Elvira's Car: The True Story of the Macabre Mobile
Elvira, Mistress of the Dark Movie Car
The internet has a lot to say about Elvira's car, but after doing our research, we were left with a lot of questions. It's definitely a T-bird, but is it a 1958 or a 1959 Ford Thunderbird? Does Cassandra Peterson (the plucky redhead behind our favorite horror hostess with the mostess) still own the Macabre Mobile? Where is it now?
Elvira Tells the Story of the Macabre Mobile
So, to get to the bottom of things, we went straight to the source and had a chat with Elvira herself so the Queen of Halloween could dish out the devilish details and the origin story of her Macabre Mobile.
"It's actually a 1959 T-Bird." explains Elvira. "I'd talked about 'jumping into my ole macabre mobile' at the end of my TV show, Movie Macabre, for years. So, once we started filming Mistress of the Dark, we had to think about what the Macabre Mobile would actually look like since we had written scenes in the movie where I would have to drive it."
A Car Was Born
After a run-in with a saw-wielding prop department for Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, the classic car was transformed into a Ford Thunderbird "permanent convertible" that matched her gorgeous goth character tit for tat.
She continues, "Yes, I was walking down Melrose Ave. in Hollywood one day and spotted a '59 T-Bird convertible and immediately knew, that's Elvira's car!"
Elvira explains, "Unfortunately, buying one was way out of our production budget, but luckily for me, the prop department found an old hard top clunker we could afford. They sawed off the top... and the rest is history."
After the Movie Elvira, Mistress of the Dark
After the film wrapped, Elvira and the 1959 Ford Thunderbird aka Macabre Mobile parted ways. She said, "Yeah, I was offered to buy the car when the film wrapped, but 1) I didn't have a garage where I could store a 'permanent' convertible, and 2) it didn't run! I just didn't want to deal with it at the time."
Happily, Elvira and her car were reunited years later. Elvira explains, "Many years later, the woman who had bought it at auction, Lynne Goldsmith, a famous rock 'n' roll photographer, called me out of the blue and offered to sell it to me since she was moving from Los Angeles to NYC and would no longer have a place to keep it."
Makeover by George Barris
The next stop for the Macabre Mobile was a makeover by iconic Hollywood car builder, George Barris.
Elvira continues, "After buying the car, we took it to George who implemented our ideas. We hired a friend, artist Brian Cooper, to sculpt the chrome skull and crossbones hubcaps, spider web grill, Elvira hood ornament, etc. George's team affixed all the pieces to the car and got it in working order."
After that in 2016, for the History Channel show Counting Cars, Danny Koker and his team transformed the interior and exterior of the black 1959 Thunderbird Macabre Mobile. They added the leopard print upholstery and the coffin trunk along with a new paint job.
Elvira reminisced, "Yes, in exchange for Elvira appearing on the show, they did a complete makeover on the Macabre Mobile, giving her a new paint job, leopard upholstery, and the addition of the 'coffin' trunk interior. They did a great job and I had a blast working on the show!"
Where is Elvira's Car Now?
As to the question of where Elvira's car is now, she explains, "There is only one real Macabre Mobile and, as of last month, she is now on display in Danny Koker's car collection in Las Vegas, NV. It's open to the public, so next time you're in Vegas, stop in and see her!"
Some Final Thoughts from the Mistress of the Dark
And because we couldn't resist asking a few more questions, here's what Elvira had to say about the gorgeous Macabre Mobile:
Q. What's your favorite thing about the Macabre Mobile?
A. The looks I get when I'm driving her.
Q. If you could take the Macabre Mobile on a road trip anywhere, where would it be?
A. Definitely Las Vegas. And I have!
Q. What's your top tip for keeping a deathly pallor when driving a convertible?
A. Be sure to wear a sunscreen with an SPF of 10,000 or higher.
Kreepsville's Macabre Mobile Collection
If you love Elvira's car as much as we do, you'll want a little piece for yourself. And now you can have it! Check out our Macabre Mobile collection, which includes purses and wallets featuring details from Elvira's 1959 Ford Thunderbird convertible. And of course, some of our favorite Elvira shirts, pins, and other accessories feature this creepy car.