ERTL  #36685 AMERICAN MUSCLE 1:18 SCALE LIMITED EDITION

THIS RARE LIMITED EDITION MODEL OF "THE CAR" IS AMONG THE  MOST ENIGMATIC  AND HARDEST  TO FIND OF ALL THE
MOVIE CARS NEW OR USED.

Originally designed from a 1971 Lincoln Continental Mark III,  ( The Mark III was based on the Chrysler 1955 Falcon concept car )
"The Car" , designed by George Barris was the star of the 1977 movie by the same name. He used elements of the 1955 Falcon in his
design, most notable are the large recessed headlights, split front bumper, open wheel wells and rounded front fenders. There are also
subtle elements taken from the 1961 Lincoln continental, most notable is overall long boxy shape and the small limo size rear window.












As close as this is to the original CAR, it is not completely accurate, There are small things like missing chrome around the windshield
and more noticeable there are no tail lights on the 1:18 scale model. The tail lights can be seen on the car in the movie when it crashes
through a house to take another victim and drives off.
Lastly The Car was covered with dust in all of it's scenes except the one with James Brolin in the Garage. A matte finish with polished
edges would have gave more realism to the model.  
Without a sequel to the movie, there is little chance there would ever be a Hot Wheels Elite version of "The Car".
DIECAST HEAVEN, HISTORY OF "THE CAR" 1977
WHO KNOWS WHAT EVIL LURKS WITHIN
"THE CAR"?
RARE      EXTREME     RARE  
LIMITED EDITION ERTL AMERICAN MUSCLE 1:18 SCALE ADULT COLLECTIBLE
The movie itself was underrated and placed into the collection of forgettable films.

Films like "Vanishing point,"  Dirty Mary and Crazy Larry" , Duel, Killdozer and "Death Race 2000": that were fun to watch but made no
sense at all.

However "The Car" was unforgettable

The un-named, driver less, evil car.

"The Car" had a look that you could not forget, It looked sad, like a living, thinking, heartless, being.

It was aggressive, fast, and it killed for no reason. It arrived with the wind.  
It had the horn of a semi truck, and an engine roar that could best be described as Powerful and angry.

George Barris showed no special interest in it.

He designed and built several for the movie, a quick simple basic design by his standards. He treated the car like a step child. You will
always see certain cars in the publicity photos George Barris has taken over the years. Always the Batmobile and many times with the
Munster Koach almost never with "The Car",

Barris had designed cars for several television shows in the 1960's, most are familiar icons today. Many faded into the past forgotten in
time. Except one

His baby was the " 1966 Batmobile" .

The car design that put him in the history books.

George Barris may have felt "The Car" was too "understated". Barris showed more interest in the cars that were "tricked out"  wildly
expressive and overstated. Or maybe it was that fact that the movie did so poorly in the box office and not many people knew of it.


ERTL had the contract and the decision was made to release an unknown limited number of
"The Car"
It is still a mystery to this day as to the actual number of these cars ERTL built.

The car was not a popular seller, it was released in the 1:18 scale and not the more accessible 1:64 so the price tag may have been an
issue for some, Name recognition for others. I personally watched the movie and liked it but never knew a model existed until many years
later, by then " The Car" had went from an unknown  item that was not in demand to become an adult collectors item and almost
impossible to find.
Over the years the movie "The Car": has become a cult classic and THE CAR has become one of the rarest of collectible diecast cars.

One marketing quirk was naming it "The Car" instead of something more definable like; "The Evil Car"

The generic name made it a non de script ERTL car, which made it hard to identify and very hard to find. Even today's search engines
have difficulty keying in on "The Car".

Over two decades after the 1977 movie The Car was finally made available in 1:18 Scale diecast.

Built by ERTL in 2003

The Car is heavy, built like a tank

almost four pounds of diecast metal.

It has a detailed interior.

Steerable wheels, opening doors and trunk.

The Car is a high gloss jet black with massive double decked chromed bumpers.

Deep dished chrome rims and radial tires.

Detailed Chassis and under carriage

Dual exhaust.

Highly detailed engine compartment

Opening hood trunk and doors.

Like the Movie. The Car did not receive the publics support as many models sat on shelves and in stock rooms for years.
There was no fan fair upon it's release.  Another quirk was releasing "The Car" in 2003, The same year Mattel / Hot Wheels released
the ultimate diecast car, the 1989 Anton Furst Batmobile.
Many movie fans never knew about the diecast  release of "The Car"
The buying public had no interest. It had been nearly 20 years since the movie was released.
Almost another decade had past before "The Car" begin to get the attention it deserved.
"The Car" has a simple but magnificent design, However  more work was put into transforming the 1971 Lincoln into " The Car" than was
put into the designing the Batmobile which was basically a modified Futura. Ford modeled the 1959 Thunderbird on the Futura.













The car looked simple and undefinable. But it was a complex design.
It was a genius of design, more of a "Black Beauty" than the one Dean Jeffries built for the television show "The Green Hornet",  One
of the best designs Barris ever did, or did he?
Barris owned the company but he had many talented people working for him, all of which
could have had a hand in designing "The Car".

The movie itself was underrated and placed into the collection of forgettable films.

However "The Car" remains unforgettable.

The un-named, driver less, evil car.
The movie was not a hit.

Due largely to a low budget this film was made in the desert,

Cursed with a weak script and bad acting, the film critics berated this movie.
Another issue may have been timing,
Horror and Fantasy movies had dominated the science fiction field since the 1930's
However the 1970's introduced Special effects and the whole game changed.
People did not want to be frightened, They wanted to be awed by CGI special effects wizards.
The low tech stop camera action used on TV shows like Batman and The movie "The Car" had become obsolete.
As people became more intelligent they needed a movie to challenge their senses as well as entertain them.
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SUBTLE VARIATIONS IN THREE CARS SHOWN HERE,  WOULD SUGGEST THE MIDDLE CAR WAS THE CLOSE UP CAR WHILE THE OTHER TWO
WERE BUILT TO BE DESTROYED. THE BUMPERS ON THE CAR THE FAR LEFT SITS HIGH OFF THE GROUND SUGGESTING THIS MAY HAVE
BEEN A STUNT CAR, THE BUMPERS SET HIGH ON THE CAR ON THE RIGHT MUCH TOO CLOSE TO  HEADLIGHTS FOR CLOSE UP SHOTS SO
THIS MAY HAVE BEEN ONE THAT WAS FLIPPED OVER ON THE ROAD OR ROLLED DOWN THE MOUNTIAN.
THOSE ARE GUESSES  BASED ON THE OUTWARD APPEARENCES OF THE THREE CARS CARS.
UNOPENED NEW IN ORIGINAL FACTORY PACKAGING WITH ALL ORIGINAL FACTORY SEALS INTACT ON CAR
ERTL #36685  LIMITED EDITION AMERICAN MUSCLE IN 1/18 SCALE DIE CAST METAL MODEL
"THE CAR"
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CAR: Derivative of the word carriage, a machine created by early man
The early carriage makers were the first to build car bodies. "Body by Fisher" ( a once prominent carriage maker) was a common
emblem placed on the running boards of many American made cars.
Powered by beasts controlled by man.
A love hate relationship has always existed between man and his machine and it was always the machine that took the beating. What
if the tables were turned and the machine was the one doing the beating?
That supposition is examined in the 1977 Classic cult horror movie "The Car"
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