The Plymouth Belvedere line was advertised as "Plymouth’s premiere line of great automobiles" when it rolled off the assembly line in 1951. It gained popularity quickly.
By the time the 1958 Belvedere entered showrooms, it came in five different body styles. There were two-door hardtops, two-door posts, four-door hardtops, four-door post and a convertible. Each offered quad-headlights and the signature rear fins of the day. All that style cost $2,700. It was a classic car when it was new and is prized by collectors to this day.
Part of that appeal got a boost when an identical sibling of the Belvedere, a Plymouth Fury, found itself on the silver screen as the car-gone-wrong chassis of the 1983 movie "Christine," by director John Carpenter. The Stephen King novel that became the basis of the movie described the evil-minded car as a four-door 1958 Fury, but the Fury didn’t offer a four-door model until 1959.
Two-dozen Fury and Belvedere models were used in the movie since they are almost identical. Some were used for close-ups. Others were used for stunts and road shots, while others were destroyed in the filming of the movie’s final scenes. Cars were burned, wrecked and smashed all in the name of movie making. Just three cars survived filming.
While the Belvedere in the LeMay collection was not associated with the film, it is a replica of the numerous promotional cars used for the movie’s debut around the country. The promotional cars would be placed in the lobby of a theater where the movie was playing, and someone out of sight would speak to movie-goers through the hidden speakers behind the car’s grille, as if the car were alive.
The car offers a 225-horsepower engine and an automatic transmission.