Great Movie Cars – The Bluesmobile (The Blues Brothers)


It’s got a cop motor, a 440 cubic inch plant, it’s got cop tyres, cop suspensions, cop shocks. It’s a model made before catalytic converters so it’ll run good on regular gas. What do you say, is it the new Bluesmobile or what?”

Elwood Blues

How do you refuse a sales pitch like that?

As for the “440 cubic inch plant”, that’s about 7.2 litres of American V8 power.

The “Bluesmobile” from the classic 1980 movie The Blues Brothers is practically a character unto itself. So iconic is this car that not only do the Universal Studios theme parks still feature a roaming musical act imitating the Blues Brothers but the performers make their way around the parks in a replica of the car. The Bluesmobile is as much a part of the movie as Jake and Elwood themselves.

The introduction of the vehicle in the films opening minutes is something of an ironic joke. We see Elwood Blues collecting his paroled brother Jake from jail in the ex-cop-car Dodge Monaco, a fact not lost on Jake who wants to know what happened to their old Cadillac, the original Bluesmobile. Upon learning that Elwood traded it for a microphone Jake is not even surprised, suggesting the Caddy was in pretty rough condition.

Safe to say the Bluesmobile hasn’t seen too many car washes in its time.

After jumping an open bridge in the big Dodge Jake begins to warm to the vehicle, noting it’s “got a lot of pick-up.”

From their, the pair proceed to get further and further into trouble with the law, all the while trying to raise clean money to save their old orphanage. Throughout it all, the Bluesmobile keeps them free from pursuing police and a militant ex-fiancé until they reach the tax office to pay the orphanages debt. At this moment, the Bluesmobile self-destructs (or perhaps more accurately, self-disassembles), symbolising its mission is complete.

The car is instantly recognisable to film and car fans alike. The big black and white sedan (often with the ridiculously huge loudspeaker on the roof) cannot be mistaken for anything else. You either recognise it as the “Blues Brothers car” or you don’t recognise it all.

The car features heavily throughout the movies and survives some outrageous stunts (such as making some enormous jumps and driving destructively through a crowded shopping centre) all while keeping Jake and Elwood out of handcuffs. Perhaps the Bluemobile’s finest moment is when Elwood points it at a group of Nazi’s demonstrating on a bridge and proceeds to drive them into the river, much to the glee of a crowd of onlookers.

Seems legit.

If you haven’t seen The Blues Brothers then you are missing out. It’s a great movie that offers something for everybody: comedy, action, music and more smashed up police cars than you can poke a stick at.

Also, it features an unstoppable Dodge Monaco police car, ideal for anyone looking to complete a “mission from God.” She ain’t pretty, but she’s one of the most iconic cars in cinema history.


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