Home » Scorsese And DiCaprio’s Upcoming Movie ‘Killers Of Flower Moon’ Features Lots Of Interesting Cars. Let’s Take A Look

Scorsese And DiCaprio’s Upcoming Movie ‘Killers Of Flower Moon’ Features Lots Of Interesting Cars. Let’s Take A Look

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My awareness of pop culture is, let’s be honest, pretty hit-or-miss. But, thanks to one happy coincidence, there is a way where I can become aware of what’s happening in the greater cultural landscape: shove some cars in it. In this case, the cultural phenomenon is the new Martin Scorsese-helmed movie called Killers of the Flower Moon, and the trailer for the movie seems to have been released today. I know this because I happened to glimpse some bit of it and noticed that it’s actually quite full of cars. And not just the usual mainstream movie cars – this is a movie set in the 1920s, so there’s a lot of cars of that era, one not especially common in a lot of mainstream movies. So let’s take a quick look at what we’ve got here.

First, I guess you should watch the trailer, too:

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From what I’ve read, it’s based on a true story about a series of murders in the 1920s that targeted Osage tribe Native Americans, who became wealthy when oil was discovered under their lands. It seems quite tragic, and I’m sure both the book and upcoming film will explore this well. Your favorite automotive site doesn’t need to do that, we just need to look at the cars, of which there are many.

Early in the trailer, we are treated to a shot of the town by the railroad station, and we see what is the dominant car of the time and place: the Ford Model T:

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Trainstation

There’s some Model TT trucks, and possibly a Dodge Brothers car back there, but the T dominates. That’s not surprising; during the Model T’s long lifetime, from 1909 to 1927, the T eventually reached an astounding 40% of new cars sold in America. There was a time when a majority of Americans owned one, even! One basic model, absolutely ubiquitous.

Of course, there were other cars, especially in a place where there was wealth, as this image from the trailer suggests:

Dealer Piercearrow

This seems to be a dealership, selling Studebakers and Dodge Brothers cars, but, perhaps confusingly, the car behind that happy couple is neither Studebaker or Dodge: it’s a Pierce-Arrow, very much a luxury car, I think a Series 80 from 1925 or so?

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The trailer really gets automotively exciting in the middle, with this scene:

Speedsters1

It looks like some hooligans are tearing ass down the main drag in their sports cars, possibly causing ruckuses. I’m not sure. I’m also not exactly sure what the silver car is with the divided grille – it’s possible it’s an aftermarket body on a T? The red car looks to be a mid-to-late 1920s Willys-Overland Whippet, with a body stripped down to be a racer.

Speeders2

I think most interesting, though, are these mustard-and-ketchup colored hot rods, because they represent the first real hot rod/modding movement in American automotive culture.

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They’re both Ford Model Ts, but their bodies have been either stripped down or replaced with aftermarket “speedster” bodies that were popular in this era, an era when the number of Model Ts on the road was large enough that there were cars available to be modified into sports cars pretty cheaply and easily, and a whole aftermarket grew up around them.

The red Model T looks to be a bit later model T, and has some traits of what was known as a “Gow Job,” which was a trend in Model T customizing that happened after the introduction of the Ford Model A in 1927, making Ts and their parts a bit cheaper. The yellow one seems to have an aftermarket speedster body, sort of like one of these:

Tbodies

There were all kinds of performance and handling-enhancing parts available; in fact, if you look at this video someone shot of the filming location, you can see something interesting:

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For one thing, that black car in the title image is a Dodge Brothers car, not a Model T. And, another, when the cameraperson looks closely at one of the Ts, there’s an interesting detail:

T Spring

See that spring I have circled there? That’s a great example of a period-correct aftermarket performance/comfort part, in this case an auxiliary coil spring to try to improve the Model T’s fairly primitive transverse leaf spring front suspension. I think these are Hasslers Shock Absorbers, fitted to try to improve the quite bouncy and harsh ride of a Model T.

Hasslerad

Fascinating stuff, right? I’m sure the rest of the movie will be fine, too. I just hope the actors aren’t always getting in the way of the cars.

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BigThingsComin
BigThingsComin
1 year ago

That narration just made me lol.

Acrimonious Mofo
Acrimonious Mofo
1 year ago

I don’t know Torch, you seem pretty pop culture competent. Especially compared to a particular enginerd with whom you work.

Man With A Reliable Jeep
Man With A Reliable Jeep
1 year ago

Tires for $500 in 1918 money (per the patent plaque)? Plugging that into an inflation calculator converts roughly $10,000 in today’s currency value. If that’s even remotely true, it explains all of those old cartoons with jalopies riding on heavily patched tires.

Taco Shackleford
Taco Shackleford
1 year ago

The on thing I see out of place is a the Helicopter. What brand of helicopter is flying in the car race seen?

Last edited 1 year ago by Taco Shackleford
ES
ES
1 year ago

helo or street light? i seem to remember seeing suspended lights in some town or another when i was a kid (no, i’m not that old, it was probably some old-timey affectation, like fake gaslights).

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
1 year ago

> what the silver car is with the divided grille

A BMW XM?

Collegiate Autodidact
Collegiate Autodidact
1 year ago

“I think these are Hasslers Shock Absorbers, fitted to try to improve the quite bouncy and harsh ride of a Model T.”
Apropos of that, there was a popular contemporary joke about the Model T:
Q: “What kind of shock absorbers do you have on your Model T?”
A: “The passengers.”

ProudLuddite
ProudLuddite
1 year ago

I hope the movie is better than the book, I tried to read, but disjointed writing and flat character portrayals and a jumping around narrative didn’t do the book any favors, and put me in a bleak, one dimensional world I had no interest in occupying. I went back a few times, but finally quit about 75 pages in.

davesaddiction - Long Live OPPO!
davesaddiction - Long Live OPPO!
1 year ago
Reply to  ProudLuddite

The story is bleak, for sure, but history that more Americans should know…

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
1 year ago

Studebaker took control of Pierce-Arrow in 1928, shortly after the Series 80 ended production, and they started to be distributed through main Studebaker dealerships at that point. Its possible Scorsese and DiCaprio are playing a little loose with the ages of cars and just picking models randomly from the 1920s without sticking to a particular year range, the most active period for the Osage murders was 1920-1925. DiCaprio has done that sort of thing before with his version of The Great Gatsby – set in the ’20s but virtually every single car in it was from the ’30s, because they felt it worked better aesthetically

Chris Stevenson
Chris Stevenson
1 year ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

Also the Pierce-Arrow sign could be on the other side of the dealership.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
1 year ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

It’s difficult being the car porter on the set of a major motion picture. Especially one who is addicted to cocaine. Screw you fanatics. I was just using old cars I could easily find. I’m switching jobs. Now I’m a weapons expert working for… Alec Baldwin?
Oh bother.

Last edited 1 year ago by Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
1 year ago

“I’m also not exactly sure what the silver car is with the divided grille”

Looks like a BMW kidney grille to me. I’m kidding, of course.

Rad Barchetta
Rad Barchetta
1 year ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

You’re not alone. That’s exactly what I thought of, too.

A. Barth
A. Barth
1 year ago

My awareness of pop culture is, let’s be honest, pretty hit-or-miss

Yeah, mine too. I mean some people call it pop, some call it soda, some call everything a coke. It’s a mess.

OverlandingSprinter
OverlandingSprinter
1 year ago
Reply to  A. Barth

Dad jokes are the best. And by “best” I mean the worst.

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