The Real Christine! 1958 Plymouth Fury

There are a handful of iconic movie cars that are instantly recognizable, although perhaps none are more creepy than this one. The 1958 Plymouth Fury was the star of the cult classic Christine. Directed by horror master John Carpenter, the 1983 movie was based on a book written by Stephen King. We’ve featured a few “Christine-ish” cars here on Barn Finds over the years, but this one is the real-deal…Not a replica. It’s the actual car! Apparently the car was raffled off after production wrapped and while it’s a little unclear where it went from there, it was recently part of the Ron Pratte collection. You could have purchased the car last Friday, January, 10th at the Mecum Kissimmee, Florida auction. It was Lot F156 and can be found here on Mecum.com. With a pre-auction estimate of $400,000 to $500,000, the bidding stalled at $275,000 and as far as we know a deal wasn’t made. Check out more of this movie car below!

This is the iconic shot that fans of the movie Christine know! The menacing front end of the car is shown in a ghostly silhouette on the movie poster. If you haven’t seen the movie, it is a must-watch for car enthusiasts. I won’t spoil it, but beginning on the assembly line, the car menaces nearly everyone it comes in contact with.

The red and white theme carries into the interior and you can see this car is immaculate. The dash-mounted rearview mirror is a pretty unique feature.

The engine is a small block wedge V8 topped with an Offenhauser intake and dual 4bbl carburetors. The transmission is a push-button Torqueflite automatic and the car also features power steering and brakes, which is a nice addition.

This car features the fins and jet-age styling that was so popular during this era. You certainly don’t see distinct styling like this in new cars anymore. I’m not sure if I’d be comfortable owning this car or not, how about you? The bumper sticker says “Watch out for me…I am Pure Evil. I am CHRISTINE.” Yikes.

Have something to sell? List it here on Barn Finds!

Like This? Get Our Daily Email

Comments

  1. Rex Kahrs Member

    This car was in the same building as the Bullitt car, and frankly I enjoyed seeing it more than the Mustang.

    42
  2. Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

    I broke a thousand hearts
    Before I met you
    I’ll break a thousand more, baby
    Before I am through
    I wanna be yours pretty baby
    Yours and yours alone
    I’m here to tell ya honey
    That I’m bad to the bone

    55
    • Blueprint

      The more you drive it, the less mileage it has!

      24
    • Tony Carter

      Down here in Australia there’s a Christine copy and the fully legal state number plate is “SHOW ME”.

      7
      • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

        I once owned a Taurus SHO with a state plate that said “SHO ME”

        1
  3. C Carl

    That’s not a small block, is that a small block?
    My guess is a 413 but I’m not a Mopar guy.

    3
    • John D.

      My guess is an early 383. The distributor is in the front, so it is a ‘B’ block, from there,it is hard to visually differentiate from a B or a RB block. Both were available with the dual quads in the fifties.

      5
      • Chris M.

        If this is the original motor then it would be a Golden Commando 350 cubic inch “B” block. Offered in the 1958 Chrysler line.

        14
      • Andy

        These dual quads are on an Offy intake, so it’s not a stock setup anyway.

        4
      • Eric

        Andy, I can’t speak to the intake, but the dual-quads were standard on a Golden Commando 350 engine.

        6
    • GeigerCounter

      Poly V8, had a different block and heads then the A engines. Nope, not a 413. In those days either a 301 or 318 if I recall correctly.

      2
      • Ed P

        It is a B block 350 v8.

        4
    • Howard

      It’s a big block wedge, which was 350 cid in 1958. It later became a 361, 383, 400. The RB was the same design, with a taller deck height. It includes the 413, 426 W and 440.

      17
  4. Bob McK Member

    I wondered what happened to this car. The movie was made decades ago and is not exactly a cult movie today. That being said, based on the bidding last week this car is losing interest with the public and going down in value. Perhaps they should have accepted the $275K bid. It sure is a beauty… I would love to park it in my garage. Maybe I just need to find a clone

    26
    • Rob Robinson

      I wouldn’t have paid more than 60k regardless of the movie. Cars are a poor investment for the most part.

      • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

        The lucky guys who bought air-cooled 911s about 10-20 years ago would disagree…

        3
  5. Will Fox

    If this actual car was used in the movie, the interior’s been changed. Seats should be red with black tweed upholstery, and the door panels don’t match what I recall from the movie. Considering It supposed “status”, why would someone bastardize the car by putting a two-bit bumper sticker on the rear bumper?! There are at least 4-5 of these “Christines” that I know of; all restored to some level of factory appearance like this one. Sorry; I just don’t see $400K-$500K of anything here. $125K, TOPS. And no…it’s no “Bullitt” Mustang!

    30
    • Mike H. Mike H. Member

      Yes, and “factory appearance” is relative since the Fury didn’t come in red in 1958; only Buckskin Beige with Gold trim.

      Also, in the opening scene of the film when the assembly line employee sat in the car with the fat stogie and ashed on the seat, the seats were red with garnet inserts. I think that the car represented here has what was seen in the film.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4koPfEQVo44

      If I had been the seller I’d have taken that money and ran. Restored Plymouth’s just don’t bring that kind of money ($275k?!) unless they have a big wing on the back.

      27
    • Jamie

      The movie car had a column shift and chrome air cleaners.

      5
      • Mike H. Mike H. Member

        In the first scene of the movie (assembly line scene) they were gold painted.

        Continuity errors. . .

        8
      • Ric Parish

        The the two automatics were push button shifters, no column shifters, unless it was a standard trans, which I doubt, never have seen one, we had two 57/58s one station wagon 58 red and white, one 57 convert white/black top.

        1
    • Rick Rothermel

      You gotta deal with a few layers of fiction here, kids. Kings novel explained that the original car was a special order, one of One, in the red & white. Add that to the elasticity of movie producers, it’s a wonder Christine wasn’t a Desoto!
      Oh, and Kings novel had the car as a four door…

      6
      • TerryC

        Yes indeed it was a four door as there’s a reference to Arnie opening the rear door for his girl…

        2
      • r s

        IMO the DeSoto was a more wicked-looking car.

        1
  6. Jamie
    • Clay Harvey

      Jamie, I see the scene from the movie you just showed, but Mike showed one of the factory when she was on the assembly line, had gold valve covers and breather. I saw the movie back in the day and noticed it then.

      1
  7. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    1956 – 57 and 58 were all white /gold……still think I’ll have to get my 1958 Fury dealer brochure out tonight…..something about the 350 B motor…..

    4
  8. A-Body Fan

    An acquaintance of mine waited a long time to buy Christine and other movie cars as well. I’m surprised to see him try and sell it because my understanding is he really enjoys the car (and his other movie cars as well).

    5
  9. jerry z

    There is a video on YouTube about one guy who has own Christine (wonder how many) in California. Story goes when putting the car together, he knew someone at the studio where the damaged Christines ( he said about a dozen of them) were stored and chicken boned those cars to restore his.

    4
    • Andy

      This brings up the point that almost no show or movie that features a car uses just one. There were two custom Toyota 2000GT convertibles in “You Only Live Twice,” two green Mustangs in “Bullitt,” and God knows how many Chargers they destroyed on “The Dukes of Hazzard.” It was probably hard enough finding enough ’58 Furys for the movie, let alone making sure every detail matched.

      7
      • Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

        And let’s not forget all the Tucker Torpedo rolling shells that were fabricated by the studio to film the movie “Tucker.” IIRC one of those popped up here on Barn Finds a few years ago and it was one of those that was flipped in the movie.

        2
  10. David Sebben

    It’s amazing Arnie built this car out of Darnell’s junkyard, twice. And again with a little help from Satan. My all-time favorite car from the ’50s.

    8
  11. Howard

    This is not the car from the movie. I have seen the actual car from the movie at Chryslers at Carlisle, and it has a different interior. Also, the owner had the actors from the movie sign the glove compartment door.

    4
  12. angliagt

    I would think that Mecum would demand proof that this
    was the actual car before proceeding.

    9
  13. Jay E.

    None of the hype changes the fact that these were really poorly built cars. Hurried into production, they came from the factory with so many defects that they would fail on their delivery and the dealers were expected to catch the problems. Unfortunately they did not. My family was involved with the Furys and loved the 1956, but hated the 57/58 which were terrible cars. Expectations were high for the 57 and they sold well, but the poor quality killed the brand and even when mostly sorted out,they never sold well again.

    7
  14. sg Member

    Fun fact, in the book Stephen King describes the car as a 4 door sedan. I’m so glad they didn’t stick with that for the movie.

    It would be fun if someone based a sequel off of the Tulsa time capsule Belvedere…after the car is removed from the tomb, it slowly starts de-rusting and comes back to life as Christine’s evil sister LOL.

    10
    • r s

      What is evil about the Tulsa car is that it was put in that underground vault which was not water-tight, and with no way to keep an eye on its situation down there. Think of how it sat there in the vault as the water crept up past the tires, slowly to the roof, over months and years. So very sad.

      Imagine if they’d been able to open the vault and remove a fully intact mint Plymouth Fury… I waited years for this event and it was so aggravating.

      8
      • Mountainwoodie

        And so dumb. I cant imagine that engineers didn’t understand that concrete acts like a pump, thereby drawing water into the Tulsa vault .

        We had a ’59 wagon in 1959. Very similar.

        While I loved the movie I can’t understand anyone spending that kind of money for a car which was in a movie. Granted it will always be associated with it, but pop culture moves on. By the way the same for the Mustang driven by Bullitt.

        Someday the film associations will be a quaint reference point for the car , So yeah, I think the owner should have taken the bid. But he obviously knows more that I must :)

      • r s

        Most might disagree but I find Steve Bolander’s ’58 Impala to be a much more appealing car. ‘Christine’ of course WAS the star of its own movie but Bolander’s ’58 was in so many great scenes from the movie with different characters, and for a while it was part of the actual story. And I think American Graffiti is a more loved film… imagining that a very young man bought the ’58 from the studio for $400 or so just boggles my mind. And there WAS just the one car, not a bunch of them used in chases, crashes, different camera angles. I think that is going to be one of the most famous cars anywhere, for a long long time. Like Paul McCartney’s bass guitar, it will be part of a beloved legend.

        1
      • Burger

        GM’s cars were fat and bloated in 1958. Where Mopar cut deep into GM’s market share was with the lean and crisp lines of the Forward Look. Comparing the two is like comparing monkeys to sombreros. Given the tradtionally smaller market share that Mopar has held, and the way car people tend to be brand loyal to what they are familiar with, it is no wonder so many people like Chevys and Fords and are unfamiliar with others like Mopars and Studebakers. I started my 50’s car interest at GM, but got bored. Yeah, they are cool in their own right, but after you see 100’s of the same car, the lesser-seen cars start to have more appeal. The 58 Plymouth is a sleek and slippery design for its day, especially when you throw it up against the competition. But this stuff is always a matter of personal preference, and most people go for what is nostalgic to their own life … Dad had a 59 Olds, …. the neighbor bought a new T-bird in 1956, … that sort of thing. I wanted a flatbed Model TT since finding one in a barn when I was a kid. It’s not that I like Fords or even Model T’s. It is just a nostalgic attraction from an experience we have when we are younger. Like seeing a movie car.

        2
      • Sal

        I agree with you that the vault was not water tight and that is a shame. But I have a hard time not thinking the nearby water main break in 1973 was responsible for the water.

        They should have made an effort to check on the vault’s condition then.

        1
      • r s

        The 58 GM cars were rather fat and bloated, especially to my eyes the Buick and Oldsmobile. Somehow the Chevy manages to pull off a somewhat lighter look. And looking at the front it’s not hard to imagine it with single headlights and seeing the ’57 in it. But I like the ’58 from American Graffiti because of what the car represents, not because of the style of the car itself.

        As for the water getting into the vault of the Tulsa Fury, we’ll never know when the water got into it but if they’d have made the vault differently and allowed some way of access that could check on the contents, the destruction of that car could have probably been avoided. The way it was built with absolutely no way to check it short of opening it up, meant there was no way to tell if the water main leak or anything else was affecting it.

        I like to think of what it would have been like had they opened the vault and there was a mint Fury, and after a little while freshening the fuel and putting in a new battery it might have started and run. I waited years to see that happen but it didn’t.

      • Burger

        Yeah, … it is easy to see the lineage of the 57-to-58 Chevy design in the front end, even if the 58 looked bloated. Where the 58 Chevy lost me is at the back. I like fins. Sharply defined, pointy, slippery and sleek. The 57’s had it. The 59’s REALLY had it. The 58 looks like you’re a witness to a USMC hazing tradition of making recruits clench a marshmallow in their butt cheeks and do laps around the barracks. Whoever greenlighted that design should be forced to eat all those marshmallows ! In my eyes, the ugliest full size Chevy ever put on wheels because of that clenched butt cheeks back end. Nevermind the sloggish handling they had. They drive like an overloaded rowboat.

        All that said, I still think they are cool, because they were part of a bigger “fabric” that was late-50’s America.

        I waited years to see the that vault reveal. I was sickened by how it all went down. What a waste.

  15. charlie morrison

    Either it’s Christine or not I love this car,the styling alone. The sleek fins it just turns heads no matter where you are

    3
  16. Kurt

    The other King car was a Buick 8. And “Hearts In Atlanta” had cars that were this same vintage but were living beings also, like Christine. Long live the King!

    5
  17. Andrew Franks

    Absurd.

    2
  18. r s

    While not as famous, I think Steve Bolander’s (Ron Howard’s) white 58 Impala from ‘American Graffiti’ is as much loved… and a very young guy bought that car from the movie studio for just a few hundred dollars, a year or two after the movie finished production. He kept it for many years and may still have it; the car has been kept relatively unchanged for all that time.

    5
  19. Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

    My old man was an old man by the time “Christine” and “American Graffitti” came out, and they were the only two movies I could get him to sit through with me in the theater. A third movie, simply titled “The Car” was a seriously bad knock-off of Christine and we paid at the box office to watch that flick, only to walk out after about 20 minutes.

    1
    • Mike H. Mike H. Member

      The film “The Car” was released in 1977, whereas the book and Film “Christine” both came out in 1983. I think that if there was any sort of knock-off going on in this situation it’s the opposite way than you presented it.

      “The Car” wasn’t really a bad film. . . The car from this film was a custom from George Barris based on a 1971 Continental Mk III, and it was an ugly, menacing beast.

      4
      • Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

        Agreed! Menacing. My pop wasn’t really into this sort of film so it was his decision to walk out. The timeframe is spot on…he was close to retirement when the first “Grafitti” came out but I talked him into going for the cars. We played a lot of 50s music in the house after that. Christine was released after I’d gone off to college and we went to it as a Father-Son thing when I came home from school. He then proceeded to build several Christine models from old scale promos. At the time, a Chritine model did not exist as an assembly kit.

        4
    • Rob S

      Just last night I was watching Stephen kings “castle rock” in the parade there was his Christine. Lots of little bits that relate to his other movies

      1
    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      Same here. I was 14 when American Graffiti came out and I made my father take me to see it.

      1
  20. canadainmarkseh Member

    The fact is the 1960 fury although not a famous movie car is a much nicer looking car. Nicer tail lights cleaner lines on the fins. More chrome ( or should I say stainless steel ) Red is my favourite colour but it’s been so over done because of this movie I’d rather see one in just about any other colour.

    • JEFF S.

      There is no way this 1958 is worth $275K. You could not afford to drive it, as any miles you put on it, would lower the value. Not ever going to purchase a vehicle that I could not drive, not even if I hit the Powerball jackpot.

      I will take any color on a car except white or black, I am in the market for a new 2019 or 2020 Honda Ridgeline PU and all I seem to find are white or black in my area. I spoke with the local Honda dealer and they will have to order it, because I want one of the top trims with adaptive cruise control. Same color problems with other new cares I have been looking at.

      1
    • Roger

      Check on YouTube for Cold War Motors,they are rebuilding a ’60 Fury two door hardtop from three different cars,two ’60 Plymouths and a ’60 Dodge and it is really turning out great.

      1
      • canadainmarkseh Member

        I haven’t missed an episode, Scott is a true artist when it comes to shaping metal. His 60 fury was a real lost cause and his work is impressive. His blog is pure western Canadian culture. Just a bunch of guys getting together to work on cars.

        2
  21. Burger

    MANY 58 Plymouths were eaten up to build a fleet of cars that were used in the filming of the movie. Few, if any were actual Furys, but the production crews did a decent job of fooling the audience into thinking they were seeing the same car throughout.

    All sorts of “license” was taken in both the book and the movie, from the 4 doors to the column shifter to the door locks …. it was a movie and no one gave a rip about car details like car guys do. They wanted brainless drama, and if they had shown the car’s door handle clicking itself forward to lock the door, or a finger poking in a pushbutton to shift the transmission, no one but a Forward Look era Mopar person would know WTF had just happened.

    This subject has been discussed ad nauseum by Forward Look guys ever since the movie came out. More clones have been built since then that were ever built for the movie … which was a lot. But the movie cars were not all the same, and effort was only made to make them look close enough for the scene/s they were used in to pull off the filming. I think the story on this particular car is that after filming, it was in decent enough shape to be used as the prize in a movie promo raffle. A dozen or so cars were found later on a production backlot and either fixed up or parted out by Forward Look enthusiasts.

    As for the comment about being bad cars, they DID have fitment and sealing issues in 57, from rushed design-to-production. These were largely dealt with by 58, but they were all rusters to some degree. What killed these cars in droves was the fins becoming embarrassingly unfashionable in the 60’s. Perfectly good low mileage cars were hauled to the junk yard just because the extreme styling was later considered so over-the-top. I have a 58 in my garage. Parked in 1964 with 13K on the clock, when the windshield was broken. Rather than do a $50 repair, they stuck it out back and bought a new car !

    And the engines … Mother Mopar phased in the new corporate B/RB blocks in 1958. Furys in base form retained the 318 Poly with dual 4’s, and revved up cam, and dual exhaust, or one could option up to the new B-block 350 with dual 4’s, cam, and dual exhaust.
    Walking this all the way out, Dodge retained their Polys as base engines, but could get the B-block 361 as their top performer.
    DeSoto had the 361 in various tunes, with the exception of the Dodge-based and built Firesweep model, which got the 350 mill in 2bbl base form, or 4bbl “power pak” tune.
    Chrysler and Imperial would retain their old engines one more year before getting in the game with the raised deck “RB” engines in 383 and 413 displacement. And to avoid any confusion, the RB 383 was a shortlived long stroke engine and not the B-block 383 that remained in production across all divisions for over 10 years.

    4
    • r s

      Any time I see an old Fury for sale it seems the owner has (un-originally) named it Christine. Come on people, do better!

  22. Grid Member

    Supposedly my second ex- dated him in high school in Orono ME. I asked her dad and he just rolled his eyes. Never figured out what that meant. All I can say for sure was that Christine was NOT parked in front of his house.

    1
  23. glenn

    Yes in 1984-85 the guy who won the actual Christine brought it to the Iola car show here in Wi. and he displayed it with little fanfare with a for sale sigh for $2.500.00, if I remember correctly, I have pictures of me standing in front of it with a puddle of antifreeze on the ground and with no wheel covers just wide whites and rims, I was not impressed with this guys lack of pride in owning this great piece of rolling movie history! I wonder if he kicks himself for letting it go so cheap! Last year I got a picture of two Christine clones side by side at Iola, both were well done!

  24. TimM

    Beautiful car and another movie where they wrecked so many of them that it disappoints me that the car is famous for that!!

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks. Don't post your car for sale in the comments. Click here to get it featured on the homepage instead.

*

Notify me of new comments via email. Or subscribe without commenting.