The Cars of Trailer Park Boys
One of the most popular shows with both a mainstream and cult following is the former Canadian comedy and mockumentary series Trailer Park Boys. Created by Mike Clattenburg and starring his close friends and co-writers John Paul Tremblay and Rob Wells, what started as a simple black-and-white short film blossomed into two feature length movies and a 7-season television run as well as spinoff music albums, comedy tours, and more.
The show actually began as a short film in 1998 starring the two and directed by Clattenburg titled One Last Shot. A feature film followed the next year, based on the original and thanks to the success of One Last Shot on the Canadian film festival circuit. That feature film, Trailer Park Boys, began the mockumentary style used throughout the series and added several characters that are now seen as staples of the television series. That film’s success on the festival circuit caught the eye of Barrie Dunn (who also plays Ricky’s father Ray in the series) and began the move to television.
Throughout the television series, there were several cars featured in the show. Some remained throughout, changing in look but not make or model and became the signatures of each character. Others changed regularly, with Julian in particular having a different choice of ride each season. Side characters also often appear in signature cars as part of their persona. Most of the backdrop vehicles seen in the show are either owned by cast or crew or are owned by actual trailer park residents in one of the several parks the Trailer Park Boys used until the fourth season when they purpose-built a trailer park just for the show.
Most of the vehicles showcased in The Trailer Park Boys are Detroit originals, though some are the Canadian versions. Here are the vehicles most regularly seen and tied to characters in the series.
The Shit Mobile
The most iconic of the cars in the Trailer Park Boys, the “Shit Mobile” also has the most history with the show. In the pilot episode, it was actually Corey and Trevor’s car (it had all of its doors and parts at that point). Then in the first season, it is Julian’s car, an inheritance (along with his trailer) from his late grandmother (the right door was now missing). The car, it was said, was so beat up because she was always drunk and half-blind, so it was smashed into a lot of immobile objects. In that first season, Julian and Ricky repair the car so it can be moved after threats from trailer park supervisor Lahey. Julian then gives the car to Ricky, who had been living in it in Julian’s yard. The car appears in almost every episode for all seven seasons.
The car has more history to it. In real life, the car is a 1975 Chrysler New Yorker that was owned by the show’s creator, Clattenberg. He and his wife actually owned and drove the car through to the second season, when it was deemed too ugly to stay in their driveway and was consigned to the show full time. The car is often confused with a Chrysler Newport as the New Yorker and Newport shared a body, but had different tail lamps, fenders, and engine options.
Lahey’s Trailer Park Supervisor Car
The only other car to be a permanent fixture in almost every episode of The Trailer Park Boys is Jim Lahey’s 1976 Chrysler New Yorker Brougham. The car appears nearly new (or at least in great shape) in the first few seasons before a drunken Lahey flips it on its roof, at which point it becomes a convertible for the remainder of the series. The car is a perk of the Trailer Park Supervisor’s job and was given to Lahey by his ex-wife Barbara, who owns the trailer park. It is also often driven by Randy, the Assistant Trailer Park Supervisor and Lahey’s boyfriend.
For a brief time in Season 4, Lahey received a black Cadillac of unknown model year by the International Association of Trailer Parks, Trailer Park Supervisors and Trailer Park Superintendents that disappeared after that episode without explanation.
Starting in 1976, Chrysler began calling the New Yorker the New Yorker Brougham to upscale its name and denote its higher trim level than the other, similar sedans in its lineup.
J-Roc’s Roc-Pile Mobile
The station wagon J-Roc is most often seen driving in Trailer Park Boys is actually his mom’s. Being the hard core gangster rapper that he is, living at home with his moms in the trailer park, J-Roc pimps around in her 1984* Pontiac 6000 wood-sided station wagon. This car is also seen in nearly every season.
*Note: the year may be different as these looked the same for 3-4 model years.
Nearly every season and even mid-season, Julian is seen in a different vehicle. These are usually “cool guy” cars and souped up sport models. At various points in the first few seasons of Trailer Park Boys, Julian is seen driving a Ford Bronco, Mustang Convertible, and a 1975 Pontiac Firebird.
Starting in season 5, Julian is seen in various iterations of the Chevrolet Monte Carlo Sport Coupe, usually the 1987 model (1981 shown above), which lasts through to being sunk in the river in the last season. This car is the one most-associated with Julian in the Trailer Park Boys. Below, you can see it with the special spoiler modification made out of hockey sticks thanks to J-Roc and crew.
Where Julian gets his cars is usually a mystery, though the Mustang and Firebird were purchased as part of the story line in the early seasons.
Occasional arch-rival/villain Cyrus was a staple in several episodes of the Trailer Park Boys and was always seen in his 1978 Chevrolet Corvette, usually with the T-tops removed. The red ‘Vette matches his black leather jacket and propensity for swinging around a pistol and talking like a tough guy.
Cyrus appeared as the rival who’s taken over the trailer park in the first episode of season one. He re-appeared several times, including above in season 4 when the Trailer Park Boys vandalized his car after Cyrus failed Grade 10 thanks to Ricky turning him in for cheating.
Sam, the veterinarian who loses his license thanks to Ricky telling the jail medic who did his stitches, and who then shows up at the trailer park to try to take over the place and have the guys removed, lives in a 1971 Dodge Sportsman B-300 Four Star.
Most of the police cars in the show are 1980s Ford Crown Victorias and Chevrolet Caprices.
The carpeted and base-gray painted 1975 Ford Econoline that Bubbles occupies after his shed burns down in season 2 actually appears in several scenes in the show and in all seven seasons with various paint schemes and rear window changes or coverups.
Ray, who plays Ricky’s dad and is also the producer responsible for getting the Trailer Park Boys on television, is an ex-trucker who at one point lives in a truck sleeper cab the boys rescued from the landfill. As he says in the episode, it’s the sleeper from a White Western Star (now just called Western Star), though the 1972 year he gives is incorrect as it’s a 1980s model.
Comments, other notable vehicles I missed, or just general “love that show” mentions? Leave them below!