky rentals from the local rink than this monstrosity. There were so many cool things about this movie. This taxi was not
one of them.
1973 Ford Torino (The Dude's Car), "The Big Lebowski"
The heartbreaking theft of The Dude's car is the film's McGuffin, though he does ultimately get the car back. The Dude abides.
1974 Dodge Monaco Sedan (The Bluesmobile), "The Blues Brothers"
The lighter didn't work and it could have used a paint job, but it helped them complete their mission from God…and got them over a few jumps along the way.
The Dune Buggy Driven by Dynamo in "The Running Man"
What the Hell was that thing made out of, Tupperware? It's really saying something when a 6'4", 350 pound man singing an aria shows up wearing what looks like the suit from "Tron" with Christmas lights taped all over it and shoots lightning at Arnold Schwarzenegger, and yet it's his vehicle that strikes you as ridiculous.
1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88 from "The Devil Dead" (and every Sam Raimi film after)
The iconic car that made its first appearance in what was then a film by amateurs continued to appear in almost every subsequent Raimi film, including the 2002 blockbuster "Spider-Man" (it was Uncle Ben's car that was stolen by the mugger that shot him).
Now that we think about it, we kind of love these cars just the way they are. Unfortunately, there are car lots out there that are just as busted and need all the help they can get.
See them this season and tune in for the premiere of Car Lot Rescue Sunday, February 10th at 11/10c following the season premiere of Bar Rescue at 10/9c on Spike!