By on February 21, 2019

Ronnie’s piece yesterday on the Bandit car that couldn’t be got me thinking. But not about famous cars of Hollywood cinema, mind you. Not about an impeccably dressed Steve McQueen tossing and bouncing a Highland Green Mustang over the streets of Jefferson Airplane-era San Fran, nor about a lawless-but-amiable Burt Reynolds running defence for a rig full of suds in his ’77 Trans Am. American Graffiti? Nope. Christine? Forget about that turd. Gone In 60 Seconds, version one or deux? Nada. Not even the schlockfest The Car registered in this tired brain.

My thoughts turned, instead, to movie cars that do not get movie-loving car nuts worked up into a froth. Film stars in their own right that, sadly, don’t get enough credit. You’ve probably got a few of these overlooked, four-wheeled matinee idols rolling around in your mind right now.

The choices are endless. However, as the better part of my childhood was spent watching old shows and movies on an 8-channel Sony TV (sports involves risk, you see), yours truly’s most indelible automotive memories come from the decade of disco, polyester, and brougham barges.

So it’s no wonder that I have a fondness for the 1972 Ford Custom 500 piloted by one Inspector Harry Callahan near the finale of Magnum Force, in which a suddenly straight-laced Callahan battles the dastardly Lieutenant Neil Briggs while trying to pilot two tons of sliding steel around the mean streets of San Francisco. As a youngster, my fascination with that movie didn’t end with the .357 Colt Pythons popping out of every holster in sight. “A car can take that much punishment and abuse?” little Steph wondered, mouth agape.

But even that car is too cool. A more famous movie vehicle, one which appears in nearly every frame of the film, is a vehicle chosen from the very beginning for its lack of appeal. Its focus was on affordability and fuel economy, not its ability to pull off photogenic burnouts and quick quarter miles. It is the 1970 Plymouth Valiant in the film Duel. That red Valiant sedan is as much a character as its emasculated driver, Dennis Weaver, the 1955 Peterbilt pursuing it through the SoCal desert, and its unseen (or barely seen) driver. The car was chosen to serve as the tepid, mild-mannered vehicular embodiment of its owner.

A recent documentary I watched on the making of Steven Spielberg’s breakout 1971 film contained numerous juicy tidbits. Filmed in just 12 days for an ABC TV audience, Duel is a brilliant, minimalist tale of roadbound terror, subtly soaked in the social issues of its time. It’s also a master class in film editing.

Depending on which Duel you encounter, it’s either 74 or 89 minutes long. After garnering much critical acclaim on TV, footage was added to pad the movie to feature film length. Universal released it overseas the following year. Two Valiants, both red (obviously), were used for the initial filming, one a 1970 model with a 318 V8, the other a ’71 model with a 225 cid Slant Six. Tires skinnier than a late-60s British clothing model came standard. For the theatrical release, new footage was needed, so a third Valiant appeared in the unseen credits: a ’72 Slant Six model.

Apparently, if you watch the movie beginning to end, you’ll see no other red car. That’s no accident. Spielberg wanted the loafer-wearing Weaver’s car to stand out.

As the sedate conveyance of a hen-pecked and conflicted salesman who finds himself locked in a battle to the death with an unseen stranger and his seemingly demonic diesel tanker, the trio of Valiants did their job. Like men, they’re fallible and have Achilles heels (like poor roadholding, languid acceleration, and overtaxed radiator hoses) but, like most cars of the 1970s, they’re also resilient. Just as the driver can overcome mounting hysteria and reclaim his long-buried primal nature, the Valiant can get underway after overheating and suffering a roughly 30 mph front-end impact.

Of all the movie cars that don’t get enough credit for making the film memorable, this one (well, these three) stands at the top. What’s your choice?

[Images: Ford, The Malpaso Company/Warner Brothers via IMCDB.org, Universal Pictures via IMCDB.org]

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128 Comments on “QOTD: Overlooked, but not Forgotten?...”


  • avatar
    burnbomber

    The driver–Dan Aykroyd as Joliet Jake driving a 1974 Dodge Monaco aka the Bluesmobile. This one is pretty mainstream and on tv quite often.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bluesmobile#/media/File:Bluesmobile_at_House_of_Blues_Dallas_-_3-4_view.jpg

    There’s a whole series of them destroyed in this movie, The Blues Brothers. One of my favorite car scenes ever, and the shot with the destroyed Bluesmobile is thought worthy.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Yep, “Blues Brothers” is another Movie where the car doesn’t get enough credit. The movie chase scenes were filmed in my home town (Park Ridge, Il.) and in a couple of scenes I’ve even caught glimpses of my grandparent’s house

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    “Duel” is an even better short story then it was a movie, to this day if a semi is following too closely or for too long my thoughts go immediately to “Duel”. If you ever get the chance to read “Duel” do, because the written story is far more exciting then the movie

    One of my favorites and I have a lot is the Lincoln from “Animal House” which to me is the real star of the movie

    • 0 avatar
      carguy67

      I’ve actually had a couple semis try to run me down in my old Austin-Healey. I think the drivers were pissed–and maybe had taken one-too-many ‘little white pills’–when I passed them going 15MPH up grades. Going downhill, it was all I could do to stay in front of them while watching for smokies; knowing full well they couldn’t slow if I had to.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      But you can’t take the car Otter, Fred wrote the mileage down he wants it back by Sunday!

  • avatar
    psychoboy

    I was really hoping this was headed towards Duel when I made the jump.

    So, since that’s been taken, and the Family Truckster and the Not-Lebaron from Planes, Trains, & Automobiles are too obvious, I’ll go with Arlo Pear’s black Saab 900 from Moving.

    It’s a great movie anyway, but Dana Carvey and later Richard Pryor really put the car in the spotlight.

  • avatar
    scott25

    Jake Ryan’s red 944 in Sixteen Candles is one of the most iconic 80’s movie rides but always is overshadowed by the fake Ferrari in Ferris Bueller.

    It’s best known from the show but I guess it shows up in the newer remake movies, but the Masato’s Alpine A310 in Neon Genesis Evangelion is as cool as it gets for animated cars

  • avatar
    scott25

    Misato’s*

  • avatar
    A Scientist

    I don’t know if this fits the criteria of the question, but I’ll stick with the movie Christine and give a nod to Dennis Guilder’s ’68 Charger. Mostly, because I always felt like if I was Dennis, every time Arnie started bragging about Christine and how awesome his car is (supernatural demon powers notwithstanding) my response would have been “Dude, I drive a B5 Blue ’68 Charger, s*ck it!” LOL.

    Honorable mention would be the ’67 Belvedere GTX from “Tommy Boy”. God what a gorgeous car. I wept to see it completely destroyed throughout the movie.

    • 0 avatar
      MoparRocker74

      THIS. A ‘68 Charger rocking Cragars is probably the ultimate trump card when it comes to street cred.

      As I remember from the book, Dennis’ car was a Duster…another potentially solid choice.

      • 0 avatar
        A Scientist

        Yeah, in the book Dennis had a Duster. Still a solid choice, but I’m glad they went with the Charger for the movie.

        • 0 avatar
          ToddAtlasF1

          It was actually a major change to the story. The book was set in 1978. Dennis’ Duster was a very responsible three year old economy car. Replacing it with a 1968 Charger on mags would be like replacing a character’s 2016 Toyota Corolla with a stickered up 2005 Mustang today. Dennis was not some greaser street racer that should have been driving a noisy old hot rod.

          • 0 avatar
            MoparRocker74

            Duster isn’t anywhere close to comparable to Corolla. A 4-door Valiant…sure. Maybe a Celica or Scion TC since theyre related but its obviously a sportier variant. Difference is, a Duster could be a sensible coupe or a total monster in top trim.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            I’m old enough to remember. The Duster was Plymouth’s best seller for a while, maybe Chrysler’s. My grandparents drove one, before switching to a series of Toyotas including two Tercels and a Corolla. Dennis’ Duster did not have a V8. It was just a responsible car in a popular body style. Two doors ruled the ’70s, just as four doors now do in the economy car world. My own academic parents had a ’66 Coronet 440 2 door hardtop and a ’71 Scamp during the period when being an associated professor didn’t put you on the receiving end of unlimited student loan payola. Only the Duster 340 was any different in demographics or use from a Corolla sedan today.

    • 0 avatar
      MoparRocker74

      Speaking of Christine… Id love a reboot using a customized red 300S. I think that would be the perfect modern interpretation.

    • 0 avatar
      ToolGuy

      “It seems like nobody likes my car these days.”

      – Arnie Cunningham

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    The Slant-6 Valiant in Duel is an excellent choice.

    Two more suggestions:
    1. The Porsche 928 in Risky Business.
    2. The (fake) Ferrari 250GT in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

  • avatar
    Ermel

    I’ll vote for the, to say it in the movie’s words, “fine Hudson automobile” in Driving Miss Daisy.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Anyone remember the Pontiac Tempest/LeMans in Gene Hackman’s ‘The French Connection’?

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      How about the Rolls Royce in ‘Eat My Dust’, featuring Ron Howard? (Ok, I may be mis-remembering but near the end I recall the car being taken into a demolition derby and that ‘red-hot race car’ would have been relatively unnoticeable in there.)

    • 0 avatar
      Heino

      Yes, thank you. I was amazed as to the abuse it took. Also, the Lincoln Continental MK VII(?) was very classy. I would also like to nominate all the cars in Repo Man. Good soundtrack too.

  • avatar
    EGSE

    The Valiant in Duel has a special place in my automotive heart, having had a string of A-bodied Mopars, two of which had the leaning tower of (modest) power slant six.

    The Ford pickup in Mister Majestyk. The scene where the Native American woman friend of “that melon-picker” Charles Bronson puts on an eye-popping driving performance to further the defeat of the mobsters from Denver.

    ANY vehicle Cheech and Chong drove while filled with smoke from an improbably-huge doobie. Ahh, those midnight movies at the Student Union where the line waiting to get in looked like it was on fire…..

    The Firebird driven by James Garner in “the Rockford Files. The not-a-superhero that nevertheless prevails .

  • avatar
    kenwood

    The opening credits for Superfly features a continuous running shot of a 1971 Cadillac Eldorado fully pimped out by Les Dunham bobbing and weaving down the streets of NYC to the fantastic beat of Curtis Mayfield. That car gave me my love for Cadillacs.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    BMW 503 in The Last Run.
    Pontiac GTO and 55 Chevy Gasser in Two Lane Blacktop.
    Aston Martin DB5 in Goldfinger and several others.
    Munster Koach and Dragula in Munster Go Home.
    Batmobile in Batman (1966).

  • avatar
    MoparRocker74

    No mention of Kowalski’s Challenger? Easily one of my favorite movie cars. I think it’s not so much the car that’s under appreciated, but the whole movie. The LX Challenger has been out for over 10 years now, so that movie is crying out for a reboot using the current car.

    Another is the Sam Raimi car: ‘73 Olds 88 that has shown up in supposedly every movie he’s made starting with Evil Dead.

  • avatar
    DEVILLE88

    The Pontiacs of the French Connection movie, specifically the Ventura and the Grandville? I am amazed at those drivers mannaged the 3 ton plus machines.(i’m getting old i used to daily drive a 73 Grandville)

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Chitty Chitty Bang Bang… (A story written by Ian Fleming BTW)

    • 0 avatar
      ToolGuy

      Winner!

      Any car is better if you have fabricated some of the parts yourself.

    • 0 avatar
      gottacook

      As someone who has owned the original edition of the Ian Fleming book since it came out, I need to make clear that the movie (written by Roald Dahl) has nothing at all to do with Fleming’s story. It has not one single character in common, except for the car. [The central people in the book are a conventional family of four, Caractacus Pott and his wife and two kids, who bear no resemblance to the three Pottses in the movie. No goddam Truly Scrumptious, et al.] And the songs are all cast-offs from Mary Poppins, or may as well have been. If Fleming had been alive at the time, he’d have been very disapproving of the result.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        I read the original story for fun in 6th grade.

        Movie was fine for family entertainment.

        Let’s not forget that Roald Dahl hated that he was known for his children’s books. He would have preferred to have been known for things he wrote for publications like Playboy.

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      I’m more of a fan of the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang racing cars built by Count Zborowski in the 1920s.

  • avatar
    boozysmurf

    Logged in for the first time in forever for this one.

    Principal Dan’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is brilliant. That’s dead on. But for me, it’s…

    The Dodge M4S Turbo Interceptor from “The Wraith”.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    The 73 Pontiac Ventura in the The 7-Ups. They filmed the final crash scene near where I grew up. My dad happened to be commuting home that afternoon on the Taconic parkway. He gets home and says “Man you should have seen the accident on the parkway”. “Somehow an 18-wheeler made its way on to the parkway and a driver crashed into it”. Then on the evening news we found out that they were filming a movie. Being Gene Hackman fans from the French Connection we all went to see it when it was released months later.

    Also the Volvo 122 Amazon plays a part in All the presidents men. Nerdy journalist drives Volvo, makes sense.

  • avatar
    EGSE

    The Weiand-supercharged “last of the Interceptors” in Mad Max (an Aussie Ford Falcon V8).

  • avatar
    whynotaztec

    The convertible falcon in repo man

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Esprit vs Mustang and Fury-Dip, “Basic Instinct”, 1992.

    No fake engine sounds, real deal, and Sharon really can drive a stick! The Mustang is an automatic, but they do some real damage to them. It looks like they used an older, ’70s Esprit for the (Roxy) crash.

    They did launch the Mustang with some serious air, but a large skid-plate is seen. And there’s no way they didn’t hot-wire the fuel cut-off, Inertia Switch with all the banging around it took.

    Grand Marquis vs Caprice, “To Live and Die in LA”, 1985. Peterson does a surprising amount of stunt driving in it, but laughs ‘it was saved for the very end of filming’.

  • avatar
    don1967

    The ’67 Impala in the teen-heartthrob series “Supernatural” is not exactly overlooked, but what deserves special mention is the way it brings fathers and daughters together. When my youngest was a teenager we enjoyed many a bowl of popcorn together thanks to that car.

  • avatar
    DEVILLE88

    Ok the very best looking car ever designed…………….Speed Racers Mach 5(the cartoon version)i salivated as a kid watching that car!!

  • avatar
    Roberto Esponja

    Cheech Marin’s 1964 Impala in Up In Smoke:

    https://youtu.be/x3G9G2Jj_BA

  • avatar
    Russycle

    The Munster Mobile deserves some love, since it kind of got it’s own episode when they turned it into a dragster.

  • avatar
    xflowgolf

    The glowing ’64 Malibu of Repo Man.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    Who could forget Herbie the Love Bug?

    http://lists.monstersandcritics.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/herbie-the-love-bug.jpg

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    As a young lad, my life would have been 100% complete had someone dropped off ‘The Fall Guy’s’ GMC Sierra K2500 in my driveway. I would gladly take one today as well come to think of it, it is really hard to go wrong with a lifted square body GM truck.

  • avatar
    carguy67

    The (real) Minis in the (original) English armored-car–or was it a bank?–heist movie, whose name escapes me at the moment.

  • avatar
    readallover

    The 1965 Black Imperial driven by Bruce Lee – Black Beauty – in The Green Hornet.

  • avatar
    whynotaztec

    Egads all the Canadians on this site and you have not mentioned Ricky’s car from TPB – a New Yorker I think?

    • 0 avatar
      readallover

      My first thought was of Brent`s Olds Cutlass on Corner Gas.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        God I wish Corner Gas was on Netflix.

        I watched almost all of it after the original series was run but the re-runs were still showing on Canadian TV while I was living in Detroit.

        That was also the only time I regularly watched hockey on TV because the Canadian announcers actually knew what they were talking about.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Its on Amazon Prime.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            @28 – thanks man.

            I’m a Prime Member and have a Fire TV but Amazon has resisted making it easy to separate the paid/free video content.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I noticed it was in my suggested list but I haven’t watched it. I have a newer LG so the app came built in and I am a frequent user.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            My use is a 50 inch TV that was a revelation when it replaced a 32 in CRT RCA.

            Having a 4 year old girl in the house and Netflix means I’m more familiar with My Little Pony. Momma and I started Downton Abbey but haven’t been able to finish it.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        Or Oscar’s Pontiac Phoenix.

        One of the best lines in the series is when Constable Karen Pelley shouts out in The Ruby (their coffee shop), “who here is driving a pick-up with a cracked windshield” and the entire place empties out.

        • 0 avatar
          Maymar

          Not a Phoenix, but an Omega – it seems the Leroys were an Oldsmobile family. For that matter, the couple of times I visited Saskatoon, there seemed to be an abnormally high amount of Oldsmobiles, even a decade after the brand was shuttered.

  • avatar
    4drSedan

    Eddie Murphy pulls up in a Porsche 356…

    Nick Nolte: I didn’t know your people went in for foreign jobs.

    Eddie Murphy: Some white a–hole had just bought the last shi++y sky-blue Cadillac.

    48 Hours

  • avatar
    StudeDude

    Most of the cars driven by Mannix—customized Tornado convertible, customized Dodge Dart convertible, both done by George Barris.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    Neither a movie or a TV show, but the official video of the song “500”, performed by Lush, features a red Fiat 500. It’s not often you hear a pop song written about a car, especially one written by a woman. Emma Anderson, the dark haired woman in the video, wrote “500” and many other of Lush’s songs, and is also Lush’s primary guitarist.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    The Porsche 917s and Ferrari 512s in “LeMans”.

  • avatar
    Russycle

    Wow, we got an Ian Fleming mention but no Bond-mobiles? Aston Martin of course, but I have a huge soft spot for the Lotus from…For Your Eyes Only? Before it exploded. And despite its bloat, Sean Connery cruising a Mach 1 through Vegas was cool.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Steve McGarrett’s Mercury Marquis Brougham from Hawaii Five-O.

  • avatar
    SilverCoupe

    In the recent film “The Shape of Water,” there is a scene in a Cadillac dealer with two 1962 Cadillacs – and a third 1961 Cadillac with “1962” on the license plate. I guess they could not come up with three 1962 Caddies on short notice.

    And, not surprisingly, I also “collect” ’63-’65 Rivieras in movies. “Roadhouse” is my favorite, but there is also one in a recent Nicolas Cage movie about the devil.

  • avatar
    VWGTI

    The bone-stock 1968 Ford F-100 in Mr. Majestyk. They beat the hell out of that truck and it just kept on going.

  • avatar
    mikey

    I’m surprised nobody has picked Walt Kawalski’s Patina 68 ?? F150 ..We never saw much of the Gran Torino in actual action.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, boat-tail Riviera.

  • avatar
    Russycle

    The original Columbo, nearly every episode featured shots of the well-to-do villain’s Jaguar, Porsche, Mercedes, etc. And of course, the lieutenant’s ’59 Peugot convertible is an icon.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Honorable mention: Matching black rental Lincoln Town Cars driven by Martin Blank (John Cusack) and Grocer (Dan Aykroyd) in Grosse Pointe Blank.

  • avatar
    3XC

    Roy Munson’s 72 Cutlass in Kingpin.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    Those 1972-74 Plymouth Satellite police cars used in countless movies and tv shows of the period. With the 440 they actually damn fast.

  • avatar
    SoCalMikester

    to live and die in LA, B-box chevy and the grand marquis.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Man, I was born in Huntington Beach when it was a real nice place. In fact, Cali was a real nice place back then.

      The stories I hear from the people who cashed out of Cali and moved to AZ, NM, CO and TX make me thankful I don’t have to live there.

  • avatar
    Spike_in_Brisbane

    Hannibal 8

  • avatar
    ptschett

    The brown Cutlass Ciera from Fargo. (Gotta get that True-Coat don’t-cha-know.)

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Lou: The last vehicle that the trooper cited was a tan Ciera at 2:18 am. Under the plate number, he put DLR–I figure they stopped him or shot him before he could finish fillin’ out the tag number. So I got the state lookin’ for a Ciera with a tag startin’ DLR. They don’t got no match yet.
      Marge: I’m not sure that I agree with you a hundred percent on your policework there, Lou.
      Lou: Yeah?
      Marge: Yah. I think that vehicle there probably had dealer plates. DLR?
      Lou: Oh geez

  • avatar
    burnbomber

    This shows my age; in the early 60’s there was a JDM tv series called Ultraman. A version is produced to this day, but that early 60’s version was broadcast here in the States in dubbed English. The show had a cast of swat team hero types, and their car–

    Was a 1st generation Chevrolet Corvair, 4 door sedan.

  • avatar
    burnbomber

    Other cars in tv shows from my youth–

    Broderick Crawford in a police drama “Highway Patrol”. Wikipedia says the patrol cars in the early episodes were actual California Highway Patrol vehicles. This is in the late 50’s, and I remember Ford patrol cars. Wiki says early episodes featured a 55 Buick Century 2-door patrol car built exclusively for the CHP.

    The Jeep “NellyBelle” in the Roy Rogers Show. Also from the 50’s. Roy Rogers was huge in the early 20th Century, with his wife Dale Evans and horse “Trigger”.

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    Chevy Chase’s Lancia Beta Coupe in ‘Modern Problems’ was memorable. Something tells me that the writer or director had one.

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    The RV From Hell from “Tango & Cash.”

    Blade’s ’68 Charger.

    Rally Vincent’s ’67 GT500 from “Gunsmith Cats.”

    The armored Boss 429 Mustang/MN12 Thunderbird from “Knight Rider 2010.”

  • avatar
    SaulTigh

    Inspector Sledge Hammer and his faithful, if slow, Dodge St. Regis.

  • avatar
    CarnotCycle

    The Dude’s ~’73 Gran Torino from Big Lebowski.

    Ask someone about “the car” in Big Lebowski, and they probably think of the Corvette that Walter assaulted, and will also recall the Corvette owner assaulting Lebowski’s car in return, but hardly anyone knows what Lebowski’s car was.

    Two things from the movie: one is when Lebowski – drinking a beer and smoking spliff – puts the Torino up onto a fence driving in a residential, and the second when the police note stench of urine and missing Credence tapes after the Gran Torino got stolen, scream “Gran Torino Lifestyle” circa 1991 in a way that is cinema gold because its so true.

    The particular Gran Torino in Lebowski was destroyed later on in an X-Files episode. Lame.

  • avatar
    wayneoh

    Love the 49 Buick from Rain Man…..Very stylish.
    Then the 55 Chevy and the GTO from Two Lane Blacktop, attitude plus.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Steph, thanks for the introduction to Duel – somehow I have never seen this – that gap in my education is now filled.

    So Spielberg knew way back in 1971 that Plymouth would not survive as a brand, and that self-driving trucks would replace over-the-road truckers. This was his unheeded warning to civilization.

    No red cars!!!

    My grandmother had a 1973 Valiant – as a young driver I got nominated to drive it 200 miles home pending a desperately-needed overhaul of the 4-wheel drum brakes. At least twice on that trip I was terrified that I would not be able to slow enough to make room for the car which had just merged onto the interstate 1/2 mile ahead of me (no joke).

    At the same time, my young mind grappled with the idea of the front torsion bar suspension – it seemed elegant yet impossible.

    My other grandmother had a 1973 Impala similar to the sheriff’s vehicle. I learned to drive in a 1973 Impala wagon much like the one which passes Mann in the middle of the road (there was a little sliding door on the Chevy distributor cap and you could adjust the points on that car with it running – seemed smart compared to my Ford).

    The Dolby artists on the film could’ve added a *lot* more slant six solid lifter tick for realism – also that distinctive Mopar starter sound.

    Serious question for someone who might know: Why would the scale on the Valiant alternator gauge read from -40V to 40V? (Future-proofing for 42V system and missed it by 5%?)

  • avatar

    For me it is red ’63 Dodge Dart convertible driven like crazy by Dick Shawn (Sylvester) from “It’s a mad mad mad mad world”. The funniest movie ever made still watch it often given that I have two (!) Blue Ray disks.

    I also like Imperial and black police Dodge Darts from the same movie. I saw this movie first time in theater when I was 9 years old. Cars and car chases looked too good to be true.

  • avatar
    gottacook

    I love that Terry Gilliam’s adaptation of Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas used the exact cars described in Hunter Thompson’s book (even though not identified by model year in the book): a 1971 red Impala convertible and a white 1970 de Ville convertible in the first and second halves of the story.

  • avatar
    Maymar

    I was going to make note of how Edgar Wright has used early 2000’s Impreza WRX’s multiple times (the ending of Hot Fuzz and the start of Baby Driver), but then Shaun of the Dead also had a glorious Series III Jag XJ, and The World’s End had a suitable Ford Grenada (and they all have other decent or well-cast vehicles in other small roles).

  • avatar
    MoparDave

    <My favorite–the car chase from 1990's "Short Time'….

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CE2i08S3YeY

  • avatar
    80Cadillac

    How about the GM concept cars in the 1993 movie “Demolition Man”? In particular, the GM UltraLite, which was used for the police cars. I remember lingering and analyzing the UltraLite for about half an hour at the Detroit Auto Show (NAIAS by then), and found it inspiring. A few years later, I did order a ’97 4-door, 4-cylinder GEO Metro (Suzuki Swift), with power steering and AC deleted, but with a 5-speed, tachometer, nicer seat trims, and top-line CD/radio. The motor had one tiny belt to run the alternator, and I could change the oil without raising the car. 55 MPG all day on a trip, and I think the worst I ever saw was 38 MPG on a tank of winter gas in city driving. (North Carolina)

  • avatar
    nrd515

    The Brewster Green Trans Am John Wayne drove in “McQ”. It made me want a Trans Am very badly.

    The yellow(I saw it yellow dozens of times over the years), but really green Charger in “Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry”. Sad to see it wasted at the end. I like it much better in Yellow.

    And there is a Hemi ’71 Roadrunner in some terrible prison flick, that I can’t remember the name or stars of now. Blue with white stripes. They show the engine for a couple of seconds in an early scene. Later on, the warden, I think it was, finds his car gone, stolen by 3 escaped prisoners. The one’s GF was super hot, but a terrible actress. I think that was her only movie.

  • avatar
    mcs

    Don’t forget the Challenger vs. Charger scene in Death Proof.

  • avatar
    multicam

    Billy Warlock’s Jeep Laredo CJ in Society.

  • avatar
    Erikstrawn

    The Mercury Cougar George Clooney drives in the intro of From Dusk Til Dawn.

    Keanu Reeve’s Chevy Caprice in A Scanner Darkly. Even Roto-Scoped you can identify the Quadrajet.

  • avatar
    HelloWorld

    Sonny Crockett’s white Testarossa.

    From what I understand, Enzo Ferrari himself was annoyed by the show’s producers using a fake Daytona in the first (one or two?) season(s), so he supplied them with a black Testarossa.

    Which the show’s producers had repainted because in white, it looked way better in the night shots of Miami.

    Or so the legend goes.

  • avatar
    Blackcloud_9

    My vote goes for the Opel GT in the opening credits of Get Smart! As a kid I had no idea what kind of car that was, I just knew I wanted one!

    *Game Show Announcer voice*…And for $250 and a chance for the Kenmore washer/dryer combo, what were the two previous cars shown in the opening credits?

  • avatar

    Those Valiants/Darts were actually some of the better handling American cars of the era. No, they weren’t Lotus Cortinas but by the standards of the day, they were decent.

  • avatar
    Marc Ramsey

    Hmm, when I was a kid out in Boston, the cool cars were Emma Peel’s Lotus Elan, John Steed’s Speed Six Bentley, The Saint’s P1800, John Drake’s Mini, and, of course, Number Six’s Lotus 7. Y’all didn’t get those shows on your TV boxes?

  • avatar
    kinsha

    How about Burt Reynolds big ole brown Ford in Gator – or the god awful cartoony corvette in Corvette Summer

  • avatar
    Wodehouse

    The ’66 Impala from Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry
    The Stutz IV-Porte driven by Michael Keaton from Night Shift
    The Mustang Sportsroof from Mr. Billion

    The very brief cameo appearance of the ’77 Cadillac Seville that was fashion coordinated to the Madeline Kahn character’s pantsuit is something that I’ll never forget.


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