People seem to love cars for all sorts of different reasons. Some are into looks while others are all about getting the most performance for their money. Regardless of whichever category you fall into, there is no denying the fact that pop culture has always had a major influence over how certain people perceive a car or motorcycle. Take The Fast and The Furious franchise for example. The entire thing is based around cars and it has been responsible for making certain cars, such as Dom's Dodge Charger, into pop culture icons.
Still, every once in a while a movie or TV show ends up hyping a car that is not very good at all. The most famous example of this is the DeLorean DMC-12, a car known by millions of people all over the world that has become the de-facto symbol of the Back to the Future series. However, most car enthusiasts also know that the DeLorean was not the best car around and in fact, all of the problems that it had made sure that it didn't sell very well. On this list, we will be taking a look at 17 different cars that have been made popular courtesy of the movies that they showed up in.
17 Lotus Esprit Series I (The Spy Who Loved Me)
This one is a classic car from the Bond series. The most memorable scene it's featured in is when the Lotus Esprit turns into a submarine by popping out props and stabilizer fins as soon as it goes into the water.
Although most critics appreciated the car they said the engine was weak, and this keeps it from being a good car overall.
The 160 hp four-cylinder engine was capable enough to take the car from 0-60 mph in around 8 seconds, although Lotus had promised it would do so in just 6.8 seconds. Overall the car was not the fast sports car shown in the movie.
16 Pontiac Trans Am (Smokey and the Bandit)
The director from the film chose this car specifically for this movie to star alongside Sally Field and Burt Reynolds, and it made a huge impact on America. When the movie started showing, sales increased by 30,000 units from 1977 to 1978.
The car was a great performance car for its time but it was not as perfect as shown in the movie.
Firstly, movies never show the practical side of cars and they always show how quick they can go or what stunts they can accomplish. The Trans Am is not the most economical car of its time. Secondly it is not that spacious so it’s really only good for going fast.
15 DeLorean DMC-12 (Back to the Future)
The DeLorean DMC-12 may be the worst car mentioned here on this list. With an inexperienced workforce and problems during the design phase, Marty Mcfly's car was doomed from the very beginning.
First thing's first, the price was too high for such a bad car, and the car was bad for many reasons.
Firstly the engine gave low output as they had to settle for an underpowered Peugeot V6 engine that only gave out 140 bhp. Build quality also suffered, and the gullwing doors, although they seemed attractive, turned out to be a safety hazard in cases where the car toppled over making it one of the worst cars in reality.
14 Mustang GT (Bullitt)
The GT 390 is one of the most famous cars from the movies and it is certainly worth a mention on this list. Initially, two cars were bought for movie production but one of the units got damaged really bad and had to be destroyed. Both cars were modified to make the car stealthy by removing driving lights, the emblem, and the Mustang letters. The large engine for producing lots of pony power added a lot of weight in the front of the car, which made the driving experience not so great. They had to offer a handling pack to fix these problems and make it a good performance car.
13 Dodge Challenger R/T (Vanishing Point)
The inclusion of the 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T in Vanishing Point helped it gain a lot of attention, especially due to the stunts being pulled off which were put together by the people who helped with the stunts on Bullitt. The director specifically chose the car in white color to make it stand out from all of the scenery, and it did not have a Hemi V8 engine but instead a 440-cubic-inch V8. Although it was a great car, it is said by many that it was fast enough and so it was not considered a sports car. Also, the hood felt very heavy thanks to the big engine.
12 XB GT Ford Falcon (Mad Max)
The Ford Falcon was used as a car to hunt down bad guys after Max's son was taken out by a gang of motorcycle thugs. The film team added big tires, a new nose, and some other body changes. At the end of the movie, the interior was removed and an extra tank was added to suit the movie. The actual car is powered by a 351-cid V8 engine which was decent for the kind of cars Australian and American manufacturers were building in those days. One big problem was with the handling; it had a lot of understeer that needed solid technique to overcome. The car had a lot of things changed in the movie that made it look a lot better than it actually looks.
11 Jeep Renegade (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice)
The Jeep Renegade that featured in this movie was painted black to suit it well for Batman. What did not make sense is the question of why a millionaire superhero would drive a $19,000 SUV when he has Bentleys, Lamborghinis, Porsches and also a Land Rover parked in the garage. The car, although it was made to look cool in the movie, has really bad fuel economy and while that may not be a problem for Bruce Wayne, it would be for the common man. Another problem is the below average reliability of the car which means you would probably end up at the garage more often than you'd like.
10 Dodge Charger (The Fast and the Furious)
The Charger has been cast in many movies as well as the famous The Dukes of Hazzard TV show. It made another appearance in 2000 where Vin Diesel drove it with a large engine and a supercharger that popped out of the hood.
The car was shown as a street menace in black paint with big tires on the rear. The real car, however, does not seem all that monstrous.
Mainly the car does a good job at looking like it's going fast, but it does not go that fast in actuality. It is just another decent car which was exaggerated when in fact it does not live up to the monstrous standards it has set on TV.
9 Mustang (John Wick)
The first misconception people have which has been cleared by others is that the car used in John Wick is actually a 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 and not a Boss 429 with a 7 -liter V8. The crew destroyed 5 of these cars, and Keanu Reeves underwent a lot of training in order to actually be able to perform some of the stunts and crashes in place of stunt drivers. This is another Mustang which unfortunately had more weight on the front due to an increase in proportions and so it does not really live up to expectations.
8 Toyota Supra (Fast & The Furious)
This was the car that the late Paul Walker drove after his famous Mitsubishi Eclipse was destroyed for the first film. The Supra was famous and even sold at an auction for $185,000. Rightly so for the unit because it had undergone a lot of modifications.
The modifications included a twin-turbo 3-liter inline six, heavy duty suspension, competition seats, Jaz Products fuel cells, and a few other body modifications.
This did actually make the car really great but at a cost of something close to a million dollars. That says a lot about the actual car and the need for modifications, so if you go ahead and buy one do not expect it to be as good as the one Paul Walker drove in the movie unless you spend a million on it too.
7 AMC Pacer (Wayne’s World)
This subcompact car was named as the “Mirth Mobile” in the movie and it was one of the reasons why the movie was a hit. The Pacer used in this film had flame decals behind each front wheel and it was a hatchback with two doors. The car from the movie was sold for $37,400 at an auction. Originally the car had a straight 6 motor, and in 1976 it was upgraded to give out more power, but the Mirth Mobile had a larger 4.2-liter motor. At that time the car was made to replace huge cars that were underpowered. Overall the car was nothing special, apart from the fame it enjoyed from being featured in a movie.
6 Aston Martin DB5 (Goldfinger)
The Aston Martin DB5 was driven by 007 in Goldfinger and Thunderball and this car looked really great on the silver screen. The DB5 is a good car but it was made to look really cool in the movie by adding scenes which had machine guns, an ejector seat, an oil-slick sprayer and other gadgets which made it a good spy car but only in the movie.
The DB5 is classy in its own way and it is one heck of a vintage car. However, every car comes with its flaws and this has a problem with rust in the chassis.
Secondly, the car feels heavy, especially while cornering. Some may say this gives it a good feel in terms of reliability and how solid the car is but that is just a matter of preference. It is a good vintage car, but that is all that it is.
5 Gran Torino Sport (Gran Torino)
The Ford Gran Torino Sport has also featured in the Fast & Furious series as well as in Clint Eastwood’s movie Gran Torino. 92,033 units of the Gran Torino Sport were produced by Ford in 1972, and the Sport variant had a few other add-ons that made the car better than the other variants available. The one that Clint Eastwood drove had different wheels, special badging, and laser stripe on the side of the car. The Gran Torino Sport was a performance car and it had a 302 Windsor 2 barrel V8 engine, but the main problem was that it disappointed due to the low compression ratio. People expected good fuel economy from this performance car and it failed to do so making it lose some love from the industry.
4 Aston Martin DBS V12 (Casino Royale)
This is yet another Aston Martin from a Bond film. Actually, it featured in two Bond films: Casino Royale in 2006 and Quantum of Solace in 2008. The DBS V12 looks great as it oozes of luxury, class and a little bit of sport just like most Bond cars over the year have. The car can go really fast, not just in the movie but also in reality. Still, there are a few problems with it. Firstly the steering wheel gives has too much give, even on the slightest bumps. The interior is very luxurious but some owners have had problems with the indicator sticks being not as fluid as they usually come in other cars. The car is great, but for that price, you can actually get better cars on the market, so although it is great, there are many better alternatives available.
3 Cadillac Miller-Meteor Limousine (Ghostbusters)
Only 25 of the Miller-Meteor limousines were used and 2 of them were used in the studio for Ghostbusters. The limousine was known as Ecto-1 in the movie, and it was heavily modified with many gadgets on the roof that were not even used in the movie and it had a pull-out rack in the back of the car which was used for “proton packs.”
The Miller-Meteor had a huge engine, a 6.3 liter V8 which made 320 horsepower but even this was not enough for a limousine that weighed close to 3 tons.
The car was really heavy and hard to handle. Plus, it only looked good enough in the movie as it suited the need, but in real life, it is not the most attractive or practical car made under the Cadillac name.
2 Ford Thunderbird (Thelma And Louise)
The Ford Thunderbird was auctioned at Barrett-Jackson in 2008 for an amount of $71,500. The car featured in Brad Pitt’s first movie which was nominated for six Academy Awards which tells you that this car is pretty famous. The car came with a 390 cu in. 6.4-liter engine which gave an output of 275 horsepower and there were upgrades offered. One of the biggest gripes people had was that manual transmission was not offered. The heavy car was just a new design, and not much of an improvement for the car compared to its predecessors.
1 Volkswagen Beetle Deluxe Ragtop (The Love Bug)
The Beetle Deluxe was known as Herbie in this movie and it had L87 pearl white paint. The interior usually came matching with the paint on the outside but because of issues such as glare and light reflections, the interior was dulled down with a grey paint job. The production studio had to play around with 8 different units of the car to get what they wanted in each shot. Beetles are known for ease of repair, which could even mean easy restoration, but these are cars that did not create a lot of power even back in the day and so they are mostly good to collect or take to car shows where classics are valued on how they look rather than how they perform.