Hunter S. Thompson’s Shark – 1971 Chevy Impala

Hunter S. Thompson’s Shark – 1971 Chevy Impala

Hunter S. Thompson’s Shark – 1971 Chevy Impala

The 1971-72 Chevrolet Impala was such a powerhouse it attracted the attention of many car buyers, including the very cynical eye of auto enthusiast, author and great American – Dr. Hunter S. Thompson.


Dr. Thompson’s Red Shark made many appearances in his books, as well in his famous bio-pic Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. The fire-apple red convertible used during filming is Hunter’s actual car, loaned to director Terry Gilliam and star Johnny Depp, who portrayed Thompson in the film. Before shooting commenced, Depp lived with Hunter for weeks, taking in the author’s great wisdom and insane quirks. He traded cars and clothing with Hunter, in order to get a feel for the giant Chevy vehicle…and the man.


The ’71-’73 Impalas were huge automobile. The two ton Impala was the largest sedan and convertible ever offered by Chevrolet. This actually hurt sales in later years, as the gas crisis in the 1970’s forced many consumers to cease purchasing of big automobiles. But Hunter Thompson’s Impala is still around, sitting comfortably at Owl Farm in Woody Creek, Colorado, where his wife continues Hunter’s legacy of publishing unfinished works, and hopefully taking a joyride in the Shark every so often.

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