Morgan Pritchett
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Celebrating ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ 30 Years Later: The Iconic Vehicles from the Film

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Can't Buy Me Love Lawnmower Ronald Cindy

Photo: Buena Vista Pictures

On this day, 30 years ago, the teenage rom-com Can’t Buy Me Love debuted, starring Patrick Dempsey as loser-turned-cool-guy Ronald “Ronnie” Miller and Amanda Peterson as the unattainable popular girl Cindy Mancini. The film featured many 80s-centric things, from outrageous fashion (remember that white suede outfit?) to iconic cars. Here at The News Wheel, we love taking glances back at the classic vehicles that have made appearances in film and television. Now let’s see the stars of this memorable 80s film.

1986 Volkswagen Cabriolet white

1986 Volkswagen Cabriolet

Cindy Mancini is your typical all-American popular high school girl. She’s the head of the cheerleading squad and has tons of friends (not to mention tons of guys drooling over her), so it only makes sense that she drives a somewhat newish vehicle in the film—a white 1986 Volkswagen Cabriolet. The small convertible made its first appearance in the very beginning of the film, after Cindy’s back-to-school shopping spree with her gal pals, and then again later when Ronald is washing it for her… shirtless, no less. *swoon*

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1987 Ferrari 328 GTS

1987 Ferrari 328 GTS

On their way to school, riding their bicycles, Ronald and his best friend Kenneth were discussing the pros and cons of being popular. Living next door to Cindy Mancini, Ronald is constantly crushing on Cindy and thinking of how he could possibly get a girl like her. That’s when a red 1987 Ferrari 328 GTS rolls up with a dude and his hot lady in it. Kenneth slyly states, “Now there’s your answer, buddy. If you want to be popular, you get one of those…” Unfortunately for Ronald, his $1500 from mowing lawns over the summer “wouldn’t buy the wheel.”

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1962 Chrysler New Yorker Town & Country

1962 Chrysler New Yorker Town & Country

Later in the film, Ronald parks his bike in the driveway of his home to talk to his father as he washes his 1962 Chrysler New Yorker Town & Country station wagon (which featured his Tic-Tac-Tile business logo right on the driver’s side door). Mr. Miller graciously offered up the car to Ronald if he ever wanted to borrow it and, although he said, “Thanks,” Ronald’s eyes screamed “No way!” at the unsightly and totally un-cool wagon. Later in the film, though, Ronald manages to pass the wagon off as his “undercover car,” perfect for hooking up with chicks, which instantly impresses the cool jocks.

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1971 Chevrolet Chevy Van

1971 Chevrolet Chevy Van

Each year on Halloween, Kenneth’s home is the unfortunate target of a smelly prank pulled by the popular jocks. Ronald was well-aware of the prank, but didn’t know it was his new cool jock friends that were the pranksters until he was in the 1971 Chevrolet Chevy Van, on the way to Kenneth’s house. Panic sets in and Ronald isn’t sure if he can follow through with the prank. He decides to do it anyway and immediately damages his friendship with Kenneth, as is shown in a later scene where Kenneth screams, “You sh*t on my house, man!” Way to go, Ron.

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Snapper Riding Lawnmower

Snapper Riding Lawnmower

Okay, so this isn’t technically a car, but it was still an iconic mode of transportation in the film. This was the lawnmower that earned Ronald Miller his $1500, in which he used to “rent” his dream girl as his girlfriend, as part of a deal to help her replace her mother’s ruined, wine-stained white suede outfit. (“Just rub some salt on it. It’ll come out.”) Later, in the movie’s final scene, Cindy forgives Ronald, jumping on the back of the Snapper mower and riding off into the sunset with him. Ah, young love!

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  • Morgan PritchettManaging Editor

    Morgan currently resides in Dayton, OH after living across the entire nation (seven different states, to be exact) and even in Germany for a few years. Originally a graphic design major, Morgan floated around and eventually found her calling in writing and editing after working in marketing for a few years. Her hobbies include: board games, concerts, knowing way too many song lyrics, hiking, video games, quoting pop culture, and watching sports. It is advisable to not give her coffee after 3pm. See more articles by Morgan.