A List of the Top Most Memorable Movie Cars of All Time
By Kathryn M. D'Imperio
Who could forget the 1948 Ford, “Greased Lightning,” in the movie Grease? And what about Austin Powers’ groovy “Shaguar” E-Type? Movies bring characters, emotions and props to life, merely by weaving them deftly into the storyline. Sometimes movies base a major focus on a particular vehicle, and sometimes a vehicle plays a major supporting role in a film. Whatever the case, many cars hold special places in our hearts after they’ve captured our attention on film.
Several cars popularly remembered include the 1981 Delorean DMC 12 from Back to the Future, Herbie the Love Bug, the Dukes of Hazzard General Lee 1969 Dodge Charger, and the Starsky and Hutch 1974 Ford Gran Torino. But these are just a few of the memorable machines introduced to us by Hollywood….
390 GT Mustang
Steve McQueen stars as Lt. Frank Bullitt in a gutsy flick about a cop who hunts down the villain who killed a protected witness. The legendary car chase is remembered as one of the best ever, with the dashing dark green 390 GT Mustang.
Back to the Future
1981 DeLorean DMC 12
“When this baby hits 88 mph, you’re going to see some serious shit!” Who could forget such an inventive car as the 1981 DeLorean DMC 12? With doors that open up instead of out, the time-traveling vehicle operated by Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly and Christopher Lloyd as Doc Brown couldn’t be any cooler. A total of 8583 Deloreans were produced from 1981 to 1983, though only about 6000 Deloreans may be all that are left of the innovative vehicle.
Gone in 60 Seconds
1967 Shelby GT500
“Let’s Ride!” Nicolas Cage as Randall 'Memphis' Raines plunges into a thrilling grand theft auto adventure, finally facing his “unicorn” – Eleanor, a 1967 Shelby GT500 he has tried to boost many a time, previously coming up empty handed and almost killed every time.
The Fast and the Furious, 2 Fast 2 Furious
Charger, RX-7, Supra, Evo 7
“Ask any racer, any real racer. It doesn't matter if you win by an inch or a mile; winning's winning.” Paul Walker as undercover cop Brian O'Conner slips into a gang of street racers to take down a hijacking ring. This film introduces too many great cars to mention, like the 1970 Dodge Charger, Vin Diesel’s Mazda RX-7 and the 1995 Toyota Supra, not to mention Ferrari. Continuing with the beautiful display of badass cars, 2 Fast 2 Furious comes out with the Mitsubishi Evo 7 and countless others.
The Italian Job
“It's either bad traffic, peak traffic, slit-your-wrist traffic... you've got an average of 32 minutes and a top time of 50. But if we had green lights all the way, we could do it in 14 minutes.” The Italian Job brought the new Mini Coopers to the forefront, with super-cute blue, red and white models zipping around seemingly effortlessly in the theft of a lifetime.
“Oops! I did it again, baby!” Decked out like the Union Jack, Austin Powers’ XK8 Shaguar is quite the eye-catching set of wheels.
Furthermore, many of the fabulous James Bond cars top the charts – especially the Aston Martin V12 Vanquish, aka: “Vanish.” Others include Aston Martin DB5, DB7, V8 Vantage, Lotus Esprit; BMW Z3, 750i and Z8.
Another hero, Batman, speeds off in the sleekest, coolest car around – the Batmobile, which was originally a 1956 Lincoln-Mercury concept show car, the Futura. Other popular TV and movie cars include the BA Barracus 1983 GMC van from the A-Team; Knight Rider’s Pontiac Trans Am, KIT; Smokey and the Bandit Pontiac Trans Am; the Blues Brothers Bluesmobile 1974 Dodge Monaco; the 1968 Dodge Charger in Blade and many others not featured here.
Cars featured in films append another facet to the actors’ personalities. Those behind the scenes in creating the films are very careful to perfectly match the character’s personality traits with the type of car they give to him or her. More times than not, the hero will have a flashy, fantastic sports car or an attractive set of wheels.
Muscle cars give a special dimension to the chase scenes and to their drivers while fancy, high-tech vehicles add an element of power and authority. You wouldn’t expect to see Batman driving a Mini Cooper, would you?