These classic rides are as scary as ever

With Halloween right around the corner, set out to find which on-screen vehicle would take the honor of being the scariest TV and movie vehicle of all time.

Its online survey concluded the top prize, winning nearly half the votes, should go to the 1957 Plymouth Fury from Stephen King's novel adaptation “Christine.”

Second place went to the sinister 1953 Peterbilt truck from the 1971 film “Duel,” directed by Steven Spielberg. Coming in third was the Munster Koach from the television series “The Munsters.”

Hauntingly enough, two of these scary vehicles can be found right here in the Chicago suburbs.

According to Wikipedia, three Peterbilt trucks were used to film “Duel,” with the only apparent survivor now residing with an owner in North Carolina. However, examples of the other two top finishers can be found nearby at the Volo Auto Museum.

It is believed 22 Plymouth Furys were used to play the part of “Christine.” The museum first came across its Plymouth in 2000, when it came in on consignment.

“It had been given away to an owner in Wisconsin as part of a promotion,” said Brian Grams, museum director. “He wanted to drive it and removed the specialized movie equipment.”

The owner had taken off such things as a roll cage, fuel cell and the “stunt seat,” which allowed a driver to sit lower in the car and not be seen from the outside — selling the illusion of a self-driving, evil car. Of the 22 Plymouths created and used in the production of the 1983 movie, Volo's car is No. 14.

The vehicle sold in 2005 but the museum purchased it back in 2011. Shortly thereafter, Grams had his own eerie experience with the finned crimson beauty.

“I was working alone late one winter night and as I was leaving, I walked past the car. As I got right in front of it, the horns started blowing. I didn't stop to investigate but kept running!” said Grams. The next morning he found a dead battery and blown horn relay, but no direct cause for the ruckus.

The Munster Koach was acquired by the museum in 2011. Famed Hollywood car customizer George Barris built the spooky street rod for “The Munsters” by grafting together three Model T bodies to complete the build. Barris has made and licensed only two other versions.

“George knew we had been wanting a Koach for a while,” Grams said. “He ended up finding this one for us.”

The massive ghostly machine induces a less jarring reaction from Grams, as well as spectators. “It's a work of art, with all of the brass, glossy black paint and gold striping — and especially the exposed engine with ten carburetors. It's a beautiful piece to look at.”

If you want to gaze upon it, on Sunday the Volo Auto Museum is hosting a special event to celebrate Halloween and 50 years of “The Munsters.” The Koach will be on display, along with Keith Dean, son of Dick Dean, who participated in building the original TV vehicle. For details, visit

The Munster Koach was created for "The Munsters" TV show 50 years ago, and returned for a 1995 TV movie remake. Courtesy of Wikipedia
A 1953 Peterbilt semi left a lasting impression that still horrifies people 40 years after it appeared in the movie "Duel." Courtesy of Wikipedia
Volo Auto Museum owns one of only three Munster Koaches licensed by Hollywood car customizer George Barris. Courtesy of Volo Auto Museum

Creepiest cars

Christine 46 percent

1953 Peterbilt from “Duel” 18 percent

The Munsters Mobile 9 percent

1943 Chevrolet Coe Van from “Jeepers Creepers” 7 percent

The Hearse in “Phantasm” 6 percent

Custom 1971 Lincoln Mark III in “The Car” 5.5 percent

The Evil Goblin semi truck in “Maximum Overdrive” 4.5 percent

Custom Chopper in “Ghost Rider” 4 percent


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