What Kind of Car did Johnny Lawrence Drive in Karate Kid?

If you have ever watched the Karate Kid movie series, which debuted back in 1984, you must have noticed the iconic cars that appear in some scenes. The movie featured several flashy cars, including the one driven by the protagonist, Daniel LaRusso. However, many car enthusiasts and fans of the series are curious to know the kind of car that Johnny Lawrence drove in the Karate Kid movie. In this blog post, we will explore the answer to this question with facts and evidence.

The Character: Johnny Lawrence

Before we delve into the kind of car that Johnny Lawrence drove in the Karate Kid movie, it is essential to understand the character. Johnny is the main antagonist in the first Karate Kid movie, portrayed as a wealthy and popular teenager who bullies LaRusso upon moving to Reseda, California.

Throughout the movie, Johnny is depicted as an impulsive and insolent youth, and he rejoices in tormenting LaRusso, his main rival. His personality is further highlighted in the scene where he shows up with his friends, riding in a flashy car – which we’ll get to in a moment.

The Car: 1947 Ford Super Deluxe

The classic car enthusiasts who have seen the Karate Kid movie will agree that Johnny Lawrence drove a 1947 Ford Super Deluxe Convertible in the movie. However, not many people know the exact model and make of Johnny’s car.

In the movie, the car is painted bright red with a white convertible top, and it is noticeable that Johnny’s car stands out among the other vehicles in the movie. Its sleek design and classic aesthetic appeal make it a head-turner, and the lively color gives it an air of youthfulness and flamboyance.

In one of the most popular scenes of the movie, Johnny drives into the school parking lot with his Cobra Kai buddies in this car. As they park, Daniel, LaRusso confronts them, making it clear that there’s going to be trouble between them, and this sets the tone for their defining rivalry throughout the movie.

The Significance of the 1947 Ford Super Deluxe Car

Apart from being a classic car, the 1947 Ford Super Deluxe model had some exciting features that made it perfect for the character Johnny Lawrence. The Ford Super Deluxe was a top-of-the-line model and offered some significant upgrades over the standard Ford model of that era.

The 1947 model had an impressive eight-cylinder engine that boosted its performance and gave it some incredible horsepower. It also had a three-speed manual transmission and a hydraulic clutch, making it a powerful and responsive car.

The Super Deluxe model’s design was also unique, and its convertible version was a popular feature in Hollywood movies that center on teenagers, parties, and rebellion. By giving Johnny Lawrence the Super Deluxe convertible, the writers of Karate Kid not only gave him a flashy and youthful car but also one that would stand the test of time.



Johnny Lawrence is one of the most iconic movie characters of all time. Played by William Zabka, he is the chief antagonist of the original 1984 movie “The Karate Kid”. Johnny Lawrence was known for his skill at martial arts, his good looks and his sleek car. In this article, we will be answering the question that has been asked by countless fans: What kind of car did Johnny Lawrence drive in Karate Kid?

Question 1: What kind of car did Johnny Lawrence drive in the Karate Kid?

Johnny Lawrence drove a black 1982 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am in “The Karate Kid”. The car is simply iconic and is now considered one of the most famous cars in movie history. The 1982 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am was produced by General Motors from 1970 to 2002.

Question 2: Was the Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Johnny’s personal car?

Yes, in the movie, Johnny Lawrence is seen driving the car to the All-Valley Karate Tournament. He owned the car and is shown driving it throughout the film. The car plays a pivotal role at the end of the movie when Johnny’s sensei, John Kreese, urges him to sweep Daniel’s leg during the final fight.

Question 3: What is the significance of the Pontiac Firebird Trans Am in the Karate Kid?

In the 1980s, The Pontiac Firebird Trans Am was a symbol of power, speed, and style. The movie makers chose the car to symbolize Johnny’s bravado and swagger. The car also provides a dramatic backdrop to one of the most memorable and important scenes in the movie. The car has become a cult icon and a symbol of the 80s.

Question 4: How was the car obtained for the movie?

The car used in the movie was provided by a stockbroker named Brian O‘ Connor, who was a friend of the movie’s producer, Jerry Weintraub. The car was chosen for its sleek look and powerful engine. After the movie, the car was returned to O’Connor.

Question 5: Was the car used in any other movie?

Yes, the car was used in the movie “Rock Star” starring Mark Wahlberg. The car was modified and repainted for the movie but still retains its iconic look.


Johnny Lawrence’s black 1982 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am is one of the most recognizable cars in movie history. The car symbolized power, speed, and style and was a perfect fit for Johnny’s character in the movie. The car was obtained from a friend of the producer and was returned after the movie was completed. Today, the car is considered an iconic symbol of the 80s, and it continues to inspire new generations of movie fans.

How to Identify Johnny Lawrence’s Car from Karate Kid

If you’re a fan of The Karate Kid movies from the 1980s, you’re likely familiar with Johnny Lawrence, the karate rival of Daniel LaRusso. One question that often comes up is what kind of car Johnny Lawrence drove in the first movie. In this blog post, we will give you a step-by-step guide on how you can identify Johnny Lawrence’s car in The Karate Kid movie.

Step 1: Watch the Movie

The first step in identifying Johnny Lawrence’s car is to watch the movie again. Pay close attention to the scenes where Johnny Lawrence is driving. Most notably, there is a scene where Johnny and his friends are following Daniel and his mother in their station wagon. This scene provides the best view of Johnny’s car.

Step 2: Look for Identifying Features

Once you have watched the movie, look for any identifying features of Johnny’s car. Keep in mind that it was a modified car, so it may not look like any traditional model.

One of the most noticeable features of Johnny’s car is the red stripe that runs down the side of the vehicle. The stripe is located near the bottom of the car and starts at the front fender and goes to the back fender. Another feature to look for is the license plate. Johnny’s license plate had the letters „SRF“ on it.

Step 3: Research the Car Model

After identifying the features, research the car model that matches those features. Based on the red stripe and license plate, it is believed that Johnny Lawrence drove a 1979 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am.

However, it’s worth noting that the car was heavily modified for the movie, so it may not look exactly like a traditional 1979 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am. For example, the movie car had gold-colored Honeycomb wheels, which were not available on a ’79 Trans Am.

Step 4: Confirm the Identification

Finally, to confirm the identification, you may want to consult with experts in the field. Car enthusiasts and Karate Kid fans have debated Johnny Lawrence’s car for decades, and there are numerous forums and Facebook groups dedicated to the topic.

You may also want to reach out to the filmmakers themselves. They may be able to provide more insight into the car used in the movie.


Identifying Johnny Lawrence’s car in The Karate Kid movie may take a few steps, but with a little research, it is possible. By watching the movie, identifying features, researching car models, and confirming the identification with experts, you can be sure that you have correctly identified Johnny Lawrence’s car from The Karate Kid.

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