Top 10 Most Memorable Movie Cars

When we came up with our list of Top 10 Movie Cars last summer, we had no idea our readers would be so passionate about their favorite films and the automotive characters in them. With "Transformers" coming soon, we revisited our list, listening to last year's reader feedback and arguing — once again — over which cars deserved to make the top 10. Some cars were able to hold on to their spots, while others were shuffled around to make room for more worthy contenders. With "Speed Racer" coming next year, expect another round of arguing.

No. 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. (Parks? Mass transit? In Los Angeles?) Computer-rigged signals aid the getaway, stopping cross traffic at red lights. Sounds like California dreaming for drivers.

No. 9: 1959 Cadillac Ambulance, "Ghostbusters"

Drivetrain: 325-hp, 6.4-liter V-8; 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, our pick for the new Ectomobile would be the Dodge Magnum. Right, Egon?

No. 8: 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 Bluesmobile would be our pick if we had to outrun the better half of Illinois police, not to mention a neo-Nazi outfit and a country-and-western band. The car totally falls apart in the end, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a vehicle that could do better on "a mission from God."

No. 7: 1932 Ford coupe, "American Graffiti"

Drivetrain: 60-hp, 3.6-liter V-8 with three-speed manual transmission
Notable Features: Bright yellow paint job bound to be noticed by bored teens in Modesto, Calif.

Nicknamed the "Deuce," this five-window '32 Ford coupe is the quintessential American hot rod. As built, it came with the engine mentioned above, but in the movie, it's clear the coupe has been souped up. It was the car's awesome growl and the cool drag race at the end of the movie that lodged this hot rod into the hearts of American teens for a decade.

No. 6: 1976 AMC Pacer, "Wayne's World"

Drivetrain: 100-hp inline-six with three-speed automatic transmission; rear-wheel drive
Notable Features: Flame decal, licorice dispenser, "Bohemian Rhapsody" on continuous playback

Although this movie may not have driven thousands of people to track down a baby blue Mirth Mobile of their own, it did inspire a number of in-car, head-banging singalongs by fans of the film.

No. 5: 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. 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 of 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. 3: 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 bloody fast. If our fathers owned something like this, we'd ditch Econ 101 in a heartbeat to take a spin — especially if Dad didn't lock the garage. (And yes, we know this was a kit car.)

No. 2: 1977 Pontiac Trans Am, "Smokey and the Bandit"

Drivetrain: 200-hp, 6.6-liter V-8 with three-speed automatic
Notable Features: T-top, CB radio, runaway bride in the passenger seat

The mission seemed simple enough: Get a truckload of bootleg beer from Texarkana, Texas, to Atlanta while Bo "Bandit" Darville runs interference in his Trans Am. The combination of the comical car chases and Burt Reynolds' mustache sold more than a few black and gold versions of Bandit's car.

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 plutonium-powered nuclear reactor and onboard flux capacitor. By the end of the first movie, it runs solely on trash — and it can fly. That's still futuristic two decades after the movie debuted. Sure, the ignition seems to have some reliability issues, but this car easily won our hearts.

Honorable Mentions:
  • 1958 Plymouth Fury, "Christine"
  • 1973 Ford Falcon, "The Road Warrior"
  • 1975 Lotus Esprit, "The Spy Who Loved Me"
© Cars.com 2/11/09
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