Vanishing Point Car Movie Review

Vanishing point DVD

Actual Vanishing Point DVD

I continue to search for and hunt down car movies that I haven’t seen yet. This weekend I got my hands on the remake of an old classic known as vanishing point.  Don’t miss the pictures and information about the Kowalski special edition 2011 Challenger SRT8 below.

The film was made in 1997 and stars Viggo Mortensen as James Kowalski an ex race car driver and former army ranger turned classic car transporter. The DVD disc is an exact replica of the speedometer from a 70 challenger RT pegged at over 150mph. Pretty cool bonus for people who like to collect muscle car films.

Of course like in the original the star of the show is a 1970 Challenger RT. True to the original this Mopar muscle car is in stark white with a black interior. A desirable four speed manual transmission with the famous pistol grip shifter. In today’s market a car like this would bring well over 100,000 dollars in decent condition. The sky’s the limit in pristine condition.

To keep this car movie review of vanishing point based in reality let’s be honest and state that the original was not big on story and neither is the remake. It’s a basic story of a man that transports muscle cars for a living. His wife is pregnant and very ill and has been admitted to the hospital 1,200 miles away and is not expected to survive.

The chase begins when he is notified to get to the hospital as soon as possible. A 1970 Challenger with a 426 Hemi is capable of attracting a lot of attention and it doesn’t take long for him to attract the attention of the local police. Although this movie is very weak in story there is plenty of excellent chases to go around.

My favorite quote from a Car Movie

Beast License Plate

The Beast License Plate

Every good car movie needs a memorable quote. And for this movie the local sheriff in Utah has been monitoring the situation as the high-speed pursuit is heading his direction from across four states. The sheriff is a muscle car fan himself and knows all about the capabilities of a Dodge Challenger RT.

The deputies tell him it’s time to set up for the pursuit so he jumps into his own personal 1968 Dodge charger. The deputy says to him, “what are you doing” you can’t use you’re own car for a police high-speed pursuit. The sheriff lays out an all-time classic quote of “it takes a Mopar to catch a Mopar”. The triple black charger is beautiful and wears a license plate that gives a hint to what’s inside. The license plate says Beast.

My first car was a Dodge charger. I am a big fan of this particular muscle car. I have written articles that talk about how many movies the Dodge charger has been in. I can add vanishing point to this list. This means as much as I love muscle car movies I’m sure I have missed others that had this mighty Mopar in it. So please visit my Dodge Chargers in movies page and see if you can think of any other ones that I have missed.

The Vanishing Point Challenger

Screen capture from the 97 movie

Screen capture from the 1997 movie

The original Movie from 1971 showcased the then new offering from Dodge. Although Plymouth had been making Barracudas since 1964 Dodge did not duplicate this size model till 1970. Here comes the big discrepancy between the remake and the original vanishing point movies. The challenger in the original was an obtainable model R/T with a 440 magnum six pack.

The 1997 version sported the much rarer version featuring the mighty Hemi. Although the 426 upgrade was only $1200 dollars not many were built that way. That was a lot of money back then and the Hemi had a reputation of being a little finicky. If people only new back then what a 426 would be worth in just a few years they would have found the extra dough. So somewhere between 300-400 where built in 1970.

2011 Special edition challenger

2011 Special edition challenger

The original movie featured a car the middle class would see as obtainable. The 440 was heavily modified and was probably pushing more HP then a stock 426 Hemi. Even though both films had issues I liked the original Vanishing point better. Plus now you can get it on Blue Ray or cheap on regular DVD.

Lets bring this Car movie review Full Circle and close this off with the new retro style of the classic Dodges. Chrysler people saw this movie too. In 2011 they built 10 Challengers for the Kowalski Edition as a tribute to the 1971 movie (sorry Viggo). You can read all about it and see pictures of the special features such as the genuine wood grain handled pistol grip shifter over at the hemming automotive blog. To see more stories I have written about automobiles click here.

2 thoughts on “Vanishing Point Car Movie Review

  1. Mark Post author

    Thanks Rohan: Hard to tell who won the race! If the Viper won I’m guessing the blower wasn’t real on the charger. Here is the Vin Diesel charger from “fast and furious movies” with a fake blower “exposed”.

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