I won't waste my time in this intro explaining how important Dean's car—lovingly referred to as the Metallicar by fans—is to the Supernatural fandom because I'm assuming I'm preaching to the choir right now. Only die-hard SPN fans would click on this article, so let's get right down to it!
The iconic 1967 Chevrolet Impala was originally discovered by car coordinator Jeff Budnick, and has been through 14 seasons of crashes, burger-eating, sexy times, and, you know, a little thing called Armageddon.
Dean's "Baby," originally passed down to Dean from John Winchester, is more of a character than a car, so it's definitely deserving of its own article.
Here are 10 things fans probably don't know about Dean's baby.
10. It's Called 'Hero 1' Offscreen
The pristine version of "Baby" is called “Hero 1," and it's the shiny, unscratched version that Dean is so proud of. This beauty was found in Colorado by Jeff Budnick with only 12,000 miles on the clock. It was the only of the Supernatural Impalas that did not require a paint job on an acquisition. In other words, she's always been beautiful, which is why SHE is the one used in the show's close-ups. Budnick says Hero 1 is in mint condition and is definitely the best of their fleet. Dean would have it no other way.
9. It Was Inspired By 'Knight Rider'
For those of you who just got out of Pampers, Knight Rider (NOT spelled "Night Rider") featured a black, 1982 Pontiac Trans Am with artificial intelligence named "K.I.T.T." Michael Knight was the human in the show, played by David Hasselhoff, but it was the intelligent, self-aware, and nearly indestructible car that stole everyone's hearts from the beginning.
Are you starting to understand the inspiration now?
8. The Show Owns Nine Chevy Impalas
Any fan of the show knows that Baby regularly takes a beating, which would get pretty expensive for the show if they always used the same car. The polished version with all of the close-ups ("Hero 1") is definitely not the same version they're using to crash into trucks, get beat up by a crowbar, or pull off stunts in chase scenes. Just like every other star of a hit show, Baby has her own stunt doubles to do all the dirty work for her. Nine, in fact.
7. It Has Had Two Different License Plates
True members of the fandom are aware that Dean and Sam are originally from Kansas, which meant that Dean's original license plate read “KAZ 2Y5.” According to Supernaturalwiki.com, the "KAZ" was meant for Kansas, where the boys were from, and the "2Y5" was meant for 2005, when the show aired. In season two, the plate is changed when Sam and Dean are arrested; FBI agent Victor Hendriksen said they were being tracked. Remember that? Since then, it reads "CNK 80Q3."
6. It Wasn't Meant To Be Dean's Original Car
"When I was originally writing the show I wanted to give the guys an American muscle car. My first choice was a '65 Mustang. My neighbor said it has to be a '67 Impala because you can put a body in the trunk. He says, 'You want a car that, when people stop next to it at the lights, they lock their doors.'"
Yep, that's 100% true.
5. Prices For the Car Have Skyrocketed Since The Show
Unsurprisingly, the 1967 Chevy Impala has gone up in price since Supernatural premiered. Many fans have actually restored their own versions of "Baby" and can often be seen on display at conventions.
Fun fact: A fan-restored car was used for the "9.20 Bloodlines" episode in Chicago rather than dealing with the hassle of trying to get the usual Impala across the border.
Before the show, the car was priced at $500. When the 2016 season premiered, “1967 Chevrolet Impala” became the most searched vehicle on ClassicCars.com and is currently priced around $50,000.
RELATED: Top 10 Best Selling Cars of All Time
4. They Have Special Modifications
Supernatural's Impala fleet is specially modified to minimize the risk to the stunt drivers and to achieve the shots required by the script. This requires a lot of crashing, rolling, sliding, smashing, racing — you get the idea. All stunt cars have been equipped with high performance small block 350s and special equipment to assist with special shots that otherwise would be very difficult to achieve. The main (hero) car has a 502 Big Block 550 Horsepower Engine and is the only one with a factory air conditioner. I have no idea what any of that car talk means, but it sure as hell sounds impressive.
3. The Original Baby Was Totaled
In case you can't remember (it has been a long time), "Baby" was totaled by a demon truck driver during the season one finale "Devil's Trap." Sam and John were injured, Dean was thrown into a coma, and the Impala was totally destroyed. The "stunt Impala" that was hit by the truck wasn't salvageable and has been sitting in the same place for 10 years (as you can see in the picture above). Unfortunately, this isn't the only time the Impala has been done wrong.
2. They Have An Impala Junkyard
In case you’re wondering, they do keep the trashed versions of the car. In a Facebook post, Jensen Ackles (Dean Winchester) was filming and came across the very first (rotting) edition of the Winchester Impala in a wreck-yard. Car coordinator Jeff Budnick mentioned the season one Impala makes an appearance in a bush in the background of season 11’s third episode. He tries to use all the trashed parts as often as he can, however.
“I do that quite a bit. If you actually really look close, you’ll see a lot of stuff. If I have a junkyard scene, you’ll see Impala doors or hoods from the car that were crunched from different episodes we’ve done. I always try to do that.”
1. There Are Cameras Everywhere
Have you ever wondered how they shoot all these moving car scenes?! The picture above shows you how, and yes, it does seem a little dangerous. Actor Jensen Ackles is said to get nervous driving the camera rigs around at times when his focus was required to be on the co-actor, rather than the road. Not only that, but the windshield is almost completely blocked by a hood mount camera rig and the over-the-shoulder shot is at an angle where the side-mirror would be. I hope he doesn't ever need to parallel park!