In the early seasons of “Breaking Bad,” the critically acclaimed AMC series about the world’s toughest cancer outpatient, protagonist Walter White’s aura of despair is helped visualized by his choice of wheels: essentially a Pontiac minivan trying (like a 50-year-old father) to look cool and managing to only be so 20th century.
Now one of the three Pontiac Azteks used in the production of the show can be all yours. Bidding starts at $1,000 at the online auction site Screenbid, a site dedicated to selling off the props from famous television programs.
Cars used by fictional characters are often used to underscore their personalities – think the 1949 Mercury hot rod used by Jim Stark (James Dean) in the 1955 classic “Rebel Without A Cause” or Mr. Bean’s clownish late-70s British Leyland Mini coupe.
There couldn’t have been a better choice than the Aztek to underscore the state of Bryan Cranston’s character in the early episodes of the show: an Albuquerque chemistry teacher with weighty family issues who lost out on past fortunes, was diagnosed with cancer and who had to take on a second job washing cars to make ends meet.
The Aztek, which lasted for only four years (that’s one fewer than the five years of “Breaking Bad”) couldn’t have been a better choice. In addition to the emasculating four-speed automatic transmission and the trying-too-hard-to-be-hip exterior styling, the Aztek, made by General Motors’ (NYSE:GM) now defunct Pontiac brand, came with weird gimmicks, namely a rear center console that was also a removable camping cooler, stereo control knobs in the cargo area and cup holders, cup holders, cup holders.
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After White’s transformation into the meth king Heisenberg he dons a pork pie hat and sunglasses and trades up to a muscle car, much to the chagrin of his wife Skyler, the Jeep Cherokee driving mom (played by Anna Gunn) with a new baby and a palsy-ridden son.
This 2003 model on auction was used in a wreck scene, so the rear quarter needs significant repairs before it can be driven. The other one remains on display at Sony Studios in Culver City, Calif., and the third one has been largely disassembled for parts.