HUNTINGTON --  Supplying cars to the stars -- that is Allan Thacker's role in "We Are Marshall."

If you see Matthew McConaughey driving around the Tri-State in a shiny new ride, it is probably one of the nearly 25 vehicles Thacker helped supply to the movie's key cast and filmmakers.

Thacker, a Huntington native who is owner/president of Superior Chrysler Dodge Jeep in Ashland, said McG's infectious charisma at the Marshall University men's basketball team's final home game that won him over. McG, short for Joseph McGinty Nichol and director of the Marshall movie, rallied the Cam Henderson Center crowd to spirited chants of "We Are ... Marshall" that night.

"I said, 'That guy was so electrifying that I need to get involved,'" Thacker said. "I called Keith Spears (vice president of communications and marketing at Marshall) and said I need to give you some cars for these movie stars to drive.

"Someone called from Warner Bros., telling me how many vehicles they needed, and I said, 'Oh boy, I've stepped into something.' "

Thacker said he and his staff consulted with officials from Daimler Chrysler and Chrysler Financial to secure the vehicles. He explained that the vehicles eventually will be sold as special-event cars.

Meanwhile, if you see a vehicle with a star-shaped decal indicating official vehicle of "We Are Marshall," stay alert -- you may be in for a star sighting.

Thacker said the gesture was the least he could do, both for the community and those associated with "We Are Marshall," a Warner Bros. Pictures' production.

"I've been in this community a long time, and I think it's the biggest event to come into Huntington, W.Va., and I wanted to be a part of it ... to make a little promotion out of it. ... People want to know what they're driving."

Thacker said the message of "We Are Marshall," which deals with the November 1970 Marshall plane crash and its aftermath, is universal.

"This is a story that needs to be told, and we have great characters in this film."

 

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