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Top Ten Classic Cars in Movies and TV

Updated on February 16, 2015

Movies and TV Shows Featuring Classic Cars and Car Chases

There are many movies all about cars, with a small amount of plot, others featuring long dramatic car chases, but there are also many movies and TV shows where the choice of car helps to define the character of the hero or villain, highlight the fashions of the time the film was made or even transform and otherwise ordinary film onto an iconic one, more than the script, clothing or location can.

For example The Alfa Romeo Duetto Spider driven by the Dustin Hoffman character in The Graduate featured heavily in the plot and had just been launched and helped popularise the car and the film which in turn helped to jump-started Dustin Hoffman's career. 25 years later the car was still for sale under the name "Graduate" (in USA). Magnum PI would not have been such a hit if he drove a modern Ford Truck rather than a Ferrari 308 (no offense to Ford Truck owners. It just wouldn't have suited the character) Austin Powers' character was enhanced by his "Shaguar" (Jaguar XKR)

Here are a few more...

The Graduate: Alfa Romeo Spider (1967)

The Graduate

The Graduate
The Graduate

The 1967 film, The Graduate was a huge hit for Dustin Hoffman and for Alfa Romeo. The car is a graduation present and features in many scenes throughout the film, finally running out of petrol before the excellent wedding scene at the end of the film.

Alfa Romeo Spider

Alfa Romeo Spider
Alfa Romeo Spider

Ferris Bueller's Day Off: Ferrari 250 California

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Ferris Bueller's Day Off: Featuring perhaps the most beautiful car ever made: The Ferrari 250 California Spider (well it was actually a replica as a real one would now cost literally millions of dollars) A special edition convertible version of the Ferrari 250 with it's small block V12 engine and perfectly formed Italian design is "borrowed" by Ferris and his friends while playing truant from school.

Austin Powers Goldmember: Jaguar XK8 Convertible

Jaguar XK Convertible

The opening sequence to The Austin Power's movie "Goldmember" features The Shaguar: A Jaguar XK8 convertible. This is the sister car to the Aston Martin DB7 driven by James Bond (i.e. Both cars were designed by the same person and were based on the same, older Jaguar XJS platform) The XK is a modern version of the E-Type Jaguar (also called an XK in USA)

Le Mans: Starring Steve McQueen

Le Mans

Le Mans is a 1971 film starring Steve McQueen and directed by Lee H. Katzin. it is set at the 24 Hours Le Mans motor race in France and features footage from the 1970 race. Le Mans is one of the most famous motor races in the world and is one of the few that still includes public roads. A very high speed endurance race.

Magnum PI: Ferrari 308 GTS

Magnum PI TV Series

Ferrari 308 GTS QV
Ferrari 308 GTS QV

Set in Hawaii, the TV show, Magnum PI features the handsome mustachioed Tom Selleck dashing around the islands in a Ferrari 308 GTS, a helicopter and a speedboat, solving crimes, meeting attractive ladies.

The Italian Job: Lamborghini, Fiat, Aston, Jaguar...

The Italian Job (1969)

Fiat 500
Fiat 500

The original Italian Job film features so many excellent classic cars. Many of which are destroyed. The opening sequence features the gorgeous looking and Sounding Lamborghini Miura driving majestically through the dramatic Italian scenery to the sound of Matt Monro into a tunnel and that is of course the first of many cars to be destroyed. Later an Aston Martin and E Type Jaguar and a Morris Minor Van which has its "Bl**dy Doors Blown Off". Many of the cars were supplied by Fiat in an early example of product placement: The Mafia drive Fiat Dinos (Fiats with Ferrari engines) and Fiat tried to supply three Fiat 500s for the starring role (taken by three Morris Minis) Instead Fiat 500s appear everywhere throughout the film. The Carabinieri and Polizia drive Alfa Romeo Giulias in the film

Gone in 60 Seconds

Gone in 60 Seconds

Another film featuring a huge number of classic cars. In this case they are being stolen to order and to a a fixed deadline (otherwise the Nick Cage character's brother will be killed) A highly implausible plot, but great fun, lots of high speed chases and the chance to see all of those classics.

Blues Brothers

Blues Brothers

Perhaps the cars in the Blues Brothers aren't classics, but there are lots of them and most of them are destroyed. Great fun, classic car chase scenes (and good music too)

Inspector Morse: Jaguar Mark 2

Inspector Morse

Inspector Morse is a TV detective drama set in Oxford, England (the location of the best university in the world... O.K. the one I went to anyway) It features many scenes of the Oxford Colleges and surroundings and the inspector always drives a classic, red Jaguar Mark 2.

The French Connection

The French Connection: Pontiac Lemans

The French Connection starring Gene Hackman and featuring one of the best car chase scenes: between a Pontiac Lemans and a Train!

Please Leave Some Feedback - What is Your Favourite Movie or TV Car?

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    • RomansInternati profile image

      RomansInternati 5 years ago

      Great list, although I'm surprised that the Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger didn't get a mention - hard to argue with the California though.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Awesome cars, don't know about the movies.

      Nice lens, Andy! - Blessed!

    • malena10 profile image

      malena10 5 years ago

      Car in The Italian Job makes me laugh, lol

    • curtmaxwall profile image

      curtmaxwall 5 years ago

      I think the Alfa Romeo Spider is best.

    • profile image

      SortedRide 5 years ago

      Great list, I liked it. I'd add the Citroen 2CV in the James Bond movie For Your Eyes Only. This great little car demonstrates it's tough reputation and is a definite highlight of the film.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      You have a great selection here. Well done!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Very cool lens, I love all of these cars and movies!

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 6 years ago from Southampton, UK

      Some classic cars and great movies too. I love the original Italian Job, a great movie. Blessed.

    • profile image

      hamster1960 6 years ago

      What about Mr. Bean?

    • profile image

      moonlitta 6 years ago

      Look gorgeous. I wish I could drive:)

    • Senora M profile image

      Senora M 6 years ago

      Super cool lens. My husband would love it!! :) He is redoing a few Mustangs right now. What fun!