Old School Americana & Nostalgia


‘Death Proof’: How the Killer Chevy Nova Became a 16-Year-Old’s Car

‘Death Proof’: How the Killer Chevy Nova Became a 16-Year-Old’s Car

Quentin Tarantino’s 2007 film Death Proof showcases a sinister matte black 1970 Chevy Nova adorned with a skull and crossed electric bolts. The movie was initially launched in theaters as part of Grindhouse, a double bill pairing Death Proof with Robert Rodriguez’s Planet Terror.

Following a lukewarm reception at the US box office, Death Proof was subsequently released independently in other nations and on home entertainment platforms. The film is now a cult classic, with many fans calling the Chevy Nova the coolest car in horror.

In the film, Kurt Russell plays Stuntman Mike. He’s a killer with a unique murder weapon – a movie stunt-modified 1970 Chevy Nova. The reinforced stunt rigging turns it into a deadly machine in Mike’s hands, perfect for the film’s high-octane car chases and complementing Russell’s unhinged character.

The muscle car sports a skull and crossed electric bolts, making it instantly iconic. However, it’s the insides that make this one stand out. One of the things that make it unique is the reinforced rolling cage. Usually concealed behind movie illusions, the transparency in 2007’s Death Proof is striking. Unlike standard Chevy Novas, the film showcases one with a modified 350 V8 engine, as detailed by Hot Cars.

However, one of the surviving cars from Death Proof ended up with an unlikely owner behind the wheel. The screen used 1970 Chevy Nova wound up as the first car of a 16-year-old…

How a Teenager Ended Up Behind the Wheel of the ‘Death Proof’ Car

Kurt Russell’s stuntman purchased a surviving Nova from the production for a nominal fee of $500. He then gifted the Death Proof car to his teenage son, transforming it into a remarkable first car.

In 2017, the teenager joined Hoonigan as a production assistant for their Gymkhana and car brand. Initially, his colleagues were skeptical when he claimed that his Nova was the same car featured in the movie.

However, Hoonigan eventually did a spotlight video about their production assistant’s Death Proof car. Indeed, the teen (named Kanan per the video), backs up his claims in spades.

As you can see, the outside is still perfect, looking just like it did in the 2007 film. However, the video reveals that the inside also remains intact. That’s right, the car is still literally “death-proof” since Kanan kept the rolling cage shown in the film.

Still, that’s already been a few years. One can only hope that he’s still driving the killer Nova, maybe taking his kids to preschool in it.