Cars from the movie Car Wash


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The 1978 film “Cheech & Chong’s Up In Smoke” showed us the kind of cars one might have seen on Los Angeles streets during the Malaise Era. In that film, we see such vehicular prizes as a Jaguar E-Type, Mazda RX-2, and a customized “Don’t Bother Knockin” van, but the 1976 film “Car Wash” (which is available for a reasonable price on DVD) manages to top even that fine piece of cinematic automotive history with its assortment of fine iron.

Daddy Rich's 1974 Lincoln limousine in Car Wash

Now THIS is a proper Lincoln. Photo by Universal Pictures

Richard Pryor has a fairly small role in “Car Wash,” playing a smooth-talking TV preacher known as Daddy Rich, but he makes the most of his short screen time. He arrives at the car wash in this gold 1974 Lincoln Continental stretch limousine, complete with dollar-sign fender flags.

Daddy Rich's 1974 Lincoln limousine in Car Wash

Didn’t Jim Bakker have TITHED license plates on his car as well? Photo by Universal Pictures

Let’s just contemplate the majesty of this automobile for a moment.

The Pointer Sisters in the film Car Wash

Daddy Rich travels with all four of the Pointer Sisters in his Lincoln. Photo by Universal Pictures

Daddy Rich discovers some bird poop on his Lincoln, so he pulls into the car wash (located at 6th and Rampart in Los Angeles) to fix the problem. The car wash employees are awed by Daddy Rich’s wealth and power, with the exception of killjoy 1960s-style radical Abdullah (played by Bill Duke).

The Pointer Sisters break out into song and humiliate Abdullah, while Daddy Rich gloats. And who wouldn’t gloat, with this gorgeous Lincoln at his command?

The Rose Royce soundtrack song “Daddy Rich” is enough of a forgotten funk classic that it deserves some attention on its own.

Richard Pryor as Daddy Rich in Car Wash

Opera light on the car, C-note in the coat pocket. Photo by Universal Pictures

George Carlin is in this film as well, in a similarly minor role. It’s worth watching just for the cars and the soundtrack.

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