On The Hunt For The Lost Car of the Movie “Christine”

When it comes to car movies, Christine has a special distinction because people know the character more than the car. “Oh, that car looks like Christine! What is it?” Unlike Vanishing Point, where everyone knows it’s a 1970 Challenger. But there was another interesting car in the movie, a 1968 Charger. What happened to it? Does it still exist? The folks at dodgecharger.com attempted to find out.

If you need a refresher, Christine was a 1983 book published by the prolific Stephen King, which was then made into a movie directed by John Carpenter the very same year.

It tells the story of a possessed, red 1958 Plymouth Fury (although ALL Furys came in Buckskin Beige, an off-white color) that seems to take hold of its new owner. Bad things happen.

One of the characters – Dennis, a friend of Christine’s owner – drove a blue Charger. There was some discussion whether the Charger was a 1968 or ’69. While the front and rear ends of the two years are distinct from each other, someone felt the car had a ’68 nose on a ’69 due to the side marker lights, which are also distinct between the years.

Someone even thought they saw 1969 taillights in a scene, adding to the confusion. However, it was pointed out that the Danbury Mint produced an officially sanctioned 1968 model, so that’s what it was intended to be.

But what happened to it? One guy made the following claim:

…I came across an all-Mopar salvage yard 3 hours north of Toronto called National Moparts… they had 2 Charger fenders – all-original steel from the South (rust free). I purchased one on the phone and went to pick it up.

As I arrived at National Moparts, I turned into what was a Mopar oasis out in the middle of nowhere. As we were walking over to the fenders, the main guy pointed out a burned 1958 Plymouth Fury. He told me it was one of the original cars used in the movie Christine and it was also one of the cherry show cars they used for the close-ups in the film.

In more detail he also explained what happened. He said that after the production was over, a collector with ties to the production company purchased that ’58 Fury and the ’68 Dodge Charger used in the film.

After a few years of owning them, the owner and his wife had a serious falling out, of which the wife left him and demanded a divorce. Later, the man, in a drunken rage, set fire to his house so the estranged wife wouldn’t get anything. The entire house burned, along with the cars in the garage. The man ended up dying in the fire as well.

So, the burned carcass of the ’58 Fury found its way up to National Moparts where it stayed for a number of years until the muscle car boom . . . The burned Fury was [then] sold to a Canadian collector for $2,000 Canadian and then re-sold for bigger money to a resto shop/collector in the US somewhere.

The administrator for the Christine Car Club then chimed in. Apparently, he owns a ’58 Plymouth built with documented parts of a car from the movie including the motor that was used for a particular scene.

He claimed 23 Plymouths were purchased and used for filming. He also said the original car in the beginning assembly line scene was sold at Barrett-Jackson in 2004, while another survivor was bought in 1984 when filming finished. A third survivor is known to exist, and possibly a fourth, although undocumented.

He also claimed the Charger was a base ’68 model with a 318, Flowmasters, console automatic, and power windows. It was owned by a private individual who was paid to use the car for the movie, then it was returned back to him. It possibly may have been used in another movie a year later.

So now we have a car with a little more visibility, but where is it? There are a few Charger fans who are dying to know!

Some trashed Plymouths from the movie. Images: dodgecharger.com

About the author

Diego Rosenberg

Diego is an automotive historian with experience working in Detroit as well as the classic car hobby. He is a published automotive writer in print and online and has a network of like-minded aficionados to depend on for information that's not in the public domain.
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