‘Green Hornet’ filmmakers crashed, scorched and smashed 26 Black Beauty cars

Nov. 22, 2010 | 3:51 p.m.

 Tiffany Hsu, over at Money & Company, has an update on the L.A. Auto Show with a casualty-for-art statistic that will make car-lovers cringe. The topic is “Green Hornet,” due in theaters in January, and here’s an excerpt…

black beauty1 Green Hornet filmmakers crashed, scorched and smashed 26 Black Beauty cars

Dennis McCarthy, left, and and Neal Moritz (Sony)

Most people would say that the upcoming “Green Hornet” movie is about the masked crime-fighting duo Britt Reid and Kato, played by Seth Rogen and Jay Chou. But the real superhero of the film, according to producer Neal Moritz, is the car.  

And what a car it is. Hood guns, bumper rockets, armed suicide doors, grill-mounted flamethrowers and attached missile systems are just the start. The vintage vehicle, based on a 1965 Chrysler Imperial, is longer than many SUVs and weighs about as much, according to picture car coordinator Dennis McCarthy. Millions of dollars of the film’s budget went to the so-called Black Beauty.

“It’s an incredible arsenal of things this car can do,” said Moritz, who has worked with McCarthy on several “The Fast and the Furious” films.  “It’s big, it looks strong, and it has a lot of metal. It harkens back to another era when American cars were king.”

Several automakers came calling before shooting began, interested in pairing with filmmakers to make a new version of the classic vehicle from the 1960s Green Hornet television series. But Moritz and crew decided that the original look was sexier. The gleaming model currently being displayed at the L.A. Auto Show is one of just three remaining from the set, McCarthy said. The other 26 were cut in half, smashed, dropped by cranes and otherwise destroyed…


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26 Responses to ‘Green Hornet’ filmmakers crashed, scorched and smashed 26 Black Beauty cars

  1. Bill Miller says:

    The new car looks great and does remind me of the original. I was wondering if there will be a scale model kit or a dicast of the new car and perhaps the original, I believe it was a 1964 Lincoln but I'm not sure either way they are really super cool cars. Thanks for bringing back such a 60's Icon.

  2. Dave says:

    It was a 1966.

  3. Howlett says:

    Where's the rest of the article???…….. and the original Green Hornet TV series vehicle was indeed a '65 Imperial.

  4. Billyray says:

    Correction, the original Green Hornet car was a modified 1966 Imperial

  5. Adam Martinez says:

    what kind of wheel rims were used?

  6. Adam Martinez says:

    Too bad those cars weren't parted out. I would've liked to change out my driver side door panel, and maybe the front clip and bumper.

  7. Graham V says:

    Two 1966 TV series Black Beauty cars were created from two 1966 Imperial Crown vehicles by Dean Jeffries and not by George Barris. BB#1 is in the Peterson Museum in California. BB#2 is touring, on occasion, and details (and the history of both cars) can be found at http://www.theblackbeauty.com/

    Of the two, BB#2 is actually more 1966-authentic now – recently restored through a 5-year long process.

    The wheels, no longer in production and extremely hard to locate, were from the Appliance company and the design chosen was APACHE and not STINGRAY even though at first glance they are the same. A set of four can easily cost three grand. http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i250/PEGAZUS44/

    The special LUCAS green headlamps are almost as much. http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i250/PEGAZUS44/

    The Green Hornet movie features a 1965 and not a 1966.

  8. David says:

    There's no school like old school.

  9. Myles says:

    It's about time! Can this kato feel te shoes of the man

  10. Chas. Riggs says:

    The article is correct the hero of the original series was the car. That's what I was watching as a boy. It is aweasome they have revived the story. Hope it does well and refreshes American muscle car mania. I auctually named my first dog Kato, great dog!!!

  11. Ray Nieves says:

    I have a hard time seeing Seth Rogan as a superhero, but the trailers look promising. Black Beauty was an awesome car: big, black and nasty. I have seen some custom Chrysler 300C-SRT-8s (which are big, fast and nasty by today's standards) that might have done the job in 2010, but I like the fact the '60s era Black Beauty in this movie is a legacy that will be updated with newer wepons. Can't wait to see it!

  12. John says:

    I wonder if those front guns can be retro-fit on my '64 Imp?

  13. Chas says:

    Both The Original # 1 Black Beauty from the TV show and the # 2 Black Beauty promotional car were 1966 Imperials, both were customized by Dick Dean who worked for Jeffries at the time, Dick also built the replica Black Beauties for Barris. The # 1 Black Beauty is the car at the Peterson Museum, it was driven by Bruce Lee while filming the TV show. The # 2 Black Beauty wound up sold to a Museum in Chicago in the 70s and then sold locally and spent most its life in Chicago, I had many oppurtunities to purchase the # 2 B.B. but passed, it is now owned by a private collector. Yes the look of the Original Jeffries / D. Dean Black Beauty styling is by far the best ! The new movie car just looks like a 1965 Imperial with a Lincoln Mark III hood and grille………..

  14. Chas says:

    My post is all factual….I'm an Authority on those cars!

  15. Chas says:

    Dick Dean, born Richard Dean Sawitskas 1933-2008, designer,builder,customizer. He designed the Bricklin and built many TV customs, The Monkeemobile,The Black Beauty,The Munsters Dragula, The Batmobile and many more. He was known for His Top Chops.

  16. Moe says:

    I don't understand why they couldn't make fiberglass mockups of the body panels and put them on some newer car that nobody cares about.

  17. PMiller says:

    If your close to Ohio I know of three 4 door 64-66 imperial crowns, not lebarons sit. All of which are in decent shape. Also there is a 2 door and a coveted 1966 convertible imperial… email me and I will get you the information towards contacting the owner my email is greengiant623@hotmail.com

  18. jerry c says:

    Does anyone know where you can have a reproduction black beauty built? Contact at puttputt1982@yahoo.com

  19. J3rrYcid says:

    It must have been quite painful to have sacrificed that many Black Beauties. The star of the show is definitely the car. With a push of a button, all the accessories and weapons were revealed. What a great moment it was.

  20. hvh says:

    Dean Jeffries built the original Black Beauty for the Green Hornet

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