BLUES BROTHER’S BLUESMOBILE RE-DISCOVERED
In an unexpected development while traveling in northern Mississippi, I chanced upon a true movie relic. One of the original Bluesmobiles used by Aykroyd and Belushi in “The Blues Brothers” first movie was found safe and still drivable.
The clunky 1974 Dodge Monaco 440 Magnum, ex-Mount Prospect Police car was found sitting along Highway 49 (the Blues Road) just outside of Clarksdale, MS. (Click on the photos to enlarge). The story of how the car got to this place is an interesting one. Seems it was originally given to a blues club in New Orleans (Hard Rock Café or House of Blues, the story is fuzzy), but through some misunderstanding or just a plain slight the car was driven out of the Big Easy and given to the owners of Hopson Plantation in Clarksdale instead.
Dan Aykroyd himself is said to have driven the car to Hopson and it just did make the journey having experienced some type of mechanical problem along the way. In any case, here it sits at the Commissary at Hopson. Seemingly abandoned and looking forlorn.
Aykroyd is said to have gone into Clarksdale looking for someone to take possession of the car after the long drive. He told his story to a lady at some restaurant, who did not know who he was and refused him a meal due to the late hour. Ahh! more intrigue and legend surrounding this car.
Movie buffs will remember that the police car was a “magic car” and could perform feats like jumping draw bridges in the full upright position. It also had that great speaker system on top of the car, which allowed blues music to be played while cruising the ‘hood. Well, that speaker still exists and occasionally makes its way back on top of the Monaco.
The interior of the car is in pretty good shape, but the exterior shows the wear of movie making and almost 30 years of just sitting around in the weather. The original decals and paint are intact, as well as the bullbar on the front, so this looks like an original Bluesmobile.
I really enjoyed seeing this totally unexpected piece of cult-film memorabilia. Post some comments and let me know about your memories of the movie and the car.
FOR SOME MORE PICTURES OF THIS CAR GO TO youtube “Modern Blues Harmonica 120” and view the video by Adam Gussow.
IF YOU ARE INTO THE BLUES READ MY BLOG ABOUT A LITTLE KNOWN JUKE JOINT IN CLEMSON,SC THAT WAS HOST TO SOME OF THE BIGGEST NAMES IN THE ENTERTAINMENT BUSINESS. See “Littlejohn’s Grill; Clemson’s Blues Remembered.”
Sorry to disappoint you, but that car was not used in the movie. The story behind the car is nothing more than a story. In addition to various inaccuracies of the car itself, the supporting documentation (a supposed fax from Dan Aykroyd himself) is completely bogus. It is rife with errors that Mr. Aykroyd is too intelligent to make.
For more information, I direct you to the corresponding forum thread regarding this car, where our crack team of Bluesmobile experts weighed in with their analysis:
This isn’t the original Blues Mobile. Close but not…. Good story though… We don’t know were that car is. If it was the actual car it would be worth alot of $$$$$. We think that it’s sitting in Mr Aykroyds garage in LA… Glad you had a nice trip through..
Well guys you got me wondering. The man who owns the car insists it is one of the 7-8 cars used in the movie. It has a plaque on the dash that says it is a “certified car used in the movie”. The decals that don’t show-up well in the pix are correct and he has the enormous speaker that goes atop the car. Now, why is it sitting outside rusting. I asked and the answer is “everything sits outside.” He has a Nash Metropolitan rusting into the ground,a vintage Cadillac rusting into the ground. More research is needed, I agree.Anyone else know about this car?
The decals are not correct, the star is way more sharp than the one in the movie, and the P1 on the side is a completely different font (the P is the wrong shape amd the 1 is too thick).
The “To Serve and Protect” text is a different font.
The car also seems to be missing the phone number on the side, the vehicle number on the trunk. Also if you compare it to the side view of the car as it pulls up in front of the Triple Rock, you can see the one in the photo is missing the hole where the police radio antenna used to be. I’m not saying ALL the Bluesmobiles had this hole, but I’m fairly sure the majority of them were ex-CHP cars.
The star is way too close to the door handle. The mirror is wrong too (yes, that could have been replaced).
And the dead giveaway that this is not an original? Look closely just above the rear tire in dscn0083.jpg. You can see someone has painted over “House of Blues”. Above it I think it says which HOB it came from but the text is too blurry. It seems to be a former HOB replica. I wouldn’t be surprised if it came with a speaker, most of the HOB cars had one too.
Also, FYI, there were 6 principle Bluesmobiles (full interior, 22 gal. capacity, camera mountable), there were 2 stunt models (22 gal. capacity, for use with the stunt drivers only), 3 jump cars (1 gal. capacity, specially reinforced for ramp stunts only), and 1 mockup car (0 gal. capacity).
GOOD STUFF HERE GUYS! KEEP IT COMING. I STILL DO NOT SEE WHY THIS COULD NOT BE ONE OF THE MOVIE CARS. SURELY, THEY DID NOT ALL LOOK ALIKE (?) TELL ME IF YOU KNOW BETTER BECAUSE I AM OUT OF MY LEAGUE HERE WITH ALL OF YOU BLUESMOBILE EXPERTS. ALSO EVERYONE SEEMS TO HAVE A DIFFERENT # OF CARS THAT WERE MADE TO LOOK LIKE BLUESMOBILES. WERE THESE JUST OLD COP CARS OR WERE THEY CUSTOMIZED TO LOOK LIKE OLD COP CARS ?
i have emailed the owner of the car in the picture and have receive no response. this does not mean a whole lot since he does not respond to most emails, but i have tried.
I am amazed at how many hits these photos have gotten over the past 18 months! Obviously, this is not the “real” Bluesmobile, but a replica… tell me what is the latest. Has anyone been to Hopson Plantation lately to see the car?
I was there this weekend and took photos of the car. Talked to the bartender and was told that Dan drove it down from the new Orleans HOB and had electrical trouble and gave it to the owner due to his car collection outside and love of the blues. I’m sure money was involved also. 🙂 didn’t see the plaque in the window of the car but as a fan it definately gave me fond memories of watching the movie with my father and learning about the blues.
Thanks Ian for the update. Glad you got to see the car. Hopson Plantation has some “new” tractors and other interesting stuff that they have received recently. Hope you saw that neat stuff too.
Interesting…..You say the speaker “still exists and occasionally makes its way back on top of the Monaco,” yet I see no mounting holes or scratches on the roof. You don’t really think they drove those things around with nothing but rope holding the speakers on, do you?
Oh, and by the way, the “real” speaker that Jake and Eliot “borrowed” was an air-powered horn that wouldn’t even work as a PA speaker, so let me just burst that bubble for you too while I’m at it.
A lot has been learned about this car since I wrote about it 2 years ago. It is most likely not one of the original Bluesmobiles, but it is still any interesting car. These photos have been viewed hundreds of times and everyone has their own opinion.
But the Bluesmobile in Universalstudio LA is a real movie car???
Well if the story is true and if the car is one of the originals, its sad as hell that some hillbilly just left it outside to rot. Just think how many people over the years have looked for those very few cars that might have survived, im sure that alot of auction houses etc. have looked for those cars, if it real it for sure would be worth alot of cash at auction, if it had the right papers etc. that would be needed to confirm that its real. Im from Chicago and i still live here, that movie means alot to people from here, and if they want to leave it rot outside, im comming down there and taking it back for the city of Chicago….
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I agree Ronnie! But I hate to burst bubbles also, but the bumpers never had the “add on” vertical little bumpers on the movie car. Yes, the car is close to the movie car, but the star is not in the same spot, plus missing, or wrong numbers on body. What color was the interior of this car? I have a friend that built one of these cars and it looks exactly like the movie car. I dont even think Mr. Dan Aykroyd could tell the difference! LOL I built a replica Knight rider car, and this stuff happens every day. Sorry buddy I just dont think its true. But If it is, I would love to see it back home! I would love to have this car to my self anyway, do a resto on it and take it to car shows!
Hey Blues lovers. Check-out the Littlejohn’s Grill website–www.littlejohnsgrill.com for more information about the blues and this historic blues venue in Clemson, SC.
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I was fortunate to have owned two 1971 Plymouth Fury police cars. The first one, PK41U1D247847, I think, I bought in Columbus, Ohio for $600 in early 1975. I traded it for a ’69 Charger R/T a year later. I bought another one from Virginia in 1979 and my bride drove it until the steel mills closed and gas went past $1 per gallon. They were big, comfy, four-door hot rods with their high-compression 440 Magnum engines. Where the low-comp Bluesmobile was only capable of 120, the Furies topped out at 135 (through Columbus traffic radar on I-70 East while racing a 454 Impala. He stayed even until 125, then the Fury walked away).