Home » I Spotted A Very Unusual Car In That Scene From ‘The Jerk’ With The Cans: Cold Start

I Spotted A Very Unusual Car In That Scene From ‘The Jerk’ With The Cans: Cold Start

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The internet is certainly a very, very mixed blessing. On the down side, every idiot you’ve ever met now has access to a global-scale megaphone, but on the plus side you can learn everything you ever wanted to know about Tatras while pantsless, if you’d like. Also, periodically some clip from Steve Martin’s 1979 classic The Jerk will randomly pop up on one of the many screens that are in your line of sight nearly nonstop, and there’s nothing wrong with that. The can-shooting scene at the gas station appeared on some feed or other of mine, and I remembered there was a Baja Beetle in the scene I wanted to inspect more. But, instead, I happened to notice a really unusual car in the scene, and that’s what I want to show you.

First, if you’re recently awoken from a 50 year coma or are an Amish kid on rumspringa or are David, here’s the clip I’m talking about:

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And, yes, we do have Jackie Mason working on a nice Baja Bug with a nice set of chrome headers and a stinger exhaust:

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When the shot pans out, we can see more of the Baja, which lets me identify the year as a 1968, and note that it has a purposeful-looking external oil cooler. This looks like a really usable Baja!

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By the way, I can tell it’s a ’68 because it has those seats with the huge headrests and lacks the rear window defogger wires, which came in ’69.

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There’s also this great butterscotch-colored 1974-1976 Dodge Dart Swinger that drives around on its tire-less steelies for a while, which is always a treat. But the car I was most excited to see shows up blurry and in the background; blink and you’ll miss it. Luckily, I didn’t blink:

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See that blurry beige car, behind the blurry beige dog? That looked oddly familiar to me, and somehow its clean-lined simplicity triggered something in my brain: that’s an Audi 100!

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The Audi 100 LS was launched in 1968, just three years after Volkswagen bought Auto Union, and was an all-new design, no longer an adaptation of the old Auto Union former two-strokes. These came to America in 1970, and were really the first taste of Audi that Americans got. These weren’t huge sellers at first, but they steadily grew in popularity. Still, I don’t think they were ever a common sight, which is why I was so excited to see one in the background of The Jerk.

Man, that dude hates cans.

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Scott
Scott
11 months ago

I’m not sure, but as far as I can remember, The Jerk might have been the first movie I ever saw that drove me to tears. I was very young when I saw it, and I recall being very emotionally invested in Steve Martin’s plight, and the bit where he’s about to leave, and pauses intermittently to get that one last item that’s “all he needs” …for whatever reason, I felt like crying for him, and probably did.

Apropos of that notable first: also, when I was quite young, the first movie in which I spotted a topless woman was probably Logan’s Run. I also went to see The Man Who Fell to Earth pretty early on… so it was likely one of those two films.

The important things stay with you, no matter how many years have gone by. 😉

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
11 months ago

So shitbox choice another review about an expensive rich guy car i can not afford or a clip from a hilarious movie that could not be released today? Sorry went Jerk so many watching it moving like a silent non ralkie.

MikeT-MA
MikeT-MA
11 months ago

Best to attenuate your excitement. When I was stationed in Germany, late 70s, I bought one for $500 from the equivalent of the local sleazoid used-car operation. Two months later, in an endeavor best described as an epic oil-grimed disaster, me and a buddy replaced the engine with one not much better. We were only 20 year-old avionics specialists, not mechanics. Could do a steady 120mph all day on the autobahn though, coolant-retention permitting. So there was that.

Last edited 11 months ago by MikeT-MA
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
11 months ago

This movie has aged like a fine wine.

It’s Steve Martin’s
magnum opus of physical comedy.

Black Peter
Black Peter
1 year ago

The plates look like Arizona.. When I first lived here in 95-99, both Baja Bugs and Sandrails were really common on the street. While I see vintage bugs a lot around here now, they are generally restored or Surfer style.. I don’t know what happened to all the Bajas. The Sandrails all transformed into those obnoxious side-by-sides..

NosrednaNod
NosrednaNod
1 year ago

I just have a feeling that The Jerk hasn’t aged well. Like Caddyshack.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
11 months ago
Reply to  NosrednaNod

Yeah but STEVE wasnt a hig part or a part of caddie shack.

Jonathan Green
Jonathan Green
1 year ago

I’m remembering more and more about this movie. For years, if we’d go out to a nice dinner – “don’t look down! There are snails in your Escargot! There’s so many snails you can’t even see the Escargot! And bring us some fresh wine!!”

We are a simple people…

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
11 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan Green

I was born the son of a poor black sharecropper.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
11 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan Green

Dudnt he order a plaid wine?

Last edited 11 months ago by Mr Sarcastic
Harmanx
Harmanx
1 year ago

The scene of him driving without tires was filmed near where I live. The rims made deep grooves in the asphalt when turning at one intersection — grooves which remained there for decades.

Black Peter
Black Peter
1 year ago
Reply to  Harmanx

Arizona looks like?

Ossipon
Ossipon
1 year ago

The Audi 100 should be up there as one of the worst cars ever. The engine was prone to head failure. It rusted everywhere. And worst of all, it was not even comfortable in the back for a 13-14 Y.O. teen. (Speaking from experience.)
I was given it to me by my parents as a hand me down for HS. It died one week later due to prior mention head failure *NOT* my driving. I was then given a 63 bug to destroy. But, that did not happen until my 18th birthday.

Jeff Homolka
Jeff Homolka
1 year ago
Reply to  Ossipon

Yes. I second the motion. Worst. Car. Ever. What I remember most vividly is the inboard disk brakes positioned perfectly for the leaky valve cover gasket to saturate them in oil. Most Audi 100LSs I ever heard about were given to their owners for free. That should tell you something right there…

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