Top 10 Coolest Movie Cars
Written by: Dave Andrews
March 19, 2008
Filed Under Movies
Throughout the history of film, Americans have loved seeing the cool cars in movies almost as much as they love seeing the actors who drive them. By a complete coincidence, three of the cars on this list are from 1968 films and two happen to be batmobiles. Without further adieu then, I give you the top 10 coolest movie cars.
10. The 1968 Mustang from “Bullitt”
Some consider this 1968 film to be the originator of the car chase. The Mustang that Steve McQueen drove in the film is practically worshipped as an automotive deity so much so that Ford has issued ‘Bullitt’ editions of Mustangs more than once in recent years. There is even a group of “Bullitt” enthusiasts that call themselves Bullittheads. They have over 3,000 members.
The film featured one of the longest car chases in film history, coming in at somewhere between seven and nine minutes of film, depending on when you consider the actual chase to have begun. It also happened to include a very impressive Dodge Charger.
This dark green 1968 Mustang that fans have come to call Bullitt was new in its day, but is now a highly valuable classic. It easily earns a place in this list of the top 10 coolest movie cars ever.
9. The Pontiac Trans-Am from “Smoky and the Bandit”
A decade after “Bullitt” came “Smoky and the Bandit.” The bandit referred to Burt Reynolds’s character Bo Darville, but the name has become synonymous not with the character, but with his car: a beautiful black Pontiac Trans-Am that has been copied again and again by enthusiasts. Just as with McQueen’s Bullitt, Reynolds’ Bandit has been honored with special edition ‘Bandit’ versions of the Trans-Am by Pontiac.
8. The Aston Martin Vanquish
In recent years, this has become the ‘go to’ car when a filmmaker wants to express exclusivity and power mixed with high class. It has been used in many movies for this purpose, including such high-profile films as “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider,” “The Italian Job,” and recent James Bond films.
7. The Audi R8 from “Iron Man”
I know, I know… This car is creating a lot of buzz, being billed as “Iron Man’s ride.” I saw it myself and I can tell you this is one sweet ride. In fact, I was standing right behind it when this photo was taken. I worked as a featured background actor on Iron Man as an obnoxious Paparazzo that interrupts a conversation between Tony Stark (Robert Downy Jr.) and Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges). Bridges’ character gets pissed off and slaps the camera out of my hands. The scene happened to be filmed at the same time that the R8 made its filmic debut, so I was there to see it up close and in person. The car features a mid-engine design with a glass bonnet that allows you to see the gorgeous 420hp V8 surrounded by a carbon fiber-lined engine compartment. An awesome choice for the film, you’ll start seeing this car around more.
6. The time-traveling DeLorean from “Back to the Future”
Who could possibly forget? This car remains a true standout among film cars. The time machine was based on the DeLorean, the sole model of a failed attempt at creating the first ‘exotic’ auto maker in the U.S. Powered by the flux-capacitor, the car had to reach speed of 88 miles per hour in order to activate and travel through time. While the original DeLorean was a fairly vanilla, non-descript car, the time-machine was an elaborate, highly modified version that stood out far more than the original model it was based upon.
5. The ’67 Pontiac GTO from “XXX”
Vin Diesel’s character was hired to go undercover to try and bust an eastern European gang. His initial role is as a buyer of high-end stolen cars. Most of the cars are things like Lamborghinis and Ferraris, but he adds a special car onto the end of the list for himself. His sidekick, a gadget guy at the agency, ends up souping up the car, ultimately adding things like an explosive removable roof and rocket launchers. Never did a car look so good in purple.
4. The Mustang from “Gone in Sixty Seconds”
While the films “XXX” and “Gone in Sixty Seconds” are not at all alike, there is one commonality. A group of stolen cars with one very rare, very valuable muscle car getting the lion’s share of the attention. In this case, the car is the consummately awesome 1967 Shelby Mustang dubbed “Eleanor” by the lead character Memphis Raines played by Nick Cage.
3. The Batmobile from the 1989 Tim Burton film “Batman”
One of the baddest cars in the history of film, this vehicle exuded dark power, hiding its many secrets behind a shell that could armor up and become completely bullet-proof. This vehicle had many tricks up its sleeve that allowed it to do things like turn on a dime by grabbing onto a nearby pole with a grappling hook and swinging around the pole on a line. It used a similar trick to climb a building and was also equipped with other cool toys like powerful machine guns, retractable armor, and the ubiquitous ejection seat.
2. The “Tumbler” Batmobile from the 2005 film “Batman Begins”
Some might argue that this particular rendition of the Batmobile is not even a car, but more of an all purpose tank and the point is a bit hard to argue as you watch it crash through concrete barriers and blast itself into the air making spectacular jumps from building to building and freeway ramps. In fact, the ‘tank’ theory is strengthened even further when the designer explains that it was originally created to allow the army to quickly create emergency bridges by launching this vehicle across ravines. Perhaps the toughest of all of the cars on this list, this car is truly a beast.
1. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang from “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”
It was the name of the film, and the name of the car. Named for the sound it made while running, this car looked like a classic car from the 1920’s with the back end of a boat. Oh, and wings. Beloved by generations of kids for four decades now, this car is one of the most recognized movie cars worldwide.
Another car that made his debut in 1968 was Herbie, the Volkswagen Beetle with a heart. He wasn’t glamorous or expensive or elaborately equipped, yet somehow Herbie the Love Bug managed to win race after race while he won the hearts of millions of kids. Herbie’s first movie, The Love Bug, was a smash hit and spawned several movies over the next four decades as well as an 80s TV series. Just as with Chitty, Herbie is beloved by millions around the world, as several generations have grown up watching the number one bug.
Are these your top 10 coolest movie cars?