There are cars, and then there are movie cars. The vehicles you see up on the big screen that you never, ever forget. Here are my picks for the top five movie cars of all time.
1. Back to the Future’s DeLorean
It’s not exactly the greatest car ever made. Its mileage wasn’t great, and it was known for poor road performance. But when Bob Zemeckis and his crew turned one into a time machine for Back to the Future, what could have been a blip in the history of motor vehicles became one of the most well-known, most iconic cars of all time. Sadly, the real deal never came with a Flux Capacitor or time circuits or Mr. Fusion or those wondrous wheels that swiveled to let the car fly. (Never mind that the second movie, where most of the flying took place, was a major letdown.) It never even had those cool dual exhaust ports over its trunk. So while you can’t get your hands on a time machine, but about 6,000 of the regular edition DeLorean DMC-12s still exist. Fun fact: though the DeLorean had a stainless steel body, three of them were made with a special 24 karat gold plating!
2. The Batmobile
Regardless of what flavor you prefer, the Batmobile is probably the most bad-to-the-bone ride of all time. The Tim Burton films’ version was smooth and sexy, while the Joel Schumacher movies went for a more cartoony vibe for their Batmobile (much like Schumacher’s movies). My favorite is the Tumbler, from Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. It may have been MIA in the last movie (unless you count the camo ones Bane used), but it was the most plausible and by far the most dangerous vehicle Batman ever used. Forget “muscle car.” That thing was a muscle tank. The filmmakers liked to describe it as a cross between a Lamborghini and a Hummer.
3. James Bond’s Aston Martin
There is no cooler spy in the world than 007. His vehicle of choice has typically been a sleek, silver Aston Martin, tricked out with all kinds of gadgets and goodies. I can’t imagine anyone not wanting to get behind the wheel of one of these, and I happen to know a great way of doing just that that won’t break the bank. (‘Cause let’s face it: you don’t know anybody who drives an Aston Martin.) There are special “extreme adventures” companies you can look up, that offer the chance to drive vehicles that most people never get to drive. There’s one in Great Britain that has places all over England where you can go and pay £199 for a driving experience that includes a real Aston Martin. Check out their website if you’re interested.
4. Optimus Prime
Doesn’t matter if you’re talking about the Freightliner from the original cartoon series, or the Peterbilt 379 from the live-action movies… Optimus Prime is the coolest truck of all time. As leader of the Autobots, he’s a paragon of strength, bravery, and all that is good. He’s died more times than Jason Vorhees, but when he’s doing his thing, he’s the baddest Transformer around. In real life, production of the 379 was discontinued in 2007. It was the last semi truck ever made with an aluminum hood, got about 4-9 miles per gallon (which is considered good for big rigs), and could typically drive over one million miles before requiring major service work on its engine.
The Ghostbusters’ emergency ghost elimination vehicle was one of the most unforgettable on-screen vehicles of all time. The 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor was an unconventional vehicle that today is still the subject of much confusion. Was it used as an ambulance? Was it a hearse? Or maybe even a limousine? There are conflicting reports, so it’s impossible to be sure. In the movie, it needed a ton of work just to get it running again, but once it did, it got the team to wherever they needed to be — in serious, retro style. I bet you can hear the ECTO-1’s distinctive siren wail in your head right now, can’t you?