It’s clear that most classic movies wouldn’t be where they are without the cars involved, let’s face it! The hardest part was choosing just 5 of the top cars featured in legendary films…
The Car: 1980 Lamborghini Countach LP 400S
The Movie: The Cannonball Run
The Release Date: June 19, 1981
This magnificent car may not have been the ‘official’ star of this movie, but there is no denying that its part in the opening scene secured its place in the hearts and minds of car and film fans around the world. That first panning shot as the credits roll and the epic chase scene between the Countach and a police car is a real treat for the eyes and ears – trust us, go watch that scene with the volume up to hear that car sing and you will not be disappointed!
The Lamborghini in question is a black Series II Countach with a whopping 12 pipe exhaust, famous for having a little nose wing at the very front. Such an odd accessory was not just cosmetic; it was actually a necessary addition to ensure the car complied with US import laws that would then allow the Lambo to be sold in certain states.
Whether you love or hate it, that wing definitely adds to the character of this already stunning car.
The Car: 1968 Mini Cooper S
The Movie: The Italian Job
The Release Date: June 2, 1969
Not only was the Mini a 60s fashion icon loved by families for its style and practicality, it is also a bloomin’ great racer.
The Mini Cooper S still stands as one of the most successful Monte Carlo Rally cars, winning the race back in 1964. Many celebrities have also taken a shine to the Mini range, with famous owners including Elton John, Kate Moss and Prince Harry.
“You’re only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!” Who hasn’t heard of that famous quote? OK, so Caine may have said one of the most famous one-liners in movie history but of course the real stars of ‘The Italian Job’ were the trio of Mk1 Austin Mini Cooper S’s! These were fitted with Mini aero body kits and three-point rollcages to prepare them for the many stunts they would have to take on, not that they needed much modification being such tough, lightweight cars.
The red, white and blue Minis raced their way through the fast-paced movie and the image of that cliff-hanger ending has stayed with us for almost 50 years.
The Car: 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor
The Movie: Ghostbusters
The Release Date: December 7, 1984
Not your average movie car, we’ll give you that, but you’ve got to admit that this vehicle deserves a spot in our top 5 for being such an icon of film history.
The Ectomobile/Ecto-1 base is a 1959 Cadillac chassis with a Miller-Meteor ambulance conversion, a decision that evolved from what was originally going to be a 1975 Cadillac ambulance, and the final design is a world away from the spooky black and purple machine it could have been.
A back up vehicle was on standby but was not required until the original finally gave up the ghost (see what we did there?) during filming for the second film. Having such an unusual looking vehicle gave the film makers a great idea; why not drive it around to promote the movie?
Well, that was great in theory, until people started crashing their cars while trying to get a better look! The ambulance-hearse combo isn’t something you see every day, which is probably what makes it so special and memorable; to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the franchise, the car was faithfully restored to near perfect condition after being left to rot for 20 years.
The Car: 1963 Model 117 Deluxe Sunroof Sedan
The Movie: The Love Bug
The Release Date: December 24, 1968
The Herbie we all know and love made its first appearance in Disney’s classic film ‘The Love Bug’ way back in 1968. The pearl white car had patriotic red, white and blue racing stripes and the number 53 painted on the front trunk lid, engine lid and doors; this number choice was inspired by the jersey baseball player Don Drysdale.
The full make and model of Herbie was a 1963 VW Beetle Model 117 Deluxe Sunroof Sedan, however for the film many models were used, ranging from 1950s through to 1970s. While many of these just used modified VW bus engines, at least one lucky car was kitted out with a high performance Porsche Super 90 engine and specially modified to allow the Bug to perform wheelies.
Only four of the film’s original cars have survived, but there are some wonderful examples of quality restoration projects that keep the spirit of Herbie alive. Interestingly, Volkswagen asked Disney to hide their brand throughout the filming of ‘The Love Bug’ but it can be spotted by eagle-eyed viewers a couple of times in shots of a brake pedal and ignition key.
The Car: 1963 Aston Martin DB5
The Movie: Goldfinger
The Release Date: September 17, 1964
Clearly a Bond car was going to feature in a countdown of the best ever film cars, there was never any questioning that, but choosing just one was the tricky part.
Eventually we settled on the DB5, which you know we adore, and since this classic Aston Martin has appeared in Goldfinger, Goldeneye, Tomorrow Never Dies *and* Skyfall it has earned its rightful place on our list.
This 4 litre, two door, silver birch beauty (which sold twice as fast as its predecessor the DB4), is rear wheel drive and has a coupe body style that just oozes sophistication. First unveiled at the Earls Court Motor Show, Aston Martin built 1021 of this particular model in total during a short 2 year production run.
What you may not know, is that for Goldfinger filming the DB5 was used for close up shots, while an earlier DB4 Vantage was lucky enough to be decked out with the fancy gadgetry in a clever switch up. The inside of this car is just as luxurious as the exterior and it served as the perfect car for our favourite spy.
Its amazing just how many cars sprang to mind when thinking up this list and even down to the last moment there were a couple we almost swapped in, let us know which iconic film cars you would have in your own top 5!
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