Few television cars are as iconic as Dean Winchester’s 1967 Chevrolet Impala lovingly known as “Baby.” Along with Sam, the Chevy and Dean are the true main characters of the Supernatural TV series. Passed down by the brother’s father, it creates a bridge to the past and provides one consistency as they drift throughout the country waging a never-ending war on evil.
It’s claimed that only nine cars were used during the filming of Supernatural. We’re skeptical about that considering how long the show ran and the damage Baby took onscreen. But we do believe the claim that at least one was maintained in meticulous condition for closeup shots, since having at least one hero car is an industry standard.
The hero car was given to Jensen Ackles, the actor who portrayed Dean, when the series finally ended in 2020. Jared Padalecki, who portrayed Sam, was given one of the better non-hero cars.
Those different ’67 Impalas featured different GM engines. Some sported small blocks, but at least one is said to have been packing a 502ci big block V8. That’s quite the range in power, but Baby didn’t always need to be shredding tires in every shot.
Originally, the Impala wore Kansas license plates KAZ 2Y5, specifically from Sedgwick County even though the brothers are supposed to be from Douglas County. After the two escape from prison, Dean ditches the original tags in favor of some from Ohio (CNK 80Q3). Just like so many other elements of their life, everything is about deception so they can go about their crusade.
The Chevy is a rolling armory. Tucked away in the trunk is an array of weapons designed for hunting demons and other creatures that go bump in the night. Symbols on the inside of the trunk lid are supposed to keep the wrong things out, although that doesn’t stop some humans from finding the weapons trove within.
Baby is destroyed in the finale episode for the first season thanks to a truck T-boning it. Sam wants to restore it even though he’s told it’s impossible, although it’s Dean himself who ends up doing the work, an appropriate turn of events considering his strong attachment to the Chevy.
The only time Dean damages the Impala for no apparent benefit is when he smashes in the back window using a crowbar. He does this right after learning the secret his father kept about Sam. Since the classic car acts a connection to his dad, it makes sense why he takes out his frustration on the vehicle.
After Dean dies and goes to Hell, Sam decides to make a few slight modifications. Once Dean returns to Earth, he’s less than impressed to find Baby has an iPod jack, something he rips out and is never mentioned again.
One episode in season five features a Knight Rider tribute where Sam is the sentient intelligence in Baby and communicates with Dean. While the interaction is fun it’s brief and that’s probably for the better.
We find out in the series that all good ’67 Impalas do go to Heaven. Dean gets to enjoy Baby even though the car is also on Earth. But the Heaven version of the classic car bears the original Kansas plates. Everyone has a theory about why this is and how it can exist in two places at once. What’s yours?
Images via IMDB