Boogeyman Behind the Wheel: The Iconic John Wick and His Love for Classic American Muscle Cars

The John Wick franchise stands out among contemporary movies. It achieved commercial success despite lacking prior source material. The plot revolves around the protagonist, John Wick, a retired hitman grieving over his wife’s death due to cancer. He experiences a grave insult when the son of a Russian gangster kills his Beagle puppy, which was a gift from his late wife, and steals his car. This trope is common in revenge flicks where the protagonist embarks on a violent mission to avenge the wrongs inflicted upon them. However, the movie’s exquisite choreography, exaggerated sequences, and Reeves’ depiction of Wick’s tactical detail and tough mannerisms earned it a devoted fan base. Wick’s alias “Baba Yaga” comes from the Russian folklore character of the Boogeyman, although his house does not have giant chicken legs that can walk. Currently, John Wick: Chapter 4 holds the second spot in domestic box office rankings. As a result, fans are reminiscing about their favorite scenes from the franchise, including Wick’s love for American cars.

The initial storyline of the 2014 original movie revolves around a coincidental meeting between Wick and Iosef Tarasov, portrayed by Alfie Allen, at a gas station. Being the offspring of a Russian mafia boss, Tarasov feels entitled and develops an interest in Wick’s car, which is supposedly a 1969 Mustang Boss 429. Although the car has some inaccuracies in its bodywork and lacks badging, it serves its purpose in a fast-paced action movie that requires a suspension of disbelief. Despite Tarasov’s attempts to use bravado to bully Wick into selling, he fails miserably. In retaliation, the young delinquent gathers a group of people to raid Wick’s residence, kill his dog, and steal his beloved Boss. Little did they know they had awoken an unstoppable force.

Assuming the authenticity of Wick’s Boss 429, it would be an extraordinary vehicle as only 857 were produced in the initial two years to validate Ford’s 7.0-liter NASCAR engine. These powerful engines are considered to be the best non-Shelby Mustangs and have been widely regarded as underrated, with a power output of 375 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque.

During a visit to his friend’s performance shop, Wick admires some impressive vehicles, including a Porsche 993-gen GT2 and a Gulf-livery Ford GT40. He also receives his replacement car, a 1970 Chevelle SS 396. Although the Chevelle has limited screen time in the original film, its dark green custom hue and menacing presence make an impact as it roars through Manhattan. However, as with any car in the franchise, it’s best not to grow too attached. The Chevelle becomes Wick’s trusty tank in the intense opening sequence of Chapter 2 as he battles to recover his doomed Mustang.

Following his destructive stint with some iconic vehicles, John takes a wise decision to switch to old-school metal and spend most of Chapter 2 commuting on foot or via public transportation. Towards the end, he makes a grand entrance riding in a Series II Rolls Royce Ghost, which may not hold much value for collectors, but definitely looks like the perfect ride for a suave character like the Boogeyman.

In terms of cars, John Wick: Chapter 3—Parabellum is not the best in the series, but it still has its redeeming qualities. The movie showcases Halle Berry and her two Belgian Malinois attack dogs, which makes up for the lack of high-performance vehicles. In the middle of the film, Wick, Berry, and her dogs escape into the desert using a second-generation Range Rover, which is the only noteworthy car in the movie. According to the Internet Movie Car Database, it is a 1995 model. Although these British SUVs are considered collectibles, the one used in the movie appears to be more of a driver-quality vehicle rather than a top-condition example, with an estimated value of $54,000–$68,000.

In the fourth chapter, Baba Yaga makes a comeback and takes control of a menacing 1971 Cuda. However, John Wick being John Wick, he does what he does best and ruins the poor Plymouth. The pivotal scene with the Cuda occurs at night, making it difficult to determine what’s hidden under the hood. Nevertheless, given the abundance of illegally obtained gold coins at his disposal, coupled with his reputation for excellent taste and the illusion of prop acting, we assume that the car is equipped with either the costly 440 Six Pack or Hemi.

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