Archive for September 3rd, 2009

The Cars from Death Proof

In his films, Quentin Tarantino has never shown any interest in cars, there where never any particularly exiting cars in his films and they were never important to the plot.  This changed a little with Kill Bill, most notably Bill’s De Tomaso and Elle Drivers Smoky and the Bandit (II) style Trans Am.  Both of these cars however where little more than background vehicles.  Then along comes death proof a movie full of classic cars that reference other cars in films.  So,what are the cars and how do they reference other films?  For car fans and movie buffs I’m probably not going to tell you anything new but for anyone who is interested here goes.challanger death proof

1970 Dodge Challenger: Many people will know the Dodge Challenger from the new version but the original was conceived in the late 60’s and launched in 1970 as an answer to the Ford Mustang and Chevy Camaro, it shared its platform with the slightly smaller Plymouth Barracuda.  It was available with a staggering 10 different engine options including a Hemi V8.  It cemented its position as one of the coolest cars in movie history when a white 1970 Challenger was used in the classic road movie Vanishing Point.  The car used in Death Proof is a direct reference to the Vanishing Point car, not only is it the same colour but it is mentioned in the films dialogue between Kim and Zoe.  A note of trivia:  This particular type of car as with many coupes has frameless windows therefore window frames had to be added to facilitate the “ships mast” stunt.

1971 Chevrolet Nova: When the Chevy Nova became available as an SS (Super Sport) it became one of the smallest muscle cars.  I can see no direct reference to Nova’s from other films but the car does have the  licence plate from Bullitt’s Mustang (JJZ 109).  The car also features a duck ornament as seen on the front of Rubber Duck’s Mack truck in Convoy (1978).  This duck is also used on his Charger seen later in the film.

 Chevy Nova Death Proof

1969 Dodge Charger: Launched in the mid 60’s the Dodge Charger in the quintessential American Muscle car, it has made countless TV and movie appearances and is probably best known as the General Lee from the TV series The Dukes of Hazzard.  In the case of Death Proof there are two clear references.  It has the same license number as the ’69 Charger in Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry (938 DAN) and looks just like the Charger involved in a classic car chase with Bullitt’s Mustang.

1972 Mustang: The originall Mustang was put together from Fords “parts bin” and featuring the chassis, drive train and suspension from existing models.  The Mustang was so popular it sold nearly ten times more units than originally forecast.  It is cited as creating a new class of car, the “pony car” that includes cars such as the Chevy Camaro and the Dodge Challenger seen above.  Now in its fourth generation the mustang is still in production today.  The 1972 Mustang featured in Death Proof has similarities to Eleanor from the original Gone in 60 Seconds (and not the remake Gone in Sixty Seconds as Kim reminds us “NOT that Angelina Jolie Bullshit”) and shares a paintjob with two vehicles from Kill Bill, the Pussy Wagon and The Brides Kawasaki motorcycle.  If you look closely at the rear of the car it says “Lil’ Pussy Wagon”.  The car also has a very similar paint job to the (1972 Ford Granada Coupé) seen Alexandre Aja’s French horror/thriller Haute Tension (Switchblade Romance in the UK).

mustang death proof

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