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Sometimes movie stars are not always human, although I don't believe any of these cars have a star on Hollywood Boulevard. I have compiled a list of MY top 10 favorite American movie cars. Believe me, I had many more I wanted to choose, but since it's titled top 10, I had to narrow it down, otherwise this list would be quite long. The only two criteria for a car to make this list is
A) it had to be in a movie, and not just a t.v. show, and
B) it had to be an American model car.
It of course also had to be a favorite of mine! So let's get the list started...
10) 1974 Ford Gran Torino (Starsky and Hutch, 2004)
Based off the 1975 TV series, this car was powered by a 460 ci 385 series V8. Ford built 1000 Starsky and Hutch models for the 1976 model year. With the "Viper Red" color and white side design trim, this car looks tough. More about the Starsky and Hutch 1976 models and movie versions of the car can be found at http://www.starskytorino.com.
9) 1976 AMC Pacer (Wayne's World, 1992)
Hey now, it's got flames! Really. Ok, so it's maybe not the coolest American car in a movie, but where else are you going to find a pimped out Pacer? The licorice dispenser makes it even more unique. I will admit I do sometimes wonder why I thought this movie was ever cool?
8) 1932 Ford Coupe Custom Hot Rod (American Graffiti, 1973)
Before George Lucas created Star Wars and moved to an alternate universe, he wrote and produced American Graffiti, based on a summer night in 1962. George Lucas is into hot rods, and helped design John Milner's hot rod. I'm sure George Lucas is able to afford one or possibly two street rods of his own. I should do an article on that.
7) 1970 Dodge Charger (The Fast and the Furious, 2001)
This Charger has a 440 engine with roller rockers, producing about 500 horsepower. I was a bit disappointed to find out that the movie cars did not have working blowers, but it still looks cool. It seems that working blowers were added to the original movie cars once the shooting was finished, and they were sold as collector cars. Not one of my big favorites as a movie, but the car kicks @ss.
6) 1967 Plymouth Belvedere GTX (Tommy Boy, 1995)
Most cars on this list are in cool racing or chase scenes, however this car makes the list for just how beautiful it is. OK, so it is in mint condition only in the beginning. The first time I saw this movie (and the 10th time), I laughed my arse off, but almost cried each time the car got destroyed more and more. One of the best movie scenes ever is when David Spade opens the door, it falls off, and Chris Farley says "What'd you do?".
5) 1969 Dodge Charger (Dukes of Hazard, 2005)
Since this is finally a movie, it can be included in this list (I know I am going to get flack for not having KITT on the list now). The General Lee is just an iconic symbol of the 1980's that it had to be on this list. You can't go wrong with Jessica Simpson being in the movie either.
4) 1968 390 CID Ford Mustang (Bullitt, 1968)
The Ford Mustang has starred in over 500 movies, and Bullitt has been voted by many as having the best chase scene ever, which took over two weeks to film(just the chase scene). Ford reproduced this car twice, once in 2001 and again in 2008. What makes it cool is that it is unbadged. No Ford logo, no Mustang logo, no nothing. Just a mean green machine.
3) 1977 Pontiac Trans Am (Smokey and the Bandit, 1977)
This made #3 on my list for the fact that it supposedly revived the Pontiac Trans Am and Firebird from being scrapped by GM. Sales were down to around 27,000 units in 1975, hit 100,000 in 1976, and with the help of this movie, sales hit over 155,000 in 1977. This was one of my favorite movies as a kid. I haven't seen it forever, I need to check it out again.
2) Delorean DMC-12 (Back to the Future series)
The Delorean DMC-12 is probably the most famous American car in movie history, and would be #1 on my list if it wasn't that the #1 car is the coolest looking car I have ever seen. If it wasn't for this movie series, I doubt many people would know about this car. I have never seen one on the road, have you? You can now buy newly rebuilt Delorean's, fixing all the old electrical and body problems. How cool!
1) 1967 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 (Eleanor II) (Gone in Sixty Seconds, 2000)
This car is sick! Wicked sick! Really wicked sick! The design is a 1967 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, but the actual car models were modified fastbacks. 12 were built for the movie; 2 were destroyed in movie scenes (the bridge jump and the junkyard scene), and the rest are in museums or being sold on ebay. One figure I saw was that it would not be sold for under $380,000. Each model built was different from each other, each with their own strengths for movie scenes (power, handling, looks, etc.). Nearly all movie cars were also automatics, easier for doing stunts. In the movie the car was a manual 4 speed. I saw a very good knock off at an auto show last year.
So there it is, my favorite top 10 American movie cars. What would your list look like?
About the Author
Daniel Fehn is a web designer, a huge classic car and truck fan, and a wannabe mechanic currently living in Minneapolis, MN. I designed and built timelessrides.com so I could share my enthusiasm for classic vehicles, and created the classified ads section for all to buy and sell their rides for FREE.
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