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Indiana Jones is one of the most iconic characters in American cinema. He portrays the lightest and airiest parts of a cartoonish caricature of an American explorer in the 1940s. While Indy might not be the best archaeologist, he is typically a pretty good driver. Well, now’s your chance to get to step into Indy’s shoes. The newest film, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny features a vintage Fiat van that is currently for sale. Indy doesn’t strike me as a vintage van guy, but I guess we’ll just have to see what he does with it. 

Fiat 238 van
1971 Fiat 238 | Car & Classic

Why does Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny feature a vintage van? 

Seeing as how the film isn’t out yet, we don’t know what role the van plays in the film. However, this vintage van must play a fairly consistent role because this one for sale is said to be one of three vans used for filming. Typically, hero cars in films have duplicates. There is often one that doesn’t drive fort exteriors and interior shots, then one or more that are used for driving – and given the nature of Indiana Jones’ escapades – crashing. 

What kind of van is in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny?

Vintage Fiat van brochure
Fiat 238 van brochure | Fiat

According to Silodrome, the led sled used in the film and now for sale is a 1971 Fiat 238. The Fiat 238 was introduced in 1967, replacing the aged Fiat 1100T. The 238 was a better handling and larger capacity van. Fiat achieved this better handling and more cargo space by moving the engine up front and sending its power only to the front wheels. This transversely-mounted 1.2-liter four-cylinder engine sat between the front two wheels and was accessed by a removable panel between the front two seats. 

Like all the coolest vans, the Fiat 238 came in a wide variety of configurations ranging from ambulances to pickups. The panel van version was one of the more popular configurations. Not only did the Fiat 238 offer many different body types, but it also came with a myriad of engine choices. Sildorome states that engines ranged from gasoline-powered 1.2-liter four pots up to 2.5-liter. It came with both 4- and 5-speed versions. There were even diesel offerings. 

The new Indian Jones movie 

Talking about the van from Indiana Jones without at least briefly touching on the film seems like a shame this writer is unwilling to carry. With that said, it’s hard to believe that a new Indiana Jones film can still happen with Harrison Ford still leading the charge, but it is, and we’re stoked. 

Unlike previous Indiana Jones films, this one is set in the decidedly more modern setting of 1969. The space race is well underway, the swinging ‘60s have swung, and Indian Jones is, yet again, tailing Nazis. This time, America has hired Nazis engineers and scientists to help Nasa; Indy is not pleased. While the official trailer is out, we don’t see any trace of the Fiat 238. This might force us to wonder if it has a vital role. However, as we mentioned earlier, there are three of them, which suggests it will have a significant amount of screen time. 

The 1971 Fiat 238 van

This vintage van might wig out the car nerds. If the film is set in 1969, then why are they using a 1971 model van? Chances are the model wasn’t different enough to matter, at least to most people. When the studio bought the Fiat, it had been repainted in Ferrari Red over its original White. However, the studio painted it in this blue shade to give it a period-correct feel. If this anachronism is upsetting to you, we understand. 

However, remember that this isn’t new for the franchise. In the last Indiana Jones installment, Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Indiana Jones’ son, “Mutt,” drove an ‘06 Harley-Davidson Softtail Springer Classic in a movie set in 1957. The art department dressed it like a ‘50s bike, but it was clearly a modern bike. Let’s be honest; period correctness and historical accuracy are not what people come to Indiana Jones for. 

If you want more information about this 1971 Fiat 238, check the listing from Car & Classic