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The 8 best movie cars in cinema history

  • Written by April Stilwell
  • Published in Movie Buffs

Let's face it, movie cars are things from our fantasies.  They can do it all and more, performing feats we would never think to try in real life.  Well in order to sate your need for speed, we've compiled the best cars ever shown on the silver screen.

 

#8 1995 Toyota Supra Turbo (Fast and Furious)

This hot little Toyota sure made a name for itself in the Fast and Furious as it took on a Ferrari and a 1970 Charger. The Supra has wiggled its way into the hearts of Tuners and movie fans alike. Viewers would agree one of the top scenes in this film is when the Supra makes a mockery of the Ferrari. Sadly, this car's lifespan was short-lived in the US as it was only produced from 1993 to 1998. Now, Toyota's view on performance is not quite the same. When viewing this clip, pay careful attention as the Ferrari's driver revs the engine; the car sounds like it's saying its brand. On a side note, for those Fast and Furious fans, yes there will be a Fast and Furious 5. Production starts at the end of this year for a release in 2011.

#7 1958 Plymouth Fury (Christine)

Christine, 1958 Plymouth Fury, ranks as number 7 in the countdown. Why? Why not? When thinking about it who would hate a self-repairing car? Imagine the savings. Or maybe there was someone you wanted out of the picture? Christine is your gal. Putting that aside, there were twenty-five "Christines" used for this movie. It is undeniable that the effects in this 1983 film are quite impressive, which adds to the allure of this 1958 Plymouth Fury. The classic red and white paint job has given the '58 models a name for itself. Many collectors have emulated the style of the infamous, murdering car. Loyal to the end, the Fury has to be one of the baddest cars around. As they say, "hell hath no Fury like a woman scorned."

#6  Audi A8 W12 (Transporter 3)

At number 6, the Audi A8 provides a class of its own with its sophisticated German engineering. Audi is no stranger to action films as their brand extends to movies such as Mission Impossible 2, Ronin and I, Robit. Only Audi could have made the Transporter films a success with its perfect blend of luxury and sports design as its intent to target a younger audience. In Transporter 3, there was very little CGI used, and the action scenes were performed in real time. Movie goers are fascinated with these high speed, thrilling and (sometimes) unrealistic stunts. It has movie goers on the edge of their seats, wishing they, too, could be Frank Martin, the Transporter.

 

#5 1967 Shelby GT500 (Eleanor II, Gone in 60 Seconds)

This nitrous fed Mustang kicks it up to 160mph during some of the chase scenes. The emphasis during this action packed sequence is to protect the vintage beast as it must be delivered unscathed. Left and right, Eleanor misses death as the viewers are ensnared, holding their breath at every turn. These scenes do not fail with its high energy and cunning ability to want more action. During this film, an original 500 HP 428 1967 GT500 was used for the sound effects but not for the models during the movie. The actual vehicles used in the film were 1967 mustangs, all modified to resemble Eleanors. Most of the 289 Mustangs had automatic transmissions. Each mustang was assigned a certain task whether it was from PR shots, close ups or high speed slides. This Eleanor was surely a jewel fans would have loved to been in.

#4 1970 Dodge Challenger (Death Proof)

Coming in on the charts at number 4, the 1970 Challenger has won the fascination of many, or is it due to the Uma Thurman's stunt double, Zoe Bell? Through this scene, Zoe Bell's character rode on the car's hood as dangerous and thrilling stunts captivated viewers. Regardless of this daredevil's need for speed, this classic continually withstands the ramming of Stuntman Mike's Charger. The power of the Challenger and three insane women earn this car its rank on this list.

Honorable Mention: Chevy Nova

#3 1969 Dodge Charger (Death Proof)

Before moving onto number 3, there is one car that receives honorable mention, Stuntman Mike's Nova. It secretly lurked, stalking the girls of Austin, Texas before it meets its demise during an intentional car crash. Who wouldn't have loved being Russell with a 1970 skull and cross bone Chevy Nova? Not only does the hood design get this Nova's tire in the door, but its heritage as American muscle has added it on the list for honorable mention, but our real hero is the 1969 Dodge Charger. Throughout the second half of the film, this car proves its desirous qualities by roaring its guttural engine in several scenes. It draws the audience in as it takes a repetitive beating during the extended chase scene with the Challenger. Everyone loves the bad guy, but this hot rod emphasizes the power and raw insanity of the evil duo of man and car. The great camera work intensifies the scene along with the music selection. It shows the durability of the cars (Challenger and Charger) even after they have been wrecked numerous times. In this case, the bad guy trumps the good guy.

#1 - #2 1968 Ford Mustang G.T. .390 Fastback (Bullitt), 1968 Dodge Charger R/T 440 Magnum (Bullitt)

Coming into our number 2 and number 1 slots are the baddest cars in town. They started it all in the hottest car chase scene known to man and made a mark in the history of film. Coming into number two is the 1968 Dodge Charger R/T 440 Magnum, and our winner for the day is the 1968 Ford Mustang G.T. .390 Fastback. This 1968 film will be forever etched in the souls of its viewers as they never grow weary of this sequence. Steve McQueen (actor and stunt driver) was the cherry on top of the sundae as he helped ground the number one slot for the Fastback's superb power and gusto. Filmed in the real streets of San Francisco (and not in some studio parking lot), speeds ranged up to 140mph through the busy city. Bullitt was the first film to use live sound; some was added later if the microphones did not pick up a tire squeal, etc. As many know, McQueen did most of his stunt driving until he messed up a scene when he spun out, tires kicking up smoke. From there, stunt drivers were put into play. Many on set believed McQueen's wife stopped his bold and daring driving. Purchased for this film were two 1968 four speed GT Fastbacks; mostly because they were the best deal at the time. The two Chargers were purchased without promotional consideration, but with the success of the film, Chrysler became generous to Warner Brothers for future projects. Both the Charger and Mustang had to be modified to handle the rigorous stunts performed in the movie.

The scene racing down the San Francisco hills pushed the Fastback to disintegration as it reached speeds of 100mph. Outside of the two stars, there was a third car racing in the streets of San Francisco - a camera car made from a Corvette chassis with one hell of suspension, and an engine inside it to get those real close corners the Fastback burned. Some say the 01 Car (General Lee, Dukes of Hazard) may not have been a Charger if the popularity of the car had not increased after the success of Bullitt. These two muscle cars have made history and keep on making their appearances even in modern film. The bad man (Charger) is quite memorable, but our hero driven original (Mustang) pushes it to the forefront as its soul and heart rip through the authenticity of its sound production. Even Ford recognized the significant car in 2001 and 2008 with its "Bullitt Mustang" line, thus proving the Fastback as the number one hottest car in film.

From imports to classic American muscle, these vehicles all have traits to distinguish them as all-time favorites among movie go-ers and car enthusiasts. Horsepower, design and the ability to snag a woman (or man) off the street, these vehicles will eternally be in the hearts of all. Nothing can compare to the ageless beauty of the Mustang Fastback as it will always remain supreme above the rest.

-April

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