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Top 10 Cars In Films (Feature)

HTF look at the top ten cars used in the movies.

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With the recent DVD release of ‘Jack Reacher’, you may have seen the TV spots of Tom Cruise slamming around Pittsburgh in his classic Chevrolet Chevelle SS. This got us to thinking. We like the Chevelle but what is the top car used in films? We’re not talking about “made for movie” stuff like the Tumbler from ‘Batman Begins’ or the Landmaster from ‘Damnation Alley’. We want to find the best car that you can buy with real money and pretend you’re the star right now.

Optimus Prime

10. Peterbilt – The Power – $70,000/$100,000 USD

Used in: Transformers, Duel, Death Race

The quintessential American truck. With it’s huge protruding engine and 18 wheels to lay the power down, this is the impressive, terrifying road hog that is the backbone of the modern world. The staggering mass of the Peterbilt makes it no question why Steven Speilberg chose it for his antagonist in the 1971 psychological thriller, ‘Duel’. But as we all know, with great power comes great responsibility, and so back it came some 35 years later a changed truck. Swapping sides from bad to good, the Peterbilt returned as Optimus Prime in Micael Bay’s ‘Transformers’. The reboot of a franchise came with the reboot of an American icon.  What was once the hard working scruff has become a stunning show piece.

Checker Cab

9. Checker Taxicab – The Psychopath – $5,000/$25,000 USD

Used in: Taxi Driver, Heavy Metal, Escape From New York

If watching movies has taught us anything, it’s that only insane killers drive Checker Taxicabs. The very best of Hollywood and indie film stars have graced the Checker before deciding to go killing. From that of the mentally unstable Robert De Niro in the mind shattering ‘Taxi Driver’, to convict pair Ernest Borgnine and Kurt Russell in John Carpenter’s dystopian sci-fi ‘Escape From New York’. The innocence and common place of these cars can often lead to unexpected outcomes for their passengers.

Wraith Corvette

8. Chevrolet Corvette – For Kids! – $20,000/$90,000 USD

Used in: Wraith, Corvette Summer, Transformers: The Movie

Nothing brings out the big kid in anyone like the Corvette. That’s probably why it’s in so many cartoons. The corvette is more of a style over substance car, with Trax from the original Transformers loving the look so much he’d rather be the car than a robot! It was also the car of choice for everyone’s favourite nut case, Charlie Sheen. Proving it car even be driven by ghosts in the 1986 ‘Wraith’. The stupidity of the Corvette is something to love in it self, and rather fitting that it features in the most stupid film of all, ‘Birdemic: Shock and Terror’.

James Bond Aston

7. Aston Martin DB5 – The Bond – £250,000/£450,000 GBP

Used in: Goldfinger, Skyfall, The Cannonball Run

No Top Ten list of cars could be complete without a Bond car in there, though at the price DB5s are going for it only just makes it. The price of these beautiful cars is only ever going to go up so if you have the money then you might as well. The original Bond DB5 came onto the market recently at a price of £3 million. The owner was forced to sell it after his net-worth shrank from £780m to £460m. Poor him, NOT!.  A favourite of Bond fans, the DB5 was brought back for ‘Skyfall’, the newest edition to the franchise. The best use of the car is of course in the cross country race film ‘The Cannonball Run’. The car is raced by Seymour Goldfarb, a man who thinks he’s Roger Moore, and is played in the film by Roger Moore.

Italian Job Mini

6. Austin Mini – The Brit – £3,000/£15,000 GBP

Used in: The Italian Job, Bourne identity, Mr Bean

Just as patriotic as the last if not a bit more frugal. The mini is a British icon, which is why it was used in the 1969 Michael Caine film, ‘The Italian Job’. Its association with the common man combined with it’s light weight and small size make it a rather effective get-away car. Whether you’re a gang of lovable thieves or a wanted ex-US operative like Matt Damon, The Austin mini will get you from one side of a city to the other in the fastest possible time. The party piece of the mini being its size, it can go where other cars can’t. Usually paths and stairs with the occasional sewer pipe thrown in for good measure.

Smokey

5. Pontiac Trans Am – The Bandit – $10,000/$20,000 USD

Used in: Smokey and the Bandit, The Driver, Knight Rider

A favourite of man’s man Burt Reynolds, driven by the stetson wearer in 4 different films, the Trans Am is everything you need if you’re going to be breaking the law. With its incredible ability to outwit local law enforcement, this is the car of choice for your illegal shenanigans. This car is also the final antagonist in the film ‘The Driver’. The fast paced car film that is responsible for the popular video game franchise ‘Driver’ so it has serious merit in the annuls of car chase history. But just when you’re about to go and plan a robbery, the law bites back with it’s very own, super intelligent Trans Am in the form of KITT, from ‘Knight Rider’. Driven by David “The Hoff” Hasselhoff it seems the requirements to drive such a car include having a mullet and an extremely hairy chest.

Ronin

4. BMW E32/E34 – The Professional – £1000/£5000 GBP

Used in: The Transporter, Ronin, Safe House

Nothing scream pro like a German saloon car; whether you’re a salesman or a smuggler, an executive or a terrorist. These amazingly sturdy cars will get you the recognition you deserve. They can also take one hell of a beating, an obvious fact after watching Ryan Reynolds and Denzel Washington smash one up by having a fist fight, inside one, during a car chase in ‘Safe House’. What the BMW lacks in engine size, compared to it’s american rivals, it makes up for in the skill of its drivers. These cars are large, and yet they can still be whipped around european towns and cities like anything. Though apparently they can’t outrun Robert Di Nero in a Peugeot. Must of been all that time he spent in a New York cab.

DeLorean

3. DeLorean DMC12 – The Icon – £15,000/£25,000 GBP

Used in: Back to the Future, Back to the Future: Part Two, Back to the Future: Part Three

No car is more synonymous with a single film than the DeLorean DMC12 is with ‘Back to the Future’. A product of John DeLorean’s dream to build super cars in Ireland. The project died after its creator was found in a hotel room covered in cocaine and hookers. With its signature stainless steel bodywork and gull wing doors, this modern design masterpiece is instantly recognisable, made all the more desirable by its rarity, and its rock and roll origins.

Drive Angry Charger

2. Dodge Charger – The Bruiser – $20,000/$50,000 USD

Used in: Dukes of Hazzard, Bullitt, Death Proof, Drive Angry, Fast and Furious

Nothing says US muscle like the Dodge Charger. The 440 engine (or 7.2 litre in new money) had so much torque that the it could perform burn-outs in all four gears. The car was made popular, and had hundreds destroyed, by the insane stunts of ‘The Dukes of Hazzard’ where it served lovable hillbillies Bo and Luke Duke. But give that thing a black re-spray and it becomes the most terrifying baddy car in the world. It chased after Steve McQueen in Bullitt’, it murdered people at the behest of Kurt Russell in Death Proof, it ferried Nicolas Cage around after he came back from hell in ‘Drive Angry’, and it launched Vin Diesel straight into the path of a freight train in ‘The Fast and The Furious’. If you see a black Charger coming towards you, your not going to have a good time.

Bullitt Mustang

1. Ford Mustang – The Legend – $10,000/$150,000

Used in: Bullitt, Gone In 60 Seconds, Death Race, Drive, Dukes of Hazzard, Last American Hero, Diamonds are Forever, Toyko Drift

Over 50 years and 500 film appearances make the Ford Mustang the greatest car on film. Already popular, its appearance in ‘Bullitt’ as Lieutenant Frank Bullitt’s undercover car made it so sought after. The ‘Bullitt’ edition fastbacks going for the most. CGI is used a lot in modern movies, but in 1968, director Peter Yates took the coolest car, put the coolest man in it, and got him to chase the second coolest car (according to our list anyway) through the hilly streets of San Francisco. The result is what many deem the best car chase ever filmed.

6 year later, the humble owner of a scrapyard and car enthusiast, H.B. Halicki, thought he could do better. He took his 1973 Mustang out for a spin and came back with a film called ‘Gone in 60 Seconds’ that included a 40 minute car chase in the Ford. These two, combined with every other film featuring a mustang are what have made the Ford Mustang the most popular car in the entire world.

Scimitar

-1. Reliant Scimitar – The Underdog – £500/£3,000 GBP

Used in: Universal Soldier, The Most Fertile Man in Ireland

Although not officially on the HTF list of top ten film cars, we feel the Scimitar deserves to be mentioned. And having one owned by HTF’s Adam White, we’re just the right people to do it. Built in middle England, the Scimitar tries ever so hard to compare to the big Americans. It’s 3 litre V6 engine and fibre glass body has the potential for greatness but its build quality somewhat lets it down. Favoured by the British elite (Princess Anne had one, don’t you know) it was used in George Lazenby’s 1971 flop ‘Universal Soldier’. The actual car used was Lazenby’s personal ride. The Film, that Lazenby quit James Bond for, was a disaster and as there is no DVD release, it’s unlikely that many will ever see it. We’ll leave you with what it possibly the campest car chase ever made.

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