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Lou Glutz Motors from “Vacation”

Nov 27th, 2013 | By | Category: Movie Locations

Vacation Star Dealership (9 of 18)

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.

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vacation car dealership (1 of 1)

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.

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Vacation Star Dealership (3 of 18)

The exterior of the showroom also remains in its 1983 state, minus the addition of a second set of doors.

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Vacation Star Dealership (5 of 18)

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.

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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!

Vacation Star Dealership (12 of 18)

Vacation Star Dealership (16 of 18)

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.

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For more stalking fun, be sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Los Angeles magazine onlineAnd you can check out my other blog, The Well-Heeled Diabetic, here.

Vacation Star Dealership (6 of 18)

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  Smile

Stalk It: Glendale Dodge Chrysler Jeep, aka Lou Glutz Motors from Vacation, is located at 900 South Brand Boulevard in Glendale.

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7 comments

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  1. Michael says:

    Fine!

    I am french and did not know anything about the movie & its sequels before 2012 or so ; it was not that famous in France, it seems, or I may have just missed the point back in 1983…

    I discovered this funny family comedy while tracking Lindsey Buckingham’s music – here he did again a nice track, like for ‘Back to the future’-1.

    ‘Lou Glutz Motors’ always sounded to me like a joke for any typical crook-wheeler-dealer name.
    But don’t you know there is a genuine ‘Lou Glutz Motors’ in Eugene, OR?

    It has a crown logo with LG initials, mostly in the (pea…?) greens and is well referenced on Google so anyone will find it. A giant monkey figure at the entrance claims “No monkey business here”. :)

  2. steve says:

    did you notice theres a chevy chase drive about a block away lol

  3. Candi says:

    Love this movie! I think I’ve seen it over 100 times. Congrats on LA Magazine!

  4. Malinda says:

    Love it! Christmas Vacation is part of our Christmas tradition! Love the Griswold’s!

  5. One of my favorite movies! Linds, we must plan a day to stalk some Vacation locations! Come on! You know you wanna!

  6. Owen says:

    Man, I love that movie. This is a “Vacation” I take at least once a year. Clark, though a bit of a dim bulb, has a big heart and just wants to enjoy a family trip. But life gets in the way. We can all relate, I think. It’s one of the fun-fun-funniest films of all time. It’s pure entertainment, and it reflects simpler — and less-PC — times. (Could they even get away with the French kiss line today?)

    I’m disappointed, Lindsay, that you lived so close for so long and never visited this filming location. And you call yourself a stalker! 😉 You had no need to check its appearance on Google; you could have asked me. On my lone trip to L.A. years back, this was one of the must-see stops for my brother and me. Our hotel in Eagle Rock was 2 miles away, so we passed the car dealership on an almost daily basis … and each time we did we got excited. Why wouldn’t we? It’s where part of an ‘80s classic was filmed! It’s where the family truckster, which Cousin Eddie described as “a beaut,” began its cross-country adventure. In the spirit of tomorrow’s holiday, I’m thankful for today’s post.


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