Dream car for National Lampoon’s fans
IT MAY not have a grandmother strapped to the roof or the Griswolds bumbling about inside, but the recreation of the Wagon Queen Family Truckster going to auction this week in America is otherwise very close to the original created for the 1983 blockbuster National Lampoon's Vacation.
To be sold without reserve at the upcoming Barrett-Jackson auction at Palm Beach, the replica of one of Hollywood's most famous movie cars is a drawcard expected to bring some smiles among the many supercars and American muscle cars taking top billing at one of the most anticipated car auctions in the US.
Like the original, the latest Wagon Queen Family Truckster has extensive wood panelling, eight headlights, a gauche grille and a sturdy roof rack perfect for long distance touring.
The rear number plate has been bolted on wonky and it's finished in "metallic pea" that its purchaser Clark Griswold was not initially a fan of.
In keeping with the original's place sending up 1970s American family cars, the replica Wagon Queen Family Truckster is powered by a 5.0-litre V8 guaranteed to slurp plenty of petrol.
While the original was created from a 1979 Ford LTD Country Squire this replica is off a similar 1981 Ford LTD Custom wagon.
The movie car was created by the late George Barris, a legend in Hollywood who was responsible for some of the wildest and most iconic screen cars ever produced.
His most famous is the original Batmobile, modelled off a 1955 Lincoln Futura.
That car sold at auction in 2013 for US$4.6 million.
Barris also created one-off car modifications for celebrities, including Elvis Presley, Zsa Zsa Gabor and Frank Sinatra.
The Barrett-Jackson auctions are known for selling some of the most collectable cars in America, occasionally throwing up a wildcard such as the Family Truckster.
As well as a long list of Porsches, Corvettes, Cadillacs and Aston Martins, the Barrett-Jackson auction previously sold the 1966 Batmobile and a promotional Pontiac Firebird used in Smokey and the Bandit.
It's also known for attracting celebrities keen to add to their vehicle collections.
No word on how much the replica Family Truckster will sell for, although there's unlikely to be a long list of suitors desperate to park the hideous machine in the driveway.
In 2013 it was reported one of the original cars from the movie failed to sell for its US$35,000 asking price.