Story behind truck in front of Indiana Jones Adventure?

June 6, 2015, 4:16 PM

Does anyone know the origin of the truck parked in front of the entrance to the Indiana Jonese Adventure in Disneyland?

I read or heard several years ago that the truck had been used in filming the first Indy movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark. I also remember reading that the truck was the actual truck used in the desert chase sequence, in which Indy chases down the Nazi convoy carrying the Ark of the Covenant, gets on board the truck, and is famously thrown through the windshield of the truck before finally taking control of the vehicle.

I perpetuated the story among friends for about a year, and then noticed that the truck doesn't look right-- for example, the windshield of the Disneyland truck has several window sections divided by metal panes, whereas the truck in Raiders had a single glass windshield, if I remember correctly.

Maybe a year ago on the Disney Parks blog, in a post about Disneyland's Adventureland, the writer confirmed that the truck was indeed used in the filming of Raiders of the Lost Ark, but did not say it was the truck whose windshield Indy was thrown through.

Can anyone tell me (convincingly, with some evidence) where the truck was used in Raiders of the Lost Ark?

Replies (7)

Edited: June 7, 2015, 1:06 PM

I've heard some say that the truck is the actual one used in the desert chase and some say it is a replica as that one was destroyed while filming a different scene. My guess is that there were multiple vehicles involved and the one in the queue is one of those used. I re-watched the scene and compared that with pictures of the truck, and to me they look identical. The windshield in the movie is two panels just like the truck at Disneyland, but the center metal piece was broken off when Indy got thrown through it. The truck in the movie has the same license plate as the one in the queue, and the one in the queue also has the stunt guides attached to it (which can clearly be seen in the movie). While I can't be 100% certain, I'd bet that the truck was used in filming Raiders of the Lost Ark in some capacity (there's also a mine cart nearby used in Temple of Doom).

June 7, 2015, 2:37 PM

Indygear.com can better fill you into the background of that vehicle on their forums. They have a few members that know the full details of the truck in front of the ride. It IS the truck used from the movie, but that's about all I remember from the discussion on it.

June 7, 2015, 4:51 PM

Thanks, A.J. and Court E!

I'll have to watch the movie again, because I didn't remember the metal frames in the windshield being there.

I'll take a look at Indygear.com, also. I'd never heard of it, but it's cool to know there are resources out there.

June 7, 2015, 5:09 PM

Court E, I dug around on the site for a while, and then I did a Google Advanced Search on the website, and couldn't find anything.

Can you point me to where on the Indygear.com site the discussion of the Disneyland truck is located? Is it possible it's been removed from the site?

Edited: June 7, 2015, 8:51 PM

It's on the forums if you look far back enough. The people have sourced nearly every single prop and costume piece with tons of research and documentation from first hand sources.

I'll try and find some if any of the links from way back. Been a long time since I've visited the site.

June 8, 2015, 2:05 PM

Just to back up some of the other posts on here.

The truck was actually referenced as the truck from the film when the attraction opened. So that adds some weight, this isn't just a rumor that started up afterwards. This has been being told since 1995.

Second: You can see in the film that the truck does in fact have the multi pane windshield like it does outside the attraction.
http://pics.imcdb.org/0is231/indycargotruck2mm7.7494.jpg
http://pics.imcdb.org/0is260/indycargotruck5du8.223.jpg

Third: The truck at Disneyland is also not a real Mercedes LG3000. It more closely matches the trucks from the film then it does a real LG3000. This again adds to the idea that this was a movie one. The movie truck and the attraction truck is actually a modified GMC truck (Kind of like the Kilimanjaro Safaris ride vehicle).
All three of the vehicles in the chase were custom made in England and brought to Tunisia for filming. They were later used as "Star Cars". The LG3000 was used in the Val Kilmer film Top Secret.

Fourth: There is also the obvious grab handles added on specifically added for the stunts in the film. These come off the bumper and have golf balls attached to the top.

I think this may be a rare case of a Disney rumor that is 100% true.

June 10, 2015, 8:06 PM

Thanks so much for the information! It gratifies me that there is a fan community for the Indiana Jones movies that has this level of detail of information.

In my mind, I can't remember seeing metal frames in the truck's windshield when Indy was pushed through the windshield, but the evidence is in the photos you provided the links to.

In any case, I'm glad to be able to tell people that the truck is the same one used in Raiders. Thanks again!

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