Top 10 Cars in Movies
There are many movies featuring cars that make viewers sit up and pay attention. Fast cars, sleek cars and cars that wreak havoc during chase scenes can be found almost anywhere on the silver screen. However, the top 10 cars must meet a few criteria to make the cut – they have to be fast, look good and have star quality. In short, these vehicles make the movie, the film would not be the same without them.
Top Muscle Cars in Movies
Few would argue that the muscle cars of the 1960s and 1970s were some of the most memorable in terms of body style and speed. It’s no wonder that so many muscle cars have made their way onto the big screen.
1967 Shelby Mustang GT 500 in “Gone in 60 Seconds.”
While the movie was lambasted by critics, the line of cars that sped through the screens were enough to keep any gearhead’s attention. The best is saved for last, a cherry Shelby Mustang GT 500 named Eleanor.
Some sites such as the Internet Movie Cars Database maintains that the cars used in the film were actually made piecemeal from other Mustangs, the ‘67 Shelby GT 500 is an American classic. It had a 428 cubic inch, V8 engine that put out 345 horsepower and 440 lbs. of torque. The standard speedometer went to 140 mph.
1970 Dodge Charger R/T in “The Fast and the Furious.”
This black beast stands out in the movie among so many foreign cars tricked out with neon colors and ridiculous rear spoilers. An American classic, the car in the movie is obviously modified with a super charger that rises out of the hood, but that just makes it all the more desirable. Consumer Guide lists that the factory Charger R/Ts came with a 426 cubic inch V8 HEMI engine.
1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Hard Top Coupe, Special Edition Package in “Smokey and the Bandit.”
There were four cars used in the movie, all of which were purported to be destroyed during the making of the film, according to the website FloridaTransAm.com. Factory models came with a 6.6L, V8 engine. The Special Package included the gold trim on the interior, exterior and on the wheels.
The Starlight Black Trans Am spent the movie being chased by Smokey- the police. This was purposefully to draw heat away from the illegal shipment of beer that was on its way to Georgia. This Firebird is as famous as Burt Reynold’s moustache, and inspired other popular car-based shows such as The Dukes of Hazard.
Foreign cars have a certain attraction as they are so few and far between in the U.S. Sleek and exotic, the best foreign cars in movies are masterpieces of engine and style.
1965 Aston Martin DB5 in various James Bond films such as “Goldfinger,” and “Tomorrow Never Dies.”
The silver Bond car is legendary. While the factory models don’t have all of the spy-related gadgets, they are still cars that enthusiasts drool over. According to the Internet Movie Database (IMDb), the producers were originally turned down by Jaguar; their second choice, Aston Martin, sold them two production prototypes.
This luxury car DB5 is listed as having a 4.0L engine that made 282 horsepower. A 5 speed transmission helped the vehicle to achieve its top speed of 141 miles per hour. Equipment that was added to the vehicle for the movie includes a tray for guns under the front seat, headlights that fired nails and a thermos with a built in hand grenade, according to IMDb.
Where are this cars now? One is in a private collection, one was stolen in 1997 and is still missing, one was sold for $2.1 million at a 2006 auction, and the last is in a museum in Holland.
1961 Ferrari 250 GT California Spider SWB in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”
Internet Movie Database maintains that the producers of the movie actually received several angry letters from car lovers who were mad that the beautiful red Ferrari 250 was destroyed in the movie. They needn’t have worried- the producers made three fiberglass kit cars for the movie, since real Ferraris were too expensive.
Original 250 GT California Spider SWBs came with a 250 V12 engine that created 276 horsepower. Car Magazine reported that only 56 were ever made. One sold for over $10 million, a ’61 Ferrari 250 GT California Spider SWB formerly owned by actor James Coburn.
Few cars get the title of terrifying, but those that do will be remembered for generations.
1958 Plymouth Fury in “Christine.”
The movie that was based on Steven King’s tale of the creepy love between a boy and his car made everyone look at their rides with suspicion. The classic cherry red Mopar Fury with the white top and large tail fins was 1950s Americana in motion.
20 plus cars were used in the movie about a demonic car that could repair itself. One scene showed the Fury squeezing itself into a narrow alleyway to crush a man. The site claims this was achieved by the car being pushed from behind by a bulldozer. The original cars were white to dark beige with gold trim and a 350 cubic inch V8 engine.
Other cars are favorites for their expression of youth and attitude. They are as beloved today as when they rolled out on the big screen.
1932 Ford Coupe, “American Graffiti.”
There were a ton of saliva inducing muscle cars in this movie about hitting the road, but the yellow ’32 Ford Coupe stands out among the crowd because of its street rod heritage. Street Rodder magazine called it the most recognizable hot rod in the world.
Original factory specs include a 221 cubic inch V8 engine. The 2009 article lists the modifications to the canary yellow Coupe that took place for the movie. The car was given a 327 small block Chevy engine, a Man-A-Fre four carb intake, and bobbed rear fenders.
1974 Dodge Monaco Police Package in “Blues Brothers.”
While not very pretty, this huge car is indispensable throughout the 1980 movie. How else are Jake and Elwood going to escape every cop in Michigan, a troop of Neo-Nazis and a pissed off Country/Western band?
The vehicle was one that was offered by Dodge with heavy duty equipment to take the beating of police work. Die Cast Magazine explains the reasoning behind co-writer and star Dan Aykroyd’s choice of the ’74 Monaco- what better vehicle to use to run from the police than a former police car? According to the Internet Movie Database, the 12 Monacos used in the movie were bought from the California Highway Patrol. A total of 103 cars were destroyed during the making of the movie.
1963 Model 117 Volkswagen Type 1 (Beetle) in “The Love Bug.”
While he may be the smallest, Herbie is the car from the movies with the most heart. A car with a mind of its own, Herbie the love bug is a matchmaking race car in the 1968 Disney film.
One character’s line relaying that the car had “the strength of 40 horses,” was a reference to the actual horsepower that the factory 1200cc engine made. However some fan rumors include the Herbie cars in the movie really had a Porsche Super 90 engine.
1981 DeLorean DMC-12 in “Back to the Future.”
Who can forget a car that has gull-wing doors and can travel through time? The DeLorean in the movie was the first year model ever released in the U.S. The car was chosen for the part due to its resemblance to alien spacecraft, states the Internet Movie Database.
Original Deloreans had a 6 cylinder Peugeot/Renault/Volvo engine. The 174 cubic inch engine had 130 horsepower and was estimated to get 19 mile per gallon, according to the Automotive News Almanac. The Flux Capacitor was an optional accessory.