In the 1977 movie “Speedway,” a young Elvis Presley (Elvis) drives a black Ford Mustang. Now, more than 40 years later, we may know the answer to the question: What car did Elvis drive in the 1977 movie “Speedway?”
The Answer: The Ford Mustang
According to film historian Michael Varholak, the director of the movie, Jim Thompson, wanted to give Elvis a classic, timeless American automobile for his big-league debut. To that end, he reportedly told his crew on set that he wanted to purchase a 1970 Ford Mustang. However, because the production company, Paramount Pictures, owned the rights to the name “Mustang,” they were unable to purchase one for the actor.
Luckily, a 1970 Ford Mustang belonging to actress Lee Remmel (Karen) was available for the filming of this historical moment. In fact, the actress had just bought the car in order to film a scene in which she’s driving down the street with Elvis. When the two were done filming, they gave the good driver a ride home. After that, they left the keys inside.
Later in the movie, when Karen’s character goes for a spin in the convertible, the audience can see that the car is actually a 1970 Ford Mustang. That’s some classy, vintage automotive styling. And it fits perfectly with Elvis’s image at the time.
After starring in the movie, the king of rock ‘n’ roll bought a number of Mustangs. In fact, he owned several different models from the classic America’s favorite domestic auto maker. The King even starred in a commercial for Ford. In the spot, he rides a motorcycle with the tagline, “There’s more to life than meets the eye.”
So, what model did Elvis drive in “Speedway“? According to VIN number research, the King probably drove a black 1970 Mustang with a white convertible top. There’s also a good chance he got the car as a gift from Ford in appreciation for his role in the commercial.
This may be why that model ended up being associated with his character in the movie. It was a nice gesture on Ford’s part, and it may have even been the inspiration for some of the styling choices made for Elvis’s character in “Speedway.”
If you’d like to learn more about the cars that Elvis drove in his movies, visit The Mustang Club of America. They have an excellent database of information on classic Mustangs, which may be accessed here: https://mustangclub.com/.
And if you’d like to read more about the cars that Elvis associated with, check out his IMDB page. There, you’ll find a list of every model and series that the King either owned or was associated with. For example, here’s a short list of the models of cars that Elvis drove in some of his most iconic films: