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 The Christine Graveyard Discovery

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PostSubject: The Christine Graveyard Discovery   Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:12 am

Hi Everyone,

OK... so this Christine talk is really getting old but I have some info that should put your hopes of finding a junkyard full of Christine wrecks to bed.

After the movie was done shooting, all of the leftovers were purchased by Bill and Ed's Auto Wrecking in Fontana, California. I know this because I went there right after the movie hit the theaters to find a rust free panel for between the tail lights of my 57 Fury. I was 15 at the time. They had EVERYTHING there and my father and I were allowed to walk through the yard on our own.



We found a good rear panel on a 57 body (which is now on my car) and decided to tour the yard to see if a complete car could be built from what was left. We found the 'gas station car' with a huge X member welded across the top of the engine and other bracing below to keep the front end from crumpling up when it hit the Camaro. The 'first scene' car was there in truly ratty condition (LeBay's For Sale sign was even sitting in the back seat area!). It was the same car used in Darnell's garage during the "you can't polish a turd" sequence. They just put on a nice hood, bumper, etc to make the audience believe that Arnie knew what he was doing (Those parts were missing in the yard). There were three rear halves of cars (from behind the doors back with no roofs) painted like they were brand new with all of the trim mounted (they even had the rear half of the frame with the differential and they even had the Remington wide whites mounted!).


There was a painted front clip on top of a debris pile that eventually found its way onto a friend's 58 Belvedere convertible. A stripped 57 Fury was on top of a pile of other cars. The 'suction car' was sitting on the ground with all of its rubber body pieces and the giant vaccum intact. It had tinted windows, no interior, and rubber everything... but was built around an internal 58 shell (they just cut the exterior sheetmetal away). Every single mold was lying around the suction car. I was able to buy the hubcap mold and one for the fuel door. I peeled the fuel door off of the suction car and kept that too. I think I have a chrome rubber Plymouth hood emblem around here somewhere too.


The car that was crushed by the caterpillar was there. It had a dual quad 350 with chrome valve covers and air cleaners (probably the same car used for the beginning of the "show me" scene). There were two other cars that had been fairly complete. One was the one that backed up out of Darnell's office and was t-boned by the CAT. The other was just a mess... but had a full interior (also trashed). It was most likely what was left of the car the guys had fun using the sledge on.


The best part of that day was the fact that I remembered to take my camera. I took pictures of most everything I saw. There were wing tips and tons of trim. Pieces of the 'burnt car' were lying around too. There was a huge roll of the aluminum they used to make the sport tone trim. The grilles were made shiny by painting them silver and then using 1/4 inch chrome tape to make them 'shine'. It was a Christine paradise -- if you can call it that. It was pretty depressing, actually. We saw what was left of the car that chased Moochie. In one scene the car does a 180 turn. Did you ever wonder how that car stayed so level? Well... there was a rear clip laying upside down that had huge chains welded to both the rear end and the frame. It apparently wasn't going to lean at all by the looks of how tight those chains were!


Dad and I walked around for nearly 3 hours that day. Most of that time was spent trying to figure out if one complete car could have been built from the wrecks. The people at Bill and Ed's would have let us do it... they wanted to get rid of that stuff. Unfortunately, there just weren't enough good parts there to build a car. Sure, if we had the use of some welding equipment and a few weeks, we could have built a Frankenstein car. Who knows, maybe I could have sold it for $750,000!!!


I'm just happy I was able to find a dry tail panel for the Fury. I know of a lot of other 57-58 Plymouth owners who were able to buy parts before they shredded what was left (and there wasn't much) -- so it wasn't a complete disaster as many have stated in the past. I saw cars and pieces of cars in the yard that day that would have equaled ten. Add that to the 2 that were left in decent shape (one was kept by John Carpenter and the other is the prize car that was given away in a contest, the one we all know about, and you have a total of twelve. I know that many of the cars were nearly unrestorable when they were bought for use in the film (the man I bought my Fury from sold a ratty 58 to the production company. My 57 Fury was considered 'too good' to destroy. I also heard from the men at the yard that the two 'beauty cars' were well taken care of during filming. From the evidence I saw in the yard, I know that fronts and rears of cars were cut away and used over and over -- some with rubber pieces too. It wasn't as bad as everyone assumes.


I think the film has increased the awareness of the cars, which has helped each of us through increased values. I only wish that I could see a Belvedere hardtop in a color other than Christine red. The metallic green, Toreador red and the pale yellow cars are really pretty.

Aaron Kahlenberg


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PostSubject: Re: The Christine Graveyard Discovery   Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:27 am

Wow!!!!!!!

What a great story and even better further documents my "Show me Scene" GC L350 Engine which of course has previously been written documented by the original purchaser Mark M of Calif, Drew P of Calif, Martin S of Cailf and now finally Aaron remembers it at the Junk Yard in exactly the same car Mark M purchased along with the "Christine" that attempted to kill Leigh by smashing into bulldozer on both sides.

Thank you Aaron for sharing such a great story and I only wish I could have been there to purchase my own "Christine".

Joe C NY
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PostSubject: Re: The Christine Graveyard Discovery   Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:33 am

I never get tired of looking at those pics
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PostSubject: Re: The Christine Graveyard Discovery   Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:39 am

R.I.P. pretty cars. Crying or Very sad Happy to have my tail light lens from that grave yard. Just love that thing! Joe you have to be beyond proud to have the very heart of her. Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: The Christine Graveyard Discovery   Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:49 am

I really do Chrissy. Such a great feeling. More important than that is all the friends here like yourself just ads the right touch.
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PostSubject: Re: The Christine Graveyard Discovery   Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:55 am

Wow! It's amazing to see the pictures of the junkyard. It must have been quite the experience to have walked through that place back then!

Thanks for sharing these with us! Smile

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PostSubject: Re: The Christine Graveyard Discovery   Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:11 am

A truly incredible story for car fans and movie fans alike. :Ben:

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PostSubject: Re: The Christine Graveyard Discovery   Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:28 am

What are you talking about when you say the suction,and vacuum car?
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PostSubject: Re: The Christine Graveyard Discovery   Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:30 pm

EvilPlymouth wrote:
I really do Chrissy. Such a great feeling. More important than that is all the friends here like yourself just ads the right touch.

Thank you Joe. You have been a good friend as well.

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PostSubject: Re: The Christine Graveyard Discovery   Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:23 pm

The suction car is the one in the Show Me scene where they filmed it crushing in on itself while the camera was upside down. Using the original negative then flipped it to make it look like she was fixing herself.



Everyone that got there was so lucky. I really wished I could have just little tiny piece that was no use to anyone of being used to fix a car.

I remember some pieces being sold on Ebay but I couldn't afford them.

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PostSubject: Re: The Christine Graveyard Discovery   Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:58 pm

very cool
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PostSubject: Re: The Christine Graveyard Discovery   Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:26 pm

wow ive never seen these pictures before, i think one of those pictures are of my "documented" quarter panels :Jag:

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PostSubject: Re: The Christine Graveyard Discovery   Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:26 am

I never get sick of reading this and seeing those pics........I first saw this on the FORWARD LOOK site about 4 years ago.
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PostSubject: Re: The Christine Graveyard Discovery   Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:34 am

I've read this before too...but truly a very interesting read. So much destruction there but still...looks like there was a lot of usable sheet metal left.

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PostSubject: Re: The Christine Graveyard Discovery   Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:22 am

They all belong in a museum not a wrecking yard Evil or Very Mad what a waste and shame Cool thanks for the tale and pics Aaron Cheers

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PostSubject: Re: The Christine Graveyard Discovery   Sun Mar 10, 2013 11:58 am

Thank you for the pictures and the info. Very Cool!!
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PostSubject: Re: The Christine Graveyard Discovery   Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:16 pm

That newly dsicovered picture of the bulldozer car on the top is something else. Hard to beleive the actually engine sitting in that car in the picture is alive and reborn. Your a lucky man Big Joe!

https://www.facebook.com/TheChristineCarClub#!/photo.php?v=119375081584154&set=vb.167322956750873&type=2&theater

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PostSubject: Re: The Christine Graveyard Discovery   Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:14 pm

Thank you Wayne!! I may not have a documented Movie Car like Martin, however I do have her HEART! I can not wait to drive my "Christine"!!!!!!
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PostSubject: Re: The Christine Graveyard Discovery   Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:55 am

Sigh.......................

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PostSubject: Re: The Christine Graveyard Discovery   Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:27 pm

All I got to say is wow. What a waste.  Crying or Very sad 

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PostSubject: Re: The Christine Graveyard Discovery   Wed Jun 25, 2014 10:34 am

Does any of that pile still exist?
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PostSubject: Re: The Christine Graveyard Discovery   Wed Jun 25, 2014 1:10 pm

long gone, i have a set of quarter panels from there

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PostSubject: Re: The Christine Graveyard Discovery   Wed Jun 25, 2014 1:11 pm


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PostSubject: Re: The Christine Graveyard Discovery   Wed Jun 25, 2014 3:35 pm

Wow! Great photo of you Joe...and of course the famous Christine 1/4 panels too. Interesting how the sport tone was painted in. You think they used the aluminum inserts on those 1/4's or were they painted to look like aluminum inserts (from a distance). Did you get any detailed history with them?

Oh...just to remind you Joe...The Mopar Madness Car Show is in Liverpool this coming Sunday. We hope to go as long as the weather is good...

Bob

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PostSubject: Re: The Christine Graveyard Discovery   Thu Jun 26, 2014 12:29 am

i might try and make it bob, i think the sport tone was painted in, i think they were running low on the inserts, these quarters were used in many scenes but the bulldozer seen was the last for them

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