Many of us – and I point mainly to us sometimes one-dimensional, easily pleased males – attach ourselves to movies for the simplest of reasons. For me growing up, I remember several things about movies that attracted me including tough guys and cool cars. A while back I did a Phenomenal 5 on movie tough guys and tough gals. Shouldn’t it naturally follow that I now list 5 phenomenal movie cars? Now these cars are phenomenal in the sense that they really made an impression on me. In fact you could say that each was a key part of what made these movies worked. Ok, and they’re also incredibly cool and I would daydream about having one for myself. So here we go. Now as always, I wouldn’t call this the definitive list. But there’s no denying that these 5 movie cars are absolutely phenomenal.
#5 – ECTO-1 – “Ghostbusters”
The Ghostbusters major mode of transportation was the souped-up 1959 Cadillac ambulance known affectionately to fans as Ecto-1. Sure, it was a genuinely goofy-looking ride but for a young man like me – at the time – it was really cool. The undeniably unique siren and the Ghostbuster logos made the Ecto-1 a vehicle that really stood out when racing through the streets of New York City. Add the cool contraptions and modifications and you’ve got a perfectly fitting quirky car for a quirky group of guys. I just had to slip Ecto-1 on my list.
#4 – CAMERON’S DAD’S CAR – “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”
Any of us from the 80’s remembers Ferris Bueller and his day off from school with girlfriend Sloane and best friend Cameron. The movie came out in 1986 and became a classic. Ferris sets up a day trip for the three into Chicago but first has to fool both his parents and school principal. But they also need transportation. That’s where Cameron’s dad’s vintage 1961 Ferrari GT convertible comes in. The awesome fire-red sports car becomes a pivotal part of the film and not just because it’s extremely cool. I’ll forever remember Ferris slipping into the car for the first time while “Oh Yeah” by Yello plays in the background. A classic movie and a classic car.
#3 – THE TUMBLER – “Batman Begins”/”The Dark Knight”
While the first Batman movie franchise only provided us with one genuinely good movie, the different versions of the Batmobile were pretty cool throughout. But they haven’t aged well. That’s where Christopher Nolan comes in. In “Batman Begins” he introduced us to the Tumbler, a military prototype that resembled a high-speed tank more than a souped-up car. Unlike the previous movie incarnations, this Batmobile could move – zipping through freeway traffic, shooting up on rooftops, and as we see in “The Dark Knight” it has the coolest two-wheeled surprise. While the Tumbler was destroyed in “The Dark Knight” all indications are that it will be back in this year’s “Dark Knight Rises”. I can’t wait.
#2 – BULLITT’S CAR – “Bullitt“
Every movie fan has to be familiar with Steve McQueen’s Ford Mustang GT Fastback in the 1968 classic “Bullitt”. The movie was a huge success and features what many call one of the greatest car chases in movie history. The adrenaline injected scene takes place through the streets of San Francisco and goes for over 10 minutes. “Bullitt” is considered an action movie classic and it’s one of McQueen’s signature performances. But it’s also a film just as well-known for Bullitt’s smoking-hot Mustang and the car chase that set the standard for many that followed.
#1 – BANDIT’S TRANS-AM – “Smokey and the Bandit“
As a young kid growing up there was no car I wanted more than Bandit’s black 1977 Pontiac Trans-Am from “Smokey and the Bandit”. Burt Reynolds speeds, spins, and jumps from county to county with Sheriff Buford T. Justice (Jackie Gleason) hot on his tail. The jet black paint with the gold firebird on the hood was one of the coolest things this little boy had seen. I had two different Bandit toy cars that I drove all over my room and even today I would love to have one of these 1977 beauties. There have been a lot of awesome cars that have zipped their way across the big screen. But for my money none will top Bandit’s Trans-Am.
So there’s my list. I can automatically think of several cars that some would certainly put on their list. Agree or disagree? Please take time to share your favorite movie car!