Weeding through Hollywood’s entire crop of iconic movie cars in the hopes of arriving at an agreed-upon “best of” list is like trying to choose the sexiest Victoria’s Secret model — it can be grueling work, but the research isn’t exactly painful. Car guys are a picky lot, especially when looking to the silver screen; some go weak in the knees when they hear an American V8 rumble to life slightly out of frame, while others are gaga for the svelte silhouette of a European exotic on a twisty backdrop. A select few believe the essential chase scene is the deciding factor, while yet another breed is only happy when the director has chosen an “appropriate” vehicle for the character driving, regardless of whether the movie was even watchable. The GP Team’s collection of petrolheads put all of these variables into play, entered into
deep philosophical debate and eventually agreed to disagree so we could present you with our picks for the best movie cars ever. Gentlemen, start your arguing engines!
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2002 TVR Tuscan Speed Six
SWORDFISH is memorable for exactly three reasons: Halle Berry’s $500,000 bosom cameo, the pompously annoying manner in which John Travolta smokes cigarettes (seriously, nobody has ever held a smoke like that on purpose, ever) and director Dominic Sena’s selection of another topless beauty: the TVR Tuscan Speed Six. The scene-stealing Chameleon Blue beast from Blackpool embodies the British barn-build mantra of Colin Chapman’s belief to “simplify and add lightness”. Powered by a silky smooth straight-six and absent anything remotely resembling a safety feature other than three pedals, a wheel and your skill, the TVR Tuscan is simply gorgeous; a shot at driving one is the only way we’d ever get into a car with Vinnie Barbarino.
1950 Mercury Monterey
COBRA When you work on the Zombie Squad, you need a suitably badass car. When they call you Cobra, that car is a matte grey 1950 Mercury Monterey custom. Chopped, lowered and nitrous injected, Marion Cobretti’s lead-sled was as fast as it was mean. The tool of choice for making parking spots larger and rescuing Brigitte Nielson from would-be attackers, this custom cruiser actually belonged to Sylvester Stallone himself. Despite the car being essentially stolen from under Sly’s nose after filming, he was reunited with the AWSOM50 again in 2009. Lucky for him, the studio used a “stunt double” for its two-story jump from that parking garage.
1967 Lamborghini Miura
The Italian Job Although the film is most often remembered for Rémy Julienne’s incredible stunt work with a trio of Minis, those plucky Brits don’t hold a candle to the sensual bliss that opens the Michael Caine classic, The Italian Job. The winding roads of the Italian Alps are the ultimate playground for Mr. Beckerman as he pilots his 1969 Lamborghini Miura, arguably the sexiest bull to ever come out of Sant’Agata. Beautifully shot and impeccably produced, Matt Monro’s crooning gives way to the ferocious downshifted bark of the world’s fastest production automobile’s V12 at just the right times, creating automotive movie perfection — until it all goes terribly wrong at the end of that tunnel.
Better Off Dead Savage Steve Holland’s Better Off Dead is your classic ‘80s “boy loses girl, boy restores beautiful first generation Camaro with French girl in overalls to get old girl back” story. Sure, it has some other stuff in there about a ski race, a vindictive paperboy and an incredibly weird family, but the film’s true magic lives under the hood of Lane Meyer’s 1967 Chevy Camaro SS. Minus the factory striping and badges (and riding on larger Corvette rear rubber), Lane’s 350-cubic-inch small block V8-powered pony car is an excellent choice for any teen looking to climb the social ladder or finally hand it to a pair of Japanese-American brothers who only speak Howard Cossel English. The actual car from the movie still makes appearances at shows and events around the country, after a fan decided he had to have it.
1964 Aston Martin DB5
Bond The Aston Martin DB5 is undeniably the most recognizable car in the world. Even to those with no appreciation of automobiles, the sight of James Bond’s Silver Birch DB5 evokes instant emotion. The quintessential Bond car has appeared in six of the twenty-three productions, and made numerous cameos elsewhere as well — always with a wink and a nudge to Britain’s bespoke agent. Speed was never the DB5’s most alluring quality, though it had it from its 282-horsepower four-liter engine. Penned by Italian coachbuilders at Carrozerria Touring Superleggera, its design continued the traditional evolution of the Aston Martin marque, but added a curvaceous fluidity that its predecessors lacked, making the DB5 one of the most beautiful cars ever produced. If you are so inclined (and well-heeled), one of Bond’s original DB5s is currently available — license to kill not included.