Top 10 Coolest Movie Cars

by Eric Melin on April 7, 2009

in Top 10s

Elliot Kort and Abby Olcese are the Two Awesome Movie Nerds from Lawrence, KS. Once we get the new, completely interactive Scene-Stealers redesign up and running, you can see their reviews here, but for now, check out their YouTube page. If you have a Top 10 list of your own, email to me at eric@scene-stealers.com. Here’s the Two Awesome Movie Nerds:

The debate concerning the best actors of all time rages incessantly. The discussion of their best performances is also always close at hand. But there’s another kind of performer—one of a working class—that toils on, unheralded and unappreciated. From the sleekest to the fastest to the deadliest to the most iconic, each of these cars added to its respective film in an incalculable way. They’re characters unto themselves and worthy of any gear head’s bated breath and utter awe. It is for that reason that we bring you this, a Top 10 list celebrating the best automobiles in cinema.

shaun of the dead jaguar10. Philip’s Jag from “Shaun of the Dead” (2004)

Abby: If you’re going to run from the zombies, you want to do it in style, so why not a Jag? Philip’s 1986 Jaguar XJ12 Series III (Thanks Internet Movie Car Database!) is a classy little model. If given the chance, I’d “accidentally” crash my undead roommate’s far less superior vehicle to get behind the wheel of this car, too. The child locks may not be so great if you’re stuck inside with a zombie—definitely not “safety first”—but for outrunning the living dead, you could do a heck of a lot worse.

eastwood gran torino car9. The Gran Torino from “Gran Torino” (2008)

Elliot: A movie set in the heart of Motor City wouldn’t be complete without a shining example of Detroit muscle. Clint Eastwood’s “Gran Torino” is no different. Though Eastwood’s snarling Walt Kowalski drives a beat-up pickup most of the time, it’s clear to see why the timeless Ford is his pride and joy. The car comes to mean much more to viewers over the course of the film, of course, as it becomes both a means of redemption as well as a symbol of friendship.

cadillac yellow bastard sin city8. The automotive ensemble of “Sin City” (2005)

Elliot: For Frank Miller, it’s the Holy Trinity of his comics: beautiful women, hardened men in trench coats, and fast cars. From vintage Cadillacs to classic Mercedes to souped-up Ferrari, Miller fetishes his cars as much as he does his sexy heroines. So when Robert Rodriguez decides to adapt his series into a pulpy cinematic wonder, the wheels had to come with it. Consultants for the movie scoured the South for cars matching the models that Miller referenced in his books. The results are quite stunning.

vanishing point 1970 dodge challenger7. The 1970 Dodge Challenger from “Vanishing Point” (1971)

Elliot: This cult B-movie hit is what has been described as a “car-person’s car movie.” The story of a strung-out cop on the run from Denver to San Francisco pales in comparison to the breathtaking and death-defying car stunts that made the film a legend. Its impact has been felt across decades and mediums; from Tarantino’s love letter to the flick in his own “Death Proof” (his half of “Grindhouse”) to Audioslave’s tribute music video “Show Me How to Live.”

evil dead oldsmobile6. The 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Holiday sedan from the “Evil Dead” trilogy (1981/87/92)

Abby: If I had to describe this infamous vehicle in one word: Groovy. (Sorry. Couldn’t help it.) Bruce Campbell’s Oldsmobile is just as tough as he is, surviving three attacks by demons and deadites during the course of Sam Raimi’s classic low-budget trilogy. My personal favorite use of the Olds is in “Army of Darkness” when it undergoes the transformation from a total wreck to a badass deadite-destroying car-copter. Given how much this car goes through over the course of the movies, I wouldn’t be too quick to buy it on a used car lot, but you’ve still got to admire its tenacity.

blues brothers cop car dodge monaco5. The 1974 Dodge Monaco cop car from “The Blues Brothers” (1980)

Abby: Like so many of the other cars on this list, Jake and Elwood’s shady secondhand police car is its own character. And like the “Evil Dead” Oldsmobile, it sees its fair share of scraps. It flies through the air more times than I can count and causes more wrecks than the Batmobile did in “Batman Begins” (“The Blues Brothers” holds a record for most car crashes). If that weren’t enough, it gets driven through a mall. This beat up hunk of metal isn’t the most gorgeous ride around, but it’s sure one of the most reliable. Like Jake and Elwood, it’s rough around the edges, but it gets the job done.

christine plymouth4. Christine, the 1958 Plymouth Fury from “Christine” (1983)

Abby: She’s a beaut, but she’s also got a mean streak a mile wide. To be frank, I’m a little afraid of putting the titular car from John Carpenter’s 1983 movie (adapted from Stephen King’s book) this far up on the list. If there’s one thing I know about that car, it’s that she’s vindictive. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want that thing coming after me. Fun fact: To shoot Christine “repairing herself,” hydraulic pumps were installed inside the body work of some of plastic stunt-double cars used during shooting. The pumps were attached to cables that in turn were attached to the body work and sucked the paneling inwards when compressed. The footage of the imploding cars was reversed to get the regeneration effect. Pretty neat, huh?

batman begins 2005 tumbler batmobile3. The Tumbler Batmobile from “Batman Begins” (2005)

Abby: I could have picked any incarnation of the Batmobile, really. I mean, it’s the Batmobile. But, believe it or not, the Batmobile from “Batman Begins” was the first model that made me think “I want that.” I was skeptical when I saw the press photos before the movie came out. But then I saw it in action, and all my doubts dissolved in cloud of awe. Sure, the Tumbler’s not slick and super-chic like some models, but I don’t care about that. This Batmobile can jump roofs. It can fire missiles. It is a freaking tank. If you put all the different versions of the Batmobile in a cage match, you know the Tumbler would win. Why? Because it would crush all those other girly models underneath its sedan-sized wheels like toothpicks. The Tumbler rules. End of discussion.

goldfinger smokescreen aston martin2. The Aston Martin DB5 from “Goldfinger” (1964)

Abby: You want iconic? Try this baby on for size. It’s the classic Bondmobile. First off, it looks like a bullet, which is awesome. Secondly, it’s got special features out the wazoo. Machine guns? Check. Ejector seat? Check. Bulletproof glass? Oil-slick deployer? Rotating license plate? Smoke screen? Check, check, check, and check. The only thing it’s missing is GPS. But “Goldfinger” came out in 1964, so I’ll let that one slide. This is the car that started the automotive gadgetry trend in the Bond movies, and spy movies in general. Aside from the Batmobile, it’s the car I’ve always wanted to have. We’d have to be utter fools not to include it on our list.

delorean back to the future1. The 1981 DeLorean DMC 12 from “Back to the Future” (1985)

Elliot: Oh, come on. You had to know this was coming. Ever since Marty McFly hopped into the driver’s seat and floored it to 88 miles-per-hour, this auto has ruled over the rest. From its sweeping gull-wing doors to the stainless steel finish, the DeLorean’s design just screams sci-fi glory. The film solidified the iconic status of the film so much that John DeLorean himself wrote a letter to one of the film’s producers thanking him for celebrating the car. Of course, models on the streets today are void of Doc Brown’s signature flux capacitor and rear vents. But even still, seeing one roll down the street, one can’t help but remember: “Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.”

Eric is the Editor-in-Chief of Scene-Stealers and regular critic for KCTV5. He’s a member of the BFCA, VP of the KCFCC, and drummer for The Dead Girls and Ultimate Fakebook. He is also the current 2013 Air Guitar World Champion Mean Melin. Eric goes to 11. Follow him at:

Facebook Twitter Google+ YouTube 

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Hai April 7, 2009 at 1:15 am

Ghostbusters mobile? 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88 in every Sam Raimi movie? Red Ferrari from Ferris Bueller? Sheep Dog from Dumb and Dumber? or better yet the flying dog from Never Ending Story. I guess that doesnt count.

Reply

2 Clark April 7, 2009 at 5:42 am

The moment I read “Top 10 Cars”, I knew #1 would be the DeLorean. And, of course, James Bond is here too!
Great choices!

Reply

3 Dirk April 7, 2009 at 9:09 am

How about all or any of the cars from “The Road Warrior”? “Last of the V-8 Interceptors. Be a shame to blow it up.”

Reply

4 Eric Melin April 7, 2009 at 9:10 am

Hai- I know Raimi used the car in lots of his other movies, but I read that it died recently and was beyond repair. Is there a list anywhere of which movies the Olds was in?

Reply

5 Alan Rapp April 7, 2009 at 9:33 am

Eric, I know that it’s in everything up until at least the first Spider-Man. Not sure how old this is, but here ya go.

As for the list I must concur that the Eco-1 deserves a spot on the list (and how about the car from Bullitt), but even more so – where’s the greatest movie car of all-time from ‘Condorman’! Travesty!

Reply

6 Eric Melin April 7, 2009 at 10:04 am

from Alan’s link (all misspellings and wrong year appropriations from author have been left in):
1982) Evil Dead: The car Ash drives to the cabin in
1985) Crimewave: Getaway car
1987) Evil Dead 2: Ash’s car again
1990) Darkman: Crashed into by Liam Neeson in a fall
1993) Army of Darkness: Ash’s car again
1995) The Quick and the Dead: hidden under some hay in the barn. Really. I swear.
1998) A Simple Plan: Parked outside the feed store
1999) For Love of the Game: Scene was cut out during editing.
2000) The Gift: Kate Blanchett’s car
2002) Spider-man: Uncle Ben’s car

Reply

7 Elliot April 7, 2009 at 10:59 am

There’s always going to be a few “mea culpa” omissions from any Top 10 list. But after my cousin brought it to my attention, the ECTO-1 hurts the most.

Reply

8 Beck April 7, 2009 at 11:29 am

This list is missing a sense of whimsy. How about Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the Flubber-powered car in Absent-Minded Professor, the bubble-powered car in Willie Wonka, and, of course, Herbie!

Why drive when you can fly?

Reply

9 Abby April 7, 2009 at 12:25 pm

Herbie and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang were both considered, but we dropped ‘em. I guess we should have kept them in!

But yeah, I’m with Elliot. I can’t believe we skipped over “Ghostbusters.” I love that car.

Reply

10 Pandy Fackler April 8, 2009 at 1:44 pm

I always liked the TransAm in Smokey and the Bandit.

Reply

11 Blake April 9, 2009 at 5:48 pm

Greased lightning?

Reply

12 Suzanne April 10, 2009 at 11:04 am

We are looking for a movie called “Oldsmobile” produced by Tiger Films from Sweden. This film was made here in Florida.

Reply

13 Paul April 12, 2009 at 8:52 pm

how…. i can’t believe my eyes, the dark green mustang GT 329 from “Bullit” isn’t here. I thought it would be, but now i have no faith in humanity.

Reply

14 biscuit April 22, 2009 at 4:10 am

theres a movie i’ve been trying to find the name of. i saw it on tv a ton of times in the 90′s. it took place in the desert, theres a new kid that rides a scooter to school and around town and stuff but he street races the local gang out in the desert disguised in a crazy outfit in a cool looking car. each race ends with another car crashing into him and blowing up and the other body always has the eyes missing. and then his car appears again and drives away. best way i can describe the movie. does anyone know it.

Reply

15 DC May 12, 2009 at 4:08 pm

how about the prototype used in “The Wraith”? Badass

Reply

16 alan May 12, 2009 at 11:27 pm

what about the Lincoln from “The Car” or the mustang from the original “Gone in 60 Seconds”

Reply

17 cp May 15, 2009 at 3:06 pm

hey biscuit the name of the movie was “the wraith” and yeah that car could beat Christine for vengence.

Reply

18 ethan May 18, 2009 at 2:15 pm

i gotta say you are way off when Frank Bullitt’s 68 Mustang is not included in this list. Props for Ash’s car and the BluesMobile

Reply

19 biscuit May 25, 2009 at 10:28 pm

cp i love you forever. thanks dude soo much. its been racking my brain for like a year

Reply

20 gael June 7, 2009 at 11:18 am

Bullitt : 1969 Ford Mustang Fastback is missing!

Reply

21 john alabama June 15, 2009 at 12:31 pm

death prooooooof

Reply

22 Kappeskopp July 24, 2009 at 6:26 pm

Where is the Black Mad Max Interceptor, a modified Ford Falcon XB Coupe, V8 351?! The last of the V8!

Reply

23 John Connelly August 29, 2009 at 6:13 am

This list is crap. is list compiled by chicks? or have the riddlin kids taken over?

Reply

24 Wes November 10, 2009 at 10:23 am

The Turbo Interceptor should have been in there! We have one of the original movie cars used for the Wraith film. Just click my name here to follow the link.

Reply

25 Reed December 9, 2009 at 3:03 pm

I’d like to add an honorable mention for the cake car in Animal House.

Reply

26 Sabina May 19, 2010 at 11:49 pm

Of course, the Gran Torino had to be here, I love it as much as I love Clint Eastwood
but I believe you missed some movies like Bullit, I don’t know, and of course the Batmobile is awesome but I wanted real likfe cars only…maybe the list was too short

Reply

27 Neil December 3, 2010 at 1:17 pm

what about the freakin “General Lee”(’69 Dodge Charger with a Hemi) from the Dukes of Hazzard. that is one of the most recognized cars in my mind

Reply

28 Mike April 10, 2012 at 3:05 pm

Drag Me to Hell is the most recent movie I have seen Sam Raimi’s Olds in, so the rumour that the car is dead may be wrong. I think the movie came out within the last couple years.

Reply

Leave a Comment

 

Previous post:

Next post: