Samuel L. Jackson drives a badass Impala SS in Captain Marvel

Like many people with a ten bucks and a few hours to kill last weekend, I parked myself in a heavily cushioned recliner in an overly air conditioned theater to watch Captain Marvel. Don’t freak out, I won’t spoil anything. The movie’s entertaining enough, with Marvel’s requisite balance of action, snark, and dazzling visuals. What surprised me, though, was just how much I respect the fine automotive taste of a young Nick Fury, played by Samuel L. Jackson.

Given his lack of superpowers, Fury is perhaps the most relatable character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. (With the possible exception of Hawkeye, whom I guess I could understand if I mastered archery.) Fury’s intellect, charisma, and political acumen is what makes him an effective leader of the secret Earth-defense organization, S.H.I.E.L.D. And nothing says he means business like a black Impala SS.

1995 Chevrolet Impala SS
1995 Chevrolet Impala SS Mecum

Captain Marvel is set in 1995, a time before Fury gained the signature eyepatch and grizzled, hard-boiled persona we see in later Marvel films. What he lacks in attitude he makes up for with 260 hp and 330 lb-ft of torque under his right boot, courtesy of a delicious, burbly LT-1 Corvette V-8.

The Impala SS is the perfect ride for any mid-’90s American secret agent, given that the original 1992 Impala SS concept evolved from a black Caprice with the 9C1 Police Package. It is big, fast, and generally anonymous. It is the decade’s ultimate sleeper cop-car.

Captain Marvel also features another classic: a first-gen Mustang that appears in a flashback. Later, the titular character refers to racing her best friend in a Camaro. The movie does more than entertain. It remains us that spaceships and superheroes may be cool, but classic muscle cars are timeless.

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