QOTD: What Movie Car Would You Drive?

I was channel-surfing the other night and came across the final Back to the Future movie. Now, like any child of the '80s, I like DeLoreans -- though I prefer the original to the time-machine converted since they look cleaner -- but I really, really love the Toyota pickup Marty dreams about. The same one he gets after he returns from the Old Wet.

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1989 Batmobile Listed for $1.5 Million

The Batmobile from the Tim Burton era of films (Batman and Batman Returns) is on sale, though you’ll still need access to Bruce Wayne’s fortune if you’re interested in buying. This particular movie car is being priced at $1.5 million – likely due to it being one of the more influential designs.

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1992 Land Rover Defender "Spectre" Movie Replica Created

A replica of the 1992 Land Rover Defender from the 2015 James Bond movie “Spectre,” has been created by Wilmington, North Carolina’s Osprey Custom Cars, specialists in restomodding classic Land Rover Defenders, Ford Broncos, and Toyota FJs. One of Osprey’s latest, the truck’s outward appearance is identical to that of the movie vehicle, but the similarities begin and end there.

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Bat-distraction: New Batmobile Photos Released

As the year pivots from frustrating lockdowns amid a terrifying pandemic to utter lawlessness in the streets, we’ve all probably been waking up on the wrong side of the bed on a daily basis. Today, your author roused himself feeling particularly bitter as he realized the sniffle from last night has evolved into something a little more persistent. That’s going to keep me on the sidelines while my neighbors decide whether to protest brutality or embrace it fully by ensuring another quadrant of the city is razed. Perhaps I should have splurged on a fancier pack of masks, surely then this 2020 would have all worked out in my favor.

Now would be the perfect time to share the hollow virtue-signaling coming from the leadership at Ford and General Motors, both of which have announced they’re finally ready to tackle discrimination head-on several days after the tragic killing of George Floyd. But you know that would be pointless because — and I can’t put too fine a point on this — they are automakers and nobody sane wants their corporate opinion on racial politics.

So we’re covering the new Batmobile (below the break), which was only controversial in 1995 because someone designed it to look exactly like a giant phallus (above).

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Batdance: The New Batmobile Looks Incredible

If the recent filmic handling of DC’s comic-book franchises is anything to go by, there’s little reason to presume the next Batman movie will be a good one. After releasing a trilogy of enjoyable bat films, Warner Bros. seems to have settled into some of the worst entertainment currently available at your local cinema or home streaming service — whether it be related to the Dark Knight or linked to some other DC character. The only noteworthy exception from the past eight years was 2019’s Joker, a film that was panned in the media for months before ultimately garnering critical acclaim and an Oscar win for Joaquin Phoenix’s complicated portrayal of the villain.

Little is known about 2021’s The Batman, other than the titular character being played by Robert Pattinson and the film leaning into a more realistic portrayal of his tech. While that hasn’t done much to pique our interest by itself, it has done wonders for the new Batmobile. It’s probably the most down-to-earth vehicle we’ve seen the caped crusader drive since Adam West piloted a modified Lincoln Futura in the campy 1960s comedy series. If movie cars are any measure of a film’s overall greatness (they are), perhaps this will be a decent flick after all.

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Marketing… or Messaging? Tabloid Says Bond's Going Green in Next Film

British tabloid The Sun reported this week that the next James Bond movie will feature an all-electric Aston Martin Rapide E as 007’s featured ride in an effort to give the government-sanctioned killer a greener persona. While Bond films have featured countless vehicles, Astons are typically reserved for series’ titular hero — though he has driven a weird amount of Fords throughout the years.

Developed with loads of help from Williams Advanced Engineering, the Rapide E will be James’ first electric vehicle (watercraft and moon buggy excluded) and was an intentional decision on the part of the film’s director, Cary Joji Fukunaga, to update the character. “The decision was spearheaded by the film’s new director, who’s a total tree-hugger,” claimed The Sun’s unnamed source. “He is working directly with Aston Martin to get one of their electric cars ready for its big close-up.”

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QOTD: And the Oscar Goes to …

Even those with even the slightest passing interest in Hollywood movies know that the Oscars were doled out last night at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Films are fine, but anytime a screenplay involves copious (and sometimes gratuitous!) volumes of cars, well, gearheads like us tend to sit up and take notice.

Never mind Best Actor or Best Screenplay. What’s your pick for Best Car?

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Rare Rides: The 2015 Jaguar C-X75, as Seen in Spectre

Today’s Rare Ride is a fairly elaborate concept. A project that came a long way but was not to be, in a case of much ventured and little gained.

It’s the Jaguar C-X75, from 2015.

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All Your Favorite Movie Cars In One Walmart Commercial, Plus An Easter Egg

Maybe I’m getting old, because I think most popular culture is dreck, or maybe it really is at best pablum and at worse corrosive to the mind and soul. Perhaps it’s because I don’t want to be harangued politically by someone whose profession involves lying convincingly. Whatever the reason, I haven’t watched an award show like the Oscars or Grammys in decades. I wouldn’t have even known the Golden Globes award show was taking place Sunday night if NBC hadn’t been hyping the broadcast during the NFL playoff game I tuned into to get some idea of what people who don’t live in Detroit do on Sunday afternoons in January.

Though I knew about it, as you can guess, I hadn’t planned on watching the Golden Globes. I went out to hear some blues, but the award show was on a couple of the flat screens on the walls at the Blue Goose Inn. That’s how Walmart’s new commercial promoting its grocery pickup service came into my ken. You may ask yourself, why is Schreiber talking about grocery ads at a car site? The answer to that question is that Walmart contracted with a number of movie and television studios to be able to feature a dozen genuinely iconic movie and TV cars and trucks in the ad. Get it? Movie cars in an ad running during a movie award show?

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Missing Bullitt Mustang Allegedly Found in Mexico After Hiding for Decades

Steve McQueen tear-assing around the streets of San Francisco in a Highland Green 1968 Mustang GT, hoping desperately to catch the two contract killers in a stealth black Dodge Charger R/T of the same vintage, is the standout moment from the film Bullitt. Three minutes of tension-building tailing followed by seven minutes of the most enjoyable and realistic on-screen tire-smoking mayhem ever set to jazz fusion. It is still one of the best car chases in any film, if not the best.

Sadly, as with most movie cars, the Mustang that did the majority of that incredible driving and took the brunt of the abuse vanished while the one kept pristine for the camera ended up on the East Coast in someone’s private collection. The owner of that car is notoriously secretive about it and has used it off-and-on as a daily driver, which is a shame, as the stunt car was assumed to have been sent to a junkyard and destroyed.

Then it cropped up in Mexico after having languished in anonymity for decades.

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Junkyard Find: 1986 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera Brougham

The Cutlass name was applied to so many different Oldsmobiles that you could put together an all-day Cutlass Badging Trivia Challenge and have no shortage of material. By the middle-to-late 1980s, Cutlass had become something of a sub-marque for Oldsmobile, with the Cutlass Ciera, Cutlass Calais, and Cutlass Supreme on different platforms and causing madness in subsequent generations of parts-counter guys. The Ciera (generally spelled “Sierra” by most owners, because what the hell is a Ciera?) achieved its greatest fame as the car driven by various bad guys in the excruciatingly Minnesotan film “ Fargo.”

Here’s a Cutlass Ciera — a Brougham, no less — that I spotted in Denver last week.

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Is This 2003 Cadillac Escalade Worth $119,780?

If you were to buy a 2003 Cadillac Escalade ESV near North Caldwell, New Jersey, you’d expect to shell out nearly $10,000 for an exceptionally clean ride from a dealer, according to Edmunds. Yet, this particular example of GM’s brashly designed full-size SUV sold for nearly 12 times that amount: $119,780.

Why?

Well, this one was driven by a garbage man.

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Herbie Loses A Friend - Dean Jones Dead at 84

Actor Dean Jones died this past week from Parkinson’s Disease at the age of 84. Though he had a long and fairly successful career on both stage (he and Jane Fonda made their Broadway debuts as co-stars) and screen, he found his greatest success as the likeable star of a series of family comedy films made by the Walt Disney studio in the 1960s and 1970s. You’re reading about him at a car site because his best known role was portraying racecar driver Jim Douglas in the 1968 hit movie, “The Love Bug”.

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QOTD: What Would 'The Modern Bandit' Drive?

Burt Reynolds and his 1977 Pontiac Trans Am in “Smokey and the Bandit”, complete with gold on black screaming chicken and honeycomb wheels, are solidly part of the zeitgeist of the late ’70s.

But what if they weren’t?

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QOTD: It's 1977 and You're The Bandit. Do You Buy a Trans Am... or Something Else?

We had a 1970s movie-car QOTD last week, and that was so much fun we’re doing it again! So, here we go: in the beginning of Smokey and the Bandit, when Big Enos challenges The Bandit to fetch 400 cases of that Colorado Kool-Aid, a wad of cash of unspecified thickness gets handed over for expenses, including a “speedy car.” As we all know, The Bandit headed straight to the nearest Pontiac showroom and bought himself a brand-new 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am. In the film, that car seemed to be the fastest imaginable motor vehicle (thanks to the magic of engine swaps, stunt drivers, and special effects). In reality, however, the ’77 Trans Am was kind of a bloated Malaise Era slug, and The Bandit probably had a lot of better escape-the-smokeys car choices available.

So, in his shoes and with a ’77 Trans Am-sized stack of C-notes, what car would you have bought for that run to Texarkana and back?

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  • Dave M. The Outback alternates between decent design and goofy design every generation. 2005 was attractive, 2010 goofy. 2015 decent. 2020 good, but the ‘23 refresh hideous.Looking forward to the Outback hybrid in ‘26…..
  • Lorenzo Subaru had the ideal wagon - in 1995. The Legacy Outback was a straight two-box design with rear quarter and back windows you could see out of, and was available in brown with a 5-speed manual, as God and TTAC commenters intended. It's nice they're not raising prices, but when you've lost the plot, does it matter?
  • Bkojote Remember a month a go when Cleveland wanted to create a more walkable Cleveland and TTAC's 'BIG GOVERNMENT IS THE PROBLEM' dumbest and dullest all collectively crapped their diapers? Here's the thing- look on any American highway and it's littered with people who don't /want/ to be driving or shouldn't be. Look at every Becky on her phone during the morning commute in her Tucson, look at every Brad aggro driving his 84 month loan GMC. Hell look how many drivers nowadays can't even operate a headlight switch. You expect these people to understand a stoplight? In my neighborhood alone 4 people have been rear ended at lights from someone on their phone. Distracted driving over the past 10 years has spiked, and it's only going to get worse unless Becky has an alternative, because no judge is going to pull her license when 'she needs it to get to work!' but heaven forbid she not check fb/tiktok for 40 minutes a day.
  • Scott Shouldn't the The Italian Minister for Business be criticizing The Milano for being too ugly to be Italian?Better use of resources doing that....
  • Steve Biro Frankly, while I can do without Eyesight and automatic start-stop, there is generally less B-S with Subarus in terms of design, utility and off-road chops than with many other brands. I just hope that when they adopt Toyota’s hybrid system, they’ll also use Toyota’s eCVT.