“What Would Miss Daisy Drive? The Road Trip Film, the Automobile, and the Woman Behind the Wheel” has been posted in pre-publication form on Wiley Article Share for inclusion in the next issue of The Journal of Popular Culture. In this article, I examine the relationship between a woman and a particular automobile in ten post-Thelma and Louise female road trip films. These films include Anywhere But Here, Tumbleweeds, Grandma, Tammy, Camilla, Cloudburst, Bonneville, Leaving Normal, Boys on the Side, and Manny and Lo [featuring a very young Scarlett Johansson]. The eclectic group of cars – 12 in all – include a 1955 Dodge Lancer, 1968 gold Mercedes, 1990 Ford Ranger pickup, 1974 VW Thing, 1966 Pontiac Bonneville, 1987 Toyota Corolla, 1999 Cadillac Deville, 1970 Pontiac Le Mans, 1970 Pontiac GTO, a 1970ish Checker Marathon, 1990 Chevrolet Caprice Wagon, and 1994 Mercury Villager minivan.
This was a fun project to work on – I watched many memorable as well as not-so-great female road films to make my selections – and I enjoyed the process of looking at the vehicles as important supporting players rather than mere props. Other than exhaustive literature on Thelma and Louise, the relationship between a woman and her car in film has not received much attention in scholarship. Hopefully this article will encourage folks to look at the cars and the women who drive them differently, not only in film but in all aspects of American life.