30 Awesome Rides From Some Of Hollywood's Most Iconic Movies

OMG February 18, 2019 By Hugo

For obvious reasons, it's usually the actors that take top billing in the entertainment business, but some movies have been made iconic and stood the test of time because of the cars in them. 

Wikimedia/Schmendrick

From Steve McQueen's delightful 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback in Bullitt to James Bond's famous fleet of Aston Martins, cinema has made these cars even more desirable. 

With that in mind, we've compiled what we think are the coolest 30 cars in movie history. Enjoy!


1. Corvette Summer

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Remember Corvette Summer? It was a 1978 adventure film which starred a young Mark Hamill who had to get this beautiful car across vast stretches of desert. It was quite possibly the most 70s movie of all time!

The Corvette, which takes top billing in the title, is a stolen right-handed drive Stingray that sees Hamill embarking on an epic adventure to retrieve it. An overlooked classic, Corvette Summer is well worth checking out, both for the motor and the hilarious plot twists!


2. Grand Prix

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Motorsports is one of the more trickier sporting events for television audiences to enjoy as the cars are going at such speeds you need a variety of lenses and cameras to convey the intensity and speed for those not there. However, today's cameraman have it easy compared to when John Frankenheimer filmed the classic 1966 movie, "Grand Prix." 

As you can see by the photo above, the techniques used to capture the races was, in many ways, death-defying, leading the acclaimed American director to remark years later, "When I look back, I don't know how the hell we ever did that film."


3. Duel

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Duel was a made-for-television-movie directed by a then little-known director by the name of Steven Spielberg. The screenplay was penned by the I Am Legend author, Richard Matheson.

The riveting premise sees a salesman and a truck driver chase each other through a desert highway. The driving is of the highest order and culminates in a breathtaking finish that will leave you reeling. 


4. Drive

YouTube/ Driving Sprots TV

Ryan Gosling's performance in Drive may have been laconic, but his role as a getaway driver and on-set stunt driver was also one of the coolest and most assured performances of his career.

The Nicolas Winding Refn action drama included a 1973 Chevrolet Malibu and a 2011 Ford Mustang GT. Fun fact: The Chevy Malibu was really a Chevelle with a Malibu trim option.


5. John Wick Chapter 2

Wikipedia/ Matt Morgan

Keanna Reeves came back for second picking in John Wick chapter 2 in a bid to once and for all eliminate the various assassins out to get him. Whilst the film is rich in action from the get-go, car enthusiasts no doubt noticed that Mach 1 Mustang.

Other classics included a 1970 SS 454 LS6 Chevelle and a 1968 Dodge Charger. Sweet.


6. Hell or High Water

YouTube/ CBS Films

If you haven't seen this movie, then go and see it! A relative unknown indie despite starring names such as Chris Pine and Jeff Bridges, this slow burner slowly got critics talking after a relatively muted debuted at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.

Like many movies containing cars, the plot consisted mostly of bank robberies and the getaways that ensued. In this movie, the premise involves two brothers robbing their local banks in a bid to save their family ranch. With an array of uber-cool vehicles, from the green Dodge Challenger to 70s sedans and Ford pickup trucks, this is certainly a movie for the ardent car enthusiast. 


7. Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
YouTube/ YouTube Movies
Now this is a cool car! The 2006 American sports comedy featuring Will Ferrell and Adam McKay featured so many twists and turns you almost wondered if the movie was directed by a car! An ode to the relegated pastime of stock-car driving, the numerous chase scenes in this movie alone make it worth your time.
 
If you needed any more motivation to see this flick, then you'll probably like to know that Leslie Bibb, Ricky Bobby’s voluptuous blonde wife, is also in the movie.

8. Tucker: The Man and His Dream

Wikipedia/ Rex Gray

Another Jeff Bridges film is the 1988 American biographical film Tucker: The Man and His Dream. A must-watch movie for motorheads, the story chronicles the life of Preston Tucker and his effort to construct and market the 1948 Tucker Sedan.

However, the car's journey was riddled with accusations of stock fraud though the film itself was far from fraudulent and has since gone down as a classic in the genre of automotive cinema. 


9. Baby Driver

YouTube/ Columbia PicturesPhils

One of the more recent movies to make our list, Ansel Elgort and Kevin Spacey took this high-tempo thriller to a whole new level in the much-acclaimed 2017 crime drama Baby Driver.

Much like Drive, Baby Driver features a handsome getaway driver working for criminal enterprises. He then finds himself in a daily road race with those eager to bring him down. The Edgar Wright film was a huge fit, bringing in $226.9 million at the box office. For those interested, Elgort's character drives a Japanese classic, the Subaru WRX.


10. Gran Torino

Shutterstock/ Sergey Kohi

Clint Eastwood went back to doing what he does best when he starred in the vigilante movie Gran Torino. Named after the titular car, Gran Torino is very much a personification of Middle-American identity and the ever-changing role of masculinity and increasingly lack of respect for our elders.

Just like the car itself, Eastwood’s performance proved that his talent as an actor and filmmaker would never go out of fashion .


11. Deathproof

YouTube/ DeFilmBlog

Remember Deathproof? It may not be as known as other Quentin Tarantino works, but the 2007 American exploitation horror film was actually pretty good and it's surprising how poorly viewed this film is when poorer works of his are more acclaimed or at least popular.

Starring Kurt Russell, the film's premise sees two women stalked by a stuntman who uses his deathproof cars as instruments in his killings. The cars Tarantino used were a 1970 Chevy Nova and a 1969 Dodge Charger. Sound picks.


12. The Italian Job

YouTube/ HD Retro Trailers

We couldn't not include this beloved film now, could we? A classic in every sense of the word, the original Michael Caine movie with the Quincy Jones soundtrack saw a London con take on one last job in Italy before driving away into the sunset. The role would see Caine, and his cohorts steal $4 million dollars from the Italian mob and escape in a fleet of amazing Mini Coopers.

Also included in the film is the signature Italian Lamborgini Miura as well as the Aston Martin DB4. If you're a lover of cars and you haven't seen this film, what have you been doing with your life?!


13. Mad Max 2

YouTube/ Warner Bros Pictures

While a film set in the desert with a cast driving like maniacs doesn't sound like your typical critical smash, Mad Max 2 proved a success at both the box office and with the critics.

As for the cars? Well, there isn't many, but those men dressed in erotic-like leather drive some seriously cool army vehicles. That's literally it. But it's so compelling and downright impressive that we had to include it on our list.


14. Speed

YouTube/ 4thmealisgood

Not Need For Speed. But Speed. It's got the 90s written all over it which is why this movie is so awesome. It has everything, from a young Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves to explosives, trucks and Denis Hooper wiring an explosive to a vehicle that will explode the moment it drops below 50mph!

Cue a series of intense chases and nail-biting scenes that will leave you, quite literally, gripped to your seat. 


15. Taxi Driver

Shutterstock/Leonard Zhukovsky

Like Speed, Taxi Driver doesn't exactly contain any cool cars with v-12 engines, but it does contain some awesome movie memorabilia, the main one being the taxi itself. 

In an all-star cast including Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, and Cybill Shepherd this 1976 Neo-Noir directed by Martin Scorsese tells the story of a lonely, down-and-out taxi driver in New York City who seeks to clean the swamp of New York by turning into a violent vigilante. For those with a keen interest in New York cabs, the one featured in the movie is a Checker Cab.


16. Christine

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It goes without saying that Stephan King is one of the finest horror authors of our time and one that the likes of H.P. Lovecraft would be happy to share a glass of wine with would he have been alive. Yes, the greats can find extraordinary evil things in the simplest of places- just take the movie adaptation of Christine.

While the premise may sound threadbare, the all American 1958 Plymouth Fury is a killing, stalking machine, feasting on anyone that is unfortunate enough to come into close contact with it. 


17. James Bond Franchise

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The iconic British super-spy from literature and film has been a mainstay in popular culture for 65 years now and is one of the biggest earners on the silver screen. A whole slew of actors has portrayed the character, with Daniel Craig appearing to enter the last leg of his stint as the world's most popular spy.

A mainstay fixture in popular culture, Ian Fleming's fictional creation has spawned a host of movie adaptations, but it hasn't only been Bond's smooth-talking ways and effortless charm with the ladies that have made him the ultimate male stud. You only have to take a look at his long love affair with Aston Martins to see that Bond has just as much style on the road as he does ordering a shaken, not stirred cocktail in a dimly-lit bar 


18. The Cannonball Run

YouTube/Jonathan Froes

Beautiful female characters. Sexy sports cars. Need we say more? Well, for the uninitiated, The Cannonball Run is a classic flick from the 70s that is based on a yearly US street race that goes from coast to coast. The ‘Run is it's called is a high-octane tribute to the freedom of the American highway, with a series of amazing cars making appearances alongside star actors Burt Reynolds and Farrah Fawcett. 

A perfect blend of high-speed race chases and classic humor, the choreography and acting is pure class and is a classic movie you can watch on lazy Sunday afternoons or with friends before a big night out. 


19. Rush

Wikipedia/ Lothar Spurzem

Set in 1976 this Formula One racing drama directed by Ron Howard proved a tour de force in automotive cinema, with every racing scene captured in the most visceral way imaginable. For those not that aware of Formula 1's prized history. Rush was based on an intense rivalry between handsome showboat James Hunt and the more serious but successful Niki Lauda. It was this unique rivalry that led to argubally the greatest Formula One season of all time in 1976.

With well-paced race scenes, heated dialogue on the track and the occasional crash, Rush is an excellent piece of cinema. 


20. American Graffiti

YouTube/ MovieClips

We've had Steven Spielberg's first movie featured on our list, and now we have George Lucas’s first full-length film, American Graffiti. Despite being overshadowed by a sci-fi behemoth know as Star Wars, this car movie had everything a motor enthusiast could want in a movie about cars. From the exploration of car culture itself to first love and fighting against growing up, this quirky coming of age drama is a hidden gem in the vast cannon of Lucas's more famed works.

Actor-turned director Ron Howard took the lead role alongside Suzanne Somers, but it is a young actor by the name of Harrison Ford who steals the show. Well, aside from the glorious array of vintage cars.


21. Two For The Road

YouTube/ Irene Xandra

Two for the Road was a 1967 movie about a couple in the South of France. Aside from being unnaturally beautiful, they also own a stunning Mercedes-Benz 230SL Roadster. And that's not all. The characters, played by the late Albert Finney and Audrey Hepburn, also own a fleet of other luxury cars from an MG TD and Triumph Herald to a VW Microbus, and Ford Country Squire.

Directed by the impeccably smart and legendary auteur Stanley Donen, this movie couldn't get more stylish even if it tried. Tom Ford, eat your heart out. 


22. Vanishing Point

Shutterstock/ tratong

If you haven't seen Richard C Sarafian's brilliant 1971 feature Vanishing Point you're in for a treat! The film centers on a delivery driver who prides himself on his efficient delivery of hot rods- even if it means daily highway duels with tailing cops.

Barry Newman, Cleavon Little, and Dean Jagger lead an all-star cast in a movie that is so good it even has a 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T in it! Car fanatics will be hard-pressed to contain their excitement! 


23. Bullitt

Wikimedia/ lglswe

Competing in the prestigious LeMans race, Steve McQueen was the antithesis of a petrol head, and he took his love for the fast lane to some of his roles, with performances in high-octane dramas such as Bullitt and Getaway.

However, critics often rank Bullitt, a movie about a police officer defending a pivotal witness from a pair of hitmen, as one of the actor's finest performances. In the movie, McQueen drives a 1968 Mustang GT. Much like the car, McQueen was, and still is, a true icon. 


24. Thelma & Louise

Shutterstock/ Barry Blackburn

Thelma & Louise is a classic, but it probably isn't the first movie that springs to mind when petrolheads think of movies with awesome cars. A story of two best friends who go on the run from the police, Brad Pitt's beautiful face and Susan Sarandon give argubally the best performances of their career in his underappreciated classic.

Also starring Geena Davis and Harvey Keitel in supporting roles, the movie makes the list because of the beautiful 1966 Ford Thunderbird featured in the film. Is it as beautiful as Brad Pitt? Of course now, but it's certainly a beauty most of us would be lucky to own.


25. Smokey and the Bandit

YouTube/ YouTube Movies

Ask any crazed car enthusiast about Smokey and the Bandit, and they'll tell you that it's a classic- and for good reason. Burt Reynolds plays a famous bandit, and legendary driver who smuggles loads of Coors from Texarkana to Atlanta but not before regulalry colliding with a pesky sheriff played superbly by Jackie Gleason.

Then you've got the witty dialogue between Reynolds and Sally Field, but it is Sheriff Beauford T. Justice that is the real comedy genius. A perfect film with suspense, funny dialogue, and explosive highway scenes, this movie is the definition of an automotive movie done well.


26. The Last American Hero

Wikipedia/ CZMarlin

The Last American Hero is an ode to NASCAR driver Junior Johnson. and stars Jeff Bridges and Valerie Perrine. Taking in the rural localities of the bendy North Carolina roads, The Last American Hero is very much a triumph against adversity story which sees the protagonist's father sent to prison for moonshining.

It's this family tragedy that motivates Bridges's character to turn his love for racing into a full-time career A motivating story crammed full of high-speed cars and punchy dialogue, this film is one of the greatest movies of the 1970s. The cars in the movie include a beautiful 1972 AMC Matador, a 1962 Buick LeSabre and a rare 1957 Cadillac Fleetwood. 


27. Thunder Road

YouTube/ 1967pmdgto

Arthur Ripley's delightful drama-crime film about a Korean War veteran retreating to the mountains to take over the family moonshining business has all the trappings of a great gangster piece.

And with crazy mobsters hot on the tails of the protagonist's illegal business, you have a film loaded with many cool scenes, including car chases involving a gorgeous obsidian black 1951 Ford Two-Door sedan.


28. Fast & Furious Franchise

YouTube/ watchmojo

For whatever reason in this sick and twisted universe, The Fast & Furious franchise (or FFF, as I will now refer to it as) is one of the most popular movie series' in the world right now because apparently, the world can't get enough of muscled bald men driving cars fast until something explodes.

Anyway, there's definitely going to be at least 10 of these intellectually challenging blockbusters alongside a spin-off series with Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham in what we can only assume to be a homoerotic buddy cop type situation and the last two films in the main strand of the series were expected to come out fairly soon with FF9 being originally slated for 2019.


29. Rebel Without A Cause

Wikimedia/GeneralOmega911

James Dean was some guy, wasn't he? He could look good in a beat-up pickup truck and still look a million dollars, but a guy of his caliber should only be seen in the smoothest rides, as he was in the brilliant young adult drama Rebel Without a Cause.

While the movie's premise lies in themes of family dysfunction and the mundanity of suburbia, cars play a significant role in this classic, especially in the scene where Dean and a high school bully play a game of chicken in the second act. A classic in every sense, Dean no doubt stole the show, but the 1946 Ford Super De Luxe is a noteworthy support act.


30. Dukes of Hazzard

Wikimedia/Schmendrick

The Dukes of Hazzard is a classic. The comedy romp follows Cousins Bo, Luke, Daisy, and their Duke Uncle Jesse as they come to blows with those in charge at Hazzard County, including Boss Hog, namely Sheriff Coltrane.

Starring Seann William Scott, Johnny Knoxville, and the gorgeous Jessica Simpson, even non-car lovers will admit that the beautiful red 1969 Dodge Charger, or General Lee Charger as it was called in the movie, was the real star of this picture.


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