What Car Does Ferris Buellers Sister Drive in the Movie?

June 7, 2024

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, a celebrated 1980s film directed by John Hughes, is famed for its memorable characters and antics. Central to the film’s charm are the cars driven by various characters, which play significant roles in the storyline and contribute to the film’s nostalgic appeal.

The Iconic 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder

The Ferrari is considered a co-star in the film due to its significant screen presence. Despite being predominantly replicas, the 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder left a lasting impression on audiences. Key moments involving the Ferrari include Ferris and his friends defying Cameron’s better judgment by taking his father’s prized car for a joyride. The culminating scene where Cameron’s rage leads to the car's destruction is unforgettable.

Key Moments Involving the Ferrari

Ferris and his friends taking the car out for a joyride defying Cameron’s better judgment.
Cameron’s rage leading to the car’s destruction.
The iconic crash scene where the car rolls out of the garage and into a ravine, ending in a smoldering crash.

"Dashboard of my sister's car" by Marc van der Chijs is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/.

1985 Audi 5000 S Turbo C3

The Audi’s significance in the film is worth noting as it was featured in Car and Driver’s top ten list for 1984-’85. This car, with its turbocharged 2.1-liter inline-five engine, was a notable car of its era. A particularly iconic scene involving the Audi is Ferris outrunning his own father’s car on foot while dashing home, highlighting Ferris’s father’s obliviousness to recognizing his son.

1985 Chrysler LeBaron Town & Country

This model, with its distinctive fake wood paneling, was an ‘80s icon. The LeBaron manages to beat the Audi 5000 home in a memorable scene where Jeanie Bueller aggressively drives it with her anxious mother alongside. The comedic value brought by this scene remains a highlight of the car’s contribution to the film.

1985 Plymouth Reliant K

Connected with Edward Rooney, the beleaguered school dean, this car also adds comic relief. Rooney’s series of unfortunate events culminates in the car being towed away due to illegal parking, and the visuals of the car being hoisted and scraping its exhaust add to the humor of his plight.

"A shot of my sister's car" by Wunkai is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/.

Brief Mention of the White Fiero

Jeanie Bueller’s sporty white Fiero, which bears the license plate “TBC” – a nod to John Hughes's previous film, The Breakfast Club, is another notable car from the film. It adds to the diverse range of vehicles that capture the essence of the 1980s.

Main Ideas and Information for the Cars Used in the Movie and the Ferrari GT They Were Based On

Historical Context and Legacy

"Ferris Bueller’s Day Off" debuted on June 11, 1986, and it’s recognized as a modern classic, featured on lists like Entertainment Weekly’s "50 Best High School Movies". Matthew Broderick was also nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance in 1986.

Authentic Filming Locations

The majority of the movie was filmed in actual locations in and around Chicago, making it accessible for fans wanting to recreate Ferris’s day off by visiting the same spots.

Detailed Car Insights

The iconic 1961 Ferrari 250GT California seen in the movie is not a real Ferrari but a replica. There’s confusion about its origin, with misconceptions being propagated. The cars used were replicas built by Mark Goyette, not MG-based nor from Modena Design. Out of the three replicas made, one has gone missing, and its current whereabouts are unknown.

Hidden Characters and Easter Eggs

The wrecker service in the movie has a backstory linked to a never-discussed character, Garth Volbeck, portrayed by Charlie Sheen, with an untold history with Ferris. Many vanity plates in the movie reference other John Hughes films, such as "Mr. Mom", "National Lampoon’s Vacation", and "The Breakfast Club".

Additional Car Trivia

The E-mu Emulator II synthesizer used by Ferris cost nearly as much as a Pontiac Fiero in 1986. Cameron’s father also owned an MG J2, and he himself drove a rare 1979 Alfa Romeo Sport Sedan 2000.

Iconic Garage and House

Cameron’s father’s garage, featured in the film, is renowned for its architectural design. The property is located in the Highland Park suburb of Chicago and includes a house by architect A. James Speyer and a garage by David Haid. Known as the "Ben Rose Auto Museum," the garage originally showcased a collection of European sports cars and was sold in 2014 for $1.06 million after being on the market for $2.3 million in 2009.

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