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Cars You Didn’t Know Were in ‘No Country for Old Men’

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A Texas landscape
Photo: Yinan Chen via Pixabay

No Country for Old Men is many things: one of the best films to come from the minds of the Coen brothers, winner of Best Picture at the 2008 Academy Awards, and the home of Javier Bardem’s career-defining performance as Anton Chigurh. It’s also stuffed with classic Buick and Chevrolet models that take the film’s atmosphere to another level.

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A collection of Caprices

A quick look at No Country for Old Men’s Internet Movie Cars Database (IMCDB) page shows that the film is nearly drowning in versions of the iconic Chevrolet Caprice — a total of five, including all of its variants.

If you’ve seen the film, you’ll remember the opening scene where a police officer escorts Chigur to his squad car — a 1990 Caprice. This particular model gets a fair amount of screen time since, after a violent exchange, Chigurh takes possession of the car and drives it to his next grizzly task — hijacking a poor man’s 1976 Granada.

Later on, a major character is involved in a traffic accident that doesn’t exactly turn out well for the 1968 Caprice Estate he was driving. This drew the ire of some commenters on the IMCDB, one of whom expressed their interest in kicking the Coen brothers in a rather private area for wrecking such a collectible vehicle.

A 68 Caprice Estate, like the one destroyed in No Country for Old Men
1968 Caprice Estate
Photo: Greg Gjerdingen via CC

Set Dressing

No Country is a period piece, and as such, almost every scene is jam-packed with cars that evoke the feeling of Southern Texas in 1980. In addition to the aforementioned gaggle of Chevy Caprices, you can easily spot everything from Buick like LeSabres, Skylarks, and Wildcats to Chevrolets like the Blazer, Malibu, Impala, and Nova. To put the cherry on top, the Sheriff —played by a brilliant Tommy Lee Jones — drives a 1975 Chevrolet C-10 (when he’s not on horseback, that is).

A series of subtle mistakes

One of the biggest issues that users on IMCDB have with No Country for Old Men is that it’s filled with what are called anachronisms, or chronological inconsistencies. For instance, the Caprice squad car from above is from 1990, and several of the background Buicks and Chevys are from 1984 or 1986. Since the film is meant to take place in 1980, there’s no way — save for time travel — that these cars could be there.

Timeline mistakes and threats against filmmakers aside, No Country for Old Men is just as much — or more — of a treat for retro-car enthusiasts as it is for general audiences.

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