Netflix’s Stranger Things Season 2 is upon us, and last year’s breakout hit show is sure to once again dominate your office water-cooler talk. Stellar acting, keen attention to set design, and stunning cinematography are just a few reasons to love the show, but for car aficionados, Stranger Things offers a bonus blast to the past.
Fantastic vintage cars are one thing, but the way they’re cast to reflect the characters who own them adds a wonderful dimension to the experience. For scientific purposes only, of course, we stayed up all weekend and binge-watched the whole thing to bring you both old favorites and newcomers to Stranger Things’ cast of cars.
No major spoilers ahead, but if you’d prefer to be completely blind going into Season 2, now’s the time to stop reading and go watch it already. Otherwise, set your mind clock to 1984. And if we got any of the model years wrong, we’re counting on you (our exacting, expert readers) to let us know in the comments so we can make the proper corrections.
1981–82 Chevrolet Van vs. 1982 Chevrolet Caprice Cop Car
Season 2 kicks off with sensational car chase between the fuzz, in the predictable Caprice, and a group of misanthrope punks packed into an early ’80s Chevrolet Van G20 Lowtop. There is drifting, and it is good.
UPDATE: Readers have pointed out that some of the Caprices in this chase scene are newer than '84, wearing single-unit taillights instead of triple lights, which were introduced in 1986.
1986 Toyota Van
We’re fairly sure this is an ’86 Toyota Van, but what we do know for certain is that it looks most excellent on those Supra-style wheels. While the show is said to take place in 1984, this continuity error is forgivable considering the Toyota’s excellent exterior graphics.
The show’s newest bad-boy character, Billy Hargrove, drives a ’79 Camaro, because, well, of course he does. The Camaro is the archetypical male macho car of this era, and it couldn’t be better paired with Billy’s charming, violent, and unpredictable personality. It’s the second-best connection between upside-down and Camaro we’ve ever seen.
UPDATE: Readers have pointed out this is likely a '79 or newer Camaro, and it's not an LT. There are some Z/28 indicators here, such as the front clip, but that appears to be added on.
Even the automotive extras in Stranger Things make gearheads want to hit pause and take a closer look. One of the show’s frequent locales is Hawkins Lab, where at least evil government scientists have good taste in cars.
It’s tough to say exactly what year Steve Harrington’s 7 Series is. Either way, that’s a fancy car for a kid in small-town Indiana, even if he is a rich pretty boy with perfectly-coiffed locks. Not that we wouldn’t have driven it in high school, if given the chance. Heck, we might even drive one today given how affordable it is. We first saw the 733i last season, but it’s still lookin’ good.
1980 Chevrolet K5 Blazer
Chief Hopper’s Blazer police truck is a clear extension of his character—rough around the edges, but down to earth and most interested in getting the job done. Blazers are already climbing in value as a general (and Ford Bronco-related) trend of SUV and pickup hotness in the classic market, but Chief Hopper and Stranger Things make it all the more cool.
1976 Ford Pinto
Perhaps the most recognizable car from the original season, Joyce Byers’ metallic green Ford Pinto makes a return in Season 2. The Pinto was cheap transportation and would have been an easy pick for a single mother like Joyce, who apparently hasn’t caught a break in the year since the events of Season 1 and Season 2.