The Antique Automobile Club of America states that automobiles must be older than 25 years old to be considered a classic by definition. Some others define an antique or vintage car is over 30 years old. However, everybody can agree that they're old and beautiful.
Although vintage cars have a long cinematic history, here are the absolute 10 best movie cars of all time.
Choosing the 10 Best Movie Cars
How do you begin to select just 10 cars from the many cars that have featured in the movies? The choice is determined partly by the car and partly by the movie. They both must be classics of their type.
The Ford Econoline is unlikely to be high on any collectors list but for many people, Dumb and Dumber is their favorite comedy movie. The Econoline, dressed up as the "Mutts Cutts" dog doesn't make it to this list.
There's no Dodge Charger on this list despite featuring in The Fast and Furious and The Dukes of Hazzard. Neither movie made it to this reviewers cut. Perhaps they make it to your list.
So here goes with the top 10 vintage, iconic movie cars.
10. Volkswagen Beetle
When Herbie, the VW Beetle, hit the screens, Disney had created a personality that perfectly fitted this car. Herbie was cheeky, independent and full of character.
The Volkswagen Beetle model used was the 1963 117 deluxe sedan with a sunroof. There were, of course, several cars used. The Herbie, known as #10, currently lives at the museum of the Antique Automobile Club of America.
9. Alfa Romeo 1600 Duetto Spider
We have to have an Italian styled car in this list of classic movie cars. The home of Ferrari, Maserati, and Lamborghini must have a contender. It falls to Alfa Romeo to represent Italy.
The Alfa Romeo 1600 Duetto Spider featured in The Graduate is not a flashy car. It perfectly matches the stylish Simon and Garfunkel soundtrack. The gawky Benjamin Braddock, played by a young Dustin Hoffman, finds himself pursued by an older woman in the confines of the little red sports car.
8. Ford Thunderbird
The 1966 T-Bird lent itself to movie stardom. Not only was it a beautiful car but it showed off its co-stars well. Nobody likes working with an actor who hogs the limelight.
Thelma and Louise could escape their former miserable lives and embark on a road movie in full view. The open top car showed off Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis magnificently.
The classic road movie, so often a macho experience, was given a feminist twist. Independent women everywhere found it liberating and ultimately depressing, at the same time. The final conclusion was sad for both the lead characters and the car.
7. AMC Pacer
The AMC Pacer is a strange car to feature as a movie classic but it's up there because of one great scene. The Wayne's World scene when Wayne, Garth and their friends recreate the Bohemian Rhapsody music video is achingly funny.
The four guys lip-sync the Queen hit. Sitting in the Pacer, their four heads perfectly imitate the four members of Queen. It's not an amazing car but it's strange and quirky enough to be perfect for the movie and for the Bohemian Rhapsody spoof.
6. Plymouth Fury
Stephen King writes a mean horror story. His story of a spooky car was a huge hit featuring a 1958 Plymouth Fury called Christine.
Christine had the ability to regenerate herself despite some serious looking damage. The movie effects were achieved with multiple cars, plastic panels and reversing the film. Clever stuff for a 1983 movie, pre-computer trickery.
5. Dodge Monaco
Who would have thought a 1974 Dodge Monaco could achieve iconic status? A fading police paint job and a soul music soundtrack transformed this car into a movie star. The "Bluesmobile" transported the Blues Brothers from gig to gig.
Jake and Elwood, played by Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi, jumped, chased, slid and sped along in their classic car. Their charm and music conferred a special status on the humble ex-police car.
4. Mustang GT 390
In 1968, Steve McQueen was the epitome of cool. When he partnered with the latest Mustang GT 390 in the movie Bullitt, the thermometer dropped to well below zero.
The chase sequence is a classic in movie history. San Francisco provides an exciting location for the Mustang to pursue a Dodge Charger. Together, they take the hills by storm and confirmed the Mustang as a classic muscle car.
3. DeLorean DMC-12
DeLorean was a motor manufacturer that successfully created a classic car and then failed as a business. The DeLorean company set up manufacturing operations in Northern Ireland in the 1980s and created such a futuristic looking car that almost nobody bought it at the time.
That futuristic design was perfect for Back to the Future. The comedy and fantasy made a successful movie mix. The car had added features in the movie that would have been hard to replicate in the production car, notably time travel.
2. Pontiac Trans Am
When Hal Needham, was looking for a car to star in his movie, Smokey and the Bandit he chose a 1977 Pontiac Trans Am. As director, he must have been conscious that the car would be just as much a character in the movie as his stars Burt Reynolds and Sally Field. He chose well because the reaction to the car by moviegoers proved powerful.
The paint job, T-Top, and performance is memorable. The fact that fans could actually buy a version of the car at the time made it all the more appealing. Whether they all used their Pontiacs to evade arrest and slide around corners at speed is doubtful.
1. Aston Martin DB5
Goldfinger featured the most iconic of the many Bond classic cars. The 1964 Aston Martin DB5 needn't have featured any gadgets to have been worthy of its status. The cool curves and engineering excellence were sufficient.
Even so, the machine guns, oil-slick spray, and ejector seat are excellent features any modern car would benefit from. One feature the Bond version of the DB5 had that is now in almost every new car is the navigation system.
The special nature of this car was underlined in 2010 when it sold for $4.6 million. Not a bad return on the $12,000 the seller bought the car for in 1969.
Your Top Movie Cars
We challenge you to make your own Top-10 Movie Car list and then check out cars.drivevinty.com to see how many cars from the list are available to rent through Vinty.
With over 1,600 cars available in the US we can guarantee that most, if not all, of your Top-10 cars will be available for rent on Vinty!
Live the dream and rent a classic car.