Behind the Scenes With Chicago's Official The Blues Brothers Bluesmobile

Celebrate the iconic film's 40th anniversary with an in-depth look at the official Bluesmobile of Chicago.

Brian Scanlon

If you ever find yourself visiting the heart of downtown Chicago, you may spot a black and white 1974 Dodge sedan cruising to the theme of Peter Gunn. This old Dodge is a movie car replica of the cult-classic, 1980's film The Blues Brothers, owned by lifelong fan Brian Scanlon, who built the car solely as a weekend project. With the Blues Brothers movie turning 40 this year, I reached out to Scanlon to tell me what it's like to own a replica of one of the coolest Mopars in cinema history.

For starters, this isn't just any replica. The car is now the official Bluesmobile of Chicago and has been featured in several TV shows with big-name stars. 

In 2016, Scanlon found a well-kept 1974 Dodge Royal Monaco and spent a year painstakingly painting and modifying it into an old Mount Prospect police car, which is now known as the Bluesmobile. Since 2017, Scanlon has been driving the car several times a week, running personal errands, doing photoshoots at various locations where the movie was shot, and overall cruising.

Shortly thereafter, the car's popularity grew, and people even began asking for tours of the Windy City from the back of the cruiser. Scanlon's personal project suddenly developed into an entertainment side-hustle. Scanlon says that driving the car around gets a variety of reactions from people, usually a thumbs-up or someone yelling a famous movie quote. Some people, however, get too excited, and Scanlon claims that some folks have randomly jumped out of their cars and into the cruiser for a quick selfie—without asking for permission.

If you haven't seen the movie, of course, you're not alone, not everyone has. Scanlon has been stopped more than a few times by police officers looking to find out why his old Dodge looks like a police car? It's the equivalent of driving a DeLorean and people asking if you've traveled to the future. That's a thing, right?

While most facets of Scanlon's side-hustle are entertaining, some are cooler than others. Last year, his car was featured in Netflix's Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee with Jerry Seinfeld and Seth Rogan.

Overall, Scanlon's passion for the film and for his car has netted not only an extra hobby and even an income, but also the realization of a dream.

You can follow Scanlon's Bluesmobile on Instagram

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