Moviegoers have long been captivated by thrilling car chases and spectacular on-screen stunts, some of which often become scene-stealers. These cars have become as famous as the movie actors themselves.
With franchises like fast furious and Transformers continuing to earn millions at the box office, it’s safe to say that Hollywood has produced its fair share of memorable cars over the years. Let’s take a look back at some of the most famous cars used in movies – which are held in high esteem by movie buffs and automotive enthusiasts.
Do you recognize these famous cars in some of your favorite movies?
Aston Martin DB5 in james bond movies
We start with the one that always thrills Bond fans. The car was driven by Sean Connery in The golden finger in 1964, and became instantly famous for his gadgets such as a smoke screen, oil sprayer and machine guns. The original DB5, which was also featured in thunder ball in 1965, sold for US$4.6 million (approximately RM18.9 million) in 2010. Aston Martin announced in 2020 that it would manufacture 25 limited edition DB5s, each with a price of 3.5 million U.S. dollars. Most of the cars were already sold before they even rolled off the assembly line.
Audi R8 in Iron Man
Tony Stark aka Iron Man rides in an Audi R8 in the first Iron Man movie, which was released in 2008. The car reflected the recklessness and intelligence of the character played to perfection by Robert Downey Jr. Perhaps that’s why the fans of the superhero and the car see Stark using other variants of the R8 in subsequent films. Moreover, Downey Jr. even brought his association with Audi into the real world by unveiling the Audi E-Tron GT in November 2018.
Chevrolet Camaro in Bumblebee and transformers film series
Impossible to have a list of the emblematic cars of the film without mentioning the yellow Camaro which was the four-wheeled avatar of Bumblebee. Among the many machines that have been part of the Transformers film series, the Chevrolet Camaro remains etched in the hearts of franchise fans and car enthusiasts for both its stunning looks and the central role of Bumblebee. The car appeared with a different facelift in each of the series’ subsequent films, and all were well received.
1970 Dodge Charger in The Fast & Furious film series
In 2001, Vin Diesel drove a 1970 Dodge Charger in The fast and the furious and got everyone hooked on the franchise with the high-octane thrill of that first film. Although the cars – beautiful, powerful and fast – are central to the long-running film series, the popularity of the Dodge Charger among fans of the franchise prompted manufacturers to modify the machine and bring it back in 2015 for Furious 7.
1968 Ford Mustang GT390 Fastback in Bullit
The 1968 film is considered by movie pundits to feature one of the finest car chase sequences in movie history. And the four-wheeler that was instrumental in this was the Ford Mustang GT390 Fastback – a dark green two-door four-wheeler with a 390 cubic inch V8 engine. The thrill was made even more exciting with Steve McQueen as the man behind the wheels of the film. Fun fact: there were two identical Mustangs used for the chase scene and only one survived, which sold for $3.4 million at a US auction in January 2020.
1968 Austin Mk I Mini Cooper S in Italian work
Mini Coopers were famous even before the release of Italian work in 1969, but the film took the car’s popularity to greater heights. The iconic climactic sequence shows the protagonists fleeing with gold in the chests of three Minis in red, white and blue, who run through everything from stairways to boulevards and tunnels, as authorities stage a massive chase through the scenic town from Torino. The 2003 remake was also a joy to watch with new Mini Coopers racing through the streets of Los Angeles.
1969 Ford Mustang in John Wick
Besides the murder of his dog, it’s the theft of his 1969 Mustang that forces John Wick to come out of retirement and embark on a revenge that transcends three magnificent action-packed movies. The Mustang appears in the first film, released in 2014. Classic Recreations, a workshop based in Oklahoma, USA, partnered with Ford in 2020 to manufacture replicas of the muscle car. The car is powered by a 5.0-liter 32-valve Ford Coyote V8 engine.
1967 Shelby Mustang GT500 in I’m going in 60 seconds
The Shelby Mustang GT500 was the ultimate prize Nicholas Cage’s character coveted in the 2000 heist movie I’m going in 60 seconds. Nicknamed “Eleanor” in the film, it is considered one of the most iconic cars to have raced on screen. Its original from 1967 had a 428 cubic inch (7.0 liter) V8 engine producing 355 hp that did the 0 to 100 km/h in 6.5 seconds. A similar car can be custom built at the Los Angeles-based Fusion Motor Company.
Subaru WRX in baby driver
This is the car Ansel Elgort uses for quick jaunts in the 2017 film baby driver. The modified 2006 Subaru WRX handled beautifully, in tune with the soundtrack during one particular chase scene, and in the process bagged its own share of fans. Some of the cars used during filming were sold on eBay. The car is an all-wheel drive with a 2.5-liter H-4 engine.
1981 DeLorean DMC-12 in Back to the future film series
There aren’t as many famous cars in movies that have garnered as much attention as the iconic futuristic four-wheeler with gullwing doors in the Back to the future film series. The V-6 engine was originally replaced with a V-8 from the Porsche 928, and the car was essentially a time machine in the movies. Unfortunately, his film success did not help sales, and the company was dissolved before the end of the 1980s. But last year’s reports of CNET and The manual revealed that the car could make a return in 2021.
Porsche 911 Carrera 4S in bad boys for life
The car is the culmination of a chase sequence of bad boys for life, the third installment in the Bad Boys film series which was released in 2020. Will Smith drives the sleek machine as he gleefully speeds down Miami’s roads and beach while ‘Navigator’ Martin Lawrence is only too can’t wait (hilarious) to get out. A Porsche 911 Carrera 4S is equipped with a 420 hp 6-cylinder rear engine that delivers a top speed of 305 km/h. Its acceleration is from 0 to 100 km in four seconds.
(Main and featured image: IMDB)
This story first appeared on Prestige Online Hong Kong.