|Name||Impala / Metallicar|
|Actor||1967 Chevrolet Impala|
|Dates||April 24 1967 -|
|Episode(s)||All episodes except 2.07 The Usual Suspects, 2.18 Hollywood Babylon, 4.12 Criss Angel Is a Douchebag, 4.17 It's a Terrible Life, 4.22 Lucifer Rising, 5.18 Point of No Return, 6.18 Frontierland, and much of Season 7 (7.07, 7.08, 7.09, 7.10, 7.11, 7.12, 7.13, 7.14, 7.16, 7.17, and 7.18)|
Three days later another car rolled off that same line. No one gave two craps about her, but they should’ve. Because this 1967 Chevrolet Impala would turn out to be the most important car... no, the most important object in pretty much the whole universe.
Dean's car, affectionately dubbed the Metallicar by fans, originally belonged to his father, John. It is first seen in the aftermath of Mary's death, as John sits with his sons on the hood of the car while his house burns. John later gave the car to Dean, although the exact date of this is unknown. In a strange twist of fate, it is actually Dean who convinces John to buy the car, instead of a VW van, when he travels back in time to 1973.
The Impala was built in Janesville, Wisconsin, on April 24 1967.
Eric Kripke had always wanted the boys to drive a muscle car, because growing up his favorite TV shows all had signature cars:
“Whether it was ‘Knight Rider’ or ‘Magnum P.I.’ or ‘The Dukes of Hazzard’ - all of these shows always had a character that was a car, and I always really responded to that.”
However an Impala was not his first choice:
"When I was originally writing the show I wanted to give the guys an American muscle car. My first choice was a '65 Mustang.
"My neighbour said it has to be a '67 Impala, because you can put a body in the trunk.
"He says, 'You want a car that, when people stop next to it at the lights, they lock their doors'.
At Comic Con in 2007 when asked why Sam had not driven the Impala in Season Two, Jensen answered "Because it's my car", followed by Eric Kripke reinforcing it with "Yeah, it's Dean's car!"
The Impala, of course, has all the things other cars have... and a few things they don't. But none of that stuff's important. This is the stuff that's important: the army man that Sam crammed in the ashtray - it's still stuck there. The Legos that Dean shoved into the vents - to this day, heat comes on and they can hear 'em rattle. These are the things that make the car theirs - really theirs. Even when Dean rebuilt her from the ground up, he made sure all these little things stayed, 'cause it's the blemishes that make her beautiful.
- For the origin of the car's Nicknames see Metallicar and Baby.
- The car is a 1967 Chevrolet Impala. Chuck says the Impala rolled off the assembly line in Janesville, Wisconsin, on April 24, 1967. April 24 is Eric Kripke’s birthday.
- Her first owner was Sal Moriarty, who bought her for $3999 and drove around in her giving Bibles to the poor. This is another reference to Jack Kerouac's "On the Road," a huge literary influence on Eric Kripke. The main characters in "On the Road" are two young men, Sal (Paradise) and Dean Moriarty, who drive around the country.
- John Winchester bought her from Rainbow Motors in Lawrence, Kansas, in 1973. The price on the windshield was $2204.
- Licence plates: C-45P4 (1973), BQN 9R3 (1997), KAZ 2Y5 (2005-07), RMD 5H2 (Wish Verse 2006), CNK 80Q3 (2007-Present)
- The license plates are "KAZ 2Y5" Kansas plates for all of Season 1 and most of Season 2, until they switch to "CNK 80Q3" Ohio plates in order to avoid detection.
- In the alternative reality of the Wish Verse the license plates are "RMD 5H2" Kansas plates.
- The original KAZ 2Y5 plates appear again in Season 4 via a recycled shot from Season 2.
- In a flashback to 1997, the plates are "BQN 9R3" Kansas plates, seen when John drives Dean and Sam to school in the Impala.
- In Supernatural The Animation, the plates are "KYZ 2Y5" Kansas plates.
- In the timeline where the Titanic doesn't sink, Dean drives a Mustang with the Chevy Impala's original KYZ 2Y5 Kansas plates.
- Contrary to the design of the official Supernatural website, the Impala has a bench front seat and its gearshift is located on the steering column.
- The front seat reclines; this is seen when Constance is attacking Sam.
- The Impala has an automatic transmission.
- It has a cassette player and radio, no CD player, although when Dean returns from Hell in he discovers that Sam has added an iPod jack. Dean rips it out and tosses it onto the backseat. It hasn't been seen since then.
- There is a weapons compartment built into the trunk, with a combination lock on it. The combination is 11-02-83. 
- At Comic Con in 2007 when asked about the engine specifications of the Impala, Kripke looked lost, but Jensen was able to describe it in detail.
- The sound of the squeaking doors were chosen individually for the passenger side door as well as the driver side door by Supernatural sound supervisor Mike Lawshe.
- In 3.10 Dream a Little Dream of Me, director Steve Boyum had the side spotlights removed from the Impala in order to mount cameras. In May 2008 a fan campaign was started to get them restored.
Dean: Woah!! Listen to her purr! Have you ever heard anything so sweet?
Sam: You know, if you two want to get a room, just let me know, Dean.Dean: Don't listen to him, baby. He doesn't understand us.
– , 2.03 Bloodlust
Dean's term of endearment for his beloved car Impala is 'baby'.
The nickname Metallicar originated on Television Without Pity on October 11, 2005 source. It was coined because Dean enjoys listening to classic rock music like Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and, of course, Metallica while driving. It became commonplace throughout fandom, and has appeared on merchandise.
When Sam is transformed into the Impala by Gabriel, fans dubbed it the Sampala.
It is common for fans to have characters refer to the car as "the Impala" in fan fiction, but it wasn't until 2.01 In My Time of Dying that it was called thus on the Show (by Sam) and rarely since. Most notably she's called the Impala in the monologue by Chuck in 5.22 Swan Song.
Significant Impala episodes
- 1.01 Pilot: The ghost of Constance Welch possesses the Impala and tries to run Sam and Dean over, but they jump out of the way. Later, as Sam is driving the Impala, she appears in the backseat and takes control of the car again to make him drive her home, where she tries to kill him. Dean shoots her with rock salt through the window of the Impala, shattering the glass, but her ghost returns quickly and Sam is forced to take desperate measures. He drives the Impala through the front wall of her home and comes to a stop in the living room, where she is confronted by the ghosts of her drowned children and destroyed. Dean tells Sam that he did a good job, but says, "If you screwed up my car, I'll kill you." As Dean and Sam drive away, we see that the Impala's right headlight is out.
- 1.02 Wendigo: Dean lets Sam drive.
- 1.22 Devil's Trap: a truck driven by a possessed trucker smashes into the Impala causing serious damage to her and her occupants.
- 2.01 In My Time of Dying: Sam meets Bobby at a wrecker's yard "off of I-83" where the Impala has been towed to. Bobby says "There's nothing to fix. The frame's a pretzel, and the engine's ruined. There's barely any parts worth salvaging." Sam however counters "Listen to me, Bobby. If there's only one working part, that's enough. We're not just going to give up on..." , although Bobby understands it is Dean Sam is speaking of as much as the Impala.
- 2.02 Everybody Loves a Clown: Dean and Sam are staying at Bobby's where Dean is restoring the Impala. At the end of the episode Dean takes out his rage on his car, hitting the trunk seventeen times with a tire iron.
- 2.03 Bloodlust: the Metallicar is back in perfect condition. There is great opening sequence focusing on her return to the open road, to the tune of Back in Black by AC/DC.
- 2.16 Roadkill: Dean, Sam, and Molly McNamara are in the Impala when they drive through the ghost of Jonah Greely. The Impala loses power and they leave it on the side of the road to hunt down Greely. After Greely is dispatched, the car works again.
- 2.20 What Is and What Should Never Be: Dean asks Sam if he has "ditched the plates" referring to the license plates (a necessity as they know the FBI are tracking them after the events of 2.19 Folsom Prison Blues). During the episode we see the usual "KAZ 2Y5" Kansas plates have been replaced by "CNK 80Q3" Ohio plates, and in the Wish Verse with "RMD 5H2" Kansas plates.
- 3.02 The Kids Are Alright: After not being seen to drive the Impala during Season Two, Sam is seen behind the wheel again.
- 3.06 Red Sky at Morning: Bela has the Impala towed, leading to Dean panicking to the point of hyperventilating because he thinks it has been stolen.
- 3.07 Fresh Blood: Dean begins teaching Sam how to work on the Impala because Sam is "gonna need to know these things for the future".
- 4.01 Lazarus Rising: Dean is not impressed that Sam added an iPod jack to the car while he was in Hell. He removes it and the jack is not seen again. Later, when Sam goes to exorcise the demons in the diner secretly, he takes the Impala to Dean's annoyance. Sam defends it as a "force of habit" as he'd been driving the Impala everywhere for four months while Dean was in Hell.
- 4.03 In the Beginning: Dean convinces a young John Winchester to buy the Impala rather than a VW van. The date of purchase is 30 April, 1973 and the price on the windshield was $2204. When John proposes to Mary, he does it in the Impala.
- 4.06 Yellow Fever: In order to destroy the ghost of Luther Garland, Sam and Bobby attach an iron chain inscribed with spellwork to the Impala and wrap it around the ghost's neck. Once the chain is wrapped around his neck, Bobby drives down a road, dragging the ghost behind the Impala and roadhauling him, effectively scaring him to death and saving Dean's life. Though its a "terrible plan" that neither Sam nor Bobby like, it works. In an outtake from the episode, Jensen Ackles sings "Eye of the Tiger" in and around the Impala while during the episode, Sam discovers and interrupts Dean doing the same.
- 5.02 Good God, Y'All: When Sam leaves, Dean says Sam can take the Impala, but Sam declines.
- 5.04 The End: Dean (from 2009) discovers the Impala wrecked and left to rot in 2014.
- 5.05 Fallen Idols: After Sam has been telling Dean that their relationship needs to change, that he needs to let Sam "grow up", Dean asks Sam to drive.
- 5.08 Changing Channels: Gabriel transforms Sam into the Impala. It's while driving this that Dean finally realizes that Gabriel is actually an angel and not a Trickster. (see Sampala)
- 5.12 Swap Meat: While in Sam's body, Gary asks to drive, and reverses into a dumpster.
- 5.13 The Song Remains the Same: John drives the car with Mary beside him, and Sam and Dean in the back seat.
- 5.22 Swan Song: The history of the Impala is recounted, as the Winchesters try and stop the Apocalypse. While Sam is possessed by Lucifer, and confronting Michael, Dean arrives at Stull Cemetery in the Impala. He confronts Lucifer, who starts beating him against the side of the Impala. However it's the Impala, the boys' home and place of so many memories (particularly of his relationship with Dean) that finally helps Sam fight back and take control from Lucifer. The Impala ends up with a cracked front windshield as a result of Dean's beating.
- 6.01 Exile on Main St.: A year after Dean has stopped hunting, the Impala is under a tarp in the garage - albeit still with a trunk full of weapons. When he decides not to return to hunting with Sam, he offers the car to Sam - "she should be hunting" - who refuses her.
- 6.02 Two and a Half Men: After deciding to return to the hunting lifestyle, Dean removes the tarp covering the Impala as Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water" plays in the background. Dean smirks and the sound of the Impala roaring to life is heard.
- 6.03 The Third Man: Dean doesn't like Sam's Charger and feels the need to prove the Impala's superiority by beating him to a witness' home.
- Sam: Were you racing me?
- Dean: No, I was kicking your ass.
- After Sam's car is destroyed, he returns to traveling in the Impala with Dean and they add Sam's arsenal to the Impala's trunk.
- 6.14 Mannequin 3: The Reckoning: The ghost of Rose Brown possesses the Impala and it starts chasing Dean, but he manages to maneuver it into a wall. At the end of the episode Dean is repairing the damage at Bobby's Salvage Yard.
- 6.15 The French Mistake: In the alternate reality where Sam and Dean take the places of actors Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, respectively, they see multiple Impalas in various stages of repair on the set of their TV show, Supernatural. Dean is horrified when he sees the line of cars, and he tells Sam that he's going to be sick. Later, when they try to leave the set in what appears to be a working Impala, Dean is disappointed to learn that it, too, is a prop, and can't be driven at high speed. They have to abandon the car and are afterwards reliant on the actors' driver, Clif Kosterman.
- 6.17 My Heart Will Go On: In the alternate reality created when the Titanic doesn't sink, Chevy Impalas do not exist. Instead, Dean drives a '67 Ford Mustang. When the Titanic is "re-sunk," and Sam and Dean reappear in their own reality, they wake up in the Impala. On the car's radio when they awake is Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On."
- 6.22 The Man Who Knew Too Much: The Impala is present in Sam's subconscious mind, and, although he has no memories at the time, he recognizes it and is sure that it's his car.
- Sam: That's mine.
- Robin: Are you sure?
- Sam: Oh, yeah.
In the real world, as Crowley and his demons attack Castiel, Dean and Bobby take refuge in the Impala, which is flipped onto its roof and has all its windows blown out by the demon onslaught.
- 7.01 Meet the New Boss: Dean gets the Impala back to Bobby's and repairs her, commenting that it is the only thing he is able to do at the moment. He straightens out the roof and fixes the windows, then repaints her.
- 7.06 Slash Fiction: Frank Devereaux tells Dean and Sam that Leviathan!Dean and Leviathan!Sam are driving a '67 Impala that is identical to their own, and he advises them to drive something else. Dean is upset by the change.
- Dean: Us driving around in this caboodle while baby's on lockdown?!
- Sam: It's temporary, Dean.
- Dean: Nobody puts baby in a corner!
- The Impala is still absent in the present, but appeared briefly in a flashback during 7.15 Repo Man.
- 7.23 Survival of the Fittest: As part of their assault on SucroCorp, Dean decides that the Impala will be used as a distraction and has Castiel transport him to where he hid it. While standing near the tarp-covered car, Dean finally convinces Castiel to help fight and informs him of their plan to announce themselves "big." To this end, he has the demon Meg crash the Impala through SucroCorp's front gate and giant glass sign, drawing out the guards who shoot out the driver's side window while trying to kill Meg.
- 8.01 We Need to Talk About Kevin: After Dean went to Purgatory, Sam repaired the damage to the Impala from the crash and began driving aimlessly, eventually hitting a dog and thus meeting his girlfriend Amelia. Later, when Dean reunites with Sam, he is happy to see that Sam didn't "douche her up" but is annoyed to smell dog in the car and to learn that Sam has had a dog in the car many times.
- 8.10 Torn and Frayed: After rescuing Samandiriel, Castiel takes him out to the Impala to await Sam and Dean. When Naomi orders Castiel to kill Samandiriel, he does it against the Impala and leans the angel's body against the car afterwards. Sam and Dean later find them in this position.
- 8.12 As Time Goes By: After arriving in 2013, Henry Winchester escapes from Sam and Dean to find his son and learns the year from the Impala's registration tag. He is shocked and comments on how the Mayans must have been wrong about the end of the world and tries to steal the Impala, breaking the driver's side window. However, Sam and Dean stop him before he can hotwire it. Dean and Henry later make their plan to defeat Abaddon while driving in the Impala.
- 8.17 Goodbye Stranger: Sam and Dean manage to reach the Impala after getting the angel tablet thanks to Meg's distracting Crowley. As Sam and Dean watch through the back window, Crowley kills Meg with an Angel Sword and they quickly speed off before he can go after them too.
On occasion, Dean and Sam drive a car other than the Impala:
- 2.02 Everybody Loves a Clown: Dean and Sam borrow a first generation (1984-1990) 'woody' Dodge Caravan from Bobby. Dean complains that it makes him feel "like a soccer mom."
- 4.01 Lazarus Rising: Dean drives from the gas station to Bobby's after his resurrection in a 1962 Mercury Monterey hard top. The license plate number is V6R 1G3.
- At the start of season six, when he is living with Lisa and Ben and not hunting, Dean drives a truck
- 6.17 My Heart Will Go On: in the alternate reality created when the Titanic doesn't sink, Chevy Impalas do not exist. Instead, Dean drives a '67 Ford Mustang.
- After Leviathan!Sam and Leviathan!Dean go on a killing spree (while driving a '67 Impala) causing the real Sam and Dean to become America's 2nd most wanted criminals in 7.06 Slash Fiction, Frank Devereaux advises the boys to lock up the Impala to avoid detection. In the following episodes the boys drive:
The guys also drove a 1969 Plymouth GTX towards the end of the season
Also of note: The '67 Impala that the Leviathans drive is identical in appearance to the Winchesters' Impala in almost every way. The differences lie in the custom rims on the wheels of the Leviathan!Impala, and, of course, the license plates. The Leviathan!Impala has Illinois plates: E62 3015. When Dean first sees the Leviathans driving their Impala, he remarks, "Oh, those are nice wheels. I tell you what, when this is over I'm stealing those rims."
Origins Comics Controversy
In the teaser for the Pilot, John, Sam and Dean are clearly seen huddled together on the hood of the Impala as their house burns. In the Origins comics, Peter Johnson had John acquiring the Impala after Mary's death. Following a Q&A session with Cynthis Boris on Jack Myer's MediaVillage sitePeter Johnson returned with the following response:
- I've given a huge amount of thought to the Impala issue and have arrived at a conclusion.
- As you may know from previous posts, I felt early on that there would be creative and character-driven value to seeing John get the Impala during his journey in the aftermath of Mary's death. It was a decision, and Kripke and I talked about it. However, I'm in violent agreement with many of your comments that the car is the third character in the show, and that it represents a sanctuary for this family following the death of Mary. I like it as the constant that remains after her death - as Mousitsa (Anna) puts it: 'baby' was there to support her three men after the fire.
- These comments have made profound impact, and I agree wholeheartedly with the thematics they represent for the SN universe - for both TV and comics. So, despite the fact that #1 and #2 have both been published, I am going to propose making adjustments to revert to John already having the Impala from the get-go when the issues are collected into the trade paperback. I would like to restore this notion to the comics.
- I believe in my heart and gut that it would be the correct version, not just to match the shot of John and the boys of the hood of the Impala in the pilot teaser, but much more importantly, for what the car represents in the continuity of the family -- before and after Mary's death. I'll be talking to DC about this on Monday.
The show later made the Impala's origin completely clear, when John buys the Impala in 1973 after Dean dissuades him from getting a VW van.
The Impala in Fandom
- Also known as Metallicar
- Impala-fic-list - LiveJournal community
- Back in Black - LiveJournal Meta entry by missyjack
- See Fan Craft for the plushie Impala
- @_DeansBaby - Twitter Role Play - Canon, Gen
- @deansbaby1967 - Twitter Role Play - Canon, Gen
- Crossroad Crush - An animated Impala video
- An article on the Metallicar from an Australian Car Sales website.
- *The Season 3 DVD sold at Best Buy came with a GreenLight Collectibles 1:64 scale replica of the Imapla, and the Season 5 DVD came with an Impala keyring
- "Back in Black” by Jules Wilkinson describes how the Impala is "Home to the homeless, mother to the motherless, an essential member of the family
- "The Impala as negotiator of melodrama and masculinity in Supernatural" by Melissa N. Bruce
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.01 Pilot
- ↑ 1.20 Dead Man's Blood
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 4.03 In the Beginning
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 5.22 Swan Song
- ↑ Supernatural Impala on appeal-democrat.com
- ↑ Fact scarier than fiction on The Daily Telegraph
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 2.20 What Is and What Should Never Be
- ↑ 4.04 Metamorphosis
- ↑ 4.13 After School Special
- ↑ Animated Impala
- ↑ 6.17 My Heart Will Go On
- ↑ Television Without Pity forum thread
- ↑ 4.01 Lazarus Rising
- ↑ OWS
- ↑ Jensen talks about the Impala at Comic Con 2007
- ↑ S1Com, p. 142
- ↑ Steve Boyum removes spotlights from the Impala
- ↑ Fan campaign to restore the spotlights
- ↑ 19.0 19.1 7.06 Slash Fiction
- ↑ 7.07 The Mentalists
- ↑ 7.08 Season Seven, Time for a Wedding!
- ↑ 7.11 Adventures in Babysitting
- ↑ 7.12 Time After Time
- ↑ 7.13 The Slice Girls
- ↑ 7.14 Plucky Pennywhistle's Magical Menagerie
- ↑ 7.15 Repo Man
- ↑ 7.16 Out with the Old
- ↑ 7.17 The Born-Again Identity
- ↑ 7.18 Party On, Garth
- ↑ Peter Johnson response to Impala origin