The actual car was a originally a dilapidated, white 1948 Ford De Luxe Convertible. Its windshield was cracked and held together with tape, the right headlight was out, the tires were mismatched without hubcaps, and it was in need of a new coat of paint.
By the time it was ready for the race at Thunder Road, it looked almost completely spruced up. The windshield, headlights, and bumpers were all replaced, a new antenna was added, and the tires were all matching white walls with new chrome hubcaps. It was given a new coat of white paint, with added silver lightning bolts outlined in red.
After the race, the side of the car torn by the spurs on the hubcaps of Leo's car. It was also dirtied, having splashed into the murky water, but still mostly intact, even more so than when Kenickie bought it.
The fantasy version of the car was a 1948 Ford Convertible in Kandy Red finish with white lightning bolts. It had a transparent plexiglass hood, with added fenders in the back and matching firestone tires with matching hubcaps. This version of the car was won by Danny at the school's graduation carnival, which he and Sandy departed in.In Grease live, the car is completed with Red Paint, Lightning Bolt Decals, and even a turbo jet, which allows Danny to win the race.
Kenickie: Wait till I give it a paint job and soup up the engine, man. She's gonna run like a champ! I'm racing her at Thunder Road.
Doody: Thunder Road?!
Kenickie: You wanna make something of it?
Doody: I wanna see you make something of this heap!
Kenickie: You're cruisin' for a bruisin'.
Doody: The problem isn't in the dent, the problem's in this rubber-band engine!
Kenickie: The problem's in your mouth!
Kenickie had purchased the white car on savings, most of which came from his summer job, lugging boxes at Bagrain City. Its purpose was to give him and the other T-Birds a winning streak against the Scorpions at Thunder Road. Though it was Kenickie's pride and joy, the car was a junker, and acted it. One night, when Rizzo and Kenickie were doing it at makeout point, Leo backed into the car, damaging it even more, and raising the tension between himself and Kenickie.
After that night, the car was taken to the Rydell High auto shop. With the efforts of the T-Birds and Mrs. Murdock, the shop teacher ... as well as Sonny's sticky fingers... the car was was restored to its original state, with a new touch of lightning bolts to the paint job. During the race at Thunder Road, it took some (reparable) damage due to Leo's car tearing a gash in the driver's side door and knocking away one of the hubcaps. Despite taking a bit of a beating, Danny emerged as the winner in Kenickie's place,
The fantasy version of the car was later offered at the end of the school year in a raffle. At the graduation carnival, there was a booth with a sign that said, "Win the Car of Your Dreams" for $1.00. Danny ended up winning the car, as he and Sandy departed in it, waving farewell to their friends.
In Popular CultureEdit
In a 4th season Home Improvement episode, "Brother, Can You Spare A Hot Rod?", Tim Allen's character, Tim Taylor sold his rebuilt-from-the-ground-up 1933 Roadster to a collector, Doug O'Brien (Bruce McGill), who wanted it to for his father, who sold his own 33 Ford Roadster so he could buy Doug a pizza restaurant, that made him a millionaire.
Tim's son Brad saw (and recognized) a rusted 1946 Ford Convertible in O'Brien's car collection, the same model as Greased Lightning.
In an 8th season episode "Mark's Big Break", Mark Taylor created a humongous car-video for Tim's show `Tool Time', as an homage to Greased Lightning, including Tim dressed as Danny Zuko and his wife, Jill as Sandy Olson, complete with tight black spandex and teased-up hair.