Cars are not usually featured front and center in movies, though there are times we do see this in a prominent role, like the animated film “Cars”. Vehicles will usually play pivotal roles in films, which wouldn’t be the same without them. Without a fleet of tech-enhanced vehicles, James Bond’s action-filled missions would be a lot less thrilling. In the same vein, Batman would not be as menacing a vigilante without if he pulled up on a villian on his bicycle.
Without the now-iconic car pursuit involving a Dodge Charger and the 1960s Ford Mustang, the Steve McQueen movie “Bullitt” just wouldn’t be as spectacular.
The vehicles listed below contributed so much to the films they appeared in that their impact went beyond the movie itself and became a part of the overall culture. Many are involved in chases, but just remember that you never want to drive like this in real life or you may need to hire a car accident lawyer.
You may immediately think of the van in the series “The A-Team” or KITT from David Hasselhoff’s “Knight Rider”, but we don’t mention them here because they were based on their appearances on television.
“Herbie” – 1963 Volkswagen Beetle
Herbie lives in the hearts of many, but first appeared in the 1960s comedy “The Love Bug” as the film’s primary character. It wasn’t your average Bug though. It was recognizable for being white, with red and blue racing stripes. The lovable Volkswagen would go on to appear in six movies in total. Its impact was so great, you will see look-a-likes to this day.
“Ecto-1” – 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor ambulance
Ecto-1 was the name of the classic vehicle that got the team of ghost catchers around in the 1980s classic “Ghostbusters”. It was an extremely modded Cadillac.
The 1959 Caddy Miller-Meteor ambulance had huge tail fins and a huge front end with a shiny grille. The Ghostbusters added all their gear to the vehicle, which measured in at 20-feet long. Who you gonna call?
“Wet Nellie” – Lotus Esprit S1
The half car, half submarine “Wet Nellie” makes an appearance in James Bond’s 1970s “The Spy Who Loved Me”. It was a fantasy-inspired car built on a Lotus Esprit S1. It was so popular that Elon Musk bought one and tried to make it a functional submarine.
The filmmakers created a version to work on the road and one for underwater. Both looked awesome!
1973 Ford Falcon XB GT Pursuit Special
This one appeared in the original “Mad Max” and was referred to as the “last of the V-8s” by a mechanic in a future dystopia Earth.
The iconic movie made the customized 1973 Ford Falcon more than just a movie prop, but a moment in pop culture.
1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder
The gorgeous red 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder is widely remembered for its appearance in the classic 1980s comedy “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”. It being destroyed is one of the movie’s most unforgettable sequences.
It is an extremely rare car, with just under 40 units made. One of these sold in 2015 for nearly $17 million dollars.
1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans AM
The Firebird will be forever linked to the 1970s picture “Smokey and the Bandit,” starring Burt Reynolds, which was a box office smash. It spawned a film trilogy, but it was arguably the cars, not the actors that people remember the most.
The Trans AM with the winged firebird emblem on the hood became so popular after this movie hit the big screen.