Los Angeles-based actor Wilmer Valderrama, 41, told AJ Bame at Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser in 1969 and Mercury in 1951.
When I was growing up, I was drawn to TV shows and movies with iconic cars. “Knight Rider”, “CHiPs” motorcycles, James Bond and Aston Martin, “Batman” and Batmobile, “Explosion! Duke”. I liked how cars actually play characters in these movies and shows.
When I first saw the movie “Cobra”, I was really young. Sylvester Stallone plays this cop assigned to protect the leading actress. He drove this 1950 Mercury, and there were some amazing stunts. For one, he’s speeding up from the bad guys, pulling 180, throwing the car backwards, firing a gun through the window and continuing. I watched the movie and said: Someday I’ll get the car.
Photo: No longer a prop
Wilmer Valderrama will showcase the 1969 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser.
Fans of The ’70s Show will recognize Wilmer Valderrama and his 1969 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser. The car was featured in the show’s opening sequence, with Valderrama (18 years old at the time) holding the steering wheel.
The Wall Street Journal Emily Beruru
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One day, when I was working on the “That ’70s Show” for about five years, I was driving Laurel Canyon on the way to Ventura Boulevard, where I was filming the show. I saw this electric blue Mercury with a “for sale” sign on the side of the road. I couldn’t believe it. I talked to the guy, and he said he had to take it down. It was 1951, not 1950. It’s pretty hard to find the ’50, so I settled on the ’51. I bought it on the spot for $ 19,000 and later added another $ 30,000 goodness. It has a Corvette engine, an incredible stereo, and an air shock that raises it up and down. The rear bench seat is like a sofa.
For me, it’s now irreplaceable. It’s like a Hot Wheels toy car, but it’s full-scale. Take it out on Sundays or on the night of your fiancée date. Neighbors don’t appreciate it as much as I do because it’s incredibly noisy.
Another car I love, even if it doesn’t even have an engine. One day in 2006, I decided to shoot the final episode of “That ’70s Show”. I went straight to the props department and said, “The show is over. Everyone will want something from the show. We use Vista Cruiser.” What were they like? That car won’t run either! I said, “How much do I need that car?”
I convinced everyone to sell it for $ 500, and this 1969 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser has been with me ever since. I keep it in the show state — not the car show state, but what it looks like when it was on the set. Inside, a velcro sticker is attached from where the lights in the car were attached when shooting the scene, and a black tape is attached from where it was taped to the microphone.
Every time I see it, I’m 18 again, embarking on this adventure with my best friend, brothers and sisters, shooting the opening sequence. It may not run, but this car changed my life.
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Wilmer Valderrama still has a station wagon from “the 70’s show”
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