What Car Did Thelma and Louise Drive Off the Grand Canyon?

February 12, 2024

It's been 30 years since the release of Thelma and Louise, a movie that flipped the script on road movies. Its female leads—Louise, a repressed housewife, and Thelma, a steely waitress—went on the run from the law after Louise killed a man who attempted to rape her. Throughout their journey to Mexico, they took increasingly daring measures to evade capture, culminating in the climactic scene where they drove their 1966 Thunderbird off the Grand Canyon.

The film's cliff scene is not just famous for its dramatic flair, but because it symbolized the duo's refusal to give up and die. The women lock a cop in the trunk of their car, and when they're surrounded by police on the edge of the cliff, they decide to "keep going." They do, driving their '66 Thunderbird off the edge of the cliff—which doesn't land or crash—leaving them in mid-air.

Director Ridley Scott wasn't initially sold on the ending written by the film's screenwriter Callie Khouri, and he considered suggesting that Louise push Thelma out of the way to save her. Ultimately, the pair kept the original ending intact, and one of the cars used in the shoot now resides at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. The car, which is still in the same condition as when it was filmed, was once offered for sale at Barrett-Jackson and was signed by both Sarandon and Davis. Learn more about the iconic car that taught us lessons about feminism, friendship, and road trip safety in this article.

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