You know a movie has a great picture car when the vehicle surpasses the human actors in popularity and becomes the iconic focus of the movie instead of the actors. There have been several movies in Hollywood that featured great picture cars, these cars becoming totally inseparable from the motion pictures that they starred in.
These picture cars exemplify the importance of the vehicles used in movies. They are sometimes as remarkable as the movie itself and could as well be listed as the stars of the films. In the last decades, we have seen several of these and we will be looking at the cream of the crop of our favorite Hollywood picture cars;
The Mustang was Nicholas Cage’s greatest challenge in the 2000 movie remake of the old classic. Did you know that the original version of the movie was a yellow 1973 Mustang? The car was built by Cinema Vehicle Services on behalf of Touchstone Pictures for the movie. It was driven by Nicholas Cage’s character Memphis Raines in the closing stages of the movies and is remembered for one of the most amazing car chases in movie history. The jump at the bridge above the Police barricade was just fabulous. The original car used for the movie is now owned by a private collector.
One movie franchise that is as famous as its picture cars is the James Bond franchise. The 1964 Aston Martin DB5 007 was the car of choice that superspy James Bond drove in Goldfinger and Thunderball. Even without all the prop extras that the production team of James Bond added, the car is beautiful and sleek. However, the modifications and movie effects are what made this car an all-time great picture car. The car featured machine guns, a smoke screen and an ejector seat. Another feature that is reminiscent of today’s cars was a map display that heralds today’s GPS navigation system. Several models were made specially for the film and one was sold for $4.6 million.
The choice of a 1977 Pontiac Trans Am to be the star of the movie by Hal Needham the director was pretty much ordinary. The effect that Smokey and The Bandit which starred Burt Reynolds and Sally Field on the other hand was unimaginable. Even though the Trans Am was pretty much a stock model, the action sequences that the car did in the film made it the most popular car of the era. Not only did the sales of the car rise by more than 30,000 cars within a year of the movie release, it was also the best-selling car 1979. The distinctive features of the Trans Am used for the movie was the Starlight Black Special Edition painting, the T-Top roof and the car was actually faster and handled more reliably than the market competition. Having the screen darling, Burt Reynolds also added to the allure of the Trans Am.
Australian cars are typically as power-centric as much as American made ones. The difference in the markets also led to car makers having models in one market that are not available in the other. When the Ford Falcon was introduced to the American audience via the movie, Mad Max, the producers of the movie had already converted the muscle car into the iconic “Interceptor.” Most of the features added by the movie producers made the Ford Falcon larger than life and outfitted it with a huge engine supercharger.
The Dodge Charger is an undisputed star of Hollywood. This iconic picture car was famous in television series The Dukes of Hazzard, being the ’69 Charger “General Lee.” Another movie that featured a souped-up Dodge Charger was The Fast and the Furious, the first movie in a movie franchise that is known for its cars, both stock and custom. Vin Diesel drove a classic ’70 Dodge Charger when he raced the late Paul Walker at the end of the movie. At some point, he pushed the throttle to the limit and the Dodge Charger did a slick wheelstand and a burnout simultaneously. The Dodge Charger has continued to feature prominently in the Fast and the Furious franchise in subsequent editions either as a modified 1970 model or other stock types. Interestingly, several Dodge Chargers were wrecked while shooting The Dukes of Hazzard because of the high level of stunts required, most of them needing major repairs.
Keanu Reeves has a history with picture cars, famously riding a yellow school bus in Speed. His most remarkable picture car he’s used in a movie is the 1969 Classic Mustang that starred alongside Keanu Reeves in John Wick. The car in the movie most likely was equipped with a 390 V-8 engine which looked wicked and committed plenty of carnage in the movie. One interesting fact that emerged from the set of John Wick was that there was minimal use of computer graphics in the car scenes and Keanu Reeves attended a stunt driving course to be able to do majority of the stunt driving scenes himself.
John DeLorean crafted a stunning futuristic car made from stainless steel and even though it failed to live up to its real-life potentials, it was extremely popular as a time machine in the movie. The DeLorean became a celebrity picture car and the unsuccessful supercar is better known as a machine that took Doc Brown and Marty McFly back in time to 1955 and two more times in the movie franchise. The car has earned such a fan base that the company is still building replicas and renovating DeLoreans. The DeLorean was also recognizable for its gull-wing style doors.