Everyone remembers Steve McQueen’s 1968 Mustang GT 390 in Bullitt, we all know the 1964 Aston Martin DB5 Sean Connery drove as James Bond in Goldfinger and Thunderball, and the 1973 XB GT Ford Falcon in The Road Warrior is familiar too. While those cars are some of the most badass and beautiful rides to ever grace the big screen, there are so many more movie cars you should add to your automotive dream list. We’ve rounded up seven such cars, so pop some popcorn, find yourself a copy of these films and kick back for some beautiful cars and great movies.
1965 Jaguar XKE hearse (Harold and Maude – 1971)
It was a flop at the box office, but this film featured a beautiful Jaguar XKE that the depressed, fake-suicide obsessed main character Harold modified to resemble a hearse. The XKE was a beautiful car before Harold got his hands on it, and even after he’d made it look like a hearse it was still pretty darn cool. According to legend, Enzo Ferrari called the Jaguar XKE “the most beautiful car” when it first appeared at the Geneva Motor Show. Featuring a 4.2-liter I6 engine that generated 265 hp and 283 lb-ft of torque, the car would have been a heck of a lot of fun to drive even if it was modified to look like a hearse. Since the film’s release date, it has garnered a legion of dedicated fans, and proves to be one of the oddest films we enjoy watching.
1971 Lincoln Continental Mark III (The Car – 1977)
Speaking of odd films, how about a movie featuring a possessed car that terrorizes a small town in Utah? Any movie titled The Car better have an automobile worth remembering, and the customized, black 1971 Lincoln Continental Mark III sure is memorable. Perhaps the most terrifying thing about the whole movie were the car’s headlights, which penetrated you with an unfaltering, unforgiving and almost disinterested gaze as the rest of the massive Lincoln ran people down, shoved them off bridges, caused explosions and other kinds of mayhem.
1950 Mercury Monterey (Cobra – 1986)
Another big, scary-looking black car was the customized 1950 Mercury Monterey in the Sylvester Stallone action flick, Cobra. The only thing that isn’t cool about this car is the vanity plate that reads “AWSOM 50.” While the film isn’t exactly Oscar worthy, the car chase scenes are, and the Mercury Monterey has us wishing we could get behind the wheel and take advantage of the big V8 under the hood. Although it first appeared as a luxury car, after watching this film you’ll only ever see it as the big black ass-kicking coupe it is in Cobra.
1948 Tucker Torpedo (Tucker: The Man and His Dream – 1988)
The movie Tucker: The Man and His Dream follows a car designer in the late 1930s and 1940s. It’s a compelling biographical film about Preston Tucker (played by Jeff Bridges) and his automotive dreams. While the focus of the film is on the man, the Tucker Sedan – commonly known as the Tucker Torpedo – is reason enough to watch this film. The car was innovative for its time with interesting safety features and modern styling. The car featured a centered, third headlight that swiveled to shed light around corners, a rear engine, pivoting fenders, disc brakes and a pop-out windshield that would eject in the event of a crash. Although the car was innovative and we’d love to drive one of the 51 Tucker Torpedoes ever made, the Tucker Corporation was a pretty big failure. The film met with critical acclaim, but also didn’t make much money.
1962 Elva MK VI (Viva Las Vegas – 1964)
By far Elvis Presley’s best film, Viva Las Vegas placed the King of Rock n’ Roll behind the wheel of one of the coolest sports racers of all time – the Elva MK VI. The tiny, but fast little car featured a 1.1-liter four-cylinder engine, which produced around 90 hp. Even less Elva MK VI’s were produced than the short-lived Tucker Sedan. Only around 30 were made.
1975 Shala Vette (Death Race 2000 – 1975)
Death Race 2000 was a dystopian action flick set in the year 2000. It’s about a dangerous and violent transcontinental road race. While there are tons of amazing cars in this film, the Shala Vette is the one that stands out to us. The Shala Vette was created by Dick Dean, an automotive designer and customer car maker. It was built on a shortened VW Beetle frame and looked like a cross between a dune buggy and a small race car. The version of the Shala Vette in Death Race 2000 took its unique styling a step further decking out the car to look like some kind of monster, complete with teeth and headlight eyes. If you’re in the mood for fast cars and lots of destruction don’t pass this film up.
1958 Plymouth Fury (Christine – 1983)
This film adaptation of the Steven King book of the same name is a great ‘80s horror film. It’s about a teenager who develops a strong relationship with a 1958 Plymouth Fury. After a while the car turns out to be evil and its influence rubbed off on its owner. While Keith Gordon’s performance is great, it comes short of the automobile he loves so much. The 1958 Plymouth Fury still haunts our dreams both in a good way and bad.