If you turn on your television set right now, you will most likely see National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation playing on more than one channel. The Chevy Chase-starring comedy has become a viewing tradition for millions of people around the Christmas holiday since its release in 1989, and will usually air as part of a marathon. Even when it’s not Christmas time, you will most likely hear a friend or family member quote the movie at a gathering of some sort.
Now, if you’ve seen Christmas Vacation, or the first Vacation movie in the series for that matter, you would certainly recognize the family’s Wagon Queen Family Truckster vehicle if you spotted it driving around your neighborhood. And if you happen to live in Knoxville, Tennessee, there is one man going around in a replica model of the car – bringing Christmas joy to many people in the area.
According to WVLT, David Moore is the man behind the wheel of the replica Vacation vehicle. The car is modeled exactly like the one used in the film with a broken blinker, lights covering the entire body, and a Christmas tree on the roof with the roots still attached to it.
“The very first time I drove it, so many people were honking, and smiling, and giving me thumbs up.”
The Truckster isn’t a real car; it was actually created by late designer George Barris, who was also responsible for creating the Batmobile used in the 1960s Batman TV series with Adam West and Burt Ward. Barris modeled the Truckster after the Ford LTD Country Squire station wagon, according to the Clark Griswold Collection website. And due to the popularity of Christmas Vacation, there have been many replicas and scale models of the vehicle that people have created on their own.
“The biggest thing I want to do with this family Truckster is bring a smile to people’s faces.”
Moore has certainly done that this Christmas season. When he is spotted driving around in the vehicle, he is stopped, so people can take pictures of themselves with it, and he will also be in the picture with them. He also carries candy canes with him, and hands them to the residents of Knoxville. Moore won’t always see them when they first try to flag him down, so there have been quite a few that follow him for miles until they get his attention. Once he notices them, he’ll pull over somewhere for a photo opportunity.
Some may question why Moore has decided to drive around Knoxville in the Christmas Vacation replica car, and is stopping for pictures with random strangers. But for the retired teacher and football coach, who watches Christmas Vacation each year with his family, he knows why he is doing it.
“I tell many people I wish they could see through my eyes and feel in my heart, what I see when I’m driving around.”
Moore does plan to keep the vehicle once the season is over. But you probably won’t see it looking exactly like the one from the classic Christmas movie. He says he’s going to give it a little bit of a makeover, so it’ll look like the car used in the first Vacation movie.
[Image credit: Warner Bros. via the Odyssey]