Favourite cars from your favourite action movies
The phrase “the car’s the star” often crops up when talking about films since it can often be the four-wheeled machine that people remember long after the credits have rolled. Think Bullitt and it’s likely to call to mind the legendary green Ford Mustang with its throaty engine roar, or the various Mini Coopers zipping around the streets, steps and pavements of Turin in the 1960s classic caper The Italian Job.
Everyone’s got their favourite movie cars, but here are some of the most famous.
Lotus Esprit – James Bond, The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
Along with glamorous women, martinis, gadgets and droll one liners, various cars have gained iconic status in Bond films. Back in 1977 it was the amphibious white Lotus Esprit that wowed cinema audiences.
Aston Martin DB5 – James Bond (1964-5 and beyond)
Synonymous with Sean Connery as Bond in the mid 1960s is this classic with gadgets galore such as oil-slick sprayer, machine guns and ejector seat. Many high tech cars, motorbikes, boats and other modes of transport have followed but the iconic Aston Martins are very much Bond’s signature. The DB5 has appeared in Bond films of more recent vintage including 2012’s SkyFall. Whether you can buy or lease one of these iconic cars isn’t known!
Ford Mustang – Bullitt (1968)
Do many people really remember or particularly care what the plot may have been in this iconic action film from the 1960s? All that mattered was the car and the ten-minute long action packed car chase. There was no “chase music” used by the filmmakers, they relied on just the roar of the engine and the squeal of the tyres to make the film’s music. Amongst certain interesting facts about the film is that two Mustangs were actually used; one of which was damaged beyond repair during filming.
DeLorean DMC-12 – Back to the Future (1981)
While something of a disaster as a commercial proposition when on the market in the early 1980s, the distinctive sports car with its gull-winged doors had a better career as a time machine in Back to the Future.
Time travel was possible for the DeLorean as it was fitted with a nuclear reactor that could achieve 1.21 gigawatts of power. Today it’s literally a case of “back to the future” as a limited number of DeLoreans are to built by the new DeLorean Motor Company – a Texan company who managed to salvage leftover components from the original Belfast plant.
Ford Mustang – Gone in 60 Seconds (2000)
Another Ford Mustang; while two might have been used in Bullitt no less than eleven were provided (although only three could be driven) for this action film starring Nicolas Cage. The cars got a nickname – The Eleanor Mustang – and the 400-horsepower muscle car rumbled its way through the film before the sole car that survived filming was sold at auction for $1 million.
And many more…
There are many more of course; how about Ford again with their black GT Falcon in 1973’s Mad Max, or the sinister black Dodge Charger in The Fast and the Furious that provides Vin Diesel’s wheels? Another famous Dodge is the white Challenger used in 1970’s Vanishing Point used by Barry Newman as he motors from Denver to San Francisco. It’s also true cars in films have influenced buyers; after the appearance of the black Pontiac Trans Am in 1977’s Smokey and the Bandit sales suddenly leapt by about 30,000 cars in 1977 and another 24,000 the following year.
Things, however, are radically changing in our society and the concept of ownership isn’t considered a goal anymore, especially by the younger generations. From AirBnb to Uber, people are interested in experiences, both in the short and longer term. There are comapnies that make it possible to use and change cars on a regular basis – not only city cars, also some of the most luxurious vehicles such as Maserati and Aston Martin. Leases fit nicely with the lifestyle of our society: after enjoying the car you can try the next one. Just like with a Bond film.
The editorial unit