5 Things You Might Not Know About Dean Winchester’s 1967 Chevrolet Impala
Fascinating trivia on the automotive star of 'Supernatural'
Any Supernatural fan out there knows that Dean Winchester’s 1967 Chevrolet Impala is more of a character than a car. “Metallicar,” as fans have nicknamed the Impala, has been in the Winchester family for decades. While the show has given an in-depth history about the Impala, where it came from, and its significance, there are a few things you might not know about Dean’s “Baby.”
The Current Generation Impala: Get the specs on the latest Chevrolet Impala
1) Supernatural owns nine Chevy Impalas
The “Metallicar” has been through a lot during its run on the show, being crashed pretty much every season, being run down by a semi-truck, and even Dean taking a crowbar to the hood. But, of course, when you’re filming a show, it’s far too expensive (and impractical) to destroy a classic car just to refurbish it. Supernatural actually has nine 1967 Chevrolet Impalas on set they use to film. They are totaled from different points, some with the front end crushed, others with removable windows and doors to allow for unobstructed camera angles. A few years ago, Jensen Ackles (Dean Winchester) stumbled across an old Impala used in a car crash during the season one finale.
The primary Impala, used almost every day of filming, is referred to as “Hero 1 Impala.” Hero 1 is equipped with a 502 Big Block 550-horsepower engine and it’s the most comfortable of the show’s lineup as the only one equipped with factory air conditioning.
2) The Impala’s character was inspired by Knight Rider
When Eric Kripke, the creator of Supernatural, pitched the show, he wanted to bring back the old idea of a car being a main character. He gained a lot of his inspiration for the Impala’s “character” from his favorite childhood show, Knight Rider. “To me, KITT was the bomb and when I pitched Supernatural […],” Kripke explained. “I really wanted to introduce the Impala to bring back the idea that a car could be a main character, a trademark to the show.”
The Impala truly is its own character on the show. The 11th season even titled its fourth episode, “Baby,” after the Impala’s nickname and told the entire story from the perspective of the car.
3) Two different license plates
During the course of the show, Dean’s Impala has had two different license plates. When the show premiered, the Impala had a Kansas license plate that read “KAZ 2Y5.” The KAZ is said to represent the boys’ home state of Kansas, alongside the state plate, while the 2Y5 represents the year 2005, when the show premiered.
On the 20th episode of season two, What Is and What Should Never Be, the Impala’s license plate was swapped for an Ohio license plate that read “CNK 80Q3.” The episode prior, Folsom Prison Blues, featured the boys being arrested, and FBI agent Victor Hendriksen admitting he had been tracking them. It’s assumed the license plates were then changed to knock law enforcement off their trail. The Impala has kept this plate ever since.
4) Dean originally drove a ’65 Mustang
When Eric Kripke was writing the original script, a Chevrolet Impala was not in his first draft. His focus was a traditional, American muscle car. The first one that came to mind? A Mustang. “My first choice was a ’65 Mustang,” said Kripke. “My neighbor said it has to be a ’67 Impala because you can put a body in the trunk.” His neighbor pointed to the context of the show, reminding him that Sam and Dean Winchester were forces to be reckoned with. His neighbor said, “You want a car that, when people stop next to it at lights, they lock their doors.”
5) Prices for 1967 Impalas have skyrocketed since the show’s debut
Before Supernatural premiered in 2005, a 1967 Impala was priced at around $500. However, since it’s become an iconic demon-hunting ride, its value has gone through the roof. In fact, when the show returned for its 2016 season, “1967 Chevrolet Impala” became the most searched vehicle on ClassicCars.com with more than 50,000 searches in the month of October.
According to ClassicCars.com, a fully-restored black 1967 Chevrolet Impala is now worth anywhere between $20,000 to $50,000. Compare that to a brand new 2018 Chevrolet Impala with an MSRP of $27,895.
Rubber Basics: What you need to know about tire maintenance
Meg Thomson is a writer, photographer, blogger, and activist. When she isn’t writing, Meg can be found immersing herself in television scripts, adopting and playing with animals, or updating lists of her dream travel destinations (the list never ends). Meg believes writing is power, and equality is essential. She is determined to make a difference in the world, one word at a time. See more articles by Meg.