The Cars and Bikes That Laid Tracks on the Big Screen
By Sarah Roberts
Famous Film Cars
~ The 1968 Ford Mustang GT-390 from 1968’s Bullitt
~ “Eleanor,” the 1965 Shelby Mustang GT500, from Gone in 60 Seconds
~ James Bond’s cars: Sunbeam Alpine from Dr No, Derby Bentley from From Russia With Love, Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger and Thunderball, Toyota 2000GT convertible from You Only Live Twice, Aston Martin DBS from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Mustang Mach 1 from Diamonds are Forever, Lotus Esprit from The Spy Who Loved Me, Aston Martin V8 from The Living Daylights, BMW Z3 from Goldeneye, and BMW Z8 from The World is Not Enough
~ 2054 Lexus Maglev from Minority Report
~ Christine (a 1958 Plymouth Fury) from the movie of the same name, based on the Stephen King novel.
~ The AMC Pacer from Wayne’s World
~ Herbie the VW Bug from The Love Bug and its four sequels
~ De Lorean time machine from the Back to the Future series
~ Pursuit Special, the Interceptor from Mad Max
~ The Bluesmobile, a 1974 Dodge Monaco police car, from The Blues Brothers
~ 1967 LeMans GTO from XXX
~ The Corvette from Corvette Summer
~ The Pontiac Trans Am from Smokey and the Bandit.
~ 1967 Jaguar E-Type named Shaguar from Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.
~ Nero’s Fiat 850 Spyder from Death Race 2000
~ The Ford Torino from Starsky and Hutch
~ The fleet of Mini Coopers from 2003’s remake of The Italian Job
Top Movie Car Chases
(Diehard gearheads have taken sides on this chase that set new standards for its day and contributed to Bullitt being considered by many film aficionados to be the best film in history. Here’s why the debate rages on: Against a soundtrack of squealing tires and howling V8s, the Ford Mustang GT 390 Fastback driven by Lieutenant Frank Bullitt (Steve McQueen) duels with a Dodge Charger 440 driven by a pair of assassins down the jagged hills of San Francisco. Some car buffs question whether the Mustang, with less torque and 50 less horsepower and than the Charger, could really have caught up with and overtaken the bigger car, forcing it off the road and to its ultimate explosive demise. Some say the Charger had the edge in raw speed but the Mustang was tighter in the corners. Still others claim that the weight of an extra person in the Charger slowed it down and tipped the balance in favor of the Mustang.)
Gone in Sixty Seconds
Smokey and the Bandit
The Blue Brothers
Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior
The Fast and the Furious
The French Connection
The Great Race Duel
Lethal Weapon 2
Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo
Cool Bike Movies to Check Out
Easy Rider: This 1969 classic with Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper must be seen by every motorcyclist and non-motorcyclist alike. It’s part of our cultural identity. The scenes of Fonda and Hopper on their choppers with great music in the background are the best parts of the movie.
The Wild One: This classic motorcycle movie stars Marlon Brando as Johnny, leader of the Black Rebels Motorcycle Club. Tough guy-ness and conflict ensue.
Electra Glide in Blue: Robert Blake stars as an Arizona cop who rides a Harley Electra Glide.
Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man: With Mickey Rourke and Don Johnson riding Harley-Davidson motorcycles you can expect action and you get it. This fast-action adventure film is like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid on motorcycles.
Girl on a Motorcycle: This classic film stars Marianne Faithfull as the Girl who leaves her newlywed husband and sets out on her Harley-Davidson to run away to her former lover.
Roadside Prophets stars Rockers John Doe and Adam Horowitz as two bikers making a cross-desert adventure to sow the ashes of a departed buddy. They encounter memorable characters including Arlo Guthrie, John Cusack, David Carradine, and Timothy Leary.
The World’s Fastest Indian: The life and triumph of Burt Munro, the elderly Kiwi man who, at the far from sprightly age of 68, broke motorcycle racing records in Utah. Munro (Anthony Hopkins) is a lovable character in his small New Zealand town, a unique old man with a zest for life and a love of his vintage motorcycle—a bright red 1920 Indian model.
Born to Ride: John Stamos plays an expert motorcycle rider during World War II. He signs-on as a military instructor to shape up a ragtag unit of motorcycle soldiers. This is an action film about motorcycles with great stunts, an engaging love story, and lots of military Harleys.
The Lords of Flatbush stars Sly Stallone, Henry Winkler, and Perry King in a 1950s Brooklyn gang of cool, sexy rebels clad in black motorcycle jackets and bad attitudes Motorcycles are the favored form of transportation.
Me and Will: Two women in rehab decide to jump on their motorcycles and go in search of Captain America, the legendary bike featured in Easy Rider. The video stars Sherrie Rose, Melissa Behr, Patrick Dempsey and Traci Lords.
The Motorcycle Diaries: In 1952, a young medical student and a biochemist from Argentina set off on a road trip across South America. As they straddled their beaten up motorcycle, the men talked in awed tones of the sights they were about to experience. The record of their trip may have disappeared into the ether if one of the riders departing on that fateful day hadn’t been the future insurrectionary figurehead of the Cuban revolution, Ernesto “Che” Guevara (played by Gael Garcia Bernal).
Ballistic: Ecks v Sever: FBI agent Jonathan Ecks (Antonio Banderas) joins forces with his lifelong enemy, Agent Sever (Lucy Liu), a rogue DIA agent with whom he is in mortal combat, in order to defeat a common enemy. In the process, they get to ride some red hot BMW and Buell bikes.
…and perhaps the oddest vehicle featured in a major motion picture? “Killdozer,” from the 1974 movie of the same name (based on a 1944 short story by Theodore Sturgeon), a bulldozer that is controlled by a strange alien force and kills off construction workers.
Wild Hogs: If you’ve seen the movie, you already know that the Harleys ridden by Travolta, William H. Macey, Martin Lawrence and Tim Allen are the same as the ones used by police departments, including Worcester’s own, across the nation.
Ghost Rider: Based on the Marvel character, stunt motorcyclist Johnny Blaze gives up his soul to become a hellblazing vigilante, fighting against power-hungry Blackheart, the son of the devil himself.
“Johnny Blaze’s American Chopper Hell Cycle” courtesy of superherohype
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