May 22 2019

Lily Tomlin Loves Her Lancer


Her name is Dora.  And Lily Tomlin loves her.

“She” is the 1955 Dodge Lancer that the renown comedienne and actress acquired in 1975 when she desired something “Cool” as her next car.

I guess even if your mantel is decorated with an assortment of Emmy’s, a Tony and even a Grammy with your name on it, you can still desire a special shiny thing in the driveway.

So, other than the awards, celebrities can be “just like us,” as the tabloids claim!

By Lily Tomlin:

I’ve always loved old cars.  When I was growing up in Detroit, our idea of a fabulous date was walking down to the General Motors building to see the Cadillacs….(In 1975) I was in the studio working on a comedy album with Jane Wagner at the time, and between takes I’d flip through the newspaper to look at the cars. This Dodge Royal Lancer caught my eye, so I went over to the owner’s house and immediately fell in love.  I paid 1500.00 for it and named it Dora Bannister, after a character in Wicked Woman, a movie that was showing when I was an usherette at the Avalon Theater.  Dora was so gorgeous that I drive her everywhere.  I would yell out, “Go fire up Dora!  We’re taking off in 20!”   She and I have been through a lot over the years and I’ll never get rid of her.  I’m gonna be buried in this car.

When I signed on to do the movie, Grandma, in 2015, our director, Paul Weitz was looking for an old car for my character to drive. Dora was perfect.  It also happened to be 40 years since I bought her, so it was a birthday of sorts.

She was true-blue through the whole way through – a total star. Now when I drive her here and there, to the bakery or the store, I get waved at a lot.  But I know it’s Dora they are flirting with, not me.

You can catch Lily in action in her Netflix series, Grace and Frankie, now in the fifth season.


(Some content, and photo of Dora originally published in InStyle Magazine Jan 2019)

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