Let’s face it, as awesome as television is movies are even better. Bigger screens, bigger budgets and more explosions, movies are just great. So with that in mind we go one better than last week’s TV car Top Ten and bring you the Ten Best Movie Cars EVER!
10. Eleanor ― “Gone in 60 Seconds” (1974)
Forget the crap 2000 remake with Nicolas Cage and a fake Shelby Mustang GT 500, this was the real deal ― a mustard yellow 1973 Mustang Mach 1, lots of bad hairstyles and fake mustaches, terrible acting and no discernible plot. But it did have a 40-minute car chase and an unplanned crash when director/producer/star/writer (ha ha…) and stunt driver H.B. Halicki lost control of Eleanor at over 100mph and took out a lamppost.
The Thing You Probably Didn’t Know: Halicki compacted ten vertebrae performing the “big jump” in the Mustang at the end of the movie, which reached 30 feet in height and cleared 128 feet. Apparently he never walked the same again.
9. Lamborghini Miura ― “The Italian Job” (1969)
The Minis may have been the stars of the show, but the Lambo was the car that teenage boys (and more than a few grown men…) fell in love with instantly. Her few brief minutes in the film were cut brutally short by a mafia bulldozer, but what a few minutes…
The Thing You Probably Didn’t Know: After filming the scene where the Miura was destroyed and pushed off the cliff by a bulldozer, the crew went back the next day to retrieve the car, only to find it gone! The nearest anyone could figure was that one of the locals who had been watching the filming had popped back that night for a souvenir…
8. Herbie ― “The Love Bug” (1969)
Yeah, Volkswagen Beetles are crap, but one with a mind of its own is pretty neat. People only buy them for their “personality” anyway (Lord knows they wouldn’t buy them for their performance…) so it makes sense that a Beetle actually WITH a personality would be so universally popular. It still would have pissed oil all over the driveway though…
The Thing You Probably Didn’t Know: It was only after the success of the first film that Volkswagen became even remotely interest in the marketing potential. In fact, for the first film, Disney removed all VW logos from Herbie to avoid “trademark conflicts”. Oh, and the also whacked the engine out of a Porsche 356 into one for the racing scenes.
7. Ferrari 250 GT California ― “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” (1986)
Probably Matthew Broderick’s finest hour and he had to be overshadowed by possibly the most gorgeous car ever made. The sheer joy on the parking attendants faces as they take it out for a joyride says it all and the scene where they launch it into the air has you gripping the seat thinking “Dear lord, they didn’t actually do that to a real 250, did they?”
The Thing You Probably Didn’t Know: Well, no they didn’t. It was actually a replica, based on, of all things, an MGB. And, yes, Ferrari sued. Probably more out of embarrassment than anything else… it was an MGB for Christ’s sake!
6. Pursuit Special (Interceptor) ― “Mad Max” (1979)
Mad Max was a little low budget movie from down under that launched its Aussie star into international fame and adoration. No, not Mel Gibson ― he’s not even a real Aussie, they just claim him. The REAL star of the movie was a dirty old ‘73 XB Falcon coupe with a fake blower and some particularly nasty headlight covers.
The Thing You Probably Didn’t Know: Peter Arcadipane, one of the guys who modified the car for the film, went on to become a designer for Mercedes penning, among other designs, the CL coupe. He also wrote a children’s book called “The Adventures of Benny Benz” for the launch of the A-Class…
5. Christine ― “Christine” (1983)
The Anti-Herbie, Christine was a possessed 1958 Plymouth Fury that kills anyone who gets between her and her spotty, awkward teenage owner, Arnie ― classy stuff from the fevered mind of horror-maestro Stephen King. Features possibly the best start to a movie ever where a shiny new Christine rolls down the assembly line to the strains of George Thorogood’s “Bad to the Bone” before slamming her hood down on the last assembly line worker’s hands.
The Thing You Probably Didn’t Know: Because Plymouth only ever made 5,303 Furys, most of the cars damaged or destroyed during filming were Plymouth Belvederes or Savoys dressed up to look like a Fury.
4. Aston Martin DB5 ― “Goldfinger” (1964)
Front firing .30 calibre Browning machine guns behind the front indicators, retractable tyre slashers, retractable rear bullet proof screen, radio telephone concealed in secret door compartment, radar scanner in wing mirror, tracking screen in the cockpit, passenger ejector seat, oil slick ejector from nearside rear light cluster, spikes launched from the offside rear light cluster, cartridge for smoke screen released through the exhaust pipes, revolving number plates and an armaments drawer under front driver seat. Say no more.
The Thing You Probably Didn’t Know: The car with all the gadgets wasn’t actually a DB5 at all ― it was a DB4 Vantage that had been converted and used as a DB5 prototype before being given to the filmmakers to use in the movie.
3. The Batmobile ― “Batman” (1989)
Micheal Keaton may have been an odd choice to play Batman (being only about four feet tall and all) but he pulled it off brilliantly. It didn’t hurt that he had one of the coolest Batmobiles of all times to help him out ― this one featured all the neat gadgets you would expect to find in James Bond’s car, plus a thumping great jet engine. That beats your ejector seat any day, Mr. Bond…
The Thing You Probably Didn’t Know: Apparently the jet engine was real and actually worked, although it consumed fuel at such an excitingly huge rate that it sucked through all the car could hold in 15 seconds, which is as long as you see it running for in any shot.
2. DeLorean DMC-12 ― “Back to the Future” (1985)
Patrick Swayze owned one. So did Chevy Chase, but despite these setbacks, the DeLorean is still cool simply because of this movie. It’s a car that can travel through time and leaves flaming tyre tracks on the road when it does. What more do you want?!
The Thing You Probably Didn’t Know: Originally the time machine was supposed to be made out of a fridge, but the producers decided they didn’t really want to be responsible for encouraging kids to climb into a fridge… A fridge probably would’ve been faster though, so for the two sequels they replaced the DeLorean’s anemic V6 with a Porsche engine…
1. The Bluesmobile ― “The Blues Brothers” (1980)
The Bluesmobile was a 1974 Dodge Monaco, an ex-police car with a cop motor ― a 440-cubic-inch plant ― cop tires, cop suspension, cop shocks and was a model made before catalytic converters so it ran good on regular gas. After outrunning a posse of angry cowboys in a Winnebago, a bunch if Illinois Nazis and what seemed like the entire Midwestern police force, the Bluesmobile died an honourable death out front of the Richard J. Daley Centre in Chicago.
The Thing You Probably Didn’t Know: During the making of the movie, an un-named actor drove the Bluesmobile 100 miles to the city of Spring Valley, Illinois. Unfortunately, the number plate was a prop and he was arrested for having no registration and no valid drivers license. Apparently the director was more concerned with the return of the vehicle than with the return of his actor…