- Service & Repair
Chicago—June 2, 2006—While hundreds of cars have made their way to the silver screen, the Cars.com editorial staff ranks the following starring models as the top 10 movie cars of all time. From cars with such notable features as a Flux Capacitor to those with voice-guided navigation systems, Cars.com took a look at all the distinctive features that made these cars some of the most memorable in movie history.
No. 1 1981 DeLorean DMC-12, "Back to the Future"
Drivetrain: 1.21-gigawatt nuclear/electric hybrid with five-speed manual transmission; rear-wheel drive
Notable Features: Gull-wing doors, 16-port twin exhaust boxes, Flux Capacitor
This was an overwhelming choice for voters, and why not? Doc Brown's smoke-spewing DeLorean achieves time travel at 88 mph, thanks to a lithium-powered nuclear reactor and onboard Flux Capacitor. By the end of the first movie, it runs solely on trash - and flies. That's still futuristic two decades after the movie debuted. Sure, the ignition seems to have some reliability issues, but this car was an easy pick for No. 1.
No. 2 1961 Ferrari 250 GT, "Ferris Bueller's Day Off"
Drivetrain: 280-hp, 3.0-liter V-12 with four-speed manual transmission; rear-wheel drive
Notable Features: Cherry-red exterior, wire grille, Cameron-sized tonneau compartment
This movie is probably responsible for thousands of teens cutting class to joyride in their father's car. Of course, none hold a candle to Mr. Frye's convertible Ferrari. It won votes for all the obvious reasons: It's red, Italian and fast.
No. 3 1974 Dodge Monaco, "The Blues Brothers"
Drivetrain: 275-hp, 7.1-liter V-8 with three-speed automatic transmission; rear-wheel drive
Notable Features: Cop motor, cop tires, cop suspension, cop shocks
You usually don't come out ahead when swapping a Caddy for a Dodge - unless the Dodge has a 440-cubic-inch V-8. The car falls apart in the end, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a vehicle that could survive "a mission from God."
No. 4 1964 Aston Martin DB5, "Goldfinger"
Drivetrain: 282-hp, 4.0-liter six-cylinder with four-speed manual transmission; rear-wheel drive
Notable Features: Bulletproof glass, machine guns, incessantly beeping radar screen
Save for the anemic BMW Z3 1.9 in "GoldenEye," Bond cars are top-notch - the list includes Aston Martins, Bentleys and Lotuses - but voters agreed the champ is the Aston Martin DB5 in "Goldfinger." Not only is it gorgeous, it outruns and out-gadgets all its competitors. Plus it gets plenty of screen time with the best Bond, Sean Connery. Any dissenters, of course, are welcome to ride in the "power" passenger seat.
No. 5 Batmobile Tumbler, "Batman Begins"
Drivetrain: 340-hp, 5.7-liter V-8 with electronic throttle; electric motor for silent operation; jet engine for jumps
Notable Features: Armor plates all around, voice-guided navigation system, power driver's seat
Batman's Tumbler stretches the definition of a car, but voters insisted it belonged on the list. Most vehicles are either nimble or tough, but the Tumbler is both: it vaults between rooftops and charges through barriers. Cops spout ineffectual one-liners, and it turns their cruisers to scrap. The cabin doesn't look very comfortable, but given the tank-like exterior, it's a wonder Batman even has a place to sit.
No. 6 1968 Ford Mustang GT 390, "Bullitt"
Drivetrain: 325-hp, 6.4-liter V-8 with four-speed manual transmission; rear-wheel drive
Notable Features: Fastback roof, higher engine note than the Charger
Never mind the continuity mishaps; just tell yourself there were a lot of green Volkswagen Beetles in San Francisco that day. The seven-minute chase scene between Frank Bullitt's Mustang GT 390 and a hit man's 1968 Dodge Charger is among the best of its kind. Voters gave Bullitt's car the edge because, in the end, you have to root for the good guy.
No. 7 1959 Cadillac Ambulance, "Ghostbusters"
Drivetrain: 325-hp, 6.4-liter V-8 with two-speed automatic transmission; rear-wheel drive
Notable Features: Tailfins, flashing lights, sirens, attached ladder
Though it plays a relatively small part in its film, the Ectomobile is the finest medical movie car to date. What it lacks in brute force it makes up in style, with red tailfins, strobe lights and more roof gear than a fire truck. Should there ever be a remake, the new Ectomobile should be a Dodge Magnum.
No. 8 1958 Plymouth Fury, "Christine"
Drivetrain: 305-hp, 5.7-liter V-8 with three-speed automatic transmission; rear-wheel drive
Notable Features: Rewinding odometer, bending sheet metal, bloodlust for young guttersnipes
Never mind that Christine runs amok all night killing people - voters loved the idea of a self-repairing car. That it's curvy, red and fast probably helped, too.
No. 9 1973 Ford Falcon, "The Road Warrior"
Drivetrain: 300-hp, 5.7-liter V-8 with four-speed manual transmission; rear-wheel drive
Notable Features: Hood-mounted air intake, gas tanks in back, dash-mounted shotgun
Maybe if Max Rockatansky drove a more fuel-efficient car, he wouldn't have to spend his days scouring the post-apocalypse Australian desert for gas. Of course, then his car wouldn't be tough enough to take down the marauders he's after, and it wouldn't have received as many votes. Fortunately, Mad Max's Falcon police interceptor has all the right goodies: side exhaust, a supercharger and giant, dust-kicking tires.
10. 2003 Mini Cooper S, "The Italian Job"
Drivetrain: 163-hp, supercharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine with six-speed manual transmission; front-wheel drive
Notable Features: 200 pounds lighter than stock Cooper S; painted red, white or blue
Larger cars would have rubbed fenders with light poles and tunnel walls, but thanks to a nimble fleet of Mini Coopers, a band of conspirators manages to escape captors down congested streets, parks and subway tunnels. Computer-rigged signals aid the getaway, stopping cross traffic at red lights. Sounds like California dreaming for drivers.
Like the Top 10 Movie Cars, the losers were memorable in their own right -- but for all the wrong reasons. Cars.com took into account all the things that make movie cars un-cool and compiled a list of the five worst.
No. 1 1983 Ford LTD Country Squire, "Vacation"
Drivetrain: 200-hp, 5.0-liter V-8 with four-speed automatic transmission; rear-wheel drive
Notable Features: Wood siding, hood-routed gas intake, driver-side airbag
It's metallic pea, not Antarctic blue. There's no rallye fun package, either. Rather, the Griswolds' Wagon Queen Family Truckster is every family's worst vacation memory. As the salesman said, "You think you hate it now, but wait till you drive it."
No. 2 1974 Dodge Tradesman, "Napoleon Dynamite"
Drivetrain: 180-hp, 5.9-liter V-8 with three-speed automatic transmission; rear-wheel drive
Notable Features: Camper top, Tupperware-crushing fortitude
Uncle Rico's orange Tradesman is the go for his gig, peddling Tupperware and, um, herbal enhancements door-to-door. Grapefruit resistance notwithstanding, the van is about as cheesetastic as Rico's frigate models.
No. 3 Winnebago Chieftain, "Spaceballs"
Drivetrain: Wing thrusters and secret hyperjets with electronic throttle; no-wheel drive
Notable Features: Raspberry radar jammer, retractable ladder
Eagle 5 reaches hyperactive speed and accommodates four occupants - not to mention a tool rack, fire hydrant and giant hair dryer - but its poor gas mileage and limited power means it won't outrun Spaceball One, which can hit ludicrous speed. Sorry, Lone Starr: The Schwartz is not with you.
No. 4 1984 Ford Econoline, "Dumb and Dumber"
Drivetrain: 114-hp, 4.9-liter six-cylinder with three-speed automatic transmission; rear-wheel drive
Notable Features: Nose, ears, tongue and other canine appendages
Lloyd calls it the shaggin' wagon, but there isn't much of that going on in Harry Dunne's Mutt Cuts van. Worse yet, it isn't properly equipped for the job: With Harry's driving, unrestrained pooches lose their perm in no time.
No. 5 1963 Volkswagen Beetle, "Herbie: Fully Loaded"
Drivetrain: 190-hp, 2.3-liter four-cylinder with four-speed manual transmission; rear-wheel drive
Notable Features: Racing stripes, spoiler, delusions of personality
There's no doubt a 1,834-pound car with a 190-hp racing motor would be quick - it has a better power-to-weight ratio than a Maserati Spyder. But paired with Lindsay Lohan and her kid-friendly cohorts, Herbie doesn't compare to his original "Love Bug" self.
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