The ten best car-and-movie character combos

Illustration for article titled The ten best car-and-movie character combos

When the casting is perfect, the lead car in a movie plays the foil to the character and to the spirit of the movie itself. Here are the ten best of those pairings, as chosen by Jalopnik readers.


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10.) The Duke's Cadillac Fleetwood

Suggested By: GR1M RACER : Promoted by Satin

Why it's perfect: Only in the broken-down vision of John Carpenter's Escape from New York could Cadillac live out its might makes right dictum to the extreme. Isaac Hayes' The Duke had his iridescent, lifted Fleetwood decked out with a disco ball and chandeliers. There may have never been as clear a perversion of American dreams into dystopia on film as this unreal Caddy.

9.) Cameron's Dad's Ferrari 250 GT California

Suggested By: geistkoenig

Why it's perfect: The painstakingly restored, overly cherished Ferrari lives its life in Ferris Bueller's Day Off trapped in a gilded cage, so to speak. Just as we all dream of liberating beautiful classics from the prisons of climate-controlled collector garages, Ferris Bueller dreamed of Ferrari-bound freedom, living out our fantasies onscreen.

8.) Maindrian Pace and Eleanor

Suggested By: sixt9coug loves his rimblow

Why it's perfect: If there ever was a car to drive in a massively destructive car chase, a '73 Mustang Mach 1 is it. Big, bad, and loud, this Mustang became an icon in the original Gone in Sixty Seconds. The centerpiece of the film, this Mustang's sweet lady nickname ‘Eleanor' just stuck, if only because the world fell for such a boss car and such a massive chase.

7.) Bond's Aston

Suggested By: SagarikaLumos

Why it's perfect: James Bond's Astons, typified by the DB5 he drove in Goldfinger, had something for everyone. From the nerdy, childish cool of its Q-division gadgets, to its gentlemanly charm darting around alpine passes popping the tires off of Mustangs. The Aston remains a bankable icon, even decades on.

6.) Bandit and the Trans Am

Suggested By: ncasolo

Why it's perfect: Bandt and the Trans Am went together so well that this could very well also win the upcoming QOTD "Best combination of car and moustache." What better car to live out your 1970s shine-runner revisionist histories on the two-lane blacktops of the South than a big, fat, cop-smoking, tire-smoking Pontiac?

5.) Kowalski and his Supercharged Challenger

Suggested By: brettwmorris

Why it's perfect: There are few movies that can challenge Vanishing Point for nonsensical counterculture nihilism, and a large part of that comes from the imperious, all-capable Challenger that the strong silent type Kowalski drives. A big white Dodge Challenger belongs in the desert, tearing along at top speed, chasing some elusive something as much as it is running from something else.

4.) Batman and the Batmoble

Suggested By: Spieghetti-Os and Pokeballs

Why it's perfect: Though we all love his Batcopter, Batplane, Bat-shark repellant, and Batcycle, there really is little to top the Batmobile. There has never really been a bad Batmobile, because they all look awesome, have tons of gadgets, and manage to outdo all of Batman's Bat-foes with that shrewd cunning that makes us love Batman, even though he cheats all the time. That this Tumbler actually works and drives is just a plus.

3.) Doc Brown's DeLorean

Suggested By: Crossdrilled

Why it's perfect: Thought Back to the Future has been sold out more times than I care to remember, there is little argument that Doc Brown's Delorean was a perfect choice for a time machine. Ever since, DeLoreans that don't have a space-time warping engine just seem to be a little bit lacking, and we can thank the crazed Doc Brown for that.

2.) Bullitt and his Mustang

Suggested By: nurik.xix

Why it's perfect: There aren't enough hubcaps in the world to contain the tire-smoking, hill-jumping Mustang in 1968's Bullitt.Though you may love to root for the bad guy and champion the completely badass Dodge Charger ready to take the Ford to town in the real world, we all know that it's the Mustang that made the movie, and that it's the Mustang that drove the cars into the collective unconscious in the best way possible: with a huge V8 and shredded tires.

1.) Mad Max and the Last of the V8 Interceptors

Suggested By: adeft

Why it's perfect: In America, watching Mad Max and The Road Warrior were exercises in confusion and mystery. There was little doubt that the conniving, brilliant anti-hero Mad Max had the perfect foil in his jet-black muscle car, but what the hell was it? All the cars looked like bizarre versions of American cars, only adding to the post-apocalyptic mystery of the movie. We all know now the real story of the Ford Falcon Pursuit Special, and the awesome that is Max and his supercharged machine is yet to diminish.


Rob G.

How could you forget Dennis Weaver and his Plymouth Valiant?