14: Mirthmobile, 1976 AMC Pacer – Wayne’s World 1 and 2
AMC as a car company doesn’t always get the respect that it deserves. The brand is responsible for delivering us the modern Jeep that we all known and covet today. Part of this was because the company was hemorrhaging money and the R&D was just not in the picture. Reddit user Lordcupcake32 had an interesting comment on the car. “Runs and drives decent. This car is from California so not rusty (especially for 1976). The plan is to put a higher flow exhaust and intake on with a less restrictive carb (toss the old 1 bbl). Other than that just fix up the paint. I can post an album of photos too if this receives any traction”
There’s no doubt that if you’ve ever watched ‘Wayne’s World’ then you’ve wondered about this car. The iconic design was so bad that it stood out from the crowd. In addition to the wild paint scheme, the performance of the Pacer was also notable. You could theoretically fit a V8 engine into this thing and have a screamingly fast hot rod. Most of the time, these cars are modded and brought into the modern realm.
It’s no secret that the movie cars of the 1980s and ’90s were some of the most special car fans have seen. For Ghostbusters fans we had to feature the Ectomobile. This 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor was an iconic wagon. Reddit user ShamSham03 has dreamed about one of these. “Exactly my thoughts! I told the wife last night we should do a home equity line of credit (HELOC) against the house in order to buy all three cars. She just rolled her eyes at me.”
There aren’t many more famous movie cars than the Ectomobile, which was brought back in the Ghostbusters sequel. The car had all of the makings of an iconic movie car, sans the powerful V8 engine and the special effects.
Another movie that captivated audiences starred John Cusack and was based around the character’s restoration of a 1967 Chevy Camaro SS. The story centers around the help of a French Foreign exchange student and the vehicle is quite notable, to say the least. Reddit user Euchre had a great observation about the car. “Second favorite year of Camaro, ever. This looks like it was built circa 1993, based on engine equipment and dress, wheel choice, and front bumper delete.”
‘Better Off Dead’ is one of the hidden gems starring John Cusack. The fact that this is a movie that is centered around one of the most famous pony cars of all time also helps. Needless to say, if you are a fan of the Camaro, this movie is worth watching.
Although from the outside this car was immensely underrated, that’s not to say that you should turn your back just yet. You see they were going for a look like this with the movie, and thus the Gran Torino was the ultimate sleeper. Under the hood was a beastly engine that could dish out some serious performance. Reddit user Maximumquinche was not impressed. “Beater Emperor with custom black wheels and cream/bleached brown paint?”
‘The Big Lebowski’ was notable for centering the car around the life of protagonist Jeffrey ‘The Dude’ Lebowski, who wasn’t exactly high-performance. But the Torino is, and few performance cars have managed to cement the reputation that the Gran Torino has.
10: 1985 Modena GT Spyder California – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Believe it or not, the car that was featured in the actual motion picture was not an authentic Ferrari model. Instead, the 1985 Modena GT Spyder California was a replica that was built for the movie. The budget was so limited that the production company couldn’t afford to get an actual Modena GT Spyder. Reddit user Frutruin2 told of the story of how the car wasn’t truly the model it was supposed to be. “Not technically. It was one of these, a Modena Roadster, a replica of the Ferrari California 250 GT SWB.”
The team was quick to try and get the car as close to the factory appearance as necessary. But there were a few changes that made the car stand out. The interesting thing about the replica car is that it wasn’t the only one that was made. There are replica cars all over the country that can be had for thousands less than their actual counterparts.
9: 1979 Ford LTD Country Squire – National Lampoon’s Vacation
If you’ve ever watched the “National Lampoon” movies, then you probably remember the Wagon Queen Family Truckster. This wagon was custom made for the movie but it was based on the Ford LTD Country Squire. There was a time when crossovers didn’t exist and the minivan was a brand new concept. Reddit user boojibs2 told the story of his family. “My family rocked the 1978 Cutlass Cruiser wagon. In s*** brown. We called it The Turd, but I’m not gonna lie, driving that thing around when I was 16 was kinda fun.”
The performance was still derived from the factory engine. Several noticeable exterior changes were made to the wagon to give it a unique appearance. The overall styling of the Ford LTD Country Squire was quite popular at the time.
Chris Farley and David Spade were featured in many memorable movie appearances over the years. The 1967 Plymouth Belvedere GTX that was featured in the movie was notable for its powerful engine and endearing styling. Reddit user Chaddskit remembered this car. “This is one of the few Retro Entertainment cars that I dont have and I had forgotten about it. Thank you for reminding me.”
In addition to that, there are a lot of features that separate the Belvedere GTX from the Dodge siblings. The example that was featured in the movie is a special edition car. The paint job is quite unique, bolstered by aftermarket wheels.
The Ford Econoline van is one of the longest-running commercial vehicles on the road. You’ve probably seen these vans just about everywhere, from government fleets to the education sector. So naturally one of these club wagons were the perfect choice for the “Dumb and Dumber” cross country journey. Reddit user Edgeprelle2 offered their opinion on his iconic movie car with a simple comment. “Classic ’84 sheepdog.”
Aside from that, the Econoline is perhaps one of the most reliable large vans on the road. The market for these large commercial vans has dwindled in recent years as hybrid cargo vehicles have taken over.
Few cars are both more iconic and more forgotten than the Ford Thunderbird. For a long period, this was the personal luxury coupe that you wanted to drive. But after the car fell out of favor in the 1990s, it was discontinued. Reddit user carchey posted an insightful comment. “The 66 with a 428 is called a Q code. There were thousands made with a 390, but the Q code 428 is pretty rare. It’s a pretty cool piece, but they can be a little expensive when you start hunting for big block ford and interior parts. What’s the color combination?”
The V8 engine was the standard-bearer for a good portion of the car’s lifecycle, up until the most recent model. These cars were known for their affordable price tag and plush ride quality, which is ideally what you look for in a personal luxury coupe.
Few movies were as iconic science fiction as RoboCop was in the late 1980s. Being able to take a living soul and turn it into a police robot was the stuff of legends. But another notable vehicle was the 6000 SUX. Advertised on billboards throughout the movie and featured in a chase scene this was the car to drive. Reddit user hesitant_evil asked a valid question. “Is it really bigger than a dinosaur?”
Many people have searched for this car but the fact that the car was not an actual production model puts a damper on that. Sure the 6000 SUX would be a great car if it was in production, but this was never the case. Instead, the movie went for the theatrical aspect such as movies before it like the Mad Max franchise.
4: 1966 Alfa Romeo 1600 Duetto Spider – The Graduate
For one of the first teacher romances that made it onto the silver screen, ‘The Graduate’ was popular at the time. The 1600 Duetto Spider was a beautiful convertible and the movie featured a bright red example. Reddit user sabishiikouen made a good point. “What I wouldn’t give to have Citta di Aria back in GT7.”
Many convertibles have come along and tried to dethrone this specific model. But the lightweight design and reasonable performance have made it a cult classic. The interesting design and the perceived value of the brand make it a stellar collectible. Plus who could go wrong with a convertible like this?
By now you’ve probably seen Kurt Russell in several movies. So naturally, in the movie Death Proof, he would drive a murdered out Chevy Nova SS. Reddit user Zacy_99 was impressed. “Mike drove Pam to a matte black 1971 Chevy Nova SS 396, which is a stunt car rigged with a safety cage inside, confirming that his car is ‘death proof.’”
You also have the benefit of the powerful V8 engine which was one of the hallmarks of the Nova SS. The car will remain one of the more underrated and iconic movie cars you’ll come across.
2: 1971 Volkswagen T2 Microbus – Little Miss Sunshine
No matter what kind of cars you prefer, there is no denying that the T2 Microbus is an iconic part of the automotive industry. “Little Miss Sunshine” was a popular movie, but one of the reasons for this was this microbus. Reddit user dominang443 had a unique point. “Back in the 60’s and 70’s, the tax on importing a recreational vehicle to the states was about twice what it was to import a commercial vehicle (like a microbus), so a company in California imported them as busses and then converted them before selling them as brand new campers.”
Few vans have been more iconic than the VW Microbus. This was a vehicle that defined an entire generation of people who were finding themselves. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of driving a VW Microbus, then you’ll know what we’re talking about. The functional design and ease of maintenance made the van an exceptional choice.
Again ‘Grease’ has entered the list because of an awesome car. The Ford De Luxe Convertible was noticeable for its paint job and performance. Most of the movie was designed around hot rods and this is one of the most popular. If you’ve never seen this specific Ford hot rod you’ve at least seen the ZZ Top version. Reddit user Motown_muscle had a unique comment. “Looks like the one William Holden evaded the repo men in, in Sunset Boulevard.”
Ford has been iconic in the hot rod scene and much of that success was because of this car. ‘Grease’ emphasized the Modesto hot rod scene and the Ford hot rod has always carried that title with pride. Hot rods are an endearing piece of car culture and in contrast, this movie appearance is just one facet of that generation.