In recent years, Planes, Trains and Automobiles has become a holiday favorite of mine. While doing some research about the film, I came across this fact from the Associated Press around the filming of the movie. From this and other research, it sounds like they had a lot of trouble finding snow for the snow scenes. They chased filming locations from Chicago to Buffalo. When they finally got snow, they got too much of it. I can't imagine what it was like for the crew, John Candy and Steve Martin during these scenes. Happy Thanksgiving everybody!
The year was 1957. The Soviet Union had just launched Sputnik. The world's first artificial satellite. This event would not only trigger the beginning of the space race. But would also ignite the imagination of a young man in Coalwood, WV, Homer Hickam. According Homer's memoir, Rocket Boys later adapted into the movie classic October Sky. That he and his friends set out to build their own rockets and later enter and win the National Science Fair. All of Homer's crew went to college. Homer went on to become an engineer for NASA. But how did the boys get around? Well according to the movie, they traveled in a 1937 Plymouth DeLuxe owned by one of the boys, Roy Lee.
1937 Plymouth DeLuxe
1937 was a year of firsts and last for Plymouth. It was the first year they offered a pickup truck. But also the last year for vented windshields (that open for ventilation). Plymouth was the 3rd top automaker in the states at the time and was one of the few car companies that faired well during the Great Depression. New for the1937 Plymouth DeLuxe was a redesign of the instrument cluster. Gauges were now situated in front of the driver instead of the sticking out in middle of the dash like on previous models. Several versions of the car were produced. The P3 (2 door) and P4 (4 door) varieties being the most popular. All 1937 Plymouths DeLuxes came with a 201.3 cubic inch inline six cylinder engine making roughly 80 horsepower. Backed by a 3 speed floor shift manual transmission.
Roy Lee's Car
In the book it mentions that Roy Lee inherited the car after his father was killed in the mine. In the 1950s having your own car as a teenager was pretty rare. Even if said car was almost 20 years old in the time the movie takes place. A lot of these cars by then were either abandoned in junkyards are made into hot rods. But I have to note there was one feature of Roy Lee's car that made it unique. It's missing the front grill and bumper. Not sure if it was lost to time or something custom the boys did. Hard to say. But I think it looks kinda neat without the grill. The rear bumper is also not standard. Appears to be custom or make-shift. Some of my favorite dialog from the movie takes place in the car. Including this gem between Quentin and Roy Lee.
* Roy Lee is trying to start the car.
You got a loose choke cable.
You hear that?
The butterfly valve isn't closin' all the way.
Uh, last year I built an internal combustion engine...
and entered it in the science fair.
Roy Lee: Yeah, well, you wouldn't happen to have it on you, would you?
So why did I choose to research and write about Roy Lee's car. Well several reasons. October Sky is one of my favorite movies. I watch it every fall. After this year's viewing I thought I would write about what may be the only hero car in the movie. It's for sure the most pictured car in the film. Roy Lee seemed to have a love/hate relationship with the car itself. In one scene he's seen shooting at it. But the last reason is I love the film is it reminds me some of my own childhood, growing up in coal country. That's all for now. Aim high!
I thought I would share this video with you guys. Someone managed to capture one of the scenes being shot on location in Vancouver. Really neat to see actual shooting locations. Especially when they take place in real-life locations.
I'm sure everyone has had a nickname for their car at one point or another. I know my cousin has nicknamed nearly every car he's ever own (little shout out to CJ). But who could forget Frank the Tank and The Red Dragon from the hit comedy movie Old School. So with that. On Screen Cars presents: The Red Dragon.
There isn't a lot to be said for the car in the movie. It's red 1977 Pontiac Trans AM, 2nd generation car. Black interior. Flat roof. Under the hood, it looks like a small block Chevrolet possibility a 350. It's possible someone changed out the factory Oldsmobile plant out or "faked" a Trans Am. But let's not forget to mention it's the same model year as the original Smokey and the Bandit Trans Am. However it's not painted black with gold accents, no t-tops or any of the other traits of a Special Edition (SE) Trans Am. But I felt it deserved mention. Heck Greenlight Collectibles thought it deserved a 1/64 replica (you can find it here). But what is special about Frank's car?
Well I believe Franks' car represents his life as a single man. Frank in the movie is newly married. He's having a hard time adjusting to married life. They're getting settled in and they have a house. Which by the way is a real house. I found a interesting site that has the filming location info. But anyways that's where the car kinda comes in. He's got it out in the drive way working on it. Then here comes the BS! I love it though! His wife comes out to see what he's doing. The car is smoking and making some rough noises.
He says "I took the restrictor plate off to give the red dragon a little more juice, but keep that on the down low, she's not exactly street legal." Hold on. Restrictor plate? Isn't that something they used in NASCAR? Yep you bet ya. Restrictor plates were installed on carburetors on NASCAR race cars to help hold the car back from achieving unsafe speeds thus reducing crashes. Frank I'm sorry I don't think your car has a restrictor plate.
But it makes a great line for car guys to laugh about. You can watch the whole scene in the clip above. Gotta love hearing Whitesnake in the background. But outside of all that Frank's car is just another F-Body. By the way. Frank isn't the only guy to call his Trans Am a Red Dragon. The Red Dragon BS makes for a great story. It makes it feel real. If you haven't seen Old School I would advise to pick it up on Amazon. Old School [Blu-ray] It is hilarious! So next time you're out with your buddies in the shop tell'm "Hey I'm gonna take the restrictor plate off, you with me?" Till then. Drive safe and sober! Bye!
In the voice and words of Ed. Welcome to Good Burger, Home of the Good Burger. Can I take ya order? So what do the movies Wayne's World and Good Burger have in common? Let's see they involve two main characters. Na. A lot of movies do duh! They were both made by Paramount Pictures. So. A good production company right? They both feature a custom 1976 AMC Pacer? Dead on! OnScreenCars.com is proud to present The Burgermobile. The only Pacer to have french fries for wiper blades.
Who could miss the huge fully loaded burger that makes up the front clip. A Large piece of cheese sticking out the front of the burger. Small holes in the patty for the headlights. This ride has pickles for wheel covers. I guess the factory caps just took too much away from the burger appeal. A ketchup bottle sticks out of the back of the rear hatchback. Where's the mustard? A large soda on the rear antenna as a topper. Two large arrow sides tell you which direction it's traveling. A huge crinkle cut french fry serves as a rear bumper. The icing on this machine is the Good Burger sign on the roof. On the inside it appears to be a normal AMC Pacer. I love the oval holes three spoke steering wheel and simulated wood-grain dash. Dat's Awesome!
All I can say is. Was someone hungry when they created this interesting piece of art? If they made a vehicle for the McDonald's Hamburglar this would be it! I haven't been able to find who the creator of the car. But I did find that after the movie the car was bought and used in The International Hamburger Hall of Fame and the Hamburger Museum in Daytona Beach Florida. Sources say the car is in rough shape. Someone at the Replica Prop Forum posted a picture of the car rotting away (very sad). However a replica has sprang up at Little Antony's Dinner in Tuscon, Arizona. It differs from the original. But a nice touch and an interesting way for them to advertise their business.
I was in high school when this movie hit theaters. But I was a fan of Good Burger long before the movie came out. Good Burger started out as a skit on Nickelodeon's variety show All That. The show was like Saturday Night Live for kids at the time. It's hard to believe it's been at least 15 years since then. But I guess time flys when you're having fun. Well that's all the fun for this one. We'll catch ya next time. Stay tuned for more On Screen Cars.