The Wagon Queen Family Truckster

The Wagon Queen Family Truckster

1979 Ford LTD

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Fans of the popular movie Vacation from the early 1980s will immediately recognize the Wagon Queen Family Truckster. Fans of Ford Motor Company will recognize that the Wagon Queen Family Truckster was a modified Ford LTD from the late 1970s, 1979 to be exact. This Ford LTD stationwagon was a key component in the movie starring Chevy Chase, Christy Brinkley, and Beverly D’Angelo.

To properly disguise the Ford LTD, the filmmakers hired none other than Barris Kustoms, the crew behind the original Batmobile, KITT from Knight Rider, and so many other iconic vehicles from movies and television. Barris gave the car a good disguise, by adding big gold crowns to the C-pillars as well as a second set of inverted headlights, and a frontispiece from a completely different car. It was also given the perfect pea-green paint job to give the car just the wrong look.

The car plays a major role in the film. Just before the Griswold family is set to leave for a cross-country vacation, Clark (Chevy Chase) takes his son to the local car dealer, where he claims to have ordered a blue car called the Super Sports Wagon. The car dealer takes Clark’s old car in trade and brings out the pea-green Family Truckster. Before Clark can explain that the dealership ordered the wrong car, the audience hears his old car being crushed, thus leaving Clark and the Griswold family with the hideous green wagon that becomes the main setting for the movie.

The hilarity ensues with the family hits the road in their modified Ford LTD. As they travel to Wally World they pick up an aunt and a dog (both die along the way). Clark picks up the hot Christie Brinkley in her bright red Ferrari, and the car ends up getting tagged at one point with the words, “Honky Lips,” all while asking for directions. The car truly does play a pivotal role in the film.

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