Dodge Monaco - a bull-car with no airs of pride

Mutschler, Hardy
Dodge Monaco - This is how the Blues Brothers mobile drives
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Framed in the cityscape of Chicago, characterized by smoking industrial chimneys, Elwood Blues waits in a discarded one Police car - a D odge Monaco, built in 1974 - in front of the prison gate to the fact that the US state of Illinois has released its fat little brother into freedom. Jake gets in and complains about the cop cart. Even the cigarette lighter doesn't work. He demonstratively throws it out of the window. The two of them drive off, and Jake reproachfully asks lanky Elwood: Where's the Cadillac? Where's the Bluesmobil?

Dodge Monaco with 7.2-liter V8

The opening sequence of the Blues Brothers film fits. The Dodge Monaco is not one of these classics, before which you fall on your knees at first sight and with which you cruel through the area with awe and cautiousness. It is not a flawless glossy lacquer sculpture where a scratch brings the vehicle owner to the brink of a heart attack.

The car is robust like Kojak. A rough leg with which one wants to pound through shopping centers like the Blues Brothers and chase him through the pylon lane made of iron girders of the Chicago elevated railway. The best way to do this is to have the Heavy Duty Package and the A 38 Police Package from Dodge on board. The centerpiece is the eight-cylinder magnum engine with a gigantic 7.2 liter displacement, which was also used in the legendary muscle cars Dodge Charger and Challenger. The massive unit brings it to 515 Newton meters of torque at 3,200 tours and makes 280 hp.

Other extras of the Dodge Monaco: tinted windows, reinforced brakes and shock absorbers as well as the more direct firm-feel steering. Or, as Elwood sums it up in his sober, unexcited manner: “That thing has a cop chassis, cop shock absorbers and a cop motor.” Elwood exchanged the Cadillac for a microphone. 'That can be seen', Brother Jake accepts the economically grotesque trade. The new Bluesmobil, however, has a harder time. It has to jump over a bascule bridge before the car receives at least some recognition from Jake.

Dodge Monaco is the automobile Rainer Calmund

And that doesn't change over the entire film. Dozens of timesThe car saves the heroes from wild country musicians, police officers and tanks and yet it does not become a cherished treasure. His tin dress doesn't even get an appreciative knock. In contrast to the red Ferrari 308 GTS from serial detective Magnum, the unkempt, but robust Monaco is just not a movie hero. And that, despite the fact that it shakes off more chasers and ends up scrapped than any other car in film history.

Allegedly only five Bluesmobiles were destroyed during the filming of the Blues Brothers. That appears in view of the spongy, indirect steering and the body in XXL format of the Dodge Monaco hardly imaginable. How the immense power of the Magnum engine, a short burst of gas, and the rear wheels whimper for mercy, can be controlled at high speeds with the thin steering wheel is a mystery.

The Dodge Monaco is a kind of automotive Rainer Calmund. The fat ex-manager of the football club Bayer Leverkusen actually needs two chairs to sit on, while the two-meter-wide and almost six-meter-long Monaco from 150 km /h has two lanes to be on the safe side. Presumably the police officers of the California Highway Patrol, from whose collection the movie car came, preferred to relax on the wide couch with coffee and donuts instead of risking head and neck with the Monaco on car chases.

Police Package: Increased idle speed for sweating police officers

In addition to the mandatory searchlights and the siren, an extra in the police equipment package was therefore very important for the officers. Dodge built in a fast idle lock so that the air conditioning and radio could continue to be used when the car was stationary. It keeps the engine speed high so that it does not overheat even when the vehicle is stationary and provides enough cold and electricity. There were no extras like the Fast Idle Lock and a holder for the pump gun for civilians. Dodge offered the Monaco in three trim levels: Custom, Brougham or simply Monaco.

Faithful companion of the Blues Brothers

The Brougham was the luxury version with individual seats, imitation wood on the instrument panel, a digital clock, chrome-plated hubcaps, electric seat adjustment, automatic window lifters and two separate ashtrays for the driver and front passenger . In the Brougham equipment, the cigarette lighter was even illuminated. But who needs an illuminated cigarette lighter? It would be enough for Jake if the stupid thing worked at all.

Otherwise, the Dodge Monaco doesn't disappoint the Blues Brothers. The boys are only once victims of the exorbitant gasoline consumption of more than 20 liters per 100 kilometers with a moderate driving style. If not ecological, the bluesmobile in the film is at least politically correct: as a horde of Nazis behindchasing the Blues Brothers, it does a backflip on the asphalt on a bridge with a smoking radiator - and the right-wing flips into the depths.

The Bluesmobile holds out bravely until the car collapses shortly before the end of the strip. Elwood bought the sturdy sedan in the film at a bargain price at a police auction in Mount Prospect, a suburb of Chicago. The car is just as worn out as its drivers with their dark sunglasses and worn black suits. And just as cool.


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