Top Twenty Movie Cars

| 11/07/2018 | 0 Comments More

Movie cars you will never forget

When a vehicle outshines the staring actors and becomes the star of a film, then that’s when it becomes a great movie car.  There are so many memorable cars in film, so to crack the top 20, I had to be brutal, tough, like X-Factor judge Simon Cowell…  A vehicle must influence a generation, inspire car culture, and become the stuff of every kid’s dreams.  Here is my top 20…


Number 20: 2007 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 – Transformers

Bumblebee – Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
Photo by: Mike Buss

In the recent movie franchise based on the toys and cartoon Transformers, Bumblebee transforms into a Chevrolet Camaro ZL1…  In the cartoon, Bumblebee is a Valkswagen Beetle, but for the movie they gave him an upgrade to this powerful muscle car.  The Camaro ZL1 is the most powerful production Camaro ever built.

Its a four seater, beast of American muscle car, and although Im not a fan of the movie franchise and prefer the cartoon of Transformers, I have to admit, I love the Camaro taking over from the VW Beetle.  It definitely my favourite car in the movie franchise, the bright bold yellow say look at me, Im driving the coolest car in town.

It will do 0-60mph in just 3.8secs nd went round the Nurburgring in just 7mins 41secs, and o put that in perspective, thats faster than a Porsche 911 GT3 or a Lamborghini Murcielago LP670 Super Veloce.  They say muscle doesn’t handle, well, the Camaro proves that statement wrong!  A great movie car that has actually surpassed the original Bug and put the Beetle into forgotten obscurity.  Rare does a character change in a remake ever become better than the original, but in this case, the Chevrolet Camaro does hands down! A must top 20 ultimate movie car.


Number 19: 1976 Lotus Esprit Series I – The Spy Who Loved Me

OK, so its no Aston Martin, but of all the cars the Bond franchise messed around with until going back to Aston Martin as the Bond car, the Lotus Esprit was a great Bond car…  The Lotus, nicknamed ‘Wet Nellie’ was for every kid at the time watching Bond, possibly the coolest car on the planet, I mean come on! It went under water and fired rockets out of its roof whilst under water, it was a car, and a mini submarine.  I remember having the Corgi toy Bond Lotus which with a flick of a switch the fins came out and a press of a button the car fired red plastic rockets from it, it was a cool toy to have, it was a cool Bond car.

Bond has never been a brash tacky character, Bond is the sophisticated English gentleman, so a brash Lamborghini or Ferrari, would never do…  The Lotus of all the sports cars of the time, did fit the character of Bond, and although no Aston Martin, it did work with the Rodger Moore character in the movie ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’.


Number 18: 1932 Ford Coupe – American Graffiti 

American Graffiti was a George Lucas movie which was all about his memories of the car culture in California in the 1960s.  This movie had not only a great cast of actors that would go on to become mega stars in the world of film, the hot rods were also stars in their own right, but one stood out above the rest, the canary yellow ’32 Ford Highboy which was powered by a Chevy 327 V8.  The movie closes with a climatic drag race between the 32 Ford against a 55 Chevy, where half way down the road the Chevy flips and blows in an awesome special effects scene for the time.  The same 55 Chevy would appear again in another movie called Two Lane Blacktop.  But for anyone that has seen the movie, I think most will agree it was the 32 Ford Coupe that stole the movie.


Number 17: 1976 AMC Pacer – Waynes World 

OK, so none of us really looked at this car and went, Oh My God! I want one!!! It was an ugly been up goofy looking thing that certainly wasn’t a chick magnet, and thats why it worked…  The two main characters Wayne and Garth were the worlds two most unlikely guys to ever achieve anything or get a hot girl! But they rocked, and the memorable classic scene to Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen will live on in movie memory for ever!  Cars like this will never be built again, but for a poor student with acne, this is the perfect car, with flames down the side, rear wheel drive and the price… Just $15,000 brand new…  Thats just £11,300!  Excellent!


Number 16: Batman Tumbler – Batman Begins 

Just like Bond, Batman is a normal guy with no super powers, but where they both lack in super powers, they make up in other areas, like their gadgets and cars! Batman is has come a long way from the original comic days, to the very camp Adam West Batman movie in the 1960s to recent years with ……. taking the staring role as both Batman and Bruce Wayne.  The 19.. movie Batman Begins see’s the apearance of the Tumbler.  Underneath it is a 350-cid Chevy V8 which powers the futuristic tank looking Bat mobile which could reach a speed of 60mph in about 5secs, even with its 37inch off-road tyres according to the filmmakers.  The body was said to have been made of 65%carbon fibre panels.  What was great about this car, is that it wasn’t a CGI mock-up, this was the real deal, a real beast! An why its in my top 20 all time great movie cars list.


Number 15: Ecto-1 1959 Cadillac Miller Meteor – Ghost Busters

CREDIT: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

I remember watching this movie for the first time in my primary school hall, it was an annual event where the school would get in a movie for the whole school to watch on the projector lighting up the whole wall of the sports hall…  Ghost Busters has solidified its name in movie history as a great classic, one of the most memorable movies of the 1980s, and what car other than the Cadillac Miller Meteor could they have used instead? None! This car was as equally the star of the movie as Bill Murray and Slimmer…  The makers of the movie could not have chosen a better car for this 80s movie classic.

Ecto-1 is one of the most recognisable cars in movie history and why it has to be in my top 20 of all time ultimate cars in movies.


Number 14: 1963 Volkswagen Beetle – Herbie 

How can I not have the loveable love bug Herbie in the top 20 of all time ultimate movie cars?…  This car was the creation of Disney, in an era where Disney was more interested in making lovable movies for children and the family than buying up huge franchises like Star War…  Herbie was that movie we all would sit down around the TV to watch on a Sunday afternoon during school holidays.  Herbie had a mind of his own and could drive himself, but this was no computerised Knight Rider Car, this was just a loveable old white Valks Wagon Beetle with the iconic 53 on it.  It was said that the number 53 was put on the car because according to the filmmakers, a Disney Director or Producer liked retired baseball pitcher Don Drysdale of the Los Angeles Dodgers and his shirt number was 53.

The Herbie movies were typical feel good Disney movies of the time, and Herbie oozed that feel good light hearted vibe and so Herbie has to be in the top 20.


Number 13: 1980 Lamborghini Countach LP400S – The Cannonball Run

What more would a hot blooded male want from a movie? A Lamborghini driven fast by two Barbie Doll hot chicks, evading the pursuing police.  You look at this machine and you just want one, every boy in the 1980s had a poster of a Lamborghini and Sam Fox on their bedroom wall…  But although we dreamed of owning this car, most of us never did.  I did get to drive round the track in one though, and it did burst my dream, it was horrible, all that money for one of the most uncomfortable cars Ive ever driven in…  But who cares?! This car was movie magic on the screen, coupled with the two hot babes, we all wanted one and thats why it makes my top 20.


Number 12: 1986 GMC Vandura – The A-Team 

What guy right now who grew up during the 1980s hasn’t at some point in time wanted to own the A-Team van? We all wanted to push BA Baracus out the way and take the wheel of this pimped up van with its red stripe down the side!

We all loved the TV show and didn’t care that whilst thousands of bullets whizzed past everyone, no one ever got shot, let alone killed…  It was cheesy, but wasn’t everything in the 1980s? The beefed up van was equally a star to all the main cast.  And when it came to the remake with what looked like a very strong cast and an action packed trailer making you just want to get down the cinema to watch it, the movie was a disaster, at best to be kind it was watchable, but at least they still kept the GMC Vandura, for me the movie was worth watching just for the van! For a vehicle to have the power to get you through a bad remake, you have to have this in you top 20 ultimate cars in movies…  Yeh, Yeh its a van, but its staying in!


Number 11: 1976 Ford Gran Torino – Starsky & Hutch

Yet again like so many times, a movie remake tragedy!…  The Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson movie remake of the hit cult TV show Starsky & Hutch was so painful to watch, but luckily, they kept the iconic unmistakable red Ford Torino with the bold white stripe down the side.  Again a movie is saved, not by the so called stars of the movie, but the car! And again why this iconic muscle car is in the top 20.





Number 10: 2007 Aston Martin DBS V12 – James Bond Casino Royale

The movie Casino Royale, finally brought back together two of movies greatest characters, Bond and the Aston Martin…  For far too long, the Bond franchise had been messing around with other cars like Lotus, and even a salesman’s ugly BMW 5 Series! OK, the Lotus ‘Wet Nellie’ was rather cool, but the rest of the Bond cars until Bond was reunited with Aston Martin were very poor and just didn’t suit 007 James Bond.

From the day Bond received the classic Aston Martin DB5, it was movie match made in heaven, and over the years apart from one hiccup by Aston Martin with the 1986 V8 Vantage Volante driven by Timothy Dalton who was playing Bond at the time, Aston has produced the most sophisticated car you could match with Bond, swarve, classy and not over done like a vulgar premiership footballers supercar.

Aston have continued to make the ultimate gentleman’s car and why it is in my top 20 ultimate movie cars.


Number 9: 1969 Dodge Charger – Dukes of Hazard 

Yet again a movie remake that almost destroyed the memory of the cult classic 1980s TV hit show ‘Dukes of Hazard…  But at least they still had General Lee who just like the TV show was the star!  The doors never seemed to be able to open, you always had to leave the window rolled down so you could dive through it to get away from Dip Shit Sheriff Rosco P Coltrane.  But who cares, they were in Texas, it doesn’t rain in Texas! What the movie lacked in, well being a good movie, it had two assets, Jessica Simpson with her perfect body in those tight hot pants and of course the star of the movie General Lee, the 1969 American muscle Dodge Charger.


Number 8: 1982 Trans Am – Night Rider

In four long seasons  of the 1980s cult TV show Knight Rider, Universal built about twenty stunt cars for Michael Knight.  Then, when the show ended they had to get rid of most them, sadly only five has survived.  But the popularity of the show and ultimately the car, many fans have bought and pimped their own Trans Am’s to look the spitting image of K.I.T.T.

One man may have been enough to make a difference in the fight against crime, but with almost every episode seeing K.I.T.T. jump a bridge, a building or building, get shot at, blown up, flipped, drive up o two wheels and so many more stunts, one car was certainly not enough, so NBC had around 20 identical Trans Am’s to get them through the four series before the show came to an end. This car talked, it had turbo boost, it had a red flashing light, it was bullet proof, bomb proof, it had ejector seats…  For the women the show had the Hoff at the wheel of the car, for the guys, the Hoff’s character Michael Knight had a hot damsel in distress in the passenger seat in every episode.  This is why the iconic Trans Am makes it into the top 20.


Number 7: 1972 Ford Gran Torino Sport – Gran Torino

The Ford Gran Torino makes the top 20 again, this time with the perfectly looked after 1972 Gran Torino Sport, in the Clint Eastwood movie Gran Torino…  The movie was even named after the car! What other reason do you need for a car to make it into the top 20 of ultimate cars in movies?

This car was made for Eastwood’s character, mean, nasty and pissed off, oh wait, that was from Heartbreak Ridge…  No, wait, all Eastwood’s characters are mean nasty and pissed off! So when a kid tries to steal his beloved Gran Torino, you know this old racist, mean, nasty white guy is gonna be pissed off!

The car becomes as much a focal point of the movie as the two main characters and their developing relationship, with a final gesture of kindness and respect under that mean nasty exterior when Eastwood’s character leaves That, the young lad who originally tries to steal the car in his will after he is shot by a gang.


Number 6: 1970 Dodge Charger – The Fast and the Furious

This muscle car classic almost made number one spot for me, and I will tell you why…  This American classic has probably been used more than any other model of car in movie and TV staring roles, it is truly a movie star in its own right! It has been used in classics over the decades from The Dukes of Hazard to Fast and Furious.

It was in Fast and Furious that this classic American muscle car was given a new and younger audience and became an instant favourite amongst Fast and Furious fans over cars from Japanese imports to million dollar super cars, and of course it was driven by the super cool Vin Diesel.

With the Charger pimped up with a supercharger sticking out of the hood, huge rear wheels, a ridiculously huge engine, Fast and Furious re-egnited the popularity of this classic American beast with a multitude of fast cars and now possibly some of the most amazing car chase scenes in movie history.


Number 5: 1968 Mustang GT 390 – Bullitt

Even though this movie is now an old classic, its legendary car chase scenes still hold up against todays high octane car movies like Gone in 60 Seconds and Fast & Furious…  And lets face it, any car driven at speed by the legend that is Steve McQueen will instantly make any car cool, but we can all agree, the 1968 Mustang GT390 needs no help in the cool category!  The 1968 Highland Green Ford Mustang GT390 seen in Bullitt racing through the streets of San Francisco, tailing a an almost equally cool 1968 Dodge Charger are some of the best car chase scenes ever filmed to date.  The Mustang has since Bullitt gone on to capture other movie makers eyes and made it into many movies all the way to present day as star in each of the movies since Bullitt.  The Mustang has definitely gained cult status!



Number 4: 1968 Mini Cooper S – Italian Job 

Yes, the original Italian Job and the genuine Mini Cooper S, not the BMW knock off in the not so bad remake of the original Italian Job.  The 1968 Mini Cooper S that featured in the original 60s movie leapt into stardom in this classic Michael Caine movie…  One of the most fun and creative car chase scenes in any movie.  Ive driven the old Mini, quite scary on modern day roads with its very flimsy exterior around you, but it was great fun to drive, very light, so very nippy, very agile and could get down any little alley way to avoid those chasing you.  The Mini had a harmful character that everyone fell in love with.  Its BMW successor, well its bigger, it looks like a Mini I guess, it feels safer to drive, but given the chance, Id have an old 1968 Mini Cooper S over a new one any day!


Number 3: 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 – Back to the Future

In 1981, I was just 7yrs old and when Back To The Future came onto the cinema screens, like every kid and many adults I was in awe of this machine, this time machine that was a DeLorean! I didn’t know what a DeLorean was, but Docs 1980s time machine was to me awesome! I wanted one…  The DeLorean’s DMC-12 was a stainless steel car designed by the legendary Giorgetto Giugiaro.  Under the hood, though the DeLorean wasn’t quite the supercar that it looked like from its flashy exterior. Instead it carried a pokey 130hp 2.9ltr V6.

But who cares!…  Its futuristic looks combined with a bit of movie magic gave the DeLorean legendary status in movie history, and because it was a time machine in the film, the real life crappy engine and poor performance didn’t really matter, with one exception: Reportedly, the prop staff replaced that sluggish V6 with a V8 from the Porsche 928, which went a long way toward helping Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) hit 88 mph, fire up the Flux Capacitor and shoot back to 1955.

Despite its movie celebrity, the DeLorean flopped on the market in the 1980s. But the car’s unique, retro-futurist design has earned it cult status today and anyone that owns a Back to The Future DeLorean will testify that it is always a star attraction at Comic Cons and Car Events.  There’s even a DeLorean Motor Company restoring and improving the cars now.


Number 2: 1967 Shelby Mustang GT500 – Gone in 60 Seconds

Nicholas Cage + Angelina Jolie + the iconic 1967 Shelby Mustang GT500 = A recipe for movie car magic!…  Who could forget the gear shift getting in the way of Cage & Jolie getting it on as they watch over the magnificent Shelby? And focusing on the actual car itself, there was a reason this piece of art on wheels was the star of the movie and the most sort after car during the film.  Left till last, because, the best is always left to last, and much like movies like Bullitt that had the ultimate chemistry of ultimate car and ultimate car chase, so did Gone in 60 Seconds with its climatic final car chase that leaves you sitting on the edge of your seat, is one of the best car chase scenes in movie history along side Bullitt and chase scenes from Fast & Furious.


Number 1: 1964 Aston Martin DB5 – Goldfinger

James Bond’s legacy of famous cars and far-out gadgets can be traced back from one car, the 1964 Aston Martin DB5.  This iconic car was driven first in Goldfinger in 1964 and then 007 driven in Thunderball in 1965.  This iconic car has also made a staring role return in a number of Bond Films, more recently in Skyfall.  The Aston Martin has become as much apart of the Bond movies as Bond himself.

Without any Bond spy modifications, the Aston Martin DB5 is a work of art. But it’s the special effects that have made this car quite possibly the most beloved movie car of all time. The long list of cool tricks included ram bumper, machine guns, ejector seat, smoke screen, oil-slick sprayer and much more.  Looking back on the Aston from today’s perspective, the most interesting feature may be the map screen in Bond’s car, which foreshadowed today’s satellite navigation systems.

So just how influential and significant is the original Bond car? One of the few Astons used in those movies sold last year for a whopping $4.6million.

This car is just sex wrapped up in sheet metal, and why Im making this the number one car in movie history.










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Category: Motoring, Movie News

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