Crest High School students arrived at prom Saturday in the most creative ways possible, via fire engine, boat, all-terrain vehicles, party bus, balloon-filled van and even on the bucket of a tractor.
Then, things got a little “Supernatural.”
She’s a 1967 Chevrolet Impala and one of the stars of the long-running television show, “Supernatural,” about two brothers who hunt such things as ghosts, demons and monsters. The show aired from 2005 to 2020, its final season.
The car is an essential part of the series. It’s often possessed by spirits where it’s frequently damaged and subssequently restored. One episode was even told from the vehicle’s point of view.
The show features several spots in Kansas, as the storyline says the main characters grew up in Lawrence. For the first three seasons, Baby had Kansas license plates.
Baby also has special ties to Crest High School.
Fred Blevins, Crest Class of 1988, has restored dozens of 1967 Imapalas for the show, working at a body shop in Garnett with Don and Mike Welsh. Don Welsh died in January. The final car he painted was the one used in Saturday’s prom.
Blevins drove the car to prom for Steve Prasko, his friend and classmate. Prasko’s son, Ben Prasko, and his date, Janelle Hartman, rode in the back.
Most of the Supernatural Impalas are owned by Warner Brothers. This particular car, though, is privately owned by a friend of Blevins.
Another Impala restored by Blevins and the Welshes was given away at a 2019 San Diego Comic Con event.
Chevy Impalas are hot commodities in the car world these days and even a rough, rusted, parts-only version can cost $12,000, Blevins said. But because this particular car was used in a popular television show, it’s worth about $500,000.
Blevins compares its fame to the iconic General Lee.
“The show is about two brothers, Dean and Sam Winchester,” Blevins said. “It’s kind of like how, in the Dukes of Hazzard, the General Lee is the third Duke. Well, this is the third Wichester.”
AFTER BLEVINS deposited his prom passengers, he parked the Impala behind the school, where it quickly drew a crowd.
Blevins popped open the trunk, showing the weapons box used in the show. He opened the box and propped it with a shotgun. Actual props from the show filled the compartments.
“That’s so cool.”
Onlookers took photos and videos as Blevins continued to talk about the car and the props.
“That .45 is actually spring-loaded so that’s a very expensive item,” Blevins said.
“The two flare guns. That’s from the second episode of the show where Dean killed the wendigos.”
Blevins first became involved with the show about 10 years ago, when he was asked to restore an Impala. At the time, restoration was just a hobby. He hadn’t watched Supernatural, though his wife and daughter were fans.
But now, he’s not only seen all episodes and worked on the show, he can spout trivia.
“The first two, three seasons, the car had police spotlights,” Blevins explains. “They needed a car and they were going to get a Mustang, but Warner Brothers were like, no, everybody has a Mustang in Hollywood. Get a ‘67 Impala.”
Why an Impala?
“Because it looks menacing and you can fit 10 dead bodies in the trunk.
“So they went to the Warner Brothers lot and there was an old police car, and that’s why the spotlights were on it.”
Blevins has even traveled to Chicago and Vancouver, in Canada, during production.
“Supernatural has paid the bills for the last several years,” he said.