Like many of you, I’ve been watching that new Loki series and have been very impressed with the whole mid-century/Eero Saarinen/Terry Gilliam’s Brazil sort of look to the show. The series has been pretty thin on cars, but that changed with this most recent episode, which featured some really excellent and I think inspired car-casting.
I don’t want to give away any crucial plot points, but I think I can say that the episode takes place in a sort of temporal junkyard, where discarded bits from many timelines end up, and, it seems, fall into considerable disrepair.
Most of the cars that are first seen in this episode are like that, weed-choked, rusty hulks, but at least a few are identifiable:
Well, maybe just that Beetle on the top left is actually identifiable, though the car below it looks a bit like an early ’70s GM, maybe a Caddy or Oldsmobile?
But there is one car that actually gets driven and a good amount of screen time. This one:
This is the one I want to talk about, because it’s a delightfully obscure choice. That car, which appears to have been once employed by a place called Skinny’s Pizza, complete with a spring-mounted rooftop pizza slice, is a Datsun Bluebird Wagon.
Now, I’m not exactly certain what year Bluebird it is — the wagon came out in 1963, and by 1965 it got the 1300 engine, with a ravenous 62 horsepower. In the show, that little wagon is cooking along nicely over the rough, ruined terrain, so maybe let’s say it has the benefit of those extra 100cc and is a ’65.
I don’t think it’s a ’66 to’67, because it looked like the taillight design changed in ’66 to this:
…and the one in the show appears to have the earlier taillight design, pre-reverse lamps and with a larger round section on the inside:
There also seems to be an Easter Egg here, too: the licence plate reads GRN-W1D, which I bet it a reference to Mark Gruenwald, a writer and editor for Marvel who wrote a number of Avengers comics.
(I don’t actually know much about comics, if I’m honest, so that was a combination of a guess and Google; perhaps someone who knows more may be able to confirm my guess.)
So, I think we’re seeing a 1965 Datsun Bluebird 1300 Wagon here, and I want to praise the car-casters for the show for picking something charming interesting and decidedly unexpected.
These early Datsuns were good little cars, well-built and useful, and I think are a pretty reasonable choice for darting around a confusing wasteland. They were pretty good on fuel economy, too, which I bet is important since it’s not clear where the gas is coming from in this peculiar place.
I’m pretty sure this is likely the only time a Datsun Bluebird will be a featured car on a major series all year, so, you know, drink it in, everybody.