Stephen King definitely has a thing about cars. Whether it’s a superstition, a fear or a phobia at this point is hard to say, but it’s definitely led him to create some very convincing stories about them that have helped to make him the master of horror he is today. But one particular instance that nearly killed him came when he was walking near his home and he was struck by a 1995 Dodge Caravan of all things. Now, anyone that’s been able to drive a van such as this in their lifetime, whether they enjoyed the drive or not, knows that Dodge Caravan’s aren’t exactly intimidating vehicles. They look like what they are, vans built for soccer moms and dads that tend to drive a lot and need the space for kids or pets, or both. But for one reason or another King bought the van that struck him and left him injured in a ditch for $1,500 dollars, ostensible to keep it out of the hands of any eager fans that might want to ‘collect’ it as a part of King memorabilia. Just imagine being the person to own the van that ‘struck Stephen King’. Even saying it sounds silly, but there are plenty of people out there that would see this as a good conversation starter for their own reasons. Yes, it’s creepy, don’t feel bad about thinking it.
King’s involvement with cars is of course usually supernatural since this is what he writes about more often than not and it’s what he’s good at. From Christine to From A Buick 8 he tends to envision cars as having their own lives, their own motivations, and usually, the cars are about as murderous as they come. The novel Christine was gruesome enough, but the movie aimed to be just as hardcore, though there was only so much that could be shown. Maximum Overdrive was another car movie of his, as it detailed what happened when all machines, not just automobiles, suddenly turned on their ‘masters’ and started causing such a ruckus that only a few survivors were able to make their escape near the end. King actually directed that one, and he kind of swore of directing after the movie, which isn’t too surprising. It’s easy enough to direct a novel when one is writing it, but trying to take control of the creative process on a set sounds like something that’s beyond many writers since there’s little to no way to control absolutely everything. When it comes to writing he’s one of the best in the business.
A lot of people probably wouldn’t think about trying to buy a car that almost killed them, as some might even want to distance themselves from the vehicle as much as they could. But if King has a fear of cars in any way it could also be labeled as an obsession in a way since trying to purchase something that was almost the end of you isn’t something a rational person would do. There were comments that he would want to dismantle it and that he might want to keep it for various other reasons, but the whole idea of buying it in the first place is kind of hard to fathom really. Maybe he was also thinking of creating a story about a van and needed the inspiration. That doesn’t make much sense though since such a story never materialized as far as anyone knows and to be serious, such a story feels as though it might take some doing to really make it that terrifying, or even spooky. Of course, King could do it, but buying the van was a chance for him to keep it away from slavering fans that are eager to get their hands on just about anything that has to do with King. Yes, there are those types of folks out there that just HAVE to get their hands on anything they can involving their favorite artists, authors, actors, and anyone else they idolize. If you’re wondering at the veracity of that rumor then it’s likely that you haven’t been a fan of pop culture for that long since this is a pretty common thread that many people have followed and clung to for a while. It would be kind of interesting to find out if the individual that struck him, by accident, of course, was a fan of King’s. Of course, he wasn’t likely to ask for an autograph for obvious reasons, but it would be kind of interesting to find out whether he was a fan or not.
One thing that’s also a bit obvious is whether King is afraid of cars or not, he definitely has a strange obsession with them when it comes to his stories. But sometimes an obsession or fear can make for a great story.