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The Cars (and Bikes) of Road House

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There is a common misconception floating around mainstream America regarding the movie Road House. That misconception centers on the belief that the movie strictly about mullets and bar fights. That couldn't be further from the truth because Road House is also about some really bitchin' cars!



Bigfoot 7; aka 1987 Ford F-350 (Notice the Eagle Premier next to the Bigfoot in the photo.)

The quintessential commuter car of the 80's (at least in the hamlet of Jasper, Missouri), we see Bigfoot on three different occasions during Road House.

1. In the parking lot of the Double Deuce, late at night after Dalton and Doc are ending their first date.

2. Parked out in front of Brad Wesley's house when the henchmen come back after an unsuccessful encounter with Dalton.

3. At the auto dealership where Wesley "puts a little something down on a new car".

If Road House has a flaw, and I stress "if", it would have to be the under use of Bigfoot throughout the film. I mean, surely, Brad Wesley could have found a few more things to run over or through, like perhaps the Double Deuce itself? If he's willing to destroy an entire auto dealership because of a bouncer (er "Cooler") at a bar, why not just destroy the whole freakin' bar? Likewise with blowing up Red's auto parts store; it's obvious that was to get back at Dalton and Doc. Why not just blow up the bar? Am I missing something? You've got a Bigfoot, use it!

If anybody else out there has an explanation as to why Brad Wesley didn't just use the Bigfoot run over the whole town of Jasper (excluding the Photo Mat, the 7-11, and the J.C. Penny's, of course), I'd really like to know.

1989 Eagle Premier

I would have loved to have been in the creative meetings with Director Rowdy Herrington when they decided on which vehicles to put in the film. Perhaps the conversation went something like this:

ROWDY: All right, guys, the henchmen need something to drive around Jasper in. Now we could just have them drive the Bigfoot everywhere, but that would be a little too cliche, don't you think? What are our options?

CREATIVE ASST. #1: How about a Corsica? It's one of the best selling cars in the country right now.

CREATIVE ASST. #2: Or a Beretta? Those are nice. I think it won an award from Motortrend, or something like that.

ROWDY: Are you guys kidding me? That's the best you can come up with, Corsica and Beretta? The is the car the henchmen drive, it's got to scream pure evil!

CREATIVE ASST. #1: Pure evil?

ROWDY: Yes, pure evil!

CREATIVE ASST. #2: I'm not sure there are too many cars that scream "pure evil", Rowdy.

ROWDY: Look, I don't want these guys driving all over Jasper to cause death and destruction in a car your Mom would drive to the grocery store. Okay? We need something intimidating. Something mysterious. Something so scary that no one in this country will ever think about buying one and the manufacturer won't even be making it in ten years! Oh, and maybe it can be designed by some Italian dude. You see what I'm saying?

CREATIVE ASST. #2: You want something no one will want to buy?

ROWDY: YES!

CREATIVE ASST. #1: And the company won't even make it in ten years?

ROWDY: Exactly!!

CREATIVE ASST. #2: And you want it designed by an Italian?

ROWDY: That would be perfect.

CREATIVE ASST. #1: I got two words for you, Rowdy: Eagle, Premier.

Originally developed through a partnership between American Motor Corp. (AMC) and Renault, the Eagle Premier is the primary mode of transportation for Brad Wesley's Henchmen. The exterior was designed by notable Italian automobile designer, Giorgietto Giugiaro, while the interior contained state-of-the-art push-button technology. It's a great car for the Whenchmen due to the standard bench seats in the front and back, seating up to six individuals.

And, yes, you read the director's name correctly; the first name of the man who directed the movie Road House is Rowdy. Isn't that like the director of Rocky being named Punchy?

1988 Mercedes-Benz 560 SEC

This car is used for two things: driving Dalton to Jasper from New York ("I don't fly. Too dangerous."), and as a distraction in order for him to infiltrate Brad Wesley's compound. That's it, that's all Dalton ever does with this fine automobile.

Dalton's a smart guy; once he gets to a new town he takes his Benz, puts a car cover over it and hides it. Then he heads down to the local used car lot and picks up whatever beater he can find (1987 Buick Riviera), along with four spare tires. Watching Dalton load a entire spare set of tires into his car you get the feeling that he's done this before. The genius of Dalton's actions becomes quite clear as the film progresses.

Kawasaki KRR 250

This is the bike that head Whenchman Jimmy is riding when he lets out his epic evil laugh after torching Emmet's farm. Jimmy wouldn't be laughing long as Dalton runs him down on foot, leaps over the bike and knocks him off, and then proceeds to beat the crap out of him, finished off by Dalton ripping out Jimmy's throat with his bare hands...or something like that.

Here's a factoid that you wouldn't get unless you watched Road House on DVD with the director's commentary turned on: Rowdy Herrington came up with the idea for the Dalton-rips-out-Jimmy's-throat scene based on an urban legend that was prominent where he grew up. According to Herrington, there were rumors that a guy was killed in the next town over after someone ripped out his throat during a fight. Nice.

Harley-Davidson Big Twin

Wade Garrett rides a motorcycle...excuse me, chopper...to Jasper to meet up with Dalton. For years I hadn't a clue as to what type of chopper it was, but considering the fact that Wade is dead about 30 minutes later it really didn't matter. However, through the magic of the Internet, I've found out that it was a Harley-Davidson Big Twin, whatever the hell that is.