I should probably be embarrassed by saying that I’ve never seen “Animal House”. Not once, not ever. In fact, the first time I’ve seen any part of that movie was a few minutes before I started writing this piece, after seeing the clip where the original version goes from being a cake-shaped float with “EAT ME” on the border to…a rolling bunker? A middle finger to someone? Far as I can tell, it mows through one of the most rickety sets of bleachers ever constructed and that’s all I’ve seen so far…so don’t spoil a damn thing for me! We aren’t here to talk about the movie, anyways, but instead this 1989 Ford Crown Victoria that has been cloned as best as possible into the “Deathmobile”, a Lincoln Continental. It takes a bit of commitment to clone yourself a movie car, but many people do. There are plenty of Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry Chargers, Starsky and Hutch Torinos, and the like, but the “Deathmobile” is something else altogether. Only driving a Batmobile clone could have more of an impact. So what’s the reason this thing exists at all?
“My friends and I are decent fabricators. We found a 1989 Crown Vic as a donor car and went to work. The construction of the car is all steel so you can pile people on top of the car when riding in parades. We used a projector connected to a laptop to broadcast the movie on cardboard, where we traced the quarter wings and grille and cut them out with a plasma cutter. We made a hatch in the top of the turret and one on the trunk as in the original movie car. The car is painted with Sherwin-Williams industrial paint in semi-gloss black. It has held up very well. We have also added a few features to the car. We have a built-in 1kW Honda generator in the trunk. There is a large power inverter inside the car. We used them to run smoke machines, of which there is a brand new smoke machine behind the grille. There is also a large amp and radio (I think the radio is inop), with smaller speakers that we placed on the deck around the turret to blast the movie songs and also the many classic quotes, such as, “Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life son”! We have also installed a train whistle made out of PVC which we run on a regulated CO2 tank. It is also set up for dual batteries, although we have just one brand new battery in it now. The car runs well and sounds great as the pipes are straight and exit in front of the rear tires. The trans fluid is brown but the car still drives. This is not a show car as we built and painted it in 2 weeks-worth of long nights. If we knew we would receive such an emotional reaction when people see it, we would have started with a better car. The donor car runs good but the underneath had rust. The interior is also pretty much stripped, but functional. The steel mods are super strong and can be climbed on without worry of damage. One thing to note is that the hood was bent at the hinge recently. If I were going to keep it, I would replace it, however, it isn’t real visible when driving by in a parade. We hate to sell it but we want someone else to have as much fun with it as we did. We just don’t have a place to store it any longer. Disclaimer: this car is obviously no longer street legal. It does have a clear title in our name. It is also not weather resistant.
All money raised from the sale of the car will be donated to a local organization which supports 30+ charitable organizations within our community. I can’t begin to tell you how much fun we have had with this car. People love the movie and have such an emotional reaction when they see it.”
Well…terrorizing the public is kind of the goal of the car, right? What would you do?