When it was a new car back in 1967, the Better Off Dead Camaro was white with a black stripe around the grille. In the shot with the hood open, the original white paint is visible on the underside of the hood. This car has always had a red deluxe interior.
The “Chevrolet,” “Camaro,” and “SS350” emblems on the front of the car were omitted when it was painted black for the movie.
Some things were done to make the Camaro look neglected while Lane and Monique were fixing it up. Old tires were mounted on unrestored rally wheels, paste wax was left to dry on the paint, and fake spider webs were strung around the interior.
After the Camaro emerged from under the tarp, it sprouted a pair of 15 x 8 Corvette rally wheels in the back. Up front, the original 14 x 6 rally wheels were used in all of the shots.
During the 2003 restoration, P275/60×15 and P195/70×14 B. F. Goodrich Radial T/A tires were installed in an effort to match the tires that were used in the movie.
John Cusack drove the Camaro in all of the shots except two. The Transportation Captain performed the burnout and he drove the car as it left the ski resort.
Diane Franklin was riding in the Camaro during the burnout. She waved her arm out of the window on the right side.
When the Camaro went out of view as it left the ski lodge, it nearly collided with a tour bus that had parked in its path between takes.
During the making of Better Off Dead, the Transportation Captain was the owner of the 1965 Ford Falcon driven by the Howard Cosell brothers. It was painted with orange house-paint in preparation for its role. The Falcon was sold shortly after the film was finished, and its whereabouts are unknown.
John Cusack did his best to make it look like the Camaro had power windows when he pulled up next to the Falcon. The Camaro actually had manual windows. A window crank can be seen on the passenger door in the shot where Diane Franklin exits the car at Pig Burgers.
Muddy Waters has recorded several different versions of the song “Mannish Boy.” The version that was used in Better Off Dead is from the 1977 album titled “Hard Again.”
During the making of Better Off Dead, the Camaro was parked on the lawn and in the garage of the house located at 1636 Virginia Avenue in Glendale, CA 91202.