The Top Ten Walking Dead Car Stars

It’s only a few weeks until the return of that greatest of all zombie shows, The Walking Dead, so we’re celebrating with a series of posts about the best things to drive after the plague turns most of the population into a pack of brainless, slavering walkers.  Check out last week’s post here

Yes, there will be spoilers.  You are advised to educate yourself via Netflix if you haven’t already.

We live in a mechanized society.  So if when man’s last disease comes knocking, cars, planes, and trains will only spread it faster.  But once most of the population loses the motor skills to pass a driving test, cars will be our allies.  Rick Grimes and crew have learned this well over three seasons of TWD. 
Here’s some of our favorites:

1. You might not remember this 1971 Pontiac GTO, but Rick does.  It carried the first infected he saw, back in episode one.  Sure, it’s a cool car, (especially with an upgraded carb), but I like to think the writers were playing on a Southern vision of the Apocalypse, since so many GTOs of the era were labeled “Judge,” and Revelation is packed with judgments.
Walking Dead 1971 Pontiac GTO

2. We don’t know if Morgan Jones picked up his 1974 Toyota Land Cruiser before or after the crisis struck, but it’s a good decision either way.  When the last walker has stopped walking, Toyota’s timelessly bulletproof SUV will still be running.  Hopefully at that point you’ll still be able to find a K&N air filter for it.
Walking Dead 1974 Toyota Land Cruiser

3. Equally tough, but a little tougher to drive, is the Vickers-Armstrong FV4201 Chieftain Tank that offered Rick refuge during his first foray into Atlanta in season one.  I think he could have just stayed in there.
Walking Dead Vickers-Armstrong FV 4201 Chieftain Tank

4. The series’ other Chieftain isn’t nearly as impressive, but much more prominent.  Dale’s 1977 Winnebago Chieftain almost seems more trouble than it’s worth, what with the radiator hoses being mostly tape and the complete lack of escape hatches.  But it does offer a mobile lookout platform with a built-in ladder, and frankly, what more could you ask of a ’77 Winnebago?
Walking Dead 1977 Winnebago Chieftain

5. As mentioned last week, Glen’s 2009 Dodge Challenger served as the distraction car for Rick & Co’s extraction from Atlanta.  Breaking the window even activated the alarm, providing so much more distraction than he’d bargained for.  I think this would have been more artfully accomplished with a nice Magnaflow exhaust, but you do what you can when people want to eat your brains.  Sadly, the Challenger was picked clean of usable parts and abandoned at the quarry.
Walking Dead 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T

6. TWD has excellent car casting all around, but no vehicle more personifies its owner than Daryl’s Triumph Bonneville Hardtail ConversionChopper, inherited from his brother Merle.  It’s not shiny or fancy, but it gets the job done like an absolute boss and doesn’t give a single lukewarm zombie crap what anybody thinks of it.
Walking Dead Triumph Bonneville Hardtail Frame Conversion

7. The Governor may be rash and emotional at times, but he’s no idiot.  He knows you can keep your Challengers and Winnebagos, and that the real zombie survival vehicle is a 1998 Dodge Ram, complete will a custom grille guard, like this one from Westin.
Walking Dead 1998 Dodge Ram

8. Nor is that the only weaponized truck in his fleet.  Similarly armored is his Ford Excursion, an SUV so big Ford doesn’t even build it anymore.
Walking Dead Ford Excursion

9. Perhaps the meanest of that eyepatched villain’s fleet, however, is this Grumman-Olson Walk-in Van, which was somehow lumbering around the South, probably in service as the ice cream truck you forbade your kids to buy from.  Its armament: a whole herd of hungry walkers, ready to deploy.
Walking Dead Grumman-Olson Van

10. This Subaru Legacy Outback holds the honor of being the only car on the show to have killed a zombie with its lift gate.  Hopefully they had some cargo or floor mats they could just hose the brains off of.
Walking Dead 1996 Subaru Legacy Outback

What are your favorite cars from The Walking Dead?  Stay tuned for next week, when we start figuring out how to build the perfect zombie car.

Photos from IMCDB

4 Replies to “The Top Ten Walking Dead Car Stars”

  1. I’m this article the vehicles of walking dead. The dodge pickup truck with the big front bumper you had a link to Westin. Which bumper is it because I can’t find it

    1. Hi Cody,

      It looks like the Governor’s Ram actually has a custom grille guard welded together by the props department, though if you’re looking for a similar, hardcore style, check out Westin’s HDX line. What are the year, make, and model of your truck?

      -Andy

  2. Just found this blog and it’s great! I have a 2012 black Nissan Xterra. I suppose it can be lifted and a guard put on the front. The sunroof addition might be pricey. What else would you suggest. Fun, fun stuff!

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