Research question

I am researching this question for a book I am writing.

Question: A few years ago there was an urban legend offering instructions on what to do if you are kidnapped and thrown in the trunk of a car. It said to kick or punch the tail lights out and wave your hand through the hole at the car behind you.

Do you know of any car models in which this would actually work? Year, make and model? Can a person even access the tail lights from inside the trunk?

You could on my 73 Monteray, but not on any of the other cars I have had.


Most cars where you can’t actually see screws in the tail lights looking from the outside are changed from the inside. With my 88 Buick Century, the way you changed it was by undoing a bunch of thumb screws in the trunk and then the tail light just kind of flopped out, so you wouldn’t even have to permanently damage them.

The problem is that there’s usually sheetmetal that the lens attaches to with little holes for the screws and bulbs, so you’d probably only be able to get a finger out.

So Next Time, I Shouldn’t Just Wave Back? Oops!

Federal law now requires all cars with trunks to have a release inside the trunk. They do it to prevent children playing from locking the less aggressive of them in the trunk and leaving him to perish. Yes, it has happened.

But no requirement that older cars get retro-fitted. If your are about to get put in a trunk by a kidnapper, fight the fight of your life,I would take a bullet before I would get in that trunk. Once you are moved from the spot you are taken you are not likely to come out alive.

No I don’t think you can punch out the lens assembly. Very possible you can tear out wiring and a inop brake light may get a saving angels attention.

Really the “reasearch for a book” angle sounds pretty creepy.

Actually, the character in my novel is a reporter sleuthing around where she shouldn’t be; there’s a very good reason the perp cannot kill her outright… so, he does the next best thing, kidnaps her, with the intention of killing her as soon as he’s out of the urban area. Never fear, she gets away in the end, but while she’s in the trunk… I need to know what she’s thinking.

So I really need to know what it would be like in that trunk, and what thoughts go through her head… after the initial shock wears off, etc.

Thanks so much for your answers. They help.

I imagine it would be a horrible feeling of utter loneliness.

She might have better luck pushing the rear seatbacks forward, depending on the vehicle, and then fighting the perp or jumping out the rear door.

I have a research suggestion. Spend some time touring a boneyard. You may get some ideas by looking at the wrecks there.