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Remembering the Cars of Christmas Movies Past

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author photo by Autotrader December 2010

When you think of Christmas movies, the vehicle that first pops into mind is probably Santa’s sleigh. But put a little more thought into it, and you may remember a few other non-reindeer-propelled cars. Here are a few memorable vehicles from classic Christmas films.

The 1937 Oldsmobile plays a supporting role in A Christmas Story. “Some men are Baptist, others Catholic. My father was an Oldsmobile man,” says the main character, Ralphie. His dad, Mr. Parker, loves the challenge of changing the tires on his four-door sedan.

Saab makes a few notable appearances in Christmas flicks: In Love Actually, Colin Firth’s character drives a 900; in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, the Griswold’s neighbors, the snooty Chesters, drive a 9000; and in The Family Stone, Sarah Jessica Parker and Dermot Mulroney drive a 9-5, which she crashes.

Land Rovers also make a few cameos: Vince Vaughn drives a Range Rover in Four Christmases and Liam Neeson cruises in a Discovery in Love Actually. Also in Love Actually are two Jaguars, used by the Prime Minister (Hugh Grant)–an XJ8 and XJS. Other cars on the high-end spectrum include the Porsche 911 GT3 that Ryan Reynolds drives in Just Friends and the Audi A4 Cabriolet that Jack Black drives in The Holiday. In the same movie, Cameron Diaz’s character shimmies around the U.K. countryside in a Mini Cooper.

Then there are two movies where the car is meant to symbolize two extremes in life: In Bad Santa, Billy Bob Thornton’s Willie drives a Chevy Impala until he steals a BMW 7-series. And Nicolas Cage, in The Family Man, drives a Ferrari 550 Maranello when he’s the Wall Street executive. But in the It's A Wonderful Life/A Christmas Carol twist, he sees his alternate life with a wife and kids, where he drives a Dodge Caravan. Also playing a family man is Michael Keaton in Jack Frost, who dies in a crash in an early ‘60s Cadillac Fleetwood. (His wife drives a Jeep Grand Wagoneer.)

On a lighter note are three comedies: Christmas Vacation, The Santa Clause and Home Alone. In Christmas Vacation, Uncle Eddie parks a ‘72 Condor II RV in the Griswold’s driveway, much to their chagrin. Clark Griswold drives a 1988 Ford Taurus Wagon, which is used to carry home the family Christmas tree. Also cruising in a Taurus is Tim Allen in The Santa Clause. And in the now-classic Home Alone, there are multiple Dodge Ram vans featured: the ones that pick up the family to go to the airport (that Kevin doesn’t make it into) and the one driven by the two dodgy robbers.

For the remainder of the holiday season, keep your eyes peeled for those car cameos in your favorite Christmas flicks.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Remembering the Cars of Christmas Movies Past - Autotrader