Aaron DiManna
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Cars You Didn’t Know Were in “The Nice Guys”

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A light brown 1976 Buick Electra 225, a lot like the one in The Nice Guys
Photo: Greg Gjerdingen via CC

When I think of Shane Black’s 2016 throwback buddy cop flick, “The Nice Guys,” a few things immediately come to mind. The first is the terrific banter and chemistry between the film’s lead actors, Russel Crow and Ryan Gosling. The second is the fact that, since it takes place in 1977 — and the climax occurs at the Los Angeles Auto Show during the height of Detroit’s car-manufacturing days — it’s a phenomenal showcase for some awesome vintage GM vehicles. Here are just a few, courtesy of the ever-reliable IMCDB.


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1975 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado convertible

A soft pink Cadillac Eldorado convertible with the top up, much like the one featured in The Nice Guys
Photo: Joost J. Baker via CC

Sporting one of the most iconic designs in Cadillac’s storied history, the Eldorado convertible began production in 1952 and lasted for 12 generations before being retired in 2002. While its appearance in “The Nice Guys” may be slightly anachronistic — it shows up on an old-timey rotating stage at the 1977 Los Angeles Auto Show as a new model — it more than earned its figurative paycheck. Unfortunately, that’s because it exploded.

1979 Chevrolet Impala

A 1979 Chevrolet Impala with a military-themed paint job, which the one in The Nice Guys did not have.
Photo: dave_7 via CC

While the context of the scene in which “The Nice Guys” showcases the Impala reflects the overall film’s adult-oriented sense of humor — and shall therefore remain absent from this description — it deserves its moment in the spotlight. First revealed as a concept car at an event hosted by General Motors itself, the Impala proved to be an unstoppable winner until its graceful retirement in 2020. Unfortunately, its supporting role in “The Nice Guys” is also an anachronism, as 1979 models did not exist in 1977.

1976 Buick Electra 225

A light brown 1976 Buick Electra 225, a lot like the one in The Nice Guys
Photo: Greg Gjerdingen via CC

While it was seen only briefly in the background as Gosling’s Holland March and Crowe’s Jackson Healy exit their car — which appears to be a 1968 Oldsmobile Tornado, in case you were curious — to pursue a lead, it’s worth congratulating it on being the only timeline-accurate vehicle on this list. It’s also just a rad car in general.

As I’ve taken to thinking while watching period pieces: “come for the plot, stay for the surprising number of cool old cars.”


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