29 August 2019

Once upon a time... in Hollywood, a classic car lovers paradise.

In American movie director Quentin Tarantinos latest film over 2000 classic vehicles were used to recreate 1960’s LA in painstaking detail. Picture car coordinator Steven Butcher was tasked with the unenviable (or enviable depending on your point of view) task of sourcing the vehicles which included a 1966 Cadillac Deville and a replica of the Manson family Ford Galaxie.

Tarantinos eye for detail is well renowned and his commercial successes give him the licence to indulge it in his own inimitable style. The evidence here for his ninth film is clear for all to see as it tells the story of the friendship between actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his long-time stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt). Margot Robbie also makes an appearance as the late Sharon Tate and there are heaps of cameos from a whole host of Hollywood A-listers from Al Pacino to Kurt Russell.

Typically, a film of this nature will use between 300 and 500 cars. No expense was spared with Once upon a time... in Hollywood as they used more than four times the typical number to ensure that all streets and parking spaces were filled. Eschewing CGI in typical fashion, 60’s LA was recreated in minute detail and the cars were a key aspect in nailing the visual.

The shots from inside the cars are stunning and really give you a feel of what it would be like to drive in this era. Tarantino deftly used radio as another device to transport us into the era, recording hours and hours of original material so the audience would hear it exactly as it was 50 years previous.

The star of the show is the 1966 Cadillac Deville that is owned by Rick Dalton and driven by Booth. Interestingly the car itself is already steeped in Hollywood history as it was the same one seen driven by Michael Madsen in Reservoir Dogs.

1966 Cadillac Deville – Sony Pictures

A keen eye might also be able to recognize Cliff Booth’s 1964 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia as it is the same make and model of car driven by Uma Thurman in Kill Bill. In the film, Pitt really tests the cars mettle but it turns out car was fitted with a modern Subaru engine and duplicated with an automatic transmission, lets pretend we didn't hear this!

Karmann Ghia - Sony Pictures

Another notable inclusion was the MG TD which was driven by director Roman Polanski (Rafal Zawiercha) and is seen most in scenes with Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie) In the passenger seat.

MG TD - Sony Pictures

Finally the film also replicates the Ford Galaxie made infamous by the Manson family. In an interview with the wrap the aforementioned Steven Butcher said  “That’s an actual replica of the real car they used to do the actual murders. I found the real car in a guy’s private collection. The guy wanted to rent it to us to use in the film. But I had a meeting with Quentin, and we talked about it and thought that would be creepy to have the real car on set.”

Make sure to take a look at our American car selection for your own Once Upon A Time In Hollywood experience.

More cars from Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood

1968 Chrysler Imperial

1969 Pontiac Firebird

1969 Lincoln Continental 

1964 Buick Riviera

1967 Plymouth Belvedere

1963 Volkswagen Beetle

1968 Jaguar E-Type

Check out the official trailer below, how many cars can you name?


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