There are movies that are memorable, and then there are movies that are memorable because of their cars. From the Volkswagen Beetle in the “Love Bug” to the AMC Pacer in “Wayne’s World” to the Ferrari in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” there have been all kinds of cars in all kinds of movies that audiences will always remember.
Here are three of the most iconic movie cars of all time:
#1: The 1977 Pontiac Special Edition Trans Am
While the actors did a great job in “Smokey and the Bandit,” everyone remembers the car in the movie. The Limited Edition Trans Ams built in 1977 (known then as Bandit Trans Ams) were standard, but then were made available with an extra-cost package and labeled as Special Editions. The car could be ordered with a T-Top or Coupe. Pontiac ended up building around 15,000 Special Edition Trans Ams.
The car came with standard safety, anti-theft, convenience and emissions control features that most cars were equipped with at the time. There was one thing that Special Edition Trans Ams didn’t have, though: Gold. It was everywhere. The car was decked out in custom gold decals, gold body striping, and gold interior and exterior accents. Gold aluminum wheels were available for the public, however, and you can still get them online today.
#2: The 1982 De Lorean DMC-12
The movie “Back to the Future” gave the 1982 De Lorean DMC-12 a prominent place in iconic car history. Around 9,000 of them were manufactured from 1981 to 1983. Today, there are still 6,500 De Loreans in existence. The DMC- 12 had a fiberglass underbody and gull-wing doors, but most features were basic. They were never factory-painted; they came in bare stainless steel and had standard interior colors of either black or grey. The cars were made in North Ireland and production stopped in late 1982.
#3: The 1993 Ford Explorer XLT
“Jurassic Park” and its dinosaurs had an impact on audiences, not only for its special effects, but because of the 1993 Ford Explorer XLT. The Explorer was chosen for the movie because Steven Spielberg liked and was driving one at the time of production.
The green 1993 Ford XLT in the movie had custom yellow bumpers, a Plexiglass roof, and a touch-screen computer monitor inside to act as a guide on the tour of the park. The Eddie Bauer edition of the Explorer that came with painted grilles, but the XLTs did not; the bumpers were switched out for the movie so they could be painted with the movie’s “Jurassic Camo” pattern.
The Ford Explorer has come a long way since its Jurassic Park days. Instead of a Plexiglass roof, the 2015 Explorer has a power sunroof. Instead of a touch screen TV, it has rear DVD entertainment, and today the Explorer has a blind-spot monitor option, whereas in 1993 the only option to check your blind spot was looking over your shoulder.
It can be a Lamborghini, a Chevy Impala, a Pacer, or even a Cadillac hearse. It might be the inevitable chase scene or simply an object of admiration. Whatever the reason, some cars are just more iconic than others, especially in the movies.