In the soon-to-be-released film, Need for Speed, the Ford Mustang will earn its 3,000th credit in movies and television programs. Over nearly 50 years, it has appeared in films ranging from Goldfinger and Bullitt to such TV shows as Spencer and Kojak.
Not to be outdone, the Chevy Corvette sports a similarly long resumé, and is rumored to be adding to it with an appearance in the 2014 action film, Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
The truth is, though, there’s nothing unique about cars playing big movie roles. It’s been happening for decades with countless vehicles that are fast, slow, elegant, and ugly. Car chase scenes in such films as Bullitt and The French Connection are now considered classics. And 40 years after its release, automotive buffs still talk about the role of the classic cars in American Graffiti.
We’ve collected photos of vehicles that played major movie roles. There are, of course, countless more. Tell us about your favorites in the comments section below.
Click the image below and cruise through movie history.
According to movie legend, Aston Martin was initially reluctant to part with its Aston Martin DB5 for the filming of the 1964 James Bond film, Goldfinger. As a result, the producers had to pay for the prototype used in most of the scenes. The vehicle, considered to be the most famous in movie history, provided Bond with an assortment of gadgets, including revolving license plates, a GPS dashboard, armrest controls, smoke screen, oil slick, rear bullet-proof screen, front-wing machine guns and, of course, the ejector seat. (Source: Aston Martin)
I had a Sunbeam Alpine in the late 60's. It was a wonderful car -- fun to drive, amazing cornering (it was light and well-balanced). 1600cc aluminum head inline 4 with dual downdraft carburators (tuned by ear). I once spun out on a wet curve and stripped several lug nuts, causing one wheel to come off completely. I limped into the next town on 3 nuts/wheel and found replacements... ah, the things we survive in our teenage years ;-).
The biggest downside of the car was how hard it was to find repair parts in a small town in the midwest -- this was before Fedex and UPS. The Rootes Group didn't have much of a footprint in the US in those days. But it still makes me want to go shopping for one every time I remember how much fun it was!
The second Bullitt picture is not the 1968 but the 2008-9 Bullitt Mustang that Ford produced to honor the film. It's a great car I own Serial number 6001 and have had it since new. edit: Oopps didn't see slide 9....
Those who like the Bullitt chases scene should watch a 1973 film called "The Seven-Ups." That movie has a a similar chase scene, directed by the same director. It even uses the same (very easily recognizable) stunt driver as Bullitt.
Yes, wealthy characters did have car phones in some of the old movies, Tweet. I recently saw an old Bond movie (I think it was Goldfinger) and Sean Connery was talking on a car phone from his Aston Martin.
A half century ago, cars were still built by people, not robots. Even on some of the country’s longest assembly lines, human workers installed windows, doors, hoods, engines, windshields, and batteries, with no robotic aid.
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