Elwood: “It’s got a cop motor, a 440 cubic-inch plant, it’s got cop tires, cop suspension, cop shocks, and it’s the model made before catalytic converters so it’ll run good on regular gas. Is it the new Bluesmobile or what?”
Jake: “Fix the cigarette lighter.”
The 1974 Dodge Monaco used in The Blues Brothers might be the most famous movie car of all time. More famous than the DeLorean from Back To The Future, more famous than Herbie the VW Bug, definitely more famous than Eddie Murphy’s beat-to-hell Chevy Nova from Beverly Hills Cop, perhaps more famous even than The General Lee from the Dukes of Hazard franchise.
It makes it’s debut in the opening scene of the movie when Dan Akroyd’s character Elwood Blues arrives at Joliet Correctional Center to pick up his brother Jake (John Belushi) on his release from prison. Jake of course expresses shock and disbelief that his own brother would pick him up from prison in a police car! According to Elwood, he picked it up at a Mount Prospect, Illinois police auction where “they were practically giving them away”. The duo accepts a “mission from God” to get their old band back together and raise enough money to pay the back taxes on the orphanage where they were raised. Their car seems to have magic powers and helps them all the way to the bitter end of the movie when it disintegrates into a hundred pieces. It may indeed be a magical car, but the cigarette lighter doesn’t work!!
The film utilized 13 separate ’74 Dodge Monacos, some of them tricked out for stunts, some of them stripped down for speed, and of course one set up to completely fall apart. All of them were purchased as surplus from the California Highway Patrol, and at one point during the final chase scene the speedometer indicates 120 mph and according to director John Landis, that speed was accurate!