Thursday, May 15, 2008

50 Most Memorable Movie Cars Part 1

Courtesy of

A couple of quick notes before we get started. For the most part, we're only picking one car per film. Also, a car has to show up in a movie to make it on the list, so KITT and the A-Team van don't make it. And the rankings refer to how memorable a car is, not how cool it is (that would be a much different list). Lastly, a special thanks to our friends at The Internet Movie Car Database for use of their screenshots and car data.

Get Shorty
50. Chili's Minivan

Type of car: 1994 Oldsmobile Silhouette

Special features: It's the Cadillac of minivans.

Appears in: Get Shorty

On his trip out to Los Angeles, shylock Chili Palmer (John Travolta) orders a Cadillac from the car rental service, but gets this minivan instead. And Chili is so cool that by the end of the film, the Oldsmobile Silhouette becomes the "must have" car for the discerning filmmaker.

The Cadillac of Minivans

The Big <span class=

49. The Dude's Gran Torino

Type of car: 1973 Ford Gran Torino

Special features: Nihilists hate it.

Appears in: The Big Lebowski

It's rare that a car fits its owner so perfectly, but the Dude and this car are a perfect match. By the time the movie is over, it's been stolen, vandalized, crashed into a dumpster, and set on fire, but nonetheless, the Dude abides.

The Big <span class=

48 Hrs.
48. Jack Cate's Cadillac

Type of car: 1964 Cadillac DeVille Convertible

Special features: Doesn't look like a cop car at all.

Appears in: 48 Hrs., Another 48 Hrs.

This beat-up Cadillac has definitely seen better days, just like its owner. What's really sad is that even with access to Reggie's stolen drug money, Jack spends 25 grand to get another beat-up old Caddy in the sequel.

48 Hrs.

Better Off Dead

47. Lane's Camaro

Type of car: 1967 Chevrolet Camaro RS/SS 350

Special features: Muddy Waters theme song, attracts French exchange students

Appears in: Better Off Dead

Lane Meyer (John Cusack) has hidden this gem under a cover in the driveway for far too long. But his hot new friend Monique helps him get it running again so he can get a taste of winning.

Better Off Dead.

The Muppet Movie

46. Fozzie's uncle's Studebaker

Type of car: 1951 Studebaker Commander

Special features: Custom paint job

Appears in: The Muppet Movie

What better car for a cross-country trip than an old Studebaker? Okay, so there are a lot of better cars, but considering that it's Kermit the Frog and Fozzie Bear taking the trip, this car fits them pretty well.

The Muppet Movie

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45. The Van

Type of car: Customized Chevrolet Step Van

Special features: Tail fins, custom "organic" paint

Appears in: Cheech & Chong's Up in Smoke

Imagine you have a van. Imagine it's made out of marijiuana (just go with us on this one). Who do you get to drive it? If it's 1978, then the answer is Cheech & Chong.

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The Car

44. The Car

Type of car: Customized 1971 Lincoln Continental Mark III

Special features: Demonic possession, George Barris design

Appears in: The Car

George Barris customized this Lincoln for a film about an evil car that's terrorizing a Southwestern town. And this car may look familiar to those who have seen Bender turn into a werecar on Futurama.

The Car

Vanishing Point

43. Kowalski's Challenger

Type of car: 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T

Special features: V8 Hemi, good for playing "Ship's Mast"

Appears in: Vanishing Point, Death Proof

The Muscle Car Era inspired a lot of car chase movies, including this one about a cross-country car delivery that turns in to a multi-state car chase. The iconic Challenger was also seen in Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof, used in an exciting game of "Ship's Mast" (don't try that one at home, kids!)

Vanishing Point

Little Miss Sunshine

42. 1973 Volkswagen Transporter (Type 2)

Type of car: 1973 Volkswagen Transporter (Type 2)

Special features: Bench seats, detachable door

Appears in: Little Miss Sunshine

The Hoovers have a few problems with their VW Bus: a broken clutch, a stuck horn, and a door that comes off. Writer Michael Arndt says that all of those problems happened to his own family on a cross-country trip while he was a kid.

Little Miss Sunshine

Gone in 60 Seconds

41. Eleanor

Type of car: 1973 Ford Mustang Mach 1

Special features: Can survive really, really long chases

Appears in: Gone in 60 Seconds (1973)

The original Gone in 60 Seconds had no script, and no real actors, and it shows. But none of that really matters in light of the 40 minute chase scene at the end of the film. That's where Eleanor, the only real star of the film really shines.

Gone in 60 Seconds

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