Old School Americana & Nostalgia


‘The Blues Brothers’: Whatever Happened to the Bluesmobile Car From the 1980 Comedy Classic?

‘The Blues Brothers’: Whatever Happened to the Bluesmobile Car From the 1980 Comedy Classic?

You’d never think a 1974 Dodge Monaco would go down as an iconic film car, but the one featured in The Blues Brothers certainly did. The 1980s cult classic is a musical comedy that happens to have one of the most impressive classic car chase scenes ever.

The story follows paroled convict Jake and his blood brother Elwood on “a mission from God” to save their childhood orphanage by reuniting their R&B band for a fundraising performance to pay the property tax bill. Of course, this film being based on a Saturday Night Live sketch, hijinks ensue along the way.

Dan Ackroyd and John Belushi’s titular characters go through several car stunts throughout the film. However, the film ends with an exciting chase as the brothers race against time to reach the tax office in Chicago. They encounter police troopers, SWAT teams, and determined Nazis, leading to an adrenaline-fueled showdown that keeps audiences reaching for their seatbelts.

Elwood Blues Hilariously Details the Blues Brothers Car’s Specs in an Iconic Scene

Elwood Blues, portrayed by Dan Aykroyd, selected the ’74 Monaco, a dilapidated police car with worn-out paint and black steel rims. When introducing the car to his brother Jake, Elwood famously lists the Bluesmobile’s specs. “It’s got a cop motor, a 440-cubic-inch plant. It’s got cop tires, cop suspension, cop shocks,” Elwood says. “[The] model [was] made before catalytic converters so it’ll run good on regular gas.” 

According to Hot Cars, the Dodge Monaco was a popular choice among police forces in the late 1970s. Dan Aykroyd, co-writer of The Blues Brothers, reportedly selected the ’74 Monaco as he believed it was the most impressive cop car of the decade.

However, the Bluesmobile wasn’t your typical stunt car even under to hood. The engine in the 1974 Dodge Monaco was a massive 7.2-liter V8. Due to the 1973 oil crisis, performance wasn’t a priority – rated at 220 horsepower and 345 lb/ft torque. Weighing nearly 4,500 pounds, the ’74 Monaco struggled to reach 0 to 60 mph in under 10 seconds.

The ‘Blues Brothers’ Broke a Record for Cars Demolished in a Single Film

The film used 13 former California Highway Patrol cars rigged to look like the Bluesmobile. Some were modified for speed or stunts, while one was rigged to fall apart at the Cook County Building. A mechanic spent months preparing it. Over 60 police cars were bought for chase scenes, with a 24-hour body shop on standby for repairs.

Upon its release, the movie set a global record for the highest number of cars demolished in a single film with 103. This record stood until 1998, when its sequel, The Blues Brothers 2000, exceeded it… with 104.

If you’re a hardcore Blue Brothers fan who would like to check out the car from the film, you’re in luck. Today, an example featured in the movie is showcased at Volo Auto Sales and Museum in Illinois.