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Restored 'Good Burger' car from '90s Nickelodeon movie unveiled at St. Louis burger spot

Restored 'Good Burger' car from '90s Nickelodeon movie unveiled at St. Louis burger spot

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Mike Johnson poses for a photo with the original burgermobile inside Hi-Pointe Drive-In in St. Louis on Monday, Dec. 28, 2020. Johnson recently bought the car, made famous in the cult classic film "Good Burger", and had it restored by local artist Joe Albanese. Photo by Colter Peterson, cpeterson@post-dispatch.com

ST. LOUIS — A piece of extra-cheesy '90s kid culture was restored to its former glory this month at one St. Louis burger spot. 

Mike Johnson, owner of the Hi-Pointe Drive-In, last week unveiled the newly restored "burgermobile" made famous in the 1997 Nikelodeon kids movie “Good Burger" inside the restaurant's flagship location at 1033 McCausland Avenue. 

Johnson bought the 1975 AMC Pacer with a hamburger on its hood in a sorry state in April 2019, the Post-Dispatch reported at the time. 

The chef and restaurant owner spotted an article online announcing the car was for sale for $10,000 in Florida and couldn't pass it up, despite the fact it couldn't run and was listed with 999,999 miles on it. 

Good Burger car

Mike Johnson, owner of the Hi-Pointe Drive-In in St. Louis, bought the 1975 Pacer featured in the Nickelodeon movie "Good Burger." The car arrived in St. Louis April 8, 2019. Photos courtesy of Mike Johnson.

It took longer than Johnson expected — 20 months — and about $25,000 for the restoration, but the burger was finally done this month. It's topped with pickle wheels, a crinkle-fry bumper, a flashing arrow and a shake shooting out its back. 

The exterior work was a side project for St. Louis artist Joe Albanese, Johnson said. To get the car running, Johnson had to buy another AMC Pacer from the era for parts. 

"I think it actually looks better than it did in the movie," Johnson said Monday standing next to the flashing burger-car at the entry to his restaurant. 

Hi-Pointe Drive-In posted a video revealing the car on Instagram last week. Keenan Thompson, star of "Good Burger" before his long career on "Saturday Night Live," gave his stamp of approval. 

"Wowwwww!!! Awesome!!!!" Thompson commented from his official account. 

Johnson said he hopes the burgermobile will be available for photos for years inside the restaurant. 

"It was more than worth it," he said. 

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