There are lots of things that people look for when they’re watching a movie. A thrilling plotline, a surprising twist, swoonworthy romantic moments and a charismatic lead might be high on the list of an average moviegoer’s desires. However, no matter how much money has been shelled out for the sets, the clothes or the actors, sometimes an iconic car can be the most memorable aspect of a blockbuster, so it’s best that they’re chosen with this in mind. Here’s a look at some of the most unforgettable cars in modern movie history.
If this list makes you want to rewatch any of the car chase scenes in these movies, now might be a good time to remind you to update your car insurance policy. Click here to make sure you’ve got the best cover possible, and don’t try this at home.
Aston Martin DB5 in Goldfinger (1964)
Arguably the most memorable feature of the various James Bond installments, the original Aston Martin DB5 was driven by Sean Connery in Goldfinger. With an impressive arsenal of machine guns, a bulletproof screen, a smokescreen and an oil slick sprayer, this became known as the famous spy’s car of choice. The car was featured again in Thunderball in 1965, and then different versions were used in subsequent films.
The benchmark of an iconic car occurs when limited edition replicas are manufactured to be sold at insane prices, which is exactly what Aston Martin did in 2020. The company manufactured 25 limited edition DB5’s for $3.5mil each, and most of them sold before they were even ready to be distributed.
Audi R8 in Iron Man (2008)
The Audi R8 quickly cemented itself as the car of choice for one of the original avengers – driven by Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man. Featuring a 4.2L V8 engine, this car is able to get up to a speed of 100km/h in less than 5 seconds. After enjoying some popularity from the first film, the R8 is featured a few times in subsequent Iron Man films.
The cars in Tony Stark’s garage are featured quite prominently in the movies, as he often works on his suit while being precariously close to them. His collection includes a Shelby Cobra, Saleen S7, Tesla Roadster and a 1932 Ford Flathead Roadster.
1976 Lotus Esprit Series I in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
Another James Bond vehicle, this car is perhaps most notable for transforming into a submarine after Roger Moore shoots it off a cliff in a chase scene in the movie. The wheel arches on the car transform into fins, and a periscope allows the character to navigate underwater. Of course, this car is also well armed with the ability to fire cannons, missiles and torpedoes.
Perhaps even more legendary that this car’s original film appearance was it’s mysterious real life appearance in 1989 when a couple found it in an unclaimed storage unit that they had just paid $100 for. They found the original version and had no idea at first, but eventually they sold it to Elon Musk for almost a million dollars. It was a very lucky day for them indeed.
1970 Dodge Charger in The Fast and The Furious (2001)
Naturally, a number of impressive cars have been featured in the long-running The Fast and The Furious movie franchise, but the 1970 Dodge Charger in the original movie is perhaps the most talked about. Vin Diesel’s character drives the car in the movie when he races Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker), and he does a wheelie and a burnout at the same time. Different versions of the charger are featured in subsequent films, notably a complete remodel is used in Furious 7 – almost an off roader version.
The dodge charger is also notable for appearing in The Dukes of Hazzard TV show and then again in the movie. This one is a 1969 version that looks very different to the black version in The Fast and The Furious, mostly because it’s red with the letters 01 painted on the side, and it doesn’t have the engine sticking out of its hood.
1970 Dodge Challenger R/T in Vanishing Point (1971)
Not to be confused with the 1970 Dodge Charger, the Challenger in Vanishing Point is notable for being the car that Barry Newman drives after he makes a bet that he can drive from Denver to San Francisco in less than 15 hours (requiring an average speed of over 120km/h). As you can imagine, there are a number of car stunts performed in this movie as the character attempts to complete this challenge.