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Top 11: Underrated Movie Cars – Which Lesser-Known Big-Screen Cruisers Deserve More Recognition?

Top 11: Underrated Movie Cars – Which Lesser-Known Big-Screen Cruisers Deserve More Recognition?

You know the great movie cars. Yes, you do…1977 Trans-Am in black and gold. 1958 Plymouth in Autumn Red and Ivory White. Black 1969 Dodge Charger. (Whoops…might need to get a bit more specific there.) There is a laundry list of great movie cars that everybody and their mother knows, and then there is the list of lesser-known but still worth mentioning for one reason or another. Maybe they are an under-appreciated badass vehicle, or maybe they were featured in a movie that nobody has thought of in decades. We’ve thrown together a list of rides that we feel got the short end of the stick on the popularity contest. Did we miss any? Let us know below!

11. 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS from Jack Reacher

It’s not like a 1970 Chevelle needs any help being a badass, but if you ever wondered what Christine would look like with an update, watch Tom Cruise whip this heavy Chevy around as if the Devil himself was behind the wheel. If seeing a classic get it’s sheetmetal wrinkled isn’t for you, don’t bother, but if you want to hear a big-block Chevelle get wound the hell out as he’s both chasing down some bad guys in an Audi and running from the cops, here you go.

10. 1973 Dodge Charger from Out Cold

One word: snowplow. It’s the do-it-all classic: You have the power of a mostly-muscular Dodge Charger, the comfortable appointments of the Charger SE, the ass-high stance of a 1970s street cruiser (but without the proper rubber, we think) and because it’s Alaska, a snowplow. And if you’re bored and slightly drunk one night, it’ll make for great entertainment for you and your buddies!

9. 1967 Chevrolet Corvette from King of the Mountain

The true story about this monster of a C2 Corvette is better than any punchline we could write. During filming, Dennis Hopper actually drove the Corvette to get shots of him in-car. Hopper showed up absolutely obliterated drunk and director Noel Nosseck let him drive the car…with another sixer ready to go! He drove around for about an hour before returning with six empty cans, even though there was only minutes’ worth of film in all three on-board cameras.

8. 1978 Chevrolet C-10 from The Driver 

Stepside, side pipes, driven like a bat out of hell while chasing a mid-1970s Firebird…The Driver was a panned movie that might have done better with a stronger cast, or maybe names for the characters instead of The Driver, The Player, and The Detective. Letting The Driver get out more than about 350 words in the whole flick wouldn’t have hurt either.

7. 1968 Ford F-series from Mr. Majestyk

Charles Bronson? Nope…the real badass of this movie is the 1968 Ford that took abuse on a level that even built stunt vehicles don’t usually walk away from. The Ford was (supposedly) a stock, unmodified unit that was still running and driving after the eight-minute suspension-killing chase scene that includes vehicular flight normally associated with liberal use of a Dixie horn.

6. 1973 Pontiac Trans-Am from McQ

John Wayne as anything other than a cowboy might not seem right, but maybe his role as Detective Lon “McQ” McHugh wasn’t that far removed. Trade the features of the American Southwest for the Seattle metro area of Washington and trade a trusty horse for a Pontiac Trans-Am 455 Super Duty and squint a bit, and you might see what we’re on about. Or, just enjoy some visuals of The Duke romping on the Brewster Green Poncho like he stole it.

5. 1969 Ford Mustang from Cannonball

No, not The Cannonball Run. There is no Gary Busey in a hot-rodded Camaro here. No, this is David Carradine as one of the many racers taking part in the Trans-American Grand Prix, an L.A. to New York blitz, and we picked Carradine’s second ride, a 1969 Ford Mustang that he picks up from some local kids after his Pontiac Trans-Am gets killed off, as the ride of choice. Would you be surprised to know that it squares off against a black Dodge Charger in a showdown with a mentally unstable competitor?

4. 1987 Chevrolet Caprice from Furious 7

As the “Fast and Furious” franchise ages, the cars seem to get better and better. One of the big shockers from the seventh installment was seeing this cross between a Chevy Caprice, a NASCAR racer and a moonshiner’s wet dream power sliding across the screen. The big Chevy wasn’t on the screen long and it’s death scene was particularly gruesome, but that picture alone can make up for Tokyo Drift.

3. 1969 Pontiac GTO from The Punisher

Here, all you need to do is ignore the comic-book schtick and focus on what the GTO truly was: the badass in black. The moody, ill-tempered and quite violent four-wheeled version of Frank Castle is the perfect accessory right up until the car is crashed and left for dead on it’s lid.

2. Caterpillar D9 from Killdozer!

A Cat D9 possessed by an alien spirit from a meteorite from outer space…woo…that’s a reach. Execution by electrocution for said bulldozer is just as sketchy. But hey, if there is one thing that the movie Killdozer! got right, is that a bulldozer with no visible driver moving on it’s own accord is something to take very, very seriously. Remember, red for positive…

1. 1971 Ford Custom 500 from White Lightning

True car geeks get this choice, but when you have to explain to your non-car-friends why this turd brown old Ford with a mustache-less Burt Reynolds is your current jam, well…that’s when things might get a little weird, so let’s make things simple: it’s big, it’s bad, it’s beat on like a rented mule and comes back for more, it’s got a row-yer-own box, and is constantly wound out. We’ll take some of that, please!

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20 thoughts on “Top 11: Underrated Movie Cars – Which Lesser-Known Big-Screen Cruisers Deserve More Recognition?

  1. doug gregory

    totally agree with 1,5,6, and 9. The White Lightning Ford is by far the most-awesome of the bunch. A proper liquor-running car if there ever was one.

  2. Taz Patterson

    Some similar but different options for some cars. The C10 with the wood bed from Hooper and the bad guys 73 Trans Am from Corvette Summer. Alternatively there is also the 70 Camaro that gets flipped in Gumball Rally that thing looks to tear up some hill in South Dakota at one part in the movie.

  3. BigDogSS

    FYI, in The Driver:
    — The C10 was a 1973 and had a manual transmission.
    — The “mid-70s Firebird” was a 1976 Trans Am,
    C’mon you guys are “car guys”?

    1. Norse

      Not only was the C10 a manual, it was a 3-on-the-tree.
      And don’t forget the really bad wheel hop that TA had!

  4. Kenny

    I think one of the most underrated movie cars of ALL time doesn’t have lots of power was not built for speed and most people today would just walk on by if they saw it.
    I am talking about the Plymouth Valiant From the 1971 movie Dual.

  5. BeaverMartin

    I always thought the 77′ Firebird from the Wraith was BA! The 67′ GTO from XXX was pretty cool. The 74′ Matador from The Man With the Golden Gun, I mean who doesn’t want to fly wrapped in AMC luxury?

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