Not exactly Mercedes-Benz related, but it does have to do with a car… and Star Wars, so let’s geek out together on this one.
Hemming’s Motor News is helping the official Star Wars Blog in an effort to locate this car (where’s Boba Fett when you need him?), modified with special paint, fender flares, ground effects and other extras to make it look… well, intergalactic (of course, no car this small has a cloaking device). This 1977 Toyota Celica was a sweepstakes give away that coincided with the release of the original Star Wars movie, yep, all the way back in 1977.
It’s no secret that George Lucas is considered the father of modern day movie product merchandising… and this is a good example, quite creative for its day.
When you watch the movie it’s hard to figure out exactly when it was made, seeing how it all takes place in space, there is no real frame of reference in terms of ‘Earth time” save for some pork chop style facial hair on some of the Death Star ’employees’ that kind of looked like Oakland A’s players from the mid 70s. So, this is what cars looked like back then… It was 1977 if you can believe it… when that first Star Wars movie came out.
From the Hemmings Motor News Daily email this morning (more photos below that):
From the Public Service Desk of our Star Wars Promotional Giveaway Car Department comes the call to help locate the lost Star Wars 1977 Toyota Celica. While evidence of the contest and the creation of the car clearly exists, the winner of this first prize and the location of the Celica itself remain shrouded in an impenetrable haze of darkness. The story, condensed, comes from the Official Star Wars Blog:
The Star Wars Celica was designed by Delphi Auto Design in Costa Mesa, California, and awarded sometime after the end of 1977, probably in January 1978. While the sweepstakes were a joint venture hosted by Toyota and Twentieth Century Fox, the awarding dealership remains a mystery, as does the identity of the winner and the vehicle’s VIN number.
While the famous Tom Jung poster artwork was painstakingly airbrushed onto the rear panels of countless numbers of Seventies vans, the giveaway Celica is apparently the only one of its kind. Photos of the artist’s rendering and actual car come directly from Pete Vilmur, who published this account of the missing Celica as a prequel to the call on Official Star Wars Blog. And yes, we know you can’t see anything with the blast shield down. We need you to help find the Celica in all its airbrushed fender flared late Seventies glory anyway.