29: 1976 Lotus Esprit Series I – The Spy Who Loved Me
Toward the 1970s, the shape of sports cars was transforming from the curvaceous, rounded cars of the 1960s and became wedge-shaped. Reddit user Studly_Wonderballs commented on another Bond film that featured a classic car. “I often find many of the Bond films to be a little bit meandering. Especially upon first viewing when the complicated plots are less accessible. But the chemistry between Anya and Bond was so strong that their relationship carried the film. That’s why this is my favourite 007 film.”
The performance was derived from the 1,973 cc (120.4 cu in; 2.0 L) type 907 I4 and mated to a 5-speed CitroÃ«n C35 manual. To this day the Esprit remains one of the most underrated and notable sports cars on the market.
The F-Body cars from GM were the pinnacle of the pony car era. Smokey and the Bandit furthered this notion with the beautiful 1977 Trans Am. Reddit user Old_Trux poked fun at it yet still ranked the ’77 Trans Am amongst the greatest movie cars. “Smokey and the Bandit Trans Am is up there. Iconic, cheesy, and entertaining. Transporter BMW 7 series is always good. The Cliche answer is Eleanor.”
Burt Reynolds added a level of credibility that the Firebird needed to be taken seriously. Although the Firebird is no more, the ‘Smokey and the Bandit’ edition is one of the most iconic pony cars of all time.
John Travolta didn’t get his start by playing mobsters like John Gotti, as his original silver screen debut was his musical American Graffiti. And with a movie that was about the music and culture of the time, there is no surprise that a 1932 Ford Coupe would be featured. Reddit user One_Wheel_Drive had fond memories of this movie. “Loved it. Watched it in my high school film studies course. It was filmed about 15 minutes from my home town and by all means it’s a peak into my hometown culture during the 1950s. Super cool film.”
Paired with Travolta’s personality the 1932 Ford Coupe was the ideal car for this flick. ‘American Graffiti’ has become one of the most well-known car phenomenons in Hollywood.
The ’80s were a great time for vehicle design, and the DMC-12 stood out from the crowd. With a futuristic steel sled design, there was no other car like it on the market. It wasn’t just a car for looks, either. Reddit user Peanutbuttahcups shared their story of the DMC-12 from the popular “Back To The Future” series. “Ooh yeah, part II had the beefiest looking DeLorean for sure. Although part III’s one is retro cool with all the vacuum tubes on the hood.”
Thanks to the popularity of “Back to The Future,” the car is now worth well over $100,000. There is also a company that has taken the DMC name over and manufactures brand-new DMC-12 models.
Movie cars have always had a special place in our hearts, and the Mustang is no different. For fans of the 1970s, the Bullitt was a special piece of history. The Highland Green paint job and the simplistic design made it the ultimate sleeper. Reddit user thelastdeskontheleft had a unique story. “Actually saw one of these driving down the road at the Indy 500 this year. (Outside the track)”
Ford has rebirthed the car twice in special model editions, one of which is on the market right now. Few movie cars have managed to create as much of an impact in such a short amount of time as the 1968 Mustang GT 390 from Bullitt.
‘Vanishing Point’ was a car enthusiast’s dream movie, and as such there was a focal point on the Mopar-powered Challenger. The big, brawny muscle car had a roomy interior and an aggressive stance that was different than the average vehicle. Reddit user V8sordeath had a unique story about the Challenger. “I like the 1970 Challenger from Vanishing point and Deathproof. Its so cool it’s been in two movies. Also I like the moped from Hot Rod. I had one like that and did jumps with it. Without the cape.”
From the innovative design to the blazing performance of the Hemi V8, the Challenger was a lot different than anything on the market. Think of ‘Vanishing Point’ as the ultimate sales pitch for the Challenger.
Few movies have been as instrumental in pop culture as ‘Mad Max’ was. The Ford Falcon, the base for the Mad Max machine, was a car that we never saw in this variation on American soil. The 1973 XB GT Ford Falcon was a fast car to begin with, boasting a serious amount of horsepower under the hood. Reddit user ServerOfJustice was suprised by this car being a Falcon. “I feel really foolish but I always thought it was a Mustang until just now. The Falcon makes a lot more sense.”
The 1973 XB GT Ford Falcon was a car that could hold its own on the track and in the intense shooting conditions of the movie. Although Ford had many hits back in this era, the Falcon was notable for its appearance and nameplate.
The interesting thing about Batman Begins is that the car was a real movie prop. Powered by a beefy 350-CID Chevy V-8, the Batmobile Tumbler was a solid performance machine. But Reddit user Mike_Pants spoke of the lousy gas mileage. “I’ve seen sources that say it gets between 4 and 7 miles per gallon. So there’s that. But it has no front axle and the front wheels are extended forward specifically so it can land safely from giant jumps, so while you’ll have to visit a gas station every half hour, you’ll make spectacular entrances at BP.”
“Batman Begins” was one of the biggest movies in the Batman franchise, so naturally, the car was important to the movie. Powering a Batmobile with a Chevy V8 is the right thing to do to give the performance that Batman and auto fans desired.
From the first ‘Fast and the Furiou’ movie, the world was intrigued by the performance cars that were featured. Reddit user Randomgeek42 had some insight on the 1970 Dodge Charger. “It’s supposed to be a “1970 Dodge Charger r/T” but is apparently a mixture of a 1968 Dodge Charger with some 1970 Charger r/T body panels. Plus they modded it heavily (“blower”, larger wheels/tires, shaved door handles, etc).”
The thing about this specific Dodge Charger is that it was an actual car with performance upgrades. ‘The Fast and the Furious’ as a franchise has progressively placed less emphasis on the cars over the years, but this one ranks as one of the top movies cars of the silver screen.
The original 1970 Dodge Charger featured in the original Fast and the Furious franchise was brought back for ‘Fast 7,’ albeit a little different as now the Charger was a modified off-road Baja vehicle. Reddit user Cyclone6969 had some questions. “I’m curious about this car, as it’s actually a little different from the car in Fast Five (shaved door handles, stock grill instead of mesh, no wing mirror, wrong wheels even), and VERY different from how it looks later in the movie (matte gray, no blower). Was it modified after the movie? Only meant to be shown from certain angles? Why shave the door handles?”
The Charger that is featured in “Furious 7” is a cool-looking ride. Every once in a while you find a lifted muscle car that has been tastefully built. Star character Dom Toretto (played by Vin Diesel) was proud of this rather extreme off-road muscle car powered by nothing less than a Hemi.
The “John Wick” franchise has been one of the breakout action movie successes in the last decade. The main synopsis of the movie was based around the classic Mustang that John Wick drives. Reddit user zephshreeley made a good point. “There’s no way anyone in their right mind would destroy five extremely rare and treasured $500,000 cars for a movie. Even if they could afford it, the backlash and outrage would be insane.”
It has been said that this Mustang is a Boss 429, but that is debatable. Because that is such a rare car it would be highly unlikely that a movie studio would destroy it, especially since the asking price hovers around $500,000.
After a decade you’d think that the Max Max franchise would return to its roots. But that wasn’t the case with this monstrosity of a car. Forged off the back of a classic Cadillac, the Gigahorse is unlike anything else that you’ve seen. Reddit user treize_k spoke about this interesting Cadillac. “Every time I see this I am torn, because on the one hand the 1959 Cadillac models are among my favorites of all time and I hate to see any wrecked, but on the other hand this f***ing owns bones.”
Photo Credit: WordPress
There are some interesting features about the Gigahorse, which is a real car produced for the film. This is a whole lot of sheet metal to haul around, but when you’re defending the last of civilization, you need something that can push the limits.
17: Bluesmobile (1974 Dodge Monaco) – The Blues Brothers
You can’t go wrong with The Blues Brothers, and on top of the movie that’s a cult classic, its cars were memorable too. The 1974 Dodge Monaco as it stands is one of the most popular police pursuit vehicles on the road. Reddit user SpiteAspect told the specs of ‘The Bluesmobile’: “It’s got a cop motor, 440 cubic inch plant. It’s got cop tires, cop suspension, cop shocks, it’s a model made before catalytic converters so it’ll run good on regular gas.”
Nevertheless, you can’t go wrong with the solid ingenuity and design of Monaco. Similar to how the Crown Vic ruled the roost for decades, the Monaco was one of the favorites of police forces everywhere.
If there was one movie that crept us out it was Christine. The movie was a pinnacle of car enthusiasm and horror all blended into one interesting mixture. The Plymouth Fury in general was a step above the average family sedan at the time. Reddit user wintertash had a unique experience with the movie car. “So pretty! I had an opportunity to photograph one just like it at a cruise night here in Maine, and I was so excited I almost dropped the camera. Christine was my first “grown-up” novel at age twelve, and I credit her and Herbie for my love of old cars.”
At the time, the Plymouth Fury was a great addition to the family sedan lineup. Its styling was ahead of the time and the look of the car was iconic. Although most consumers don’t generally remember the Fury nowadays, it was an instrumental part of the automotive and film industries alike.
There’s no denying that the Ford Explorer was a massive hit for the company. To this day it remains one of the best-selling Fords. Surprisingly enough the Ford Explorer from “Jurassic Park” has become one of the most iconic vehicles of the silver screen. Reddit The_Banprince gave his two cents on the ride. “The colors might not have been that much contrasting (or so neon) and the wheels would not have color, but its not something you would be surprised to see in a theme park today.”
There is a reason that this car has remained one of the best-selling Ford models of all time. Although the company has recently transformed the Explorer into a crossover vehicle, the sport utility vehicle still has some exceptional styling.
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.