Stephen King’s Christine did for automobiles what Steven Spielberg’s Jaws did to water before it. It’s what Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds did for… well, birds: take an ordinary element of everyday life and make it absolutely terrifying.
But because there aren’t enough things to fear in the world, it turns out King’s killer car—later immortalized in the classic 1983 John Carpenter film—actually takes its inspiration from a real-life murder machine. And because we live in a world that’s truly stranger than fiction, the real-life car is far scarier than the one King put on the page—and far deadlier.
Its name is the Golden Eagle, and its story starts in 1964, not long after Christine’s 1957 timeline.
Unlike the movie monster, aptly portrayed by a 1958 Plymouth Fury, the Eagle comes from Chrysler’s Dodge line, taking form as an orange/brown/rust-colored 1964 330 Limited Edition.
Also unlike King’s character, the real-life vehicle at least started with noble intentions as a police vehicle in the tiny town of Old Orchard Beach, Maine. But that gig didn’t last long, after all three officers who drove it reportedly wound up the perpetrators—and victims—of murder-suicide plots involving their own families.
Rightfully creeped out and suspicious, the force sold the vehicle off. It eventually wound up in the hands of Old Orchard Beach local Wendy Allen, who, along with her family, happily drove it for decades.
The odd door flying open on the freeway, jammed steering wheel, and other unexplainable—and dangerous—technical difficulties the car would inflict apparently never bothered the family, and the Golden Eagle seemed equally content, doing no harm to any of the Allens while in their care.
But the same can’t be said for others.
Anyone Know a Satanic Mechanic?
After its strong start as a murder machine, the car’s reputation only grew. The Eagle began attracting a lot of attention, including that of some nearby churches.
On several occasions over the years, groups of marauding true believers took it upon themselves to deal with the demon vehicle, vandalizing it badly in an attempt to stop it from killing again. But the effort only put the next set of targets squarely on the backs of the perpetrators.
According to Allen, bizarre and grisly ends came for all 32 individuals involved in the crimes over the years. The “leaders” of the groups were all decapitated in horrific car crashes, she says, including at least one involving an 18-wheeler. And no less than four of the perpetrators died after getting struck by lightning.
The Eagle also apparently inspired one local teenager, who was dared merely to touch it, to take a distinct turn to the dark side. Not long after his brief encounter with the death machine, he was indicted for murdering his entire family, including the dog, and burning their house to the ground. (In the interest of full disclosure, the official reason given by the man’s legal team involved him being upset that his parents were getting divorced.)
And the Eagle even acted as the final resting place of two different children. In a set of circumstances that can only be described as freakish, the children landed on the car’s bumper and hood after both were hit by another car and flung across the street—in incidents that took place 20 years apart.
Resting in Pieces?
Today, the car remains in pieces after another church group was more successful than its predecessors in dismantling the beast.
The group, apparently all still alive, reportedly stole the car, chopped it up into pieces, then sent those pieces as far away from each other as possible—scattered, like so many horcruxes, to junk yards and mysterious hiding places throughout the area.
But, while Allen was reportedly upset that others found it appropriate to destroy her vehicle, and despite the evidence against its evil nature given by her and her family’s very survival, she didn’t let the incident stop her from her apparent life mission to commandeer interesting autos.
Turning to a more positive influence this time, Allen followed up her Golden Eagle ownership with that of a 1992 Volvo, which she decorated with over 2.5 million beads, toys, marbles, and rhinestones. Dubbed the Dazzling Razzberry, the ride is used to raise Autism awareness.
Just be careful out there, when visiting junkyards and other final resting places of cars. You never know when a piece of the Eagle might turn up.