The Plymouth Belvedere line was advertised as "Plymouth’s premiere line of great automobiles", and was produced from 1951 through 1970. For 1958, the Belvedere was offered in five different body styles including a 2-door hardtop, 2-door post, 4-door hardtop, 4-door post, and a convertible. All had quad-headlights and rear fins, in keeping with styling trend of the times. List price for 1958 was approximately $2,700. The Belvedere featured a push-button gear selector. Just over 36,000 of these 1958 Belvedere 2-door hardtops were produced. The 1983 movie "Christine" by director John Carpenter used relatively unknown actors to play opposite the real star of the film – a 1958 Plymouth Fury, nearly identical to the Belvedere.
Based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, "Christine" was a car with a mind of its own – an evil mind at that. Interestingly, the book describes "Christine" as a 1958 Plymouth Fury 4-door, yet a 4-door Fury would not be available until 1959. For the filming, both Fury and Belvedere models were used, as they are nearly identical in appearance, the Belvedere being a slightly plainer model than the Fury. Webster’s dictionary describes "fury" as "Violent, intense anger" – quite befitting for this car.
The "LeMay - America’s Car Museum®" car was not filmed in the movie, but is a replica of the numerous promotional cars used for the movie’s debut around the country. The promotional cars would be placed in the lobby of a theater where the movie was playing, and someone out of sight would speak to movie-goers through the hidden speakers behind the car’s grille, as if the car were alive.
Twenty four cars were purchased to build the seventeen working cars used in the filming, although most were not strictly stock models. Some were built with more powerful engines, some had reinforced front-ends, one was designed to be set on fire, while still others were designed to be crumpled and wrecked. One was fitted with hydraulic cylinders which were operated to pull the body panels inward onto itself, crumpling the bodywork. When the film was reversed, the car appeared to regenerate itself. Of the seventeen cars built for filming, only three are known to have survived the filming intact.
Movie commentary with Director John Carpenter and Production Designer Daniel Lomino for the movie Christine Sephen King, "Christine", ASIN: B000OEX52W, 1983 www.howstuffworks.com, "1957-1958 Plymouth Belvedere"
Year: 1958 Make: Plymouth Model: Belvedere Style: 2 Door Hardtop