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The Vintage Chevys in The Last of Us

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An overgrown Chevy truck, much like the ones in The Last of Us
Photo: Julie Mac via CC

Set in a bleak, post-pandemic world, The Last of Us is widely considered to be one of the best games of all time. Since its sequel was released just over a week ago, it seemed like an appropriate time to look back at some of the vehicles that litter its decaying streets, courtesy of the Internet Game Cars Database.

Even in a fictional apocalypse: Certified Chevy service will keep you moving

A brief disclaimer

Trying to identify particular cars in a video game poses different challenges than in a movie. Some games, like Forza, feature tons of actual vehicles that are modeled directly from their real-life versions, and their likenesses are licensed to the developer. Other games don’t need that level of accuracy, so they bypass the licensing agreement and just create generic cars based on real models.

This means that technically speaking, none of the cars in The Last of Us are really a Chevy Aveo or a Ford Crown Victoria, they just look a lot like them. That does, however, make for a lively comment section, with users debating which vehicles they think are represented. I’m using the group consensus for my listings.

Chevrolet C/K

A Chevrolet C-10, much like the one from The Last of Us
Photo: RL GNZLZ via CC

The Chevrolet C/K was part of a line of pickup trucks developed by GM from 1964 to 2001. Interestingly enough, it was marketed by both Chevy and GMC, but it became the Sierra in its fourth generation. Within The Last of Us, the C/K isn’t drivable but is used as set dressing to give the game’s gorgeous environments more personality.

Chevrolet Express

A Chevrolet Express Van
Photo: IFCAR via CC

The presence of the Chevrolet Express van in The Last of Us serves the exact same function as the C/K, but inspired far more debate among IGCD users. The first suggestion, provided by the aptly-named Carcrasher88 suggested that it was a Volkswagen Eurovan. Bondergomme countered by saying it was either a Chevy Express or a GMC Savanna, and Andra claimed that it was a mixture of all three. The argument was eventually put to rest when Car-dude44 cited the van’s rear design, horizontal turn signals, and double passenger side rear door.

Chevrolet El Camino

A 1970 Chevy El Camino, as seen in The Last of Us
Photo: Dave_7 via CC

It’s pretty hard to mistake the Chevrolet El Camino for anything else since its design is so iconic. However, its appearance in The Last of Us proves just how detail-oriented car-enthusiasts are. The IGCD lists it as a 1970 model, which was influenced by user Jimmydz28’s comment mentioning “rear slope on [the] quarter panel and tailgate.” Considering that the model in question isn’t legitimately an El Camino, the fact that developer Naughty Dog was able to provide that level of accuracy is just as impressive as people’s in-depth knowledge of 50-year-old cars.

The way The Last of Us uses vintage Chevrolet models is just one of a million tiny touches that make its world feel believable, and it proves that the automaker’s design language holds up, even in the apocalypse.

There’s still time to claim one of the last Impalas: Find yours today