Tuesday, January 26, 2010
People of all ages are fascinated by the cars on the big screen and television. Hollywood, throughout the years, has recognized that an awesome set of wheels can boost viewer ratings or ticket sales. A lot of times they’re driven at high speeds or in ridiculous situations, and that makes them all the more spectacular. Occasionally the cars are simply so odd or unusual that you can’t help but take notice. Whether it’s the paint job, the model of car, the engine, the special custom features, or the way it’s driven on screen, these cars steal our attention. They may or may not be your dream car, but I’ll bet that you can pick them out of a crowded parking lot.
In 1966 the world bore witness to the birth of the “Batmobile” which had began it’s former life in 1954 as the concept car Lincoln Futura. George Barris, of Barris Kustom Industries, undertook the task of bringing what started as pen and ink in a comic book to a tangible, fully functioning fantasy car for television’s “Batman”. The car naturally got a starring role in the movie that followed.
Barris also brought to the screen the eerie and comical “Munster Koach” and “Drag-u-la” in the television series, “The Munsters”, which originally aired from 1964 thru 1966. The vehicles were custom made for the odd family based on classic monsters trying to live the ordinary home life.
“The Green Hornet” series aired in 1966 and 1967 and brought with it yet another of the creations of Barris, the “Black Beauty” which started as a 1966 Imperial Crown, and a beauty it was by the time it was all finished. Awesome cars must be a great perk of being a super hero.
“The Love Bug” in 1968 featured a car with real personality, the 1963 Volkswagen Sun-Roof Sedan [Typ 1] also refered to as a Beetle (or Bug). Herbie, the car, featured racing stripes and the number 53 as well as a mind of his own. He is so loved that he has made several comebacks to the big and small screens since his first appearance.
“The Beverly Hillbillies” entertained us from 1962 to 1971. An outrageous turn of events puts this 1921 Oldsmobile in the streets of Beverly Hills, California. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’m hankerin’ for some ‘possum stew.
The 1955 James Dean movie “Rebel Without a Cause” put the iconic movie star behind the wheel of a 1949 Mercury Coupe [9CM-72]. Fortunately for the car, it’s not the one he drove speeding toward the cliff before jumping out. Speaking of ill demises, the 1934 Ford V8  met an untimely and gruesome end, along with its occupants, filled with bullets and bullet holes in the 1967 film, “Bonnie and Clyde.”
In 1968 “Bullitt” hit the big screen with a Ford Mustang of the same year’s model. The car really stands out in the incredible high speed chase scene and I’m sure that auto lovers cringe at the abuse it takes as he attempts to nudge the car he pursues off of the road.
The 1967 Alan Mann Chitty Chitty Bang Bang had a starring role in the musical movie “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” bringing magic to the screen with this custom made automobile. Interestingly enough, the car was been named for the sound of the engine.
While I don’t believe they ever sang about the sound of their automobile, “The Partridge Family” certainly had a distinct set of wheels. The custom painted 1955 Chevrolet 6700-series became an icon for the show. Beginning in 1970 and for the next three years, fresh episodes of the family with their bright, primary color block bus were welcomed into American homes.
“Vanishing Point” in 1971 showed us just what the 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T was capable of. Slowing down just doesn’t seem to be an option as the car and driver speed across the country, disobeying any traffic laws, desperately trying to meet an unattainable deadline that the main character has set for himself. The insanely fast driving mixed with precision stunt maneuvers showcase the Challenger as truly bad-to-the-bone hot rod.
Powered by fizzy soda type drinks with “more gas in it than a politician” the Wonkamobile“Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” Slow moving and suds spewing all over the passengers, it might not be sought after by by fine auto collectors, but it is so unique and unusual that it’s hard to forget it once you’ve seen it. custom made fantasy automobile is nothing less than you would expect from the quirky Willy Wonka in 1971’s
From 1975 to 1979 “Starsky and Hutch” brought to the small screen their red and white 1976 Ford Gran Torino. A multitude of chase scenes illustrated how this car can handle in what I’d consider high stress situations. The car, and driver, make rear wheel slides appear effortless as though it’s how a car is designed to be driven.
“Sanford and Son”, which began in 1972 and ended in 1977 featured a faded red 1952 Ford F-1 as their transportation. While the choice of autos fit the mood of the show, one of the more unusual things about it is the sign on the door, “Sanford and Son Salvage, 2nd hand antiques, we buy & sell junk”. While Fred was never offended by calling his wares junk, it’s funny that he’d advertise as such.
Lucky for us, the year 2000 did not bring us the racing culture and events depicted in 1975’s “Death Race 2000″. The late David Carradine stars as Frankenstein and his monster was the Chevrolet Corvette Custom sometimes referred to as the “alligator”. Racing cross-country mowing down as many people as possible was the name of the game. Although the film had many custom death machines, the sleek style, ferocious teeth, razored spine, and ‘gator paint job really make this one stand out.
1978 brought us the shop class customized 1973 Chevrolet Corvette [C3] in an action packed romantic comedy “Corvette Summer”. The candy apple red, gold flake, right side drive car heated up the streets and the big screen in this wild tale of boy-meets-girl while looking for his stolen car.
“The Car” of 1977 showcased a 1971 Lincoln Continental Mark III customized by Barris Kustoms. The car was evil incarnate and terrorized an entire town in the Southwest, picking off its victims at leisure. Though I’m not certain of the specific modifications done, the car does look nearly as sinister as it acts.
So it seems we’ve moved from fast and shiny, to dark and deadly, and now we see, lets just refer to this car as “well used”. Cheech and Chong’s “Up in Smoke” made in 1978 brought to the screen a 1964 Chevrolet Impala that images of make me giggle. It’s a reminder that Hollywood doesn’t always have to have shiny flawless cars to make them stay in your memory or delight the viewer. The exterior is one thing, but the interior of this car is what I love. Upholstered in colorful, fluffy, fake fur, with ball tassel fringe around the edges, it almost makes you wonder what the person who thought up this car interior design was smoking ! Oh yeah.
While “Phantasm” chilled spines in 1979 with it’s enigmatic Tall Man and floating spheres of doom, the 1971 Plymouth ‘Cuda driven by the protagonist brothers turned heads. There’s nothing like a beautiful piece of machinery to help speed your way to safety when your life is in peril from supernatural evil. I’m just surprised, and glad, they didn’t ruin the interior by involuntary bodily functions induced by fear!
Revenge comes to the screen embodied behind the wheel of a 1973 Ford Falcon [XB] in Australia’s 1979 low budget surprise hit “Mad Max”. The “Interceptor”, as the car is called, strikes both fear and anger in the hearts of those who have pushed Max to the brink of sanity and quite possibly beyond.
“Smokey and the Bandit” made the scene in 1977 with a Pontiac Firebird Trans Am of the same year. The Bandit was flamboyant in his driving, deliberately picking up police attention to divert them from the truckload of beer. With driving skills that practically border on insanity, the Bandit utilizes the entirety of the car’s capability to do his job and elude capture.
In 1979, “The Dukes of Hazzard” first made its appearance along with “The General Lee”, a 1969 Dodge Charger R/T. The paint job is one of the most recognizable things about the car. A firey red-orange with the 01 on both sides and the Confederate Flag painted on the roof. We saw the flag often as Bo and Luke got into the car as they always entered through the open windows of the car, often one Duke sliding across the hood to get to the other side of the car to do so. The “good ol’ Duke boys” used the car in sensational ways to elude the sheriff and his deputies. It was not uncommon for them to use outrageous jumps, often suspending the film and leaving the car hanging dubiously in midair for a quick voiceover by Waylon Jennings followed by a commercial break.
In 1978, the film adaptation of the Broadway musical “Grease” graced the big screen. Although the movie is about Danny and Sandy, one song is dedicated the car, “Greased Lightning”. Throughout the movie, you’re reminded that Sandy is a “good girl” and Danny is a “bad boy”, of course until the end of the film where there’s a role reversal. It’s not surprising that Greased Lightning comes to life in two forms as well. The bright red 1948 Ford the boys sing and dance about as they put it together in auto shop, as well as the 1948 Ford De Luxe convertible in snowy white. It’s easy to make the angel and devil connection with these two cars.
“Blues Brothers” hit the screen in 1980 with it’s “Bluesmobile,” the former 1974 Dodge Monaco police car. In their “mission from God” to save the orphanage they grew up in, their wheels are the most important thing they have other than each other. The trouble Jake and Elwood can find is astounding as their journey with the Monaco escalates.
1980 was also the year that “Magnum, P.I.” first aired on television with it’s 1981 Ferrari 308 GTSi as the ride his employer allowed him to use. If he has to chase the bad guys, at least he can do it in style! Let see, Hawaii, living in the guest house at luxurious estate as head of security, a beautiful Ferrari at his disposal. Sure, Thomas Magnum solved crimes and mysteries, but you have to admit his down time had to be awesome.
“K.I.T.T.”, short for Knight Industries Two Thousand, made his first television appearance on “Knight Rider” in 1982. He was a 1982 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, the red light between the headlights between the hood and the nose was one of the more characteristic features about Kitt. Well there’s that and the fact that he talked, and thought or computed more rationally than his driver companion at times. It’s almost a shame our cars can’t tell us if our planned course of action is a good idea or bad idea.
“The Cannonball Run” hit theaters in 1981, based on a true event, yet still a wild and wacky tale about a cross-country race. Unlike the afore mentioned Death Race 2000, this race doesn’t score points for killing pedestrians. The goal is simply to be the first person to finish in the shortest amount of time. The 1978 Ferrari 308 GTS and the 1980 Lamborghini Countach LP 400S certainly seem to be more than capable and comfortable cross country racers.
“Scarface” made its mark in movie history in 1983, and with it comes the unmistakable tiger print interior 1963 Cadillac Series 62. Combining the luxurious and exotic interior with the American classic gave a minor insight into Tony’s personality. Some may say the tiger clad Caddy shows pure aggression, while others might argue that it embodies his desire to be accepted as American. Regardless, could you imagine any other auto taking its place?
On the lighter side in 1983, National Lampoon’s “Vacation” also came to the screen. Clark decides to take his family cross-country to visit Wally World theme park and spend time with his loved ones along the way. Now of course, things don’t go as planned, beginning with the car. Instead of the car he ordered, he ends up forced into taking the metallic pea colored 1979 Ford LTD Country Squire “Wagon Queen Family Truckster”. What follows is one disaster after the next, for the family and the auto.
Four different personalities and one distinct van appeared on Television for the first time in an action packed show, “The A-Team”. The van, a 1983 GMC Vandura black with a semi-diagonal red stripe, representing hope for the people in distress who needed to hire them and the image of trouble for the bad guys. Through Hollywood magic, the van miraculously survives being crashed through walls and driven off a dock.
The 1977 Ford Pinto in 1983’s “Cujo” wasn’t merely a featured car, but mostly the setting for the film. Most likely it’s the only starring role a Pinto ever got in a major motion picture! The mother and son are trapped in the car by the rabid dog, Cujo, who seems to be preternaturally aware of any attempt to leave the automobile. The owner of the auto shop is away, and her husband out of town on business thus unable to come find them, the only choice is to wait it out to see if the dehydration kills them before the dog breaks through the glass.
“Risky Business” of 1983 had the Porsche 928 as an essential role in the film. Apparently the year of the Porsche is rather hard to pin down as, like most movies, multiple cars are used. The cars range from late 70’s to early ’80s model at any given point. Car lovers I’m certain were saddened and possibly sickened by the scene where the car rolls off the dock into the lake.
“Christine” chilled audiences in 1983 with it’s tale of an evil killer car that could seemingly repair herself. The book and the movie refer to Christine as a 1958 Plymouth Fury, however the photograph presented is listed as a 1958 Plymouth Belvedere and is disguised as a Fury. In Hollywood things are not always what they seem, and Christine is certainly one of the more famous cars to grace the screen whether it be a true Fury or a Belvedere in disguise.
“Johnny Dangerously,” an old time gangster comedy, came to the big screen in 1984. Many old style vehicles were used in the film but the one I find stands out is the 1931 Ford Model A Town Sedan used as Johnny’s getaway car. They had used shelf paper to disguise the car and change its colors on the run, finally stripping away to the blue duckies and bunnies layer.
1984 also brought with it “A Nightmare on Elm Street” with it’s diabolical villain Freddy Kreuger who hunts his victims in their dreams. The 1958 Cadillac Series 62 turned into an instrument of terror as it’s convertible top closes in, revealing stripes mimicking Freddy’s sweater and the windows roll up trapping the occupants inside and drives off by itself, turning into a dream car like no other.
The hit movie, “Ghostbusters” in 1984 gave us a spectacular vehicle dubbed the “Ecto-1″ As spooks run rampant through the city, the Ghostbusters would speed to the rescue in their 1959 Cadillac Ambulance which they customized to suit their ghostbusting needs. This is certainly one of the most memorable and recognizable movie cars from the 80’s.
“Miami Vice” first aired in 1984 and had car lovers wowing over the main set of wheels. At first there was the 1972 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 ‘Daytona Spyder’ Corvette-based Replica driven by Crockett to make his undercover persona more believable. Tragedy struck later in the series when the car was blown up in the storyline. Crockett’s car was then replaced by the 1986 Ferrari Testarossa, also a very desirable ride.
The movie “The Wraith” of 1986 had audiences wowing over the concept car Dodge M4S Turbo Interceptor. As the car was a part of the vengeful spirit, it seemed to be an excellent fit, as the dark tinted glass and sleek styling made the car intimidating. Using a concept car was a superb idea on the filmmaker’s part, making it unique and easier to envision as something supernatural.
The 1961 Ferrari 250 GT Spyder California is truly a beauty. “He never drives it. He just rubs it with a diaper.” says Cameron about his father’s car when Ferris attempts to persuade him in the 1986 movie, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”. Cameron loses the argument, the car gets used and returned in good condition except the odometer shows excess miles. In a futile attempt to remove the miles, the teens jack up the rear and weight the gas pedal while the car is in reverse. Cameron then realizes he has to face off with his dad and stand up to him for the first time in his life and snaps, repeatedly beating on the car that he believes his father loves more than him. The jack gives way and the car meets it’s demise smashing through the plate glass and plummeting into the forest below; poor Ferrari.
Who could possibly forget 1985’s “Back to the Future”? The movie’s plot revolves around the time machine built into a 1981 De Lorean DMC-12 by the eccentric Dr. Emmet Brown. “The way I see it, if you’re gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?” Doc tells Marty, his good friend, when he finds out about the time machine. Only around 9,000 of the DMC-12s were manufactured and one of the more unique features of the car is, of course, the gull-wing style doors that gave the time machine a more futuristic look.
Leave it to Stephen King to bring us a terrifying truck full of toys, which he did in 1986 with “Maximum Overdrive”. The Western Star 4800 featured a huge green goblin mounted on the front over the grill, the eyes even glowed a menacing red from time to time. The truck wasn’t the only thing in the film to send chills down your spine, of course, but it did great to serve as nightmare fodder.
The 1967 Chevrolet Camaro made a rather late appearance in the movie “Better Off Dead…” with John Cusack, but was well worth the wait. The car was purchased as a fixer upper by the main character and not until he is dumped by his girlfriend does he decide to do something with it in hopes to win her back. With the help of his foreign exchange student neighbor, Monique, they transform what rested under a tarp in his father’s yard into a sweet ride.
“Batman” wowed audiences in 1989 and the look of the new Batmobile, custom built for the feature, left us nearly breathless. Wondrous built in gadgets, least of which is the voice command unit, make this vehicle a superior car and crime fighting utility for the Caped Crusader! I personally loved the sleek lines with a longer hood and shorter rear end which, to me, was reminiscent of a 70’s Corvette. Sporty enough to get the girl and armed enough to get the bad guys!
“Family Matters” began its nine year run on television in 1989 and gained popularity with the introduction of the Winslow family’s nerdy neighbor, Steve Urkel. When the time came for Urkel to learn to drive, he got his own set of wheels: A BMW Isetta 300. The car is a rear engine vehicle with driver entry through the front and can go up to 53 mph. While a still from the show was unable to be located, I was able to find a very similar model.
The Cadillac Series 62 in 1987’s “Mannequin” certainly fit the owner completely. Hollywood may not have been the star of the film but without his flamboyant gestures and hilarious antics the film simply would not have been the same. His wheels were an extension of his personality, right down to the “Bad Girl” vanity plate.
“Uncle Buck” came to the big screen in 1989 and brought with it his 1975 Mercury Marquis Brougham, smoking and rattling all the way. Uncle Buck repeatedly embarrasses his teenage niece by insisting she ride in his monstrosity. This car is proof that not all of Hollywood’s most memorable cars are sweet rides.
The 1977 AMC Pacer driven by Garth in “Wayne’s World” in 1992 was a great part of the film. The car’s paint job helped reinforce the idea that Wayne and Garth were perceived as losers striving to be cool. One of the most memorable scenes in the movie was filmed while the boys, packed in the small car, sing “Bohemian Rhapsody” complete with headbanging.
The fur loving villain in Walt Disney’s “101 Dalmatians”, Cruella DeVil had the priviledge of the sleek and classy 1974 Panther DeVille as her transportation. Cruella’s hair, half white and half jet black, mirrors the colors of the exterior of the car as well as most of her wardrobe through the film.
Although it’s not a flashy car, the Volkswagen Thing [Typ 181] used in the 1998 movie, “Overnight Delivery” is a vehicle you don’t see every day. The Thing was originally produced as a military vehicle and has a rather angular structure. Volkswagen produced the Typ 181 until 1983, but they stopped civilian sales in 1980.
In 1994 “Pulp Fiction” shocked, wowed, appalled, and most importantly entertained audiences with its non-sequential, yet intertwined stories. John Travolta played Vincent Vega, a gangster who has spent time abroad and just got his car out of storage, a red 1964 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu convertible. In one scene, in a fit of panic, Vincent wrecks the car in order to hopefully save his boss’s wife, Mia from an accidental overdose. Unfortunately, a still from the movie showing the true beauty of the car unscathed was unable to be found. However, a photo of a very similar car is presented in addition to the still so as to better illustrate the American classic.
“Days of Thunder” in 1990 had audiences cheering the fictional race car driver, Cole Trickle in his Mello Yello car as he drove around on the big screen in his 1990 Chevrolet Lumina NASCAR. Racing fan or not, millions enjoyed his story and held their breath in the gripping scene where he had to drive through the thick smoke of someone else’s wreckage. The poor car takes a great deal of abuse, as does the driver, but in the end it seems it was all worth it.
1995 we got not your ordinary buddy cop feature with “Bad Boys”. Will Smith’s character, Mike Lowrey, is a single man with a fast, expensive car that he takes very seriously as you can tell from just the opening scene in his argument with Martin Lawrence who plays Marcus Burnett, his partner. Who can blame him when it’s a 1995 Porsche 911 Turbo 3.6  that he spent more than a hundred grand on?
With the successes of previous films, Warner brothers brought back Batman in 1995’s star studded Batman Forever. With the new film came a new Batman, new villains, a new sidekick, and a new custom made Batmobile. This Batmobile seemed to have an even longer front end an areas along the hood and sides resembling a ribcage which shows off illumination presumably from the engine. Also it has a center fin in the back which the previous Batmobiles did not have.
1997 brought “Batman and Robin” to the screen with yet another new Batmobile for audiences to enjoy. Like the previous model, this one’s body seemed to have cut outs to reveal lighted colors, again presumably engine glow, but instead of appearing as skeletal as the past incarnation, this model features a bat on the front of the car.
The 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado in the 1993 thriller, “The Dark Half” was a wonderful selection in vehicles for the antagonist, George Stark. The Toronado is a winner of prestigious awards in its division, such as Motor Trend’s Car of the Year. For a man who never existed, he certainly had great taste in cars.
The furry dog disguised 1984 Ford Econoline in 1994’s “Dumb & Dumber” is certainly a stand-out vehicle. Serving as a visual gag, I don’t think much explanation is needed as to why this is a memorable vehicle.
In 1991, two women showed us the strength of friendship in “Thelma & Louise” when they took off for a girlfriend getaway in Louise’s 1966 Ford Thunderbird convertible. Along the way, they have misadventures resulting in them running from the police in a desperate flight to Mexico. When they are finally cornered with the choice of jail and a cliff, the women decide to see if the car can truly fly. The original ending stops with the car in midair, whereas an alternate ending proposes the girls manage an insane jump and get away.
“Pretty Woman”, the romantic comedy hit of 1990 used the 1990 Lotus Esprit SE [Type 85] as a bit of an icebreaker for Edward and Vivian. When Vivian gets into the car and later drives it, she not only reveals insight into her background, but also shows her fun-loving nature, as well as a hint of self-doubt with the comment about large feet. The fact that Edward is terribly bad at driving a straight drive demonstrates he has vulnerability. This United Kingdom made beauty had car lovers paying attention to more than the scantily clad woman or handsome leading gentleman, at least for a bit.
When Sam gets his first car in 2007’s “Transformers”, he is completely unsuspecting that the car is actually an extraterrestrial. Bumblebee is first disguised as a 1977 Chevrolet Camaro, who has seen better days and the radio “malfunctions”. Later, when he realizes what his car truly is, he’s perplexed at why he chose the form of such an older model. The seemingly offended Bumblebee tosses out his passenger and driver and returns transformed into the 2009 Chevrolet Camaro (concept replica) wowing not only his owner and girlfriend, but audiences as well. He returns in “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” in 2009 as the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro as they are no longer a concept replica, but available for pre-order. 2007’s “Transformers” also featured Optimus Prime, leader of the Autobots, disguised as a Peterbilt 379.
“Road Trip” of 2000 didn’t have a spectacular vehicle as the main transportation for most of the film. However, the 1989 Ford Taurus is certainly memorable, not for what it is, but for what it does. The momentary glee of making the jump as predicted is quickly taken away by the wheels falling off. As they walk away talking about getting a tow and having the axles repaired, the car bursts into flames. I also can’t help but notice the coincidence of Sean William Scott being put in the driver’s seat for the jump for this film only to later be put in the driver’s seat of the General Lee in 2005’s motion picture of “The Dukes of Hazzard”.
James Bond is noted for his distinguished taste in automobiles. It was no surprise to see him behind the wheel of the 2002 Aston Martin Vanquish in “Die Another Day”, made the same year. With all the speed, style, and sexiness we expect from a Bond car, the Vanquish certainly delivers. I do have to say, the green Jaguar XKR Mk. I chasing him isn’t too bad either.
2000’s “Gone in 60 seconds”, an action packed film about stealing cars to save his brother, has a host of exotic cars. This car is known as “Eleanor”. The 1967 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 had Memphis Raines captivated by her beauty. Memphis Raines is not alone. Since the release Eleanor has gained quite a fan base and I think it’s easy to see why.
2001 brought street racing to the big screen in “The Fast and the Furious.” Car lovers nearly had to wipe the drool away. Action packed and full of fast driving, this film kept up the pace until the ending. O’Conner first shows up driving a 1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse and shortly loses it in a race. Then he saves Toretto from going to jail in a high speed getaway and gets in his good graces, but the Eclipse later gets destroyed by an opposing street racing gang. O’Conner’s ends up getting the 1995 Toyota Supra Turbo [JZA80] as a replacement set of wheels with a little help from his friends. By the climax of the film, Toretto has pulled out the big guns and gotten behind the wheel of his 1970 Dodge Charger and isn’t afraid to show off what it can do in a final race that’s somewhat painful to watch.
2008 the live action movie “Speed Racer” came full force to the big screen with it’s insane tracks and futuristic cars filled with gadgets designed to win. The Mach 6 is designed by Pops Racer and assembled in 32 hours. Don’t let that fool you, though, it’s one mean racing machine, especially when Speed Racer is behind the wheel. This car is indeed a winner.
“Batman Begins” came out in 2005 with a new approach to a Batman film. The film was well received and the sequel, “The Dark Knight” came out in 2008. Both films used the same Batmobile, made specifically for the features also called the “Tumbler”. It was absolutely nothing like the like previous Batmobiles, with the exception of being extremely high tech with plenty of gadgetry. The Tumbler self destructs in “The Dark Knight” and its ejection sequence is brilliant. The remaining portion that Batman leaves with is known as the Batpod. While the Batpod is absolutely fantastic, I did not include it separately as I felt it is technically a part of the Tumbler.
(images via: forum-auto, imageshack, ridelust, imcdb, flickr, supernatural-cz)
“I, Robot” gave us a peek into the future in 2004. With it, they astounded us with a concept car, the Audi RSQ. Truly a sleek design, and with the wheels concealed the car almost seems to float along the ground. Obvious, the performance was a necessity for the film as Will Smith’s character, Del Spooner, rushed to save humanity from technology.
The action packed “xXx” thrilled audiences with the unlikely super agent xXx played by Vin Diesel. The 1967 Pontiac GTO he drives is more than just a pretty car, but an arsenal on wheels. We’ve seen other gadget outfitted cars in Hollywood, but this one is done in such a style to befit the rough-around-the-edges hero xXx becomes.
“The Italian Job” in 2003 had one of the most unlikely getaway cars in motion pictures. The 2003 MINI Cooper S [R53] was perfect because of it’s compact size and performance, keeping with the original 1969 movie which also used Minis. The concept of using such a small car to go where others can not is absolutely brilliant, and of course it was a great way to show off the cars!
The zany comedy “Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle” hit theaters in 2004. Harold and Kumar are harassed multiple times by the extreme sports addicts in their 1982 Ford Bronco as they are on their quest to go to White Castle. While on the run from the police and in a desperate situation, they get back at the rowdy jerks by stealing the Bronco. They find they’ve driven to the edge of a cliff while singing along to “Hold On” by Wilson Phillips which is playing from the jock’s radio. Fortunately, the Bronco has a hang glider which they use to elude capture by the police and finally reach their goal.
“Scooby-Doo” became a live action film in 2002, much to the delight of fans and children. Anyone who’s ever seen a cartoon or movie of Scooby-Doo knows the “pesky kids and their dog” drive the Mystery Machine. Although it comes in many shapes and sizes throughout the years, it’s always been easily identifiable. The movie uses two different vehicles painted the same to bring the Mystery Machine to life; one is a 1972 Bedford CF and the other is a Chevrolet G-10.
“Supernatural” television series began in 2005 with the Winchester brothers, Sam and Dean, a couple of “hunters” that travel across the country to investigate strange phenomenons. They use Dean’s car, which was passed down to him from their father. The 1967 Chevrolet Impala is one of Dean’s cherished possessions. In a later episode, Dean gets sent backward in time and meets his father at a car lot and talks him into buying the Impala. While the settings of the show change week to week, the car is a constant, beautiful, and exciting trademark of the show.