Following on from our previous feature on the best movie car chases, we decided to take a closer look at just what exactly made them so great, and in most cases it was the car!
So after a long weekend of debate and lazing around watching DVDs we put together a nice compilation of what we believe are 70 of the greatest cars to every grace the big screen.
As with all our opinion features we love to hear reader feedback, so if you don’t agree with our selection or if we’ve missed out your favourite, feel free to let us know/shout at us in the comments!
#70. 1975 Mercury Marquis — Uncle Buck
This is a rare car indeed, not the car, but the persona. It’s a rusty nail which is on it’s last legs, yet people still want it. A classic piece of movie history driven by the late great John Candy.
#69. 1984 Ford Econoline — Dumb and Dumber
There’s not much of the original Econoline on display in Dumb and Dumber, but what a van! It’s obviously remembered for it’s dog like appearance as an advertisement for “Mutts Cutts”.
#68. 1976 AMC Pacer — Good Burger
The Pacer featured in the movie Good Burger featured a giant hamburger affixed to the hood, a soda cup top attached to the roof, pickle slices for hubcaps, french fries for wipers, and giant red arrows. It is now owned by the International Hamburger Hall of Fame in Daytona Beach, Florida.
#67. 1985 Toyota Sprinter Trueno GT — Initial D
The film adaptation of the Japanese Initial D manga and anime series features the AE86 as the main characters vehicle in which he learns with and masters the streets of Mount Akina.
#66. 1960 Peterbilt 281 Tanker — Duel
Steven Spielberg’s first feature film revolves around this monster Peterbilt 281 Tanker, playing a game of cat and mouse with a Plymouth Valiant. This film is a classic, with little dialogue and a great concept. Of course, the truck gets trashed at the end when it drives off a cliff.
#65. 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu — Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
In Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Reese Bobby, Ricky’s dad, drives a black and gold #13 1969 Chevelle, an apparent homage to Smokey Yunick who campaigned similar Chevelles with driver Curtis Turner in NASCAR in the mid 60′s.
#64. 1994 Toyota Supra — The Fast and the Furious
The main car used in the first Fast and Furious movie was the 1994 Toyota Supra.
#63. 1976 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 — C’était un Rendez-Vous
The film shows an eight-minute drive through Paris in the early hours of the morning (05:30hrs), accompanied by sounds of a high-revving engine, gear changes and squealing tires. The car is never seen as the camera seems to be attached below the front bumper.
Shot in a single take, the length of the film was limited by the short capacity of the 1000 foot 35mm film reel, and filmed from a (supposedly) gyro-stabilised camera mounted on the bumper of a Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9.
#62. 1961 Jaguar E-Type — Danger: Diabolik
The 1968 movie Danger: Diabolik, had Diabolik driving a black Jaguar E-type and his love interest, Eva, had used a white one.
#61. 1967 Plymouth Belvedere GTX — Tommy Boy
An epic road movie with this sweet 67 Belvedere GTX. It starts off as a fine motor, yet by the end of the film it has been totally destroyed, including the nail in the coffin when it catches on fire.
#60. 1968 Dodge Charger R/T – Blade
The evil Charger owned by “daywalker” Blade is featured in all three of the Blade trilogy, its evil, yet simple style won the hearts of many people for its understated style and awesome engine.
#59. 1997 Chevrolet 2500 Silverado Fleetside — Kill Bill
The “Pussy Wagon” started the nickname “Pussy Yellow” when referring to bright yellow on cars. The monster pick-up will forever be remembered solely down to the paint job and name. It’s still used by Quentin Tarantino as his daily drive.
#58. 1966 Ford Thunderbird — Thelma & Louise
Another great road movie with a classic convertible in it. This one of course is remembered all the way through the film, but most notable of course, for the end scene where the car gets driven into the Grand Canyon.
#57. 2000 Ferrari 355 Spider — Boiler Room
In this highly charged scene from the movie Boiler room new broker Seth Davis (Giovanni Ribisi) is being driven back to the office after a local bar brawl, the car driven by his arrogant and envious mentor Greg (Nicky Katt) screams and glides its way elegantly around less wealthy road users.
#56. 1964 Cadillac DeVille Convertible — 48hrs / Another 48hrs
It’s good to see a classic Caddy in a film, it’s even better when it’s used as a cop car. It’s so good, Jack manages to blow $25 grand on an almost identical one for the sequel!
#55. 1970 Chevy Nova — Death Proof
A popular plot for 70′s car films is epitomized by Vanishing Point. The cross-country multi-state car chase with the police will forever be remembered, as will the white 70 Challenger R/T. The same car was also used in Tarantino’s Death Proof.
#54. 1967 Pontiac GTO — xXx
Not the greatest movie in the world, but this car is something else. It’s like Bond’s DB5 for the Playstation generation. Big, stylish, and fully laden with some awesome gadgets and weapons that even Q would have been proud of. Although I doubt he would have painted it that sexy purple.
#53. 1998 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IV — Jackie Chan’s Who Am I?
Jackie Chan going out of his mind with amnesia is a fun thing to watch. The car though is what most people remember of this film. Showing off its rally credentials by handling all terrains, all speeds, and the odd fruit stand.
#52. 1986 BMW 315 Convertible — Paid in Full
#51. 1964 Lincoln Continental mk2 — National Lampoon’s Animal House
The star of the show is Flounder’s brother Lincoln Continental. This classy car starts off OK but gets trashed while on a road trip with Pinto, Boon, and Otter. The car ends up being fixed for the Homecoming Parade by D-Day, yet it doesn’t look much like the original. Evil!
#50. 2004 Audi RSQ Concept — I, Robot
The Audi RSQ is a mid-engined concept car developed by Audi AG for use as a product placement in the 2004 sci-fi movie I, Robot. It is meant to depict a technologically advanced automobile in the Chicago cityscape from the year 2035.
#49. 1969 Dodge Charger — The Dukes of Hazard
The second car we need to forget about the TV program for. The classic General Lee got a modern upgrade to the big screen in 2005, and thankfully used an original 69 (although 68′s were used for some of the filmings) and not some modern-day prototype. Fast, sexy, and awesome-looking fun!
#48. 1971 Pontiac Lemans — The French Connection
Regarded as one of if not the greatest Hollywood car chases, The French Connection doesn’t revolve around the chase, but it had a massive impact to the film. During filming, the crew didn’t have a permit to shoot the film, so a lot of the traffic in the chase with the El Train is real traffic!
#47. 1973 Volkswagen Transporter (Type 2) — Little Miss Sunshine
#46. 1973 Ford Gran Torino — Big Lebowski
Another car gets hammered all the way through the film. The dude’s 73 Torino gets crashed, stolen, trashed and of course, it has to be set on fire. Yet it’s still an awesome car that many would happily own.
#45. 2005 Audi A8 L — The Transporter 2
#44. 1976 AMC Pacer — Waynes World
When a certain guitar solo kicks in in Queen’s classic Bohemian Rhapsody, people will nod their heads. Why? We all know the answer to that! The Mirth mobile was the ultra-cool hatch to have!
#43. 1973 Ford Falcon XB GT Coupe — Mad Max
“The Last of the V8′s” will forever be remembered as possibly the most badass cop car in movie history. Its evil “futuristic” styling worked well, even if the supercharger button was only a prop, we can but dream!
#42. 2006 GMC TopKick Warrior — Transformers
The TopKick’s 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel V8, Allison six-speed automatic transmission, and suspension were all left stock. Also stock is the interior, which isn’t seen onscreen. It’s not easy to park, but it’s one mean-looking Ironhide.
#41. 1972 Ford Gran Torino Sport — Gran Torino
#40. 1996 Ferrari F355 Spider — The Rock
How to smash up a Ferrari 101. This film is for anyone who wants to see what happens when you trash an F355 Spider. You may be disappointed though, as rumor has it it wasn’t a real F355 they crashed, only a replica based on either the Toyota MR2 or the Pontiac Fiero.
#39. Lexus 2054 Concept — Minority Report
In the year 2054, some cars will be self-cleaning, some will drive in an accident-free system, and some will change colors on command.
The inspiration behind the car was a vehicle that would fit the requirements of the year 2054, but beneath the futuristic design is a standard Chevy V6 and a conventional manual gearbox.
#38. 1968 Cadillac DeVille Convertible — A Bronx Tale
#37. 2009 Chevrolet Camaro “Bumblebee” — Transformers
Yes yes, originally Bumblebee was a VW Beetle, but in the 2007 movie of Transformers, they used a 74 Camaro which magically shifts itself into the soon-to-be-released 2009 Chevy Camaro. At the time the car was of course a prototype and was actually based on a Pontiac GTO.
#36. 1980 Lamborghini Countach LP 400S — The Cannonball Run
Ok, so this car hung on many a teenager’s wall during the 80′s (and probably the 90′s and 00′s!) It was one of the cars that people noticed in a film featuring some of the world’s finest machines! (One of the other cars in this list was featured in the film) Of course, the sexy Adrienne Barbeau covered in spandex piloting it might have helped.
#35. 1971 Porsche 917 Le Mans — Le Mans
It’s a film about 70′s Le Mans, with the two main cars being a Ferrari 512LM and this Porsche 917 driven by Steve McQueen. Similar to the Rock, the crash with the Porsche and the Ferrari was filmed using two replicas made up of the VW Beetle chassis.
#34. 1969 Mercedes-Benz Cabriolet — The Hangover
#33. 1998 BMW 535i — Ronin
This is another film with an epic car chase in it, well actually there are a few, but the big one is the Paris city center chase involving this BMW 535i, and the Peugeot 406, the BMW remembered of course for getting totaled in a crash which leads to the car being upside down in a construction site. This is regarded as one of the best car chases in movie history.
#32. 1986 GMC Vandura — The A-Team
#31. 1958 Plymouth Fury — Christine
The Stephen King classic book was wonderfully transferred to the big screen in the epic film about an evil murderous Plymouth Fury. The Fury was in essence the Belvedere Sport with the evil red paint being an extra. It’s an evil car, for an evil story.
#30. 1996 Porsche 911 Turbo (964) — Bad Boys
#29. 1976 Ford Gran Torino — Starsky and Hutch
The first car you need to forget about the TV series for. Yes, it was popular before the 2004 film was made, but it played a big part on the big screen. Plenty of chases and high-speed driving left people (once again) wanting a red Torino with a big red over-the-top stripe.
#28. 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor — GhostBusters
Well, it’s one of if not the most recognized ambulances in the world (the only other one worth noting is Burt Reynold’s ambulance from Cannonball Run) It’s a bit busted when the Ghostbusters team buys it, but it’s so over the top that it’s amazing!
#27. 1989 Mini 1100 Special — Bourne Identity
Another pretty wrecked car that has a spot in our hearts. Mainly due to an impressive mid-Paris (the French obviously love car chases!) A police chase that sees it flying through little alleyways and down flights of steps like in the Italian Job. It takes a battering, but still keeps on going.
#26. 1963 Volkswagen Type 1 (Beetle) — Love Bug
OK, so Herbie was a magic little car that dreamt of being a race car. It was successful too, but not nearly as successful as the Beetle was for VW. It’s featured in 5 movies and a TV movie, and even though Lindsay Lohan ruined it for the youngsters of today, it’s still one of the most recognizable movie cars of all time.
#25. Mach V — Speed Racer
#24. 1981 Porsche 928 — Risky Business
Parents need to realize, that telling their teen-aged children not to do something, and then going away for the weekend is a terrible thing to do! Of course, Joel borrows it, and of course, it goes wrong when it ends up in Lake Michigan!
#23. 1990 Chevrolet Lumina Nascar — Days of Thunder
Top Gun is a… oh wait, no sorry, Days of Thunder is a film about Nascar. So lots of speed, lots of excitement, some awesome race cars, and of course crashing! There’s also a plot and some characters in there, but it felt a little too familiar. Still some great cars though.
#22. 1950 Mercury Monterey — Cobra
Built for the Sylvester Stallone movie Cobra (1986) by noted Hollywood customizer Dean Bryant, this Mercury was later updated with new paint, upholstery, and other details for the Nicolas Cage movie Gone in 60 Seconds 2 (2000), in which it was prominently featured. The low silhouette and gently rounded contours of these ‘James Dean Mercs’ evoke feelings of nostalgia that appeal to both customizers and movie producers wishing to recall a well-remembered part of the past.
#21. 1964 Chevy Impala — Boyz In The Hood
#20. 1967 Shelby Mustang GT500 — Gone in 60 Seconds
The remake of the Original 1974 classic wasn’t as good if you ask fans who have seen the original. However, the remake used the ultra-rare Shelby Mustang GT 500 to play the part of Eleanor. It’s a script and the cast still isn’t that amazing, but that car is truly magnificent. Please note, “No Shelbys were harmed in the making of this film.” It was a replica built on a Mustang. Real Shelby mustangs are to rare and expensive.
#19. 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454 “Melba Toast” — Dazed and Confused
#18. 1966 Alfa Romeo 1600 Spider Duetto — The Graduate
This classy little red Alfa was the poor man’s Ferrari in it’s day, and thanks to its star role in this film it was a world wide success. It’s well remembered for running out of fuel near the end of the film, leaving main character Benjamin the task of running to the Church.
#17. 1932 Ford Coupe — American Graffiti
Written and directed by Star wars man George Lucas (a self confessed hot rod nut) the story of American Graffiti is based around teenagers driving round listening to the radio. Who cars when there’s not only Milner’s 32 Coupe, but over 20 over classic cars and hot rods (and a Vespa)! Helped popularity of hot rod’s with a new generation.
#16. The Tumbler — Batman Begins
Whether you have seen the movie “Batman Begins” or not, you have probably seen the Batmobile. It is shaped like a spaceship — a spaceship that has had tires grafted onto it to make it street legal. The Batmobile used in “Batman Begins” is an icon for the movie and acts like a giant rolling advertisement for the film.
#15. 1977 Pontiac Tans Am — Smokey and the Bandit
Burt Reynolds is a fan favourite with road movies thanks to this staring role and Cannonball Run. In this he’s cruising (and speeding) around in this 77 Trans Am causing all kinds of mischief. Some great car chases, a funny script and this amazing car, great film.
#14. Jaguar XK150 Roadster — Cruel Intentions
#13. 1975 Lotus Esprit — James Bond (The Spy Who Loved Me)
Q really pulled it out of the bag for The Spy Who Loved Me with this 75 Esprit. A modern (for it’s time) road car made by legendary British firm Lotus, transformed into a submarine. No clever CGI like in Transformers either! It was all old school engineering.
#12. 2002 TVR Tuscan Speed-6 — SwordFish
The TVR Tuscan was immortalised in the 2001 film Swordfish, in which John Travolta and Hugh Jackman use the car to get away from a pursuing gang of hit men.
#11. 1991 Mustang GT Convertible — Menace II Society
#10. 1979 Chevy Monte Carlo — Training Day
Actor Denzel Washington drove a customized 1979 Chevy Monte Carlo with Dayton wire wheels, special sunroof, Flowmaster exhaust, hydraulics and a Grant steering wheel in the 2001 movie “Training Day.”
#9. 1961 Ferrari GT250 — Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
What a car to take for a Joy Ride if your bunking off school! The 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California Spider is a rare and special car. In case you were annoyed at the film makers for wrecking such a rare and expensive car, fear not, it was just a replica based on a Datsun 240z.
#8. 1974 Dodge Monaco — Blues Brothers
It’s one of the all time best films. Yes it might not be a masterpiece of drama, but it’s funny, fast paced, has some of the biggest names in music in it, and oh yeah, that 74 Dodge Monaro marked up as a police car. It’s a great film to watch if you love watching nondescript police cars crashing into each other too.
#7. 1968 Mini Cooper S -Italian Job
The 2003 remake of the classic Italian Job was a great advertisement for the new BMW Mini Cooper S. Some good car chases and clever driving showed the car off as a fun plaything which everyone will have fun with. Shame the real car wasn’t as much fun.
#6. 2007 Aston Martin DBS V12 — Casino Royale
#5. 1991 GMC S-15 Sierra Extended Cab — Class Act
#4. 1958 Bristol 405 Sedan — An Education
#3. 1968 390 CID Ford Mustang GT — Bullitt
This is often regarded as the greatest car chases of all time. The ever cool car nut Steve McQueen speeds round San Fransisco in the awesome 68 GT390 Fastback while being chased by the ever cool Black Charger. Rumour has it one of the original Fastbacks still exists somewhere in Ohio.
#2. 1963 Aston Martin DB5 — GoldFinger
Connery drove it in Goldfinger and Thunderball, it was then driven by Brosnan in Goldeneye and Tomorrow Never Dies. Craig then used it in Casino Royale and during all that Moore “borrowed” it for some fun with Burt Reynolds in Cannonball Run.
#1. 1981 De Lorean DMC-12 — Back To The Future
It featured in the massive box office smashes Back to the Future Part 1, 2 and of course 3. The heavily modified Delorean was of course a time machine/hover car that just rocked the 80′s.