10 things most people didn’t know about the White Dodge Challenger from Vanishing Point

There are only a handful of car movies where the car outshines the star. Real glasses that make clear the importance of a well-cast vehicle. bullitt got it right with the Ford Mustang GT390 and the Audi S8 defined Ronin. But it’s the white Dodge challenger from vanishing point that can surpass them all.


The glossy paintwork is captured perfectly throughout the film. As the iconic muscle car hammers across America. The story may be a curious mess, but the Dodge Challenger looks fantastic.

Elevated to near-superhuman levels of performance, the four-wheel marvel thunders through to the last few frames. Furthermore, it launches itself into cult status. An icon and a star. Wrapped in movie myth and rumours, here are 10 things most people didn’t know about white cleverness Challenger of vanishing point.

Related: Check Out This Collection Of 500 Cars Featured In Movies And Television

10/10 The challenger is often misinterpreted

VP Challenger
source: flickr

There are many symbolic comments about the Challenger in vanishing point. Some have seen it as a white horse being drawn into battle by a lone knight. Others believe it portrays hope in a bleak world, or that death is making its way through America’s sprawling sprawl.

vanishing point
source: flickr

The simple truth is that the car was white because it looked good. Having a white vehicle against the bleak desert landscapes shot well and stood out. There was no intended mystical or hidden meaning. It was a practical choice. One that fueled a hundred internet stories.

9/10 Not all hero cars were really white

broken VP car
source: flickr

Chrysler rented five cars for a dollar a day. An agreement that has existed for a long time with the studio and the manufacturer. Not all of the cars delivered were Alpine White. This was no problem. Because they were quickly painted white by hand so that they could be used.

1970 Dodge Challenger 1
source: iMDb

Look closely and the true color of the cars can be discerned by eagle-eyed viewers. Under the Alpine White, green can be seen in certain dents and scratches. With the later DVD and digital versions, this is easier to spot. And makes for a very fun game.

8/10 Some notable engine differences

1970 dodge challenger vanishing point 440 engine
source: flickr

No car was equipped with the iconic 7.0-litre 426 Hemi engine. With 425 horsepower, it could launch the classic to 60 mph in 5 seconds, before blasting through the quarter mile in 13.5 seconds. Most of the engines used were not as powerful, but still delivered high performance.

Vp cap
source: mecum

By choosing the 7.2-liter 440 with 375 hp, the film crew still had a lot of power to play with. Four of the cars had this setup, while a fifth was fitted with a 6.2-litre engine. Still capable of reaching 100 km/h in 6 seconds, the 7.2-litre cars would perform incredibly well and deliver stunning visuals.

Related: Old vs New – 1971 Hemi Swapped Dodge Challenger Races A 2022 Hellcat SRT

7/10 There were actually five challengers

vanishing point car
source: iMDb

Filming was difficult for the Challenger. It was necessary to perform some stunts, tackle the terrain brought with them and simply survive. Five cars were deployed to ensure the film could be shot without delay. Each suffered damage and needed constant maintenance to last.

1970-dodge-challenger-vanishing point-anniversary
source: flickr

A 6.2 liter V8 motor vehicle with an automatic transmission was preferred for stunts. The automatic box allowed stunt riders to focus on the task, instead of swapping gears. All the cars turned out to be more difficult than expected. Impressive all who managed to drive them.

6/10 Luckily it didn’t explode

vanishing point bulldozers
source: flickr

Fueled by amphetamines, Kowalski, the driver of the Challenger, drives into the town of Cisco. Because he outsmarted the police every time, his time is now up. Two bulldozers are waiting to ambush the hero. It is an inevitable fate for both the human star and the Alpine White hero.

vp end
source: iMDb

The Dodge Challenger doesn’t slow down and crashes straight into the roadblock. A huge explosion follows and the story is over. In reality, a 1967 running grenade loaded with explosives was dragged behind the stunt Challenger. It’s this car that gets blown up, not the Challenger.

Related: We Relive the Grand Tour’s Biggest Explosive Moments Yet

5/10 Unfortunately no challengers survived

vp jump
source: flickr

Filming a car chase involves risks. In the 1970s, of course, these were much higher. During the filing of Vanishing Point, a number of mishaps and mishaps have occurred. This meant that the cars had suffered quite a bit of damage before the end of shooting.

vp garbage dump
source: flickr

The rough terrain, high power and intense schedule caused the cars to get hammered. None of them survived the ordeal. They all suffered significant damage and were subsequently destroyed by the studio. A very sad end to a series of incredible iconic movie vehicles.

4/10 No changes were needed

wheel change
source: flickr

The delivered cars came packed with horsepower. Some of the film crew thought the cars were too powerful. Often exceeding standard road tires. Some sequences were intentionally recorded at lower speeds for safety and then sped up on screen.

1970 VP Interior
source: flickr

Very few changes were made to the stock cars prior to filming. The stock suspension and transmissions all proved durable. Even when pushed to the limit for stunt shooting, the mechanical components held up. Something that many modern cars cannot boast of.

3/10 It spawned an urban legend

Vp poster
source: iMDb

The premise of the film was simple. A car delivery man wanted to make good on a bet. A bet that said it was possible to get from Colorado to San Francisco in 40 hours. It was 1971, and that meant two-lane blacktops were sticking to a prescribed 55 mph speed limit.

VP off road
source: iMDb

In the movie, the hero fails. But this didn’t stop people from actually trying it. In some circles, the story of Kowalski making the run really took hold. Those unfamiliar with the film believe in the myth. Today it is a better bet to take the Interstate. It takes about 19 hours.

2/10 A truly multifunctional vehicle

vanishing point bike
source: iMDb

The film crew’s concerns about the Challenger’s speed were well founded. It would often outperform the camera gear, and as such the reserve Challengers were called in to act as makeshift movie cars. This allowed high-speed action shots to be filmed with ease.

challenger vs etype
source: iMDb

The Challenger came into its own during the famous Jaguar E-Type grudge match. More than capable of showing the brave Brit a few clean cures, the sequence was actually filmed at a more sedate 50mph. This made it possible to take in more details along the way.

Related: 10 Things Everyone Forgot About the Jaguar E-Type

1/10 The original is always the best

VanishingPoint Poster
source: flickr

The original Vanishing Point movie received mixed reviews. A number of critics picked it apart because it had a weak storyline. While others were not impressed with the use of narcotics by the main characters. The driving sequences made it a cult classic. With the car that becomes the star.

1996-Remake-Car-1
source: flickr

A remake was released in the late 1990s. The premise remains the same, but the story has been modified to put the viewer in the hero’s plight. Nowhere as compelling as the original, the remake fell flat on its face. It is best avoided and proves that the original is best.

Leave a Comment