Hell's Chariot

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Hell's Chariot was built by Eddie Paul of Customs by Eddie Paul. Eddie built 42 cars for the movie. This photo was taken outside his shop. Photo courtesy of Invaluable.
Photo courtesy of David DeSure. Photo courtesy of Invaluable.
A scene from Grease were Leo is racing against Danny Zuko. Photo courtesy of David DeSure. Photo courtesy of Invaluable.
A photo of the Merc taken the day David and Scott found it. Photo courtesy of David DeSure.
David made a deal with the executor of Bill's estate, and he had the Merc shipped to Dan Condon's The Shop in Palm Desert, California for restoration. Dan took over the restoration personally and was commissioned to restore the car exactly back to the way it appeared in the movie. Photo courtesy of David DeSure. Photo courtesy of Invaluable.
The car was first debuted at the Los Angeles International Auto Show. It became the hit of the show, and according to David the crowd around the car was unbelievable for three days. Photo courtesy of David DeSure.
After David restored the car, it was used in Grease Live. Photo courtesy of David DeSure.
The restored Merc was used in Grease Live, and David and Scott drove Olivia Newton John down the Las Vegas Strip to announce the show. Photo courtesy of David DeSure.
Photo courtesy of David DeSure.
Doody and Frenchie from the movie. Photo courtesy of David DeSure.
Photo courtesy of David DeSure.

Hell's Chariot is a 1949 Mercury convertible custom known from the movie Grease. Painted black with flames pouring from the headlights, the car is driven by Leo Balmudo in the movie.


The car was built by Eddie Paul of Customs by Eddie Paul. Eddie built 42 cars for the movie. After Grease it appeared as a primered background car in a junkyard scene in Used Cars with Kurt Russell. It was then painted purple and appeared in the movie Streets of Fire. After that, it disappeared, and how it left the studio lot is unknown.[1]


In 2020 Hell's Chariot was owned by David DeSure and his business partner Scott Byrum. According to him, the Merc is the only surviving car from the filming. David came across the car advertised for sale on Craigslist as a chopped 1950 Mercury in Orange County, California. All the ad said was "1950 Merc custom, must sell." The ad turned out to be phony, but the car existed, and it was the last car remaining in the estate of Bill Papke. David met the executor of Bill's estate, who presented him the car as the "Grease Merc." According to him the car had disappeared 27 years earlier. Bill found it after years of research as it was his favorite Merc of all time. He traced it to a storage warehouse in Southern California, and it supposedly took many years to convince the owner to sell.[1]


David made a deal with the executor of Bill's estate, and he had the Merc shipped to Dan Condon's The Shop in Palm Desert, California for restoration. Dan took over the restoration personally and was commissioned to restore the car exactly back to the way it appeared in the movie.[1] The car was first debuted at the Los Angeles International Auto Show. It became the hit of the show, and according to David the crowd around the car was unbelievable for three days.[2]


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