As many of you might know, I have been penning a series of articles called Rob’s Car Movie Review for several years now. While I have greatly enjoyed writing the series, as it combines my background and education in filmmaking, with the overarching love of my life, cars; there was one aspect of the reviews that always bugged me a bit. This was the fact that in a fairly short format review, I rarely had time to get into the specifics of the cars that are featured so prominently in the films.
So in the interest of elucidating some of the most iconic cars in Hollywood history, I am pleased to offer you the first iteration of this companion piece to Rob’s Car Movie Review, Rob’s Movie Muscle, and it’s subject, the 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 from John Wick starring Keanu Reeves!
Right off the bat, we need to get something straight: although it is said in the film’s dialogue that the car is, in fact, a rare and highly collectible Boss 429, the truth is that none of the five cars used in the film actually were. While no one has specifically come out and said what the cars used in the movie left the factory as, there are several clues seen in the film that confirm what the car wasn’t.
For starters, the cars have the non-functional hood scoop standard on the ‘69 and ‘70 Mach 1 as opposed to the more prominent one featured on the Boss 429 that actually fed air to the engine.
In addition to that, the movie cars have hood pins like a 1969 Mach 1, but the hood is not blacked out like those cars would have come with. The car is painted a charcoal gray color and has two, low-gloss black “rally stripes” on the hood, roof and rear of the car.
Further muddying the waters is the fact that John Wick’s steed has a chin splitter and rear spoiler that were not available equipment for the 1969 or 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429. The interior of the car has the deluxe appearance of what a ’69 Mach 1 would have but has, of all things, the steering wheel from a Shelby Mustang.
Whether or not an actual Boss 429 7.0 liter V8 resided under the hood of the cars is apparently not known, but whatever is there sounds good as evidenced in this clip from the film.
The film crew built, and heartbreakingly destroyed, all five of the classic pony cars while shooting the film, so it is impossible now to determine what the cars actually were. If you ask me, they probably weren’t 429’s, but rather started life as also desireable 1969 Mach 1’s. Don’t quote me on that, though.
Regardless, the car in John Wick is one mean-looking machine, befitting the image of the world’s most deadly assassin. See you next time!