Gilmore Girls: The Characters and Their Cars
It’s been 17 years since the first episode of Gilmore Girls aired on Oct. 5, 2000 (back before the WB was the CW). And thanks to the invention of Netflix, we finally received a revival last year. The production of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life not only gave fans of the original series like myself a bit of nostalgia, but it sparked an entirely new wave of younger generations eager to explore the eccentric town of Stars Hollow.
Since I’m currently re-watching the series for the billionth time (don’t judge me), and to celebrate the show’s birthday, I decided to use the opportunity to take a look at the vehicles some of the main characters have driven on the Gilmore Girls.
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Gilmore Girls: The Characters and Their Cars
Lorelai Gilmore’s 2000 Jeep Wrangler
A car every ’90s kid will remember, Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham)’s Jeep is a classic Gilmore Girls symbol. The Jeep has been through a lot over the years, notably when it was hit by a deer on Rory’s way to school (much to Mr. Medina’s confusion). Lorelai is extremely attached to her 2000 Jeep Wrangler, even going as far as to replace the entire engine when the car was considered totaled. It would’ve been cheaper to buy a new car, but she fell in love with her Jeep and wasn’t ready to give it up when the engine quit. The Jeep was featured in nearly every episode, making it more of a character than a car.
Rory Gilmore’s 1961 Dodge Lancer
Now, just to be clear, Rory Gilmore (Alexis Bledel) drives two cars throughout the series’ run. The first is popularly known because it was part of a major story line. Rory’s high school boyfriend, Dean gave her the partially-built 1961 Dodge Lancer for their anniversary – along with a non-reciprocated “I love you.” This caused the couple’s initial breakup, but eventually they mended fences (for a while). Unfortunately, the car was totaled when Luke’s nephew, Jess, and Rory got into a car accident while out for ice cream.
Rory Gilmore’s 2003 Toyota Prius
As a graduation gift, Rory’s grandparents, Richard and Emily Gilmore, gave her a 2003 Toyota Prius to replace her totaled Lancer. Richard made a point of purchasing her the hybrid so she would have “great gas mileage” to make it to and from Yale. The Prius stuck with Rory throughout her years at Yale, commuting back and forth many weekends over the years, and through the end of the original series.
Luke Danes’ 1971 Chevrolet C10 Custom Camper
Another vehicle that makes its way into plenty of Gilmore Girls episodes is Luke Danes (Scott Patterson)’s dark green 1971 Chevrolet C10 Custom Camper. He loaned the truck to Lorelai to help Rory move into her dorm at Yale, but Lorelai ran into trouble from the start. The pickup is equipped with a manual transmission, which created a bit of a struggle for her. Luke was also roped into the headache when Lorelai refused to take Rory’s old mattress out of the truck’s bed. Luke’s pickup is a classic throughout the series and I don’t think anyone could imagine Luke driving anything else.
Christopher Hayden’s 2000 Indian Chief
We first met Rory’s dad, Christopher Hayden (David Sutcliffe), when he rode into Stars Hollow on his red 2000 Indian Chief. He made quite the spectacle, much to Taylor Doose’s dismay, revving his motorcycle and yelling at Lorelai from across the road. Lorelai drooled over the bike, telling Rory it’s an “80 horsepower, five-speed, close-ratio Andrews transmission.” The Indian gave Christopher a rebellious appearance, fitting for the irresponsible guy with an inflated sense of confidence that he was at the beginning of the series.
Christopher’s 1999 Volvo S80
Mercilessly mocked upon its debut, Christopher’s 1999 Volvo S80 was Christopher’s upgrade to a more responsible vehicle, compared to his 2000 Indian. Lorelai was shocked to see him in a Volvo sedan, complete with airbags and a roof. Christopher pointed out that he had matured and was beginning to grow out of his rebellious phase; he was new and improved with a new job and a new car.
Dean Forester’s 1987 Ford F-150
We hardly see Dean Forester (Supernatural‘s Jared Padalecki) driving his truck, but we got a glimpse when he showed up at Chilton to talk to Rory. He got out of his truck and saw Tristan (One Tree Hill‘s Chad Michael Murray) carrying Rory’s books. Little did he know, Tristan actually stole them from Rory and refused to give them back. Angry, Dean began to get back in his truck; that is, until Rory shouted out that she loves him (finally).
Jess Mariano’s 1969 AMC Ambassador
After saving up some extra cash from his job at Walmart, Jess Mariano (Milo Ventimiglia) sprung for a new car (well, new to him): a 1969 AMC Ambassador. The car goes through a lot in its days in Stars Hollow, including being deviled-egged by an angry Lorelai and Rory. Eventually, the Ambassador was “stolen” by Luke in an attempt to force Jess to go to school instead of his job. Once Jess found out Luke had his car, he returned to Stars Hollow to retrieve it.
Logan Huntzberger’s 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabrio
As heir to the Huntzberger fortune, it makes sense that Logan Huntzberger (Matt Czuchry) has a top-of-the-line sports car. Cruising in his 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabrio convertible, he shows off his style (and his wallet) to the rest of Connecticut. When Logan first appears in the series, his Porsche was a 2002, but he appears to upgrade to the 2006 model year as the series progresses. Logan even had Porsche-pointed daggers thrown his way by Paris, after he cheated (or didn’t cheat, it’s widely debated) on Rory in season six. I do have to admit, though, it’s a pretty sweet ride.
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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.