Cars have been used in movies for decades, some are entirely forgettable while others become the focal point of the entire show. Whether they are a savvy product placement by a motor manufacturer or simply a model chosen for some unique trait, movie cars of all shapes and sizes can develop a massive fan following.
Some become cult classics just because they appeared in a particular feature film, they don’t all have to be heavily modified either, entirely stock production models often rise to stardom simply by being the daily driver of a popular movie star.
There are of course plenty of desirable star cars that only share the most superficial of similarities with their donor cars, equipped with rocket boosters and other fantastical pieces of kit, they too can sometimes eclipse the human actors that are supposed to be the stars of the show.
While there are many hundreds of deserving candidates, for our list we decided to focus on cars that really stood out with fans and have remained popular for years after their respective movies have aired.
The Mustang GT that Steve McQueen used in Bullitt shot to movie car greatness thanks to that intense nearly 10-minute long chase scene between it and a contemporary Dodge Charger.
The 325-bhp Mustang was actually outgunned by the larger engined 375-bhp Charger, but both cars reached speeds of over 110-mph as they raced through the harbor, city streets and finally a stretch of motorway. Steve McQueen was an avid car fan too and drove the Mustang in most of the close-up shots.
The James Bond franchise is filled to the brim with desirable star cars but there is one that feels that bit more special than the rest. It is of course the Aston Martin DB5.
It has made an appearance in several 007 films, but its first outing was in Goldfinger, where Sean Connery used its many Q designed gadgets to great effect.
Two original 007 DB5s exist but one was stolen from an airport hangar back in 1997, you would think that the super-secret 007 agent would have discovered its whereabouts by now, but its whereabouts remain a mystery to this day.
Back to the Future
Not all famous movie cars are chosen for their handling or performance. The striking DeLorean DMC-12 is a case in point.
With little over 130-bhp, it was slow and ponderous but those futuristic stainless-steel looks made it the perfect car to kit out as a time travelling machine. The stodgy handling didn’t matter much anyway, where this car was going they didn’t need roads.
The long-running Batman franchise has featured many interpretations of the Batmobile over the years. Some have been more successful and realistic than others, and the Christian Bale era introduced us to the Tumbler, a massive assault vehicle that could actually drive.
Powered by a 500-hp GM-sourced V8, it was pretty darn quick too.
The Fast and the Furious
The Fast and the Furious series has showcased just about every modified car on the planet. As the scale and scope of these overblown movies has grown, so have the range of crazy nitrous-powered cars.
Many deserve a spot on our list but we have chosen the 1970 Dodge Charger R/T that Dom drives in the very first movie. Its ability to pull massive wheelies as well as 10-second quarter mile runs may have been more fiction than fact but that is the world of F&F.
The claim that it was the fastest production car on the planet was perhaps not quite true but the black Porsche 911 Turbo that Mike Lowry drives in Bad Boys sure was ultra-cool.
The exact model was a 1994 964 Turbo equipped with a turbocharged 355-bhp 3.6-litre flat-six engine. This was good enough for a 4-second 0-60mph time and a 180mph top end. Exactly what you need when chasing down an AC Cobra.
Bad Boys 2
Mike Lowry and the gang were back in Bad Boys 2 to take down more drug lords and this time the pursuit vehicle of choice was a silver Ferrari 550. The sound of the 5.5-litre V12 is worth re-watching the movie for.
There were also some very rare American muscle cars that suffered some horrible fates in the extravagant chase scenes. The 550 survived the filming process unscathed save for a ding on a door after an actor opened it onto a concrete barrier.
The most famous V8-powered movie car may well be the Ford Falcon that Mad Max used to chase down a biker gang in the original Mad Max.
According to the Police station mechanic it was the last of the V8s and made 600-bhp thanks to a massive supercharger. The heavily modified Ford Falcon XB GT made further appearances in the sequel as well as the more recent modern remake, albeit in ever deteriorating condition.
Scent of a Woman
The Mondial Convertible that featured in Scent of a Woman did not have a very big role to play but it left an indelible mark on the movie nonetheless. Few will forget the intense scenes where Al Pacino’s (blind) character pilots the car through New York’s back roads based solely on Chris O’Donnell’s panicked instructions.
It may not be the most desirable classic Ferrari out there, but it possesses a certain off-beat appeal and has the unique distinction of being the only mid-engined, four-seater convertible ever made.
Smokey and the Bandit
Smokey and the Bandit was a massive commercial success in 1977, second only to Star Wars in overall earnings. Burt Reynolds and Sally Field may have been the central characters but the black and gold Pontiac Trans Am they drove around in became an integral part of the movie.
Sales of that model skyrocketed following the films release and the original promotional vehicle fetched almost £400,000 on auction in 2014.
The Original Italian Job
Arguably one of Michael Caine’s best roles, the original Italian Job also featured plenty of desirable exotic cars. The ones that really stood out though were the three little Minis that were tasked with carting off the stolen gold bars.
Their antics throughout the city of Turin are still some of the best car chase scenes ever filmed. The 2003 remake may have failed to recapture the original’s feel but the modern-day Minis in it were just as impressive.
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Ferris’ day off sure did include an action-packed itinerary but it would surely have been rather less exciting without the inclusion of the Ferrari 250 GT California as his choice of transport.
Most of the scenes used replicas due to the high value of the original car, a wise decision considering the sad fate of the vehicle at the end of the movie.