Congratulations, 1960s Lincoln Continental. You're once again having a moment in the cultural spotlight.
A 1967 Lincoln Continental owned by self-professed gearhead Dax Shepard, who grew up near the Motor City in Milford, is an important player in his new movie, "Hit & Run," which opens today.
The raucous movie about love and car chases features the actor-screenwriter-codirector's own beautifully restored 1967 Lincoln Continental, which he bought in Detroit from a friend a dozen years ago. Metro Detroit native Kristen Bell, Shepard's co-star in the movie and real-life fiancee, calls the vehicle Lady Lincoln.
But the Lincoln Continentals of the mid-1960s, beloved by collectors, are no stranger to stardom:
-- In 1964's "Goldfinger," a model driven by Oddjob is unforgettably crushed into a small cube of metal.
-- A mid-'60s Lincoln Continental appeared in 1999's "The Matrix" as a stylish ride for Neo, Morpheus, Trinity and the rest of the sunglass-wearing, leather-clad gang.
-- A Lincoln Continental convertible from the same era is in the opening credits for HBO's "Entourage," the 2000s buddy series. The opening ends with Vince and the guys exiting the car, which has those cool front-opening rear doors -- some of the most distinctive car doors ever, save perhaps for the DeLorean.
-- And in 1978's "Animal House," the iconic Deathmobile was a Lincoln Continental adapted into an intimidating hell on wheels that represented everything wrong -- and oh-so-right -- with John Belushi's rebellious fraternity.
This doesn't even cover all of the movies and TV shows that have turned to this favorite ride of the continual dream cruise that is the Hollywood entertainment machine. But it's a pretty impressive quintet nonetheless.