Lou Glutz Motors from “Vacation”Nov 27th, 2013 | By Lindsay | Category: Movie Locations
Fellow stalker Owen, of the When Write Is Wrong blog, recently embarked upon a mission to try to track down some of the unknown locations from one of his favorite movies, the 1983 classic Vacation. He had quite a bit of success, too, managing to pinpoint two elusive spots, one of which was the Norwalk motel where Clark W. Griswold (Chevy Chase) skinny-dipped with The Girl in the Ferrari (Christie Brinkley) – a place I was absolutely dying to stalk while in L.A. two weeks ago, but unfortunately, the long trek down to that area made it unfeasible to do so. Anyway, Owen’s quest had me reviewing some of the movie’s more well-known locales, including Glendale Dodge Chrysler Jeep, which I had long been aware stood in for the supposed Chicago, Illinois-area Lou Glutz Motors in the flick. Even though I lived mere miles from the dealership for over 13 years, because I assumed it had long since been remodeled, I figured it was not worth a stalk. So when I saw via Google Street View that the spot remained virtually unchanged from its onscreen appearance three decades ago (yes, three decades!) I was absolutely floored and decided that I had to write a blog post on it, stat!
In the opening scene of Vacation, Clark arrives at Lou Glutz Motors with his son, Rusty Griswold (Anthony Michael Hall), to pick up the Antarctic blue Super Sports Wagon with the CB and optional Rally Fun Pack that he ordered for his family’s upcoming road trip to Los Angeles. After turning in his “ol’ gas guzzler,” he learns from salesman Ed (Eugene Levy) that the car he purchased has not actually arrived yet. And while Ed tries to steer Clark to a “damn fine” Wagon Queen Family Truckster in metallic pea, Clark, who is not your “ordinary, everyday fool,” cannot be deterred from the auto that he originally ordered.
That is until his old car comes back from the wrecking area, completely flattened. As you can see in the photographs above and below, aside from a difference in paint color and the addition of some bright red awnings, the dealership has been pretty much left untouched since Vacation was filmed in 1983! Despite several changes in ownership, the exterior stairway, the plants below it, the screen above the service bay, and even some of the directional road markings all still look exactly the same as they did onscreen.
The exterior of the showroom also remains in its 1983 state, minus the addition of a second set of doors.
The Star Lincoln-Mercury dealership that was visible in the background of the scene also still looks exactly the same as it did onscreen, but I, unfortunately, did not snap any photographs of it.
I honestly cannot express how cool it was to stalk this location and to see in person how closely it still resembles the images of it that are ingrained in my memory from having watched the flick so many times over the years. LOVE IT!
I would like to wish all of my fellow stalkers a very happy Thanksgiving. I will be taking the next few days off to celebrate the holiday with my family, but I promise to be back on Monday with a whole new location. And be sure to check out my latest Los Angeles magazine post, which will be published tomorrow.
For more stalking fun, be sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Los Angeles magazine online. And you can check out my other blog, The Well-Heeled Diabetic, here.
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: Glendale Dodge Chrysler Jeep, aka Lou Glutz Motors from Vacation, is located at 900 South Brand Boulevard in Glendale.